Spoilers for the released Marvel Disney+ Series. DO NOT read if you do not want spoilers.
The one thing that got many MCU fans through the long stretch of the quarantine-induced break on movie releases was that we finally got the much anticipated and incredibly hyped Marvel Disney+ series this year. When January 15th dawned, and WandaVision finally popped onto our television screens, none of us could wait to get our Marvel fix on. It was just the start, but boy was the wait worth it,
In WandaVision, there were many storylines both wrapped up and begun. As audiences would see, Maria Rambeau was a founder of S.W.O.R.D. and survived the Snap only to die of a disease one can only assume was cancer or something like it. Though many fans were annoyed by these events happening off-screen, there was so much going on in the show that there was no time to dwell on it.
From Wanda's (Elizabeth Olsen) apparent state of denial to Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) fully introducing the mystic aspect of Marvel, the show was wonderfully quirky and genuinely well done, as the outstanding 23 Primetime Emmy awards the show garnered prove. From deep belly laughs to gut-wrenching sobbing, WandaVision gave fans the zany humor they needed yet hit the lows that were enough to destroy everyone's resolve to hold it together.
As Wanda indeed came into her powers, and her identity as the Scarlet Witch was hinted at, White Vision (Paul Bettany) was made into a whole version of himself, and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Paris) entered the hex enough times to show that she will be making her hero debut soon. With the return of the beloved characters of Darcy (Kat Dennings) and Agent Jimmy Choo (Randall Park), the show truly was a unique blend of zany charm.
With so much set up in the series run, it will be nice to see it all play out in the next few phases of the MCU.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier...er...actually...Captain America and The Winter Soldier
Coming in with five Emmy nominations, Falcon and Winter Soldier showed the true depth of the Marvel stories. Managing to encompass not only race relations, America's often troubled history, and true grief and anger at losing a dear friend, the storyline was a nice departure from the campy humor of WandaVision.
Portrayed as a real spy thriller/buddy-cop series, the show set a fast pace, thriller mindset from the start. With the betrayal, many felt of Sam (Anthony Mackie) turning the shield over to the government trying to make John Walker (Wyatt Russell) into the new Cap. With Bucky (Sebastian Stan) trying to move on from his time as the Winter Soldier by making his version of amends with his past, there is a real void in both their lives from Steve being gone.
As they are thrust together to stop the Flag Smashers, a group attempting to return the world to the state it was in during the five years after the snap, they try to keep their typical rivalry banter up but are not really able to. They end up realizing that they are each other's partners and family now.
There was a lot of anger among fans when it appeared that Loki, the most popular and critically well-received series to drop in this round of Disney+ shows, was snubbed by the Emmys. Rest assured, it simply premiered too late to be eligible for this year's round of Emmy nominations. It definitely soothed many people's minds when it was the first, and so far only, one of the Marvel series to get renewed for a Season 2.
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has long been everyone's favorite antihero - calling him a villain truly doesn't seem right. He is a bad boy, the God of Mischief, but time and again he has proven though morally corrupt he will always choose the right thing in the end - up to giving his life in an attempt to stop Thanos.
As everyone's favorite mischief doer got a second chance at life, the show was brilliantly structured, beautifully written, and flawlessly portrayed by the onscreen talent. The combination of Hiddleston's Loki and Owen Wilson's Mobius was one of the best onscreen pairings since Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Carol Danvers (Brie Larson). Not only that but the much demanded and long-awaited return of Lady Sif (Jamie Alexander) was as brilliant as fans wanted - whetting their appetites to see her onscreen in Thor: Love and Thunder.
From a major character (Loki) being gender fluid to establishing many of the timeline rules for going forward in the MCU, Loki was as good as any entry into the world so far, small or big screen. We will all wait in anticipation to see the God continue to work on carrying his glorious purpose burden next season.
For its latest installment of shows on Disney+, Marvel released a half-hour animated show called What If...? The first episode of this show premiered last Wednesday, August 11. In that premiere, the premise of the show was firmly set as the audience was introduced to the narrator of the show who is no stranger to those of us who read the comics.
Voiced by Jeffrey Wright, the show was opened by Uatu the Watcher. A character created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and made his first appearance in Fantastic Four #13. In that story, Uatu narrated the fight taking place between the four and the Red Ghost of Earth's moon. Over time, the Watcher was revealed to be an ancient and powerful cosmic being, seeing all but interfering with nothing.
In the premiere, the audience is shown what would have happened if instead of going to sit in the balcony when asked to in the first Captain America movie, Peggy Carter had stayed in the experiment area. Steve suffered a gunshot wound and was unable to complete the transformation, so Carter stepped up when no one else would. She became Captain Carter (Captain England or Captain United Kingdom really doesn't roll off the tongue like Captain America). Why they shied away from using the moniker of Captain Britan - a name used in the comics - is unknown.
With her the super-soldier, Howard Stark makes a suit for the non-transformed Steve Rogers - skinny Steve to us long-time MCU fans - that seems to be a nod to the first Iron Man suit made in that cave. It is the Hydra Stomper, powered by the Tesseract. Together they fight through WW2 and get to have a relationship denied to them in the original storyline.
The episode was delightfully fun and gives everyone thirty minutes to look forward to every week, which is in dire need after the incidents that are happening in the world right now. It will be releasing on Wednesday every week for the next eight weeks.
Release Schedule for Marvel Series on DisneyPlus:
Hawkeye - Nov. 24, 2021
Ms. Marvel - Late 2021
Moon Knight - 2022
She-Hulk - 2022
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special - December 2022
Secret Invasion - 2022
Ironheart - TBA
Armor Wars - TBA
Untitled Wakanda Series -TBA