6 Reasons Why Fans Shouldn’t Give Up on the MCU Just Yet

in Entertainment, Marvel

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Credit: Marvel Studios

These days, Marvel Studios has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. From its poorly-rated slate of Disney+ originals to the critical flops of many of its Phase Four releases to newly unveiled behind-the-scenes drama, the MCU post-Infinity Saga has never seemed bleaker. However, fans shouldn’t be quick to give up on the franchise’s future just yet, as some exciting projects could turn things around for the floundering studio. Here are ten reasons why MCU skeptics should stick around for Phase Six.

The Avengers gathered together on the promotional poster of 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
Credit: Marvel Studios

What Is the Multiverse Saga?

Marvel’s post-‘Avengers: Endgame’ era

It seems increasingly as though the glory days of the MCU are over, with original Avengers like Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) now dead and gone, and the superhero studio’s seemingly directionless Phases Four and Five spelling disaster for the franchise moving forward.

Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: New Series Starring Black Widow and Hawkeye Announced After Disney Ends Current MCU

While the Infinity Saga will forever go down as one of the most impressive feats of storytelling, with its ten-year interconnected narrative culminating in Avengers: Endgame (2019), fans haven’t exactly been impressed by the new wave of Marvel content, which has officially been dubbed the “Multiverse Saga.

Marvel has long had plans to integrate a Multiverse into the MCU, falling in step with projects like Sony Picture’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018). The studio really went full-in on introducing alternate timelines and “variants” of beloved characters like Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in the animated Marvel’s What If…? series, which aired on Disney+ in 2021.

Ultron in What If...?
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: ‘Loki’ Secretly Replaces ‘Thor’ Actors Amid Marvel Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) also opened the door for more Multiversal storytelling, featuring a council led by X-Men star Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier and even an undead zombie variant of Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) himself, among others. The Tom Holland-fronted Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) followed suit, bringing back Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s iterations of Peter Parker for the critically acclaimed team-up flick.

But perhaps no MCU project has as many Multiversal shenanigans and time-traveling antics as Loki, which is currently wrapping up its second season on Disney+. Starring Tom Hiddleston as the eponymous God of Mischief, the series sees Loki unraveling a strange conspiracy involving a mysterious space bureaucracy called the Time Variance Authority (TVA) and its shadowy leader, He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors). With the Sacred Timeline at stake, Loki and his allies have to fight against the clock to save not just the TVA but the entire universe.

Loki, OB, Mobius, and Hunter B-15 in 'Loki'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Loki is, without a doubt, laying the foundation for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2026) and Avengers: Secret Wars (2027), which will see Majors’ Kang the Conqueror acting as the MCU’s new, unifying, Thanos-level threat. It also helps that Loki is one of the sole Marvel series to make it out of Phase Four unscathed and still holds the crown for the franchise’s most-watched TV show on Disney+.

Disney+ disasters, superhero fatigue, and box office flops

So, what exactly went wrong between 2019 and now? Well, it’s hard to say, but many place the blame firmly on Marvel’s mega-conglomerate parent company, Disney. With the launch of Disney+ in late 2019 came an onslaught of new MCU TV shows, which, essentially, over-saturated the streaming market with shows like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Solider, which proved to be a mixed bag with fans.

Loki is Marvel’s exception, with its first season still holding the crown for the most-watched Disney+ MCU to date. But following entries, such as She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Ms. Marvel, and the more recent Secret Invasionsuffered from abysmal ratings and low viewership figures, with many complaining of their glaringly rushed storylines and seemingly unfinished CGI or a simple lack of interest in the first place.

Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters (AKA She-Hulk) in 'She-Hulk: Attorney at Law'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Unfortunately, Marvel’s theatrical releases haven’t fared much better. Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) is widely remembered as an unremarkable CGI hell-fest, while director Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) proved to audiences that there could, indeed, be too much of a good thing, failing to replicate the same magic as Thor: Ragnarok (2017).

Today, Loki‘s sophomore season is performing surprisingly well both critically and commercially, though analysts are projecting a box office flop for Marvel’s next blockbuster, The Marvels (2023), which flies into theaters later this month. However, it doesn’t matter how well the Captain Marvel (2019) sequel performs; Feige is already planning a “reboot” of the MCU, as Disney can’t afford to lose more money.

Marvel’s PR Crisis

Last week, Variety released a shocking hit piece that detailed the unsavory going-ons at Marvel Studios, with the company spiraling into panic mode after losing money on Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Secret Invasion, and other recent MCU entries.

Notably, the report described an alleged “retreat” organized by Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, which saw executives discussing the brand’s next move after Jonathan Majors, who’s at the center of the MCU’s upcoming plans, was arrested back in March, and is now facing assault and harassment charges in court.

Kevin Feige ready to snap his fingers at a convention
Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

Among the discourse about whether or not to jump the gun by replacing Majors’ Kang with another Marvel comic villain (like Doctor Doom) or just recasting the part altogether, studio heads also supposedly expressed concern over The Marvels’ (2023) box office performance and brought up the idea of potentially scrapping multiple series and films that have proved challenging for the studio, including the reboot of Blade (2025), which should’ve been in theaters by now.

