When Iron Man kicked off the MCU in 2008, fans knew early on that they were in for something special. Not only was the movie great, but the franchise was clearly promising. Marvel had clear intentions to continue beyond this movie.
After Disney got involved in the MCU, properties started to fly into their possession and they have been able to acquire almost all of Marvel at this point. With so many things to pull from, the MCU has only expanded more and more, changing with each movie added to the universe.
10 Marvel One-Shots Included
After the start of the movies, someone related to the MCU came up with the brilliant idea of introducing Marvel One-Shots. These normally humorous short films come in between the main films and offer little glimpses of the MCU cast.
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Marvel’s first One-Shot, The Consultant, premiered after Thor in September 2011. After that, MCU fans had A funny thing happened on the way to Thor’s hammer, Item 47, Agent Carter, and All Hail the King. As if that were not enough, in December 2020 the arrival of a series of short films starring Baby Groot, entitled I Am Groot, was announced to Disney +.
9 Continuation of ABC
Agent Phil Coulson was killed in 2012’s Avengers, devastating fans who had come to know the Captain America fan as a surrogate for the audience. The character was revived in the first MCU series on ABC, Agents of SHIELD., Which aired from September 2013 to August 2020.
In it, Phil Coulson became an even more well-rounded character and fans began to love him, as did the other titular agents of SHIELD, even more. Soon after, Agent Carter aired on ABC from January 2015 to March 2016, and Inhumans aired from September 2017 to November 2017. These additional series provided much more weekly bonus content for fans of the MCU at the time.
8 Expands to streaming services like Netflix
As more and more people began to subscribe to streaming services, the MCU followed the audience and began streaming series on Netflix, rather than exclusively on ABC. Daredevil was the first, hosting three seasons between April 2015 and October 2018.
The rest of the Defenders also had their own series: Jessica Jones aired in November 2015 through June 2019, Luke Cage in September 2016 through June 2018, and Iron Fist in March 2017 through September 2018. The Defenders only had a season in August 2017, before Marvel stopped running Netflix series with The Punisher, which aired from November 2017 to January 2019.
7 Fight TV
After verifying the success of his series on Netflix, the MCU decided to extend to other platforms. However, this was not considered a success overall. Hulu aired Runaways from November 2017 to December 2019, but the series never caught on. Helstrom had an even worse reception, with overwhelmingly negative reviews and only one season, aired in its entirety on October 16, 2020.
At the same time, Freeform attempted to carry out Cloak & Dagger, but it only aired for two seasons, from June 2018 to May 2019, before it was also canceled. The Infinity Saga was starting to have problems and the MCU realized that it had to work more on the television aspect of the universe.
6 They arrive at Disney +
Disney is trying to reunite all of its television properties from Marvel. Instead of having shows spread across multiple platforms, the MCU now focuses exclusively on Disney +. They already have a full schedule ahead of them, fully integrating their television offering into the next phase of the MCU. Shows like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki, and many more on the way. This is exciting and something that fans could never have predicted early in the franchise.
5 Divided into phases
Unlike most of the big franchises, the MCU is divided into phases. The DCEU has done no such thing, and neither have other superhero sagas or massive universes. It could be argued that no one has produced anything quite like the MCU in movie history, so it’s really setting its own precedent.
The MCU is divided into four phases currently. The first phase goes from Iron Man to The Avengers; the second, from Iron Man 3 to Ant-Man; and the third, from Captain America: Civil War to Spider-Man: Far From Home. The first official film of Phase Four will be Black Widow, and it will likely continue through Fantastic Four, at least, a fitting ending for Phase « Four. »
4 Expansion beyond the original six Avengers
The first six Avengers introduced in the MCU were Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Hawkeye, and the Black Widow. Although Iron Man, Cap, and Thor were the golden boys, these six characters quickly became the priority of the MCU.
However, fans had many favorites throughout the MCU, and this helped the creators realize that a little more balance was needed. As the MCU expanded, more and more characters were introduced into the Avengers. Famous Marvel heroes like Black Panther and the Scarlet Witch have since joined the team, among countless others.
3 Characters Introduced That Fans Thought They Would Never See In The MCU
Although fans were expecting characters like Iron Man and Captain America to have a big presence in the MCU, there have been a few surprises along the way. When the first trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy began to appear, fans were incredulous that the Guardians had their own movie.
Although they fall quite well, they are not as popular as the Avengers and it seemed like they would take a long time to have a movie, if they ever did. However, Guardians of the Galaxy not only premiered in August 2014, it has been an integral part of the MCU ever since.
2 Combined all the plots into a single massive narrative
The world’s introduction to the MCU, Iron Man, made it clear that the movie was part of something bigger. In the first post-credits scene, Nick Fury introduces himself to Tony Stark and asks if he can talk about the Avengers Initiative. Fury tells Tony that Iron Man is not the only superhero in the world and that there are others like him.
Fans thought this was cool at the time, but they had no idea what was to come. Each MCU movie gradually brought the franchise together until Avengers: Infinity War, when all the characters came together and were shocked together by the same universal event: Thanos and his supposed Snap.
1 Leave out the big three
The MCU’s golden trio is undoubtedly Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and Thor. They are the only characters that have gotten their own trilogies to date. However, now that Tony Stark has passed away and Steve Rogers has functionally retired, Thor is the only one left, and he is no longer really engaged in the whole Avengers thing.
Now is the time for other characters to shine, with multiple heroes – like Spider-Man – making their way with their own trilogies. Letting go of the big three and giving space to other characters is something that the MCU has managed to do little by little, and in what it begins to stand out.