Graphic: Loki and Thanos Andrew Mazariegos-Ovalle/The Olaf Messenger
It’s that time of year again, time at last for a new entry in the hit Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)! It’s almost universally agreed that Marvel Phases one through three were very well done. Most of the movies released were quite solid, and built a cohesive universe that culminated in two of the biggest events in cinematic history, “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame.” Since then, their releases have been . . . less good, as most people agree. I’m not one of the people to hop on the “Marvel is over, Disney is trash, Gunn switched to the DCEU and we should too” bandwagon, but even a hardcore Marvel apologist such as myself can admit that there’s been a palpable dip in quality since the start of the new era.
So let’s make like any good Zoomer and turn that admittance into a numbered list of every Marvel show to come out since Phase Three!
Spoiler warning, if that wasn’t clear.
Honorable Mentions to “Werewolf by Night,” the “Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special,” and the “I Am Groot” series of shorts. They weren’t proper movies in any respect, but weren’t really shows either? Weird grey areas mean they’re all going in the Honorable Mentions bin.
#9 “Ms. Marvel,” #8 “Secret Invasion,” and #7 “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” just make me sad. “Ms Marvel” was boring, “Secret Invasion” squandered the admittedly substantial potential it had, and “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” made its villains act evil for the sake of a cleaner narrative. I cannot recommend these shows.
#6 “Hawkeye” was a fun time, but not much more. Both of the protagonists were cool.
#5 “She-hulk: Attorney at Law” is divisive. Most people I’ve talked to either really like or really hate this show. There are plenty of legitimate and illegitimate reasons to like or dislike this show. I had fun with it but I can admit that it’s got a lot of strange narrative choices and can beat the viewer over the head with its message.
#4 “Wandavision” was cool! We’re now onto the show that I would call great, four stars and above to me. Wandavision did so much so well, and was an excellent way to kick off the shows.
#3 “Moon Knight” did it moon right! I have an Egyptian mythology interest so I love that the show incorporate that. Even outside of that, this show did so much well, from its mystery to its characters to its designs. The villain’s introduction scene was one of the most attention-grabbing openings Marvel has ever made.
#2 “What If?” Marvel made a good show? This show is the answer to that question. The show is a cartoon anthology that adapts various alternate universes. It’s not meant to be taken too seriously, but still delivers a cohesive, satisfying story, does a lot with its premise, and has some great animation.
#1 “Loki” got a second season the week before this publication and I am thrilled. This show is so good, y’all. To be honest, it’s so good it almost doesn’t feel like a Marvel show. The only character that carries over from the rest of the MCU is Loki, plus Kang who featured little in previous MCU project. “Loki” works as a stand-alone show far better than most of the other MCU properties. The creative direction is impeccable, the theme song is memorable and dramatic, and every character feels layered and complex with their own agendas.
In my opinion, the highs of the Marvel TV shows beat out the lows. If we get three “Ms. Marvels” before we get another “Loki,” that’s a trade-off I’m willing to make. Ultimately, I am in support of the continuance of the MCU. I would not, however, recommend watching every show that comes out. In this journalist’s humble option, steer clear of the bottom three. Be sure to watch season two “Loki” as it comes out, as I will be doing.
For the record, we are not sponsored by Disney.
Fin Walling is from Minneapolis, Minn. Walling’s major is undeclared.