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Top 10 Phase Four MCU Events That Changed the Landscape of the Franchise

What If...? distributed by Disney Platform Distribution
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Top 10 Phase Four MCU Events That Changed the Landscape of the Franchise

Cutting through all the filler material, let’s see which plot points are the most important from MCU’s Phase Four

Phase Four of the MCU has been kind of all over the place, ranging from large-scale issues like the imminent arrival of Kang the Conquerer to slapstick stuff like She-Hulk twerking around without a care in the world. There have also been solid but filler stories, too, including Kate Bishop’s role as the next Hawkeye and Moon Knight’s dealings with Egyptian Gods, which don’t seem to be headed to any significant storylines. With so much content in Phase Four from the movies to the Disney+ shows, shorts, and specials, it’s important to keep track of things that actually matter on the grand scale of the MCU.

So, while there’s some fun to be derived from things like Baby Groot’s antics and Ms. Marvel’s teen crushes, it’s best to shine a light on the most significant events that have happened in Phase Four and how these should come into play for later stories.

Sam Wilson Becomes The New Captain America

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier distributed by Disney Platform Distribution
Image Source: Disney Platform Distribution

The ending of Avengers: Endgame made it a point that the world would need to adjust to life without Captain America, as Sam Wilson showed hesitance at taking the mantle from Steve Rogers. That’s why it was such a big deal when Sam ultimately decided to embrace this new role and bring the iconic superhero back to the world.

It was also significant because of the struggle it took to get there since Sam had to contend with John Walker’s term as the Star Spangled Man. Walker’s failure at living up to Captain America’s ideals made Sam realize that he had it in him to overcome things like vengeance, arrogance, and anger, which is what Steve was all about. Sam’s speech to end the conflict between the Flag-Smasher supporters and the government put the MCU on the path to moving past the fallout from the Blip.

The Creation Of The Multiverse

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Phase Four introduced the multiverse concept in full, but Loki is where it all truly began. The multiverse has opened up completely after Sylvie’s decision to kill He Who Remains, which has now thrown the universe into disarray with hundreds of different realities.

The creation of the multiverse has seen its effects in films like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, along with shows such as What If…? Seeing as the current overarching story is known as The Multiverse Saga, Loki and Sylvie’s tussle with the Time Variance Authority might just be the biggest plot point going forward.

Scarlet Witch’s Multiversal Rampage

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Image Source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Scarlet Witch completed her turn into a villain in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, where she tore through the multiverse to steal the body of her variant. Her rampage not only led to the deaths of the Illuminati in Earth-838 but also to the destruction of the Book of Vishanti and the Darkhold.

The implications of the loss of such powerful characters and items remain to be seen, although the consequences will be dire considering they were responsible for protecting the universe. Of course, Scarlet Witch’s villainy also changes her role to come, as the Avengers have lost their most powerful member.

Peter Parker Is Forgotten

Spider-Man: No Way Home distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing
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Spider-Man played a vital role in the Battle of Earth against Thanos, which was mainly possible because of his connection to the Avengers. Now that Peter’s identity has been lost, the youngster is someone who can only operate on his own and without anyone with him in his civilian identity.

Peter was forced to ask Doctor Strange to make the world forget about him to avoid an incursion, as the multiverse was beginning to tear into Earth. The protagonist had already accidentally summoned his variants and multiple villains due to a botched spell, so this was his way of taking responsibility for his actions. The loss of Aunt May means that Peter is well and truly alone, making all of his previous experience part of his origin story.

The End Of The Royal Family’s Reign Over Wakanda

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motions Pictures
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T’Challa and Shuri were part of a proud tradition of Wakanda where they inherited the throne from their ancestors. Sadly, the Royal Family’s reign over the country came to a conclusion with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, by the end of which only Shuri remains from her family.

The death of T’Challa from an illness and Ramonda’s passing at Namor’s hands meant that Wakanda was without a true leader for the throne, as Shuri opted not to challenge it. As a result, fans’ understanding of the country is no longer the same since its rulers have changed and the current status of Wakanda remains in disarray. The reveal of T’Challa’s son leaves hope for the future, although the immediate concern is how Shuri will handle the independence that’s been forced upon her.

Valentina’s Ascension To Power

Who Cameos in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?
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Valentina Allegra de Fontaine has placed herself as the person to fear on Earth by routinely popping up to stir trouble. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever revealed her new role as the Director of the CIA, but Valentina has been causing problems before that.

The character was responsible for siccing Yelena Belova on Clint Barton, while she’s already manipulated John Walker to her side. Valentina’s manipulation of Everett Ross made it clear that she’s as ruthless as they come, as she sent her own ex-husband to prison. She’s certain to have a big part to play in how superheroes will be controlled in the MCU going forward, so her rise to power is a big highlight from Phase Four.

The Near-Destruction Of All The Multiverse By Ultron

What If...? distributed by Disney Platform Distribution
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The big-time implications of the multiverse’s creation became evident in What If…? where Ultron’s variant wreaked havoc. In fact, he came close to destroying all of life across every reality until The Watcher assembled the Guardians of the Multiverse to fight him.

Still, Ultron ended up causing huge destruction, leaving his reality completely extinct and nearly doing the same to others. The emergence of Strange Supreme is also another factor to keep in mind, as the character is easily the most powerful to currently exist in the MCU considering his role in ending Ultron’s threat.

The Beacon Sent By The Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Image Source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings introduced the titular rings, which remain shrouded in mystery. Although their abilities were shown in his conflict with Wenwu, Shang-Chi has no idea what the rings’ true purpose is supposed to be.

The end of the film indicated that the rings are acting as a beacon to something, although what they are summoning is anyone’s guess. This kind of plot thread can’t just be left hanging, so it’s clear that the MCU wants fans to keep it in mind. Considering Wenwu discovered the rings, it’s more than likely that they are of alien origin and are summoning a possible threat to the world.

The Near-Destruction Of Earth By Tiamut

Eternals distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Image Source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Earth has almost come to ruin several times in the MCU, but Eternals is where it arguably came the closest to actually happening. The birth of Tiamut the Celestial meant that the world was about to be destroyed, which was averted by the collective efforts of the titular protagonists.

However, this brought Arishem the Judge to Earth, who has vowed to return to if he deems the Eternals’ reasons to spare the planet unconvincing. The near-destruction through Tiamut also established that the world was always a ticking timebomb of sorts in the MCU and that it’s technically still in peril should Arishem return.

The Beginning Of The Prime Universe’s Incursion

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Image Source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The entire universe might be on the brink of destruction if Clea the Sorceress is to be believed, who arrived to summon Doctor Strange to the Dark Dimension. Strange’s decision to dreamwalk across universes has seemingly caused an incursion, which is yet to be detailed.

As the MCU is centered around the prime universe, the possibility of its collapse is one that should be the primary concern going forward. This will likely tie into the multiversal conflict that Kang the Conquerer will be a part of, so Doctor Strange and Clea’s efforts in preventing this incursion have to be kept in mind at all points.

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