When I started writing for the Game of Nerds a year ago, I predicted that WandaVision would be the first step to something new. I predicted that Phase 4 of Marvel would eventually lead to the birth of the Young Avengers. After tonight, I would like to amend that. It wasn’t just laying the groundwork for the start of the Young Avengers. It set the MCU on the road to a threat even bigger than Thanos, and this year’s Marvel Studios panel at Comic-Con confirmed it.
There were many Marvel-related reveals throughout Comic-Con 2022 that have taken the Internet by storm. The revival of the 90s X-Men series in 2023. MCU Spidey’s getting an animated prequel series. What If…? is coming back; Groot’s getting a miniseries. It’s all over the place. However, many fans worried that the MCU has lost its sense of direction. Thankfully, those fears have been laid to rest, as Marvel spelt it out clearly for us: they have a plan. And it’s going to be big.
She-Hulk and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Get New Trailers
Regarding more immediate releases, Marvel released a new trailer for their upcoming series, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. That will see the Hulk’s cousin Jennifer Walters gain her own Hulk powers while also working as an attorney specializing in superhumans.
Of more emotional importance, though, was the premiere of the first trailer for the upcoming film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Set to a soundtrack clearly meant to evoke powerful emotions, expectations for it will be high, especially in light of Chadwick Boseman’s tragic death 2 years ago. In addition, the trailer also revealed that the film will mark the first appearance of the Atlanteans in the MCU, along with their leader, Namor the Sub-Mariner.
Kang is Coming, and the Avengers Must Fight Him
The announcements don’t stop there. A trailer for the next Guardians was revealed. Numerous shows and new films were confirmed and given release dates. And Ant-Man also got a trailer for Quantumania. That last one is important, because that film will formally introduce us to the threat that’s been lurking in the background of the MCU since the end of Loki‘s first season: Kang.
Fans might recall how the end of Loki saw the Norse God of Mischief’s female counterpart kill He Who Remains, an alternate version of Kang the Conqueror. His death led to the Multiverse fully branching out into the chaos it’s in now. More importantly, though, it heralded that Kang, the time-traveling supervillain, would become the next major threat of the MCU.
At the panel, Kevin Feige confirmed that that’s Marvel’s plan. Just as Phase’s 1-3 were the Infinity Saga, Phases 4-6 of the MCU are the Multiverse Saga. It’s all leading up to the next Avengers films in 2025, Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars.
Marvel revealed a lot during their panel, far more than what I can hope to mention. On the one hand, it means that Marvel’s got no plans to stop their saturation of media with content. On the other hand, this is everything my comic book fan could want, so, I’m looking forward to it. For better or worse, Marvel’s got a plan in place, and they will try to outdo themselves no matter what.
Also, at D23, the MCU Thunderbolts lineup was announced. I knew that they would go their own direction. Although, looking at the various incarnations of the team in the comics, I was hoping for a bit more breadth of powers and abilities that would be complimentary to one another.
Still, quite the assortment of super soldiers and some master assassins. Ghost at least has Pym Particle abilities. It would be nice if they added Goliath to the team. Bill Foster was helping Ghost in The Ant Man and the Wasp. The original comics team had Goliath (aka Atlas). Since they don’t have a Hulk, someone who can become giant and strong might fill that void.