Welcome to Breaking Geek, a weekly column where uber-geek Nick Doll offers commentary and reactions to the most interesting news of the week, using his expansive knowledge of all things geek!
WARNING: Still talking SPOILERS from Avengers: Infinity War, so please don’t read if you haven’t seen the movie!
You have been warned. SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
With Avengers: Infinity War behind us, and speculation around Avengers 4 running rampant, I say we take a look farther into the future. So today, we will be covering what I want to see Phase 4 or the “Second Book” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
First, let us start with a quote from earlier this week from Disney CEO Bob Iger:
“We meet on a regular basis with our Marvel team, and we’ve plotted out Marvel movies that will take us well into the next decade. I’m guessing we will try our hand at what I’ll call a new franchise beyond Avengers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t see more Avengers down the road. We just haven’t made any announcements about that.”
So, it sounds like something else “Avengers sized” is coming… or he just means new cosmic characters? Either way, I’ll let it influence my own wishes for the new MCU.
Team Ups! More Team Ups!
I’m not saying we need Avengers movies more often, or even large team-ups like Captain America: Civil War. But why just do Doctor Strange 2 (if we are getting a Doctor Strange sequel), why not make it Doctor Strange and Black Panther? Spider-Man/Deadpool? (A boy can dream…)
I’m also saying I’d like to see bigger crossovers than Falcon being in Doctor Strange, Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, or even Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok. These are team-up films with both heroes making the title. Unless they use some old team name from the comics, just as I would like to see Netflix release Heroes For Hire instead of Iron Fist Season 2. Heroes For Hire being a team-up book for Iron Fist and Luke Cage.
Personally, rather than seeing either Bucky or Falcon take the mantle of Captain America (assuming they come back in Avengers 4), I’ve already proposed a Winter Soldier and Falcon buddy film in a previous Breaking Geek, due to their hilarious chemistry in Captain America: Civil War.
Or, recently there was a brilliant run on the comic Tales of Suspense #100-#104 where Hawkeye and Winter Soldier begrudgingly work together, and it is hilarious! Their personalities clash in the perfect ways, as Hawkeye is far more lighthearted and goofy in the comics, and Winter Soldier is always way too serious. So, the two hate each-other personality wise, but respect each-other for their talents. The general idea, not story, could translate into a pretty great film, though I think MCU Falcon would work better with Winter Soldier than MCU Hawkeye.
It just makes sense. Why not call the closest Avenger when there is danger? Why completely separate these franchises when the MCU offers so many chances to weave in and out, an ability that no other franchise truly shares.
Smaller Avengers Team
Going into Avengers 4, we have a smaller team to focus on than going into Infinity War. Was it awesome to see so many Marvel characters in one movie? Absolutely. But I look forward to Avengers 4 being a smaller team made up of mostly Phase 1 heroes including even War Machine. They don’t all need to be over-sized event films like Infinity War.
First of all, it doesn’t always make sense for everyone to be involved. Yes, if the world is destroyed Wakanda is destroyed, but if the treat is smaller than Thanos, perhaps T’Challa doesn’t even get involved. Or stays home to protect Wakanda when the war is elsewhere.
There was an old Avengers rule around the time of the OG Secret Wars in the comics; the Avengers could only be 5 or 6 members. And it works! You can even swap ’em film-to-film. Or, you have your Avengers and add your West Coast Avengers, or even better, Lady Liberators. Though we’d just call it The Liberators. Because an all female Avengers team would be great with Captain Marvel, Valkyrie, Gamora (if she returns), Black Widow (if she lives), Scarlet Witch, and Wasp would be killer!
Maybe this is the type of project Bob Iger is referring to in the earlier quote.
Yes, Some Traditional Sequels & Origin Films
Yes, I would still like tradtional sequels in the MCU. But, give even them a bit of a twist.
Maybe Bucky does start carry on the Captain America franchise? You can still make Falcon a buddy character and use the old comic title Captain America and the Falcon. Guardians will continue, but why not add Thor to the film, rather than doing another Thor film, as Hemsworth may find it more agreeable to come back if he had a smaller role to play. Shake it up, but do gives us some direct sequels.
Same with origin films. If they are going to give us Nova, do a traditional origin film, then toss him in with someone else, or give him his own solo trilogy. There are loads of ways to go if you change the MCU playbook, as I suggest.
Play Around With Time Period
Not time travel! If that does happen in Avengers 4, don’t do it again. I’m talking about films like Captain Marvel set in the 90s; show us different time periods. That includes shooting into the future a few years (though Marvel Studios may want to wait on that until they secure the rights to Kang the Conqueror for that).
Don’t feel too tied to the timelines of other films, just as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was set before Doctor Strange, Civil War, etc. Maybe some stories take more time to tell than others.
Also, I don’t know how much Kevin Feige wants to separate the old from the new, but this allows you to bring back character when they were alive. I don’t want this overused, but I love the idea Ronan will be back in Captain Marvel, because he isn’t dead… yet.
X-Men & Fantastic Four?
Hopefully these characters make it into the MCU in the next ten years, at the latest. X-Men could be exactly what Iger is talking about in his comments. Fantastic Four would be a great new franchise with a cosmic side. And Marvel would gain access to some of their greatest villains including Doctor Doom! Imagine an exchange between him and Doctor Strange. They’d bond over their name issues.
Don’t Go Too Cosmic!
We’ve heard this next book of the MCU will be more cosmic. This is all well and good, but let’s not buck all the Earth-bound adventures quite yet. My favorite MCU films tend to be the more grounded ones, so I still want New York and Wakanda heroes!
Secret Wars, Baby!
OG Secret Wars. The Beyonder snatching up a random collection of heroes and villains may be the perfect way to bring X-Men and Fantastic Four into the MCU. Plus, the Russos say they want to see this one made. And, just as the book does, you can revive a villain or two just for the film. Fun!
Maybe this could be the next event-sized Avengers film? But, make it one movie, please.
An Overarching Villain
Rather than an Infinity Stones type MacGuffin building a new narrative or seeing just a purple figure four or so times before his real entrance, how about a villain, such as Hydra only with a permanent face, who is sort of behind many of the conflicts in Phase 4? If we’re going cosmic there are plenty of entities or species to use, like the Skrulls. If we’re more Earthbound, as I asked for earlier, I suggest Norman Osborn if Sony is willing to place nice with Marvel Studios. We don’t need to see the Green Goblin, but if we have a villain with that much power, both as a billionaire and political player, he could really make the lives of the Avengers, or at least certain Avengers, hell.
What would you like to see happen in the MCU, post Avengers 4? Let’s discuss in the comment section below!