Marvel Releases Movies With Overlapping Plots


Photo by Clément M. on Unsplash

Reagan Kaelle, Staff Writer

You sit in the movie theater, taking in the film just displayed. The credits are rolling, but everyone remains in their seats, eyes glued to the big screen, eagerly waiting for the post-credits easter eggs about the next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The popcorn and soda are long forgotten, and the theater is full of watchers attempting to digest two hours of nonstop action.

Marvel movies, notorious for their complex overlapping plot lines, superheroes, and theatrical battle scenes, have become a fan favorite in the last decade. The franchise, purchased by Disney in 2009, just released its plan for the fourth phase of movies and television shows spanning from 2021 to 2023. “I’m looking forward to the introduction of more comic-derived plot lines and characters into the MCU, and I can’t wait to see how Disney plays their cards in terms of new releases and culmination movies,” sophomore and Marvel fanatic Jada Hembrador said. 

Marvel releases films in phases of distinct comic storylines that relate to one another. “Wanda Vision”, the first installment of phase four, was released on Disney+ Jan.15. The classical sitcom-themed episodes progress through decades as characters Wanda and Vision discover that something is wrong with their ideal suburban lives. 

“So far I’m really enjoying [“Wanda Vision”], how they’re building off minor characters and giving them their own storylines. I’m interested to see how this goes, whether this is the introduction of the X-men, multiverse, Mephisto, or something no one is prepared for,” Hembrador said. 

 However, not everyone is as knowledgeable about the inner workings of both the MCU and the comics that the films are based on. “I think everything is a little confusing because I’ve only watched one Marvel movie, and it was out of order, you need a lot of context,” sophomore Kay Lankford said.

Following “Wanda Vision” is “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”, releasing March 19. The plot follows a newly anointed Captain America, Sam Wilson, in a yet to be disclosed adventure. The main trailer debuted in the Feb. 7 Super Bowl.

“Black Widowhad a projected release date of May 1, 2020, but after the pandemic caused the closure of theaters, the premiere was delayed another year to May 7, 2021. “I’m really looking forward to Black Widow because I think it’s really cool to see a solo movie for Black Widow and I’m excited to see what that means,” junior Bridget Mills said. Following “Black Widow”, another TV series will be released this May: “Loki”, where Tom Hiddleston returns as Loki, Thor’s notorious anti-hero adopted brother. Kevin Feige, chief creative director of Marvel Studios revealed that the show will be a crime thriller.

Plot and cast details are limited about the later films and TV shows. Releasing on July 9, the first Asian-led superhero movie “Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings” will feature Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung-Fu, and Awkwafina is Katy, Shang-Chi’s friend. “What If…?” intended for the summer of 2021 is an animated series that explores alternate versions of MCU moments. Scheduled for late 2021 is the “Hawkeye” Series, where Clint Barton, played by Jeremy Renner, will be seen training Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld.

“I think the reason I like the Marvel movies so much is because I grew up watching them with my dad and there’s so many different characters and timelines that it’s like so cool when you see them all connect in the newer movies. Plus they are just really well made and I think they can be projected to such a diverse audience and everyone can find a reason to enjoy them,” Mills said.

Following a variety of entirely “Ms. Marvel” comes out in late 2021, where Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel becomes the first Muslim superhero in the MCU. “Eternals” follows Nov. 5, a film about ancient aliens (Eternals) who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years and reunite against The Deviants. “Spider Man 3” premieres Dec. 17, and will be the third installment of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” will then be released Mar. 25, 2022, and acts as a sequel to the original Dr. Strange Movie. Continuing with the sequel theme “Thor: Love and Thunder” comes May 6, 2022. “I’m worried that the new movies will be harder to grasp because they build on so many ideas, there aren’t a lot of stand-alones,” Lankford said. 

The movie finally ends, the precious post-credits scene leaving you as confused as ever, you remember the movies to come. The popcorn and soda yet to be consumed then forgotten, and the many easter-eggs that hint at future installments, just waiting for discovery.