Ranking Marvel’s Upcoming Phase Five Projects Post-'Quantumania'
With the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Phase Five of the MCU has only just begun. We’ve got another five films and seven Disney+ series coming our way over the next two years, so it’s time to rank them!
I’m pretty excited for Phase Five overall since it’s easy to see stories coming together as we set the stage for the next two Avengers films. But there are several individual projects here that I’m really looking forward to as well!
Without further ado, here’s my ranking of all the upcoming Phase Five projects from what I’m least to most excited for.
I would like to begin by apologizing deeply to my friend Vin, who wrote a fantastic reading guide for Blade. While many fans are excited for this dark, monster-infested corner of the MCU, I’m not one of them (yet). I know Mahershala Ali will kill it as Blade, but I’m more excited about other areas of the MCU at the moment. The movie’s recent behind-the-scenes troubles have made me a bit more worried than excited, at least for now.
I pretty much feel the same way about Echo. I loved Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in Hawkeye and I can’t wait to see her headline a series. As a huge fan of Netflix’s Daredevil series, of course I’m excited to see the return of Kingpin and Matt Murdock. But a lack of information about this series and its own recent troubling rumors have tempered my excitement at the moment. I also think Maya Lopez is badass enough without supernatural powers, which the trailer description from D23 seems to hint at her obtaining. That’s a development I don’t like on paper but could grow to love when the series does release.
#10: What If…? Season 2
The first season of What If…? may be my least favorite Disney+ outing to date, but I’m hoping for great things from Season 2! I did love individual episodes in Season 1 but didn’t like the crossover finale. Heading into the second season, I’m looking forward to some of my favorite characters returning and more unique twists on MCU stories.
The return of Scarlet Witch, Hela, Wenwu, Odin, and more are fueling my excitement for this season. I’m very intrigued by the concept of old-timey Avengers and character match-ups we never expected. If Season 2 can give us even wackier stories for fan-favorite characters, I think I’ll enjoy it quite a bit.
#9: Loki Season 2
Season 1 of Loki is many fans’ favorite Disney+ series to date. I mostly enjoyed it although I did dislike a few aspects of the show. But much like What If…?, I think Season 2 already looks stronger than Season 1. It looks like we’re finally getting the time-travel shenanigans we were promised in Season 1 concept art, something I desperately wanted more of.
Kang variants like Victor Timely are poised to play a much bigger role this season thanks to Season 1’s cliffhanger ending and Quantumania’s post-credits scene tease. And of course, I can’t wait to see the emotional fallout from Sylvie’s dangerous decision to kill He Who Remains!
#8: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
I loved the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie and liked the second. But with a six year gap between sequels and missed opportunities in the last two Avengers films, I’m afraid I don’t care very much about the Guardians as a team anymore. I still adore Nebula and Rocket, so I am interested in seeing his backstory with the High Evolutionary explored in this third film. Gamora’s dynamic with the other members will also add an interesting wrinkle to our favorite space family.
The trailers haven’t done much for me despite the movie looking pretty awesome. I loved the cosmic side of the MCU in Phase Three, but in Phase Four I began connecting with the Earth-based espionage stories to a much greater degree. Guardians Vol. 3 is coming three years too late for me, leading to an unfortunate lack of excitement on my part. I’m sure it’ll still be a wonderful, wild ride but it’s just not my thing anymore.
#7: Secret Invasion
Speaking of Earth-based espionage, Secret Invasion should be right up my alley. I loved the Skrulls in Captain Marvel and everyone loves Nick Fury. After taking a backseat in Phase 3, I’m thrilled to see Samuel L. Jackson headlining a Disney+ series! This show has a stacked cast, with superstars Olivia Colman and Emilia Clarke joining the MCU. I’m happy to see characters like Talos, Maria Hill, and Rhodey return as well.
I also think Secret Invasion is going to perfectly tee up some upcoming MCU films. Look no further than Martin Freeman’s Everett Ross, seemingly on the run after the events of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. I fully expect Julia Louis-Dreyfus to pop up as Val for at least a cameo, while the events of this series will undoubtedly lead into Nick Fury’s next appearance in The Marvels. My only concern is shrinking an Avengers-level threat like a global Skrull invasion into a six-episode miniseries, but hopefully the paranoia and body-snatcher vibes make up for the lack of superheroes.
I’ve already sung the praises of Thunderbolts enough! Short recap: I’m pumped to see a morally complex team of tortured super-soldiers work under someone as unflinching as Contessa Valentina. Harrison Ford’s President Ross should be up to something nefarious here and rumors about Sentry’s debut have only gotten me more excited. And of course, as a major Black Widow fan, I couldn’t be happier to see Yelena taking center stage in this film.