It’s important to note that many industry experts have contested the Variety report, as its author, Tatiana Siegel, has a mixed track record when it comes to publishing reputable articles. But whether or not the piece is 100% on the nose doesn’t really matter; Marvel’s reputation was already tanking long before then.

Kevin Feige Announces MCU “Reboot” — What it Means for Phase Six

“Street-level heroes” will lead the charge

Many have agreed that from the moment the original Avengers assembled in New York City during the climax of Avengers (2012), the MCU quickly ballooned into something a far cry away from the days of by-the-books superhero-adventure flicks – one that many feel is now too complex for its own good.

To remedy this, Marvel’s Head of Streaming, Brad Winderbaum, announced fresh off releasing the first trailer for its upcoming Echo series, that the show will mark the first installment in its new series of projects known as “Marvel Spotlight.” 

This new chapter of the MCU will act as a grounded, standalone series within the extended universe, giving audiences a much-needed break from the Multiversal madness. Maya Lopez, who made her debut in Hawkeye, stars as the titular anti-hero in Echo as the former Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio) pawn returns to her hometown in Oklahoma to face her past and reconnect with her Native American Choctaw roots.

“Marvel Spotlight gives us a platform to bring more grounded, character-driven stories to the screen, and in the case of Echo, focusing on street-level stakes over larger MCU continuity,” said Winderbaum, adding that “our audience doesn’t need to have seen other Marvel series to understand what’s happening in Maya’s story.”

Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in 'Echo' marvel
Credit: Marvel Studios

While it’s hard to say if Marvel Spotlight will be enough to salvage the public outlook on the MCU, it does seem like the first step to a stronger, more cohesive narrative for the franchise and will bring back fan favorites like Charlie Cox’s Daredevil to help spearhead this new era of storytelling.

Expect to See Less Marvel Content on Disney+

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger hasn’t exactly garnered a positive reputation in recent months following a string of, perhaps, ill-worded statements about several issues plaguing Hollywood, including the WGA strike, the state of the streaming industry, and specifically, his own company’s approach to its two most lucrative IPs: Star Wars and Marvel.

Bob Iger with Disney logo
Credit: Inside the Magic

Speaking to CNBC in July, the controversial CEO admitted that “in [Disney’s] zeal to basically grow our content significantly to serve mostly our streaming offerings, we ended up taxing our people way beyond — in terms of their time and their focus — way beyond where they had been.”

Iger cited Marvel, in particular, adding that the superhero studio “had not been in the TV business at any significant level,” which led to a nonstop sludge of MCU spinoffs that garnered little to no attention. He continued, “Not only did they increase their movie output, but they ended up making a number of television series, and frankly, it diluted focus and attention. That is, I think, more of the cause than anything.”

Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel The Marvels
Credit: Marvel Studios

Because of this, Iger touted “newness” as something Marvel needs to re-strengthen its box office appeal, which, unfortunately for some, means the studio will likely be more selective with their content in the years to come, with fewer film and TV projects being led by “a whole different set of Avengers.” This could be positive news, however, as MCU releases used to be a highly-anticipated once or twice-yearly event. Now, with upwards of ten projects hitting screens every year, it’s no wonder audiences are suffering from “superhero fatigue.”

Why MCU Fans Shouldn’t Turn Their Backs on Phase Six — If They Haven’t Already

6. ‘Loki’ promises exciting things ahead for the “God of Stories”

If you’ve been following along with Loki Season 2, then you’re probably aware that Marvel is hinting at one of the Asgardian trickster’s biggest stories in the last decade, which could mean the MCU is planning on adapting a comic book run titled Loki: Agent of Asgard.

Warning! Minor spoilers for Loki Episode 5, “Science Fiction.”

While there isn’t really a specific moment that gives away the intentions of the Loki writers in the latest episode, titled “Science/Fiction,” there are lots of vague ones. Toward the end of the episode, Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) tells Loki: “We’re all writing our own stories now.”

Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), Mobius (Owen Wilson), and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in 'Loki' 2.02
Credit: Marvel Studios

O.B. (Ke Huy Quan) then encourages Loki to find the solution to his time-travel problems through fiction, not science, leading up to Loki’s end-of-episode declaration that his new ability to control his time-slipping will allow him to “rewrite the story.”

It’s eerily reminiscent of Loki: Agent of Asgard, in which the titular Norse God underwent a significant character change by coming to terms with his past – and even future versions of himself – to complete his transformation into a more benevolent god. Upon his “rebirth,” Loki fused with an artifact known as the All-Seeing Eye, which merged with his own magical abilities, seeing him rise as the reborn Loki: God of Stories. This allowed Loki to perceive, manipulate, and, in some cases, completely rewrite stories and narratives within the Marvel universe — something that could set up his role in the Multiverse Saga.

