MCU: The 1 Major Way Phases 4-6 Will Differ From 1-3

The first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe— comprising the Infinity Saga — consisted of multiple standalone installments, several heroes with unique origin stories and historical legacies, and big-budget, cinematically scintillating, highly-anticipated mash-ups.

Marvel Studios MCU
President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Fans loved watching Robert Downey Jr. portray Iron Man in his three-film standalone franchise. Witnessing Thor’s transformation to humor and levity– transitioning out of his Shakespearean disposition between The Dark World and Ragnarok — was inspired. And, of course, Cap’s journey from the physically feeble, yet mentally resilient guy to a super soldier was heartwarming. However, in the end, nothing beat The Avengers. 

Nothing beat the OG 6 — Hulk, Hawkeye, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Widow — coming together to battle threats too grand for a single hero. And each phase had its very own Avengers film — each phase had a unique mash-up, and each time, more and more heroes joined the soiree. In this way, phases four through six may not mirror the MCU’s previous three phases, as the slate for phase 4 is already departing from this tried-and-true formula. 

Phases 4-6 may feature multiple smaller mash-ups, as opposed to ‘The Avengers’

Phase 1: The Avengers. Phase 2: Avengers: Age of Ultron. Phase 3: Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. All three previous phrases utilize an Avengers mash-up to conclude interweaving arcs from the previous standalone installments, and to introduce following narrative transitions, in which the heroes who came together will diverge once more. 

In short — the Avengers mash-ups serve as bridges — between the past and the future plotlines. Moving forward, singular mash-ups may not serve this purpose in the MCU. As opposed to an innumerable amount of heroes coming together — as seen in Endgame and Infinity War — heroes may team up in small batches to combat threats. And, based on recently revealed information, predicting those small batches may already be possible. 

What will the smaller teams be following ‘Avengers: Endgame?’

Based on information already available concerning Captain Marvel, and Kevin Feige’s declaration that she will be at the center of the MCU, it’s likely that the all-female A-Force will be one superhero team to follow suit, featuring Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk (soon to receive a Disney+ series), Valkyrie, and more. 

If Sony and Marvel continue to find peaceful ways to negotiate movies with Spider-Man, the web-slinger may come to lead the New Avengers, consisting of Kate Bishop (to be introduced in Hawkeye), Ms. Marvel (receiving a Disney+ show), Iron Lad (likely to be Harley from Iron Man 3), and more. 

And finally, reports from Mikey Sutton argue that Doctor Strange will be assembling The Illuminati in The Multiverse of Madness, and that the two people to join first will be Professor X and Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. 

These three superhero teams may replace the Avengers mash-ups, serving as the team-ups of Phase 5 and Phase 6, considering the entire Phase 4 slate is out and not a single Avengers-type film is on the horizon.