#5: Captain America: New World Order
I’ve previously expressed my belief that Captain America 4 will be a two-hander with Thunderbolts, with both films acting as Avengers-level events.
Anthony Mackie is ready to take on the world, with Kevin Feige recently confirming that Captain America will face off with the President of the United States. A stellar supporting cast of new and returning MCU characters coupled with the emergence of the U.S. government as an enemy to our heroes sounds like a great time at the movies to me.
I loved the emerging tension between Wakanda and America in Black Panther 2 and can’t wait to see how those political undertones develop further. With Sam Wilson’s Captain America against President Red Hulk and CIA leader Val, I expect a Civil War-level event film that still focuses squarely on Anthony Mackie.
Before Wanda, I was a huge Iron Man fan. And with the debut of Riri Williams in Wakanda Forever, I’ve become an immediate Ironheart fan as well. I loved Dominique Thorne’s performance in that film and I can’t wait to see her new suits as she rebuilds from the ground up. I also quite like the idea of magic vs. technology as the central conflict! It’s the perfect marriage between the abilities of my two favorite Infinity Saga characters, but with one of my new favorites at the center. I’m thrilled to see Riri getting the spotlight and taking flight in a major way.
#3: Agatha: Coven of Chaos
Despite all the ridicule it gets online, I expect great things from Agatha. As a WandaVision lover I’m naturally excited to return to Westview. But I’ve loved Kathryn Hahn since her Parks and Recreation days, and her co-star Aubrey Plaza is playing the villain here! Thanks to the stacked cast of comedians forming the titular coven, I think this series sounds like a wonderfully witchy dark comedy.
The “chaos” in the title hints at the possibility of Wanda’s story continuing through her son Billy, suspected to be Joe Locke’s mysterious role, with fans also clamoring for a cameo from the Scarlet Witch herself. But Agatha Harkness is the main event here, and it’s high time Kathryn Hahn got to lead a comedy series of her own. She’s certainly proven herself capable! With Emmy-nominated WandaVision writers and creator Jac Schaeffer on board along with Wednesday director Gandja Monteiro, I believe Agatha: Coven of Chaos will surprise many when it eventually releases - even if we have to wait until 2025!
#2: Daredevil: Born Again
My passion for MCU magic can’t eclipse the thrill of Daredevil’s true reintroduction, however. Born Again is going to be an epic Disney+ foray like no other, bringing Daredevil into the wider Marvel universe with a bang. An 18-episode first season already eliminates fears of a stunted six-episode movie-like miniseries, while the return of Vincent D’Onofrio and Charlie Cox only reassure us further.
Daredevil: Born Again needs to be a true Marvel Studios television series, testing their abilities to craft an episodic streaming event. But everyone knows they can’t mess up Daredevil, not after we’ve waited so long for his triumphant return.
To me, Daredevil is already one of the best MCU Disney+ series because it’s fully committed right off the bat, in a way we’ve never seen before. The only remaining test is to bring back Elden Henson and Deborah Ann-Woll as Foggy and Karen Page!
#1: The Marvels
Naturally, the project I’m most excited about is The Marvels. Captain Marvel is a fantastically powerful superhero but could’ve done with more character development in her first solo outing. Now, Nia DaCosta is turning up the heat for Carol Danvers by putting her in clever situations that test her without physically weakening her. Grappling with emotional turmoil from her past in the form of Monica Rambeau and the weight of role-model responsibility in overzealous fangirl Kamala Khan, Carol’s emotions will definitely get a chance to shine.
The concept of our heroes switching places each time one uses their powers is one of the smartest plot hooks I’ve heard in a while. The cast is stacked, with Samuel L. Jackson returning as Nick Fury and shining new additions like Zawe Ashton cast in unknown roles. As for our central trio, Brie Larson seems to have incredible chemistry with both Teyonah Parris and Iman Vellani already! Their interviews have already made me love them as a group and the new teaser poster displays this team’s strength in a beautiful way. Although my love for the cosmic side of the MCU has died out a bit, The Marvels is coming to reignite it in a major way.
Phase Five as a whole
Phase Five may seem a bit disconnected. However, I’m already loving the common threads developing here. Political espionage and Avengers seem to take center stage in the Phase as a whole thanks to the two summer 2024 films, but there’s still plenty of variety on display.
I’m pretty hopeful about Phase Five, especially with the recent news that Marvel Studios will begin slowing down their deluge of content. Quantumania may have been another slight misstep for the MCU, but based on the rest of Phase Five, I think it’ll be our last one for a long time.
What are you most excited for in Phase Five? Sound off in the comments below!