Films

Breaking Down Marvel’s Phase 5 Films and TV Shows, Part 1

This Phase 5 breakdown will be broken into two parts since it covers the most films and shows. With its first release early next year, fans won’t have to wait long for Marvel goodies.

Ant-Man: Quantumania

Release Date: February 17, 2023

This marks the beginning of films for Phase 5. “Ant-Man” first introduced the Quantum Realm to the MCU. According to Hank Pym, the Quantum Realm is “a reality where all concepts of time and space become irrelevant as you shrink for all eternity.” In layman’s terms, the Quantum Realm is the dimension that exists between sub-atomic particles. As you shrink between atoms, time and space known to our reality become meaningless. This is how the Avengers were able to travel through time and alternate realities to defeat Thanos in “Endgame”. Now, time travel plot holes aside, this also opened up the theme of MCU’s Phases 5 and 6: the idea of the multiverse. This theme was further expanded on in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness,” and the Disney+ series “Loki.

This is one of the films that will most likely explore the Quantum Realm in more detail. It will also introduce the daughter of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) as Stature. The family will venture into the Quantum Realm and most likely encounter the forces of Kang the Conqueror.

Secret Invasion

Release Date: Spring 2023

The next move of the Phase 5 films, Secret Invasion will cover the infiltration of Skrulls into Earth. We saw the Skrull’s abilities to shapeshift into any living organism in “Captain Marvel.” During the post-credits scene in “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” Nick Fury was impersonated by a Skrull the whole time. We do not know why Nick Fury put a Skrull in his place on Earth. This movie could shed some light on that decision.

At the end of “Captain Marvel,” Fury helped the Skrulls gain a ship to look for a new planet to inhabit. Considering the events in “Far From Home,” we can suspect that the new planet they found was Earth.

Guardians of The Galaxy: Vol. 3

Release Date: May 5, 2023

Director James Gunn said that this is the final installment of the Guardians franchise. It does not mean that the Guardians are dead or disbanded. It will be their most trying adventure yet. Starlord Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) must learn to live without his true love and fellow Guardian, Gamora (Zoe Saldana). It is suspected that we will also finally get a look into Rocket’s past. In previous Guardians movies, Rocket’s past always riled him up and evidently left him traumatized. Rocket is arguably one of the best Guardians. Learning more about how he came to be will be interesting to watch.

Given the rest of the lineup, it is unclear how the Guardians films will play into the larger story the MCU has planned for phases 5 and 6. On the bright side, there is plenty of room for more projects in phase 6, and more intergalactic bad guys the Guardians have to face.

Echo

Release Date: Summer 2023

This is a new series that will release on Disney+. It will chronicle the events following another series, “Hawkeye.” Echo, also known as Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), will star in her own series where she confronts her past and engages with her Native American roots. In the comics, she is largely associated with Daredevil. We may see more Daredevil in this series as well.

Another important move that the MCU is making is incorporating more heroes of color. The mantles of the heroes are not exclusive to white faces. This is an important stance to make and falls in line with founder Stan Lee’s belief that art and politics could never be strangers.

Loki, Season 2

Release Date: Summer 2023

The season finale of “Loki” left fans with numerous questions about the future of the MCU. In my opinion, Loki is a major plot driver in the MCU and it was great seeing his character develop through a series. In “Loki,” we discover that the MCU as we know is only a small piece of a much larger and more complex puzzle. We learn that the Infinity Stones, which represent unprecedented power to our Avengers, are mere trinkets to the greater scope of the multiverse. Now, Marvel does tend to confuse its viewers with its switching between using “timelines” and “universe.” But basically what we take from “Loki” is the existence of alternate dimensions or timelines. This opened up the following Disney+ series “What If?” where we explore these alternate dimensions and witness outcomes unlike those that happened in the MCU thus far.

“Loki” ended with a major cliffhanger and introduced us to the main villain of the next two phases, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathon Majors). We learn it was Kang who manipulated the timeline we’re watching to come to an outcome favorable to him and defeat the alternate versions of himself. In season 2, we can expect more insight into the multiverse/timeline theory that Marvel will use as its prevailing theme from now on. We may also gain more insight into the past of Kang the Conqueror and his many Variants that pop up in the comics.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the full breakdown.

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