5. “Street-level heroes” like Daredevil and Echo will help create a cohesive universe

Marvel seems to understand fans’ desire to return to a time of lighthearted, standalone superhero flicks that were, if nothing else, a fun time at the movies — and ones that didn’t require viewings of 20 sequels and numerous spinoff series to understand, at that. A little bit of nostalgia goes a long way and has proved successful for the studio in recent years, with Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire’s returns as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home being easily one of the most memorable moments in MCU history.

Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil
Credit: Marvel Studios/Netflix

Given that Echo and Daredevil: Born Again will supposedly kickstart a new chapter of grounded, by-the-books superhero stories for the MCU, fans could get exactly that: action-packed, isolated narratives that don’t have anything to do with the Multiverse Saga. If executed correctly, this could be a breath of fresh air for MCU fans — especially those who enjoyed Marvel’s Netflix series, including Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.

4. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker as the MCU’s “Chosen One”

One of the biggest rumors to come out of Avengers: Secret Wars, which Michael Waldron is currently penning, is that the main Avengers team (which remains unconfirmed but will likely feature Anthony Mackie’s Captain America, Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, and Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi, among others) will see the destruction of Earth 616, the primary continuity in which most Marvel titles take place.

According to some trustworthy leaks, the Avengers won’t be able to save everyone from every universe as they get swallowed up by an unknown villain (presumably Kang), so they pick one hero from every universe and save them while the rest die with it.

Tom holland spider-man
Credit: Marvel Studios / Sony Pictures

Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will supposedly be the Chosen One from Universe 616, which is positive news for the actor, who has had somewhat of a conservative role until recently due to his Spider-Man trilogy and the character’s film rights being tied to Sony. But given Holland’s popularity within the fandom, it’s unsurprising that Feige and Co. would want to bump him up to a more prominent role in Phase Six. Let’s just hope Tom Holland doesn’t accidentally spoil the whole thing before then.

3. Doctor Doom and the Fantastic Four…Enough Said

Since day one, fans have practically begged for a Fantastic Four reboot, as, try as they might, Marvel hasn’t exactly succeeded with adapting the titular team to the big screen. Although previous entries, including the original Fantastic Four (2004) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), are fondly remembered, Fantastic Four (2015) completely missed the mark with audiences.

Fantastic Four (2005) Cast
Credit: Marvel Studios

Plus, the appearance of John Krasinski’s Dr. Reed Richards (AKA Mister Fantastic) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness only served to further hype up the MCU’s Fantastic Four film, though its cast and release date remain unknown. Still, hope prevails, and fans eagerly await Marvel’s reveal of who will play Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and the Thing in the next wave of Fantastic Four movies.

Even more, a new rumor suggests that Doctor Doom could replace Kang in the Multiverse Saga if Jonathan Majors’ trial goes south, though many aren’t exactly sold. While it remains nothing more than a rumor, it would be interesting to see a Doctor Doom cameo in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty or Avengers: Secret Wars, which aligns with speculation that the Fantastic Four will appear in a 1960s flashback sequence.

2. ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ Could be the Crossover Event of the Decade

Everyone remembers where they were the first time they saw Avengers: Endgame. Acting as a unifying climax to ten years of storytelling, hype for the Russo Brothers’ fourth and final Avengers installment was unprecedented, with fans packing screenings at movie theaters across the globe following its premiere in 2019. Clapping, crying, laughing; Endgame was an emotional rollercoaster that elegantly wrapped up the stories of iconic characters like Tony Stark, who had unarguably one of the best arcs in recent cinematic history.

Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man with the Infinity Gauntlet
Credit: Marvel Studios

If Avengers: Secret Wars can replicate even a fraction of Endgame‘s — or Avengers: Infinity War‘s (2017) success — Marvel could prove once and for all that it is capable of making a shared narrative post-Infinity Saga. And if online rumors are anything to go by, some plot details, including the TVA’s “Multiversal Army,” led by Wolverine and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, X-Men cameos galore, and the destruction of Earth 616, Secret Wars could be the high-stakes, climactic event fans need to feel once again invested in and excited about the MCU.

1. Disney and Marvel Are Learning From Their Mistakes — Hopefully

Of course, it might be too soon to say, but based on Bob Iger’s harsh, but very necessary understanding of the condition of Marvel, Kevin Feige’s dedication to salvaging his beloved franchise, and studio heads making the executive decision to create a universe separate from the Multiverse Saga, it seems like things could finally be changing for the better at Disney and Marvel Studios.

Kevin Feige at D23 Expo
Credit: D23

The introduction of Marvel Spotlight could prove powerful in reinvigorating interest in the dying franchise, with the Daredevil remake hopefully being reminiscent of its Netflix predecessor — uncomplicated, serialized storytelling released under a new banner that signifies you don’t need prior MCU knowledge to enjoy a project.

As for the Multiverse Saga, things remain a little more up in the air, with the build-up to Avengers: The Kang Dynasty being pretty unremarkable. However, with the continued success of Loki on Disney+, combined with buzzy projects like Thunderbolts (2025), Marvel clearly understands what characters resonate with fans, and which ones don’t. Only time will tell if Feige and Co. are taking notes, but fans definitely shouldn’t jump ship without seeing what Phase Six has to offer.

What Marvel Studios release are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments below!

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