The recent 2022 San Diego Comic-Con was a buzzing hive of excitement for fans as they saw project upon future project unveiled. Unsurprisingly, Marvel Studios quickly stole the spotlight with its announcement of not one, but two phases worth of upcoming movies and tv shows.
With a universe containing more than thirty-five installations (and at least two dozen more on the way) newcomers to the MCU may be overwhelmed with the amount of content they need to consume. Even long-time Marvel fans may find themselves unable to rewatch everything before the next phase begins. So for those pressed for time, whether you’re a newbie or an experienced fan, these are the movies and series that are most likely to have the biggest impacts on, and connections to, Phase 5.
‘Loki’ (2021): Origins Of The Multiverse
Tom Hiddelston has been in the MCU for over a decade. Loki is the definition of a fan-favorite, and his uncanny ability to continuously fake his own death has allowed Loki to return to the screen time and again. In his Disney+ series, Loki is one of the first of many characters to test the dangerous waters of the unpredictable multiverse.
Hiddelston’s adventures through the timeline deposit him and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) at the feet of He-Who-Remains (Jonathan Majors). The tense encounter among the trio ends with a betrayal that causes the multiverse to explode into being. Audiences have yet to see the full repercussions of that jaw-dropping Loki finale, and are waiting with bated breath for the Multiverse Saga’s Loki 2. With the second season at least a year away, you have plenty of time to revisit all the trickster god’s mischievous moments spanning the MCU.
Ant-Man: The Science Of Time-Travel
Paul Rudd‘s Ant-Man has been a bit of an underdog in the MCU. Though he’s participated in his fair share of superhero team-ups and battles, his solo movies have yet to reach the same level of spectacle as some of his counterparts. But it is likely that the upcoming Ant-Man: Quantumaniathe start of Phase 5, will break this trend.
In Ant-Man: Quantumania, Jonathan Majors returns to the MCU to play the formidable Kang the Conquerer, and fans can only guess what havoc he will cause. Armed with time travel information, gathered from their trips to the Quantum Realm, Ant-Man and the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) might just be the best-equipped heroes to battle the infamous Conquerer. While you wait for the sure-to-be epic Quantumania to hit theatres, you can watch Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp to relive the heroes’ adventures through the quantum realm.
Captain America: Old Mantle, New Hero
Chris EvansCaptain America has spent decades battling the evils of multiple worlds (excluding his time spent as a Capsicle). During the closing scenes of Avengers: Endgamethe ‘star-spangled man with a plan’ decides to pass on his mantle to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie).
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series shows the story behind Sam’s acceptance of Captain America’s weighted role, but it should be acknowledged that Sam was a hero before this show. His history as both Cap’s friend and an Avenger made Sam one of Earth’s best protectors long before it took on a new title. with Captain America: New World Order on its way, all the projects denoting the story of both Captain Americas are worth the rewatch.
‘Daredevil’ (2015-2018): Return Of A Hero
Charlie Cox‘s Matt Murdock was introduced to audiences in 2014’s Daredevil. The blind superhero uses the law to help the people of Hell’s Kitchen by day and fights the villains trying to rule his city by night. Daredevil’s third season was set to be the last, making many fans disappointed. So when Cox cameo-ed in the record-shattering Spider Man: No Way Homeaudiences around the world cheered, for the hero of Hell’s Kitchen finally returned.
2022’s SDCC announced Daredevil: Born Againstarring Cox’s iconic hero and Vincent D’Onofrio‘s infamous Kingpin. Cox will also appear in She-Hulk. For both long-time fans of the hero and the MCU watchers who are unfamiliar with the blind hero, it would be wise to watch Cox’s original Daredevil series in preparation for his future appearances.
‘WandaVision’ (2021): The Start Of The Multiverse Era
WandaVision was the first of many things for the MCU; it was the premiere Disney+ Marvel show, the start of Phase 4, and the beginning of the Multiverse Saga. Though the incredibly popular series hardly touched the concept of multiple universes, it arguably has one of the biggest impacts on the Saga’s future projects.
Wanda’s story of grief, motherhood, villainy, and heroism introduces not only the full power of the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) to the MCU, but also a wealth of important characters. Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) is confirmed to be one of the stars of Phase 5’s The Marvelsand Kathryn Hahn‘s villain Agatha is set to star in her own magic-filled show. Fans have certainly not seen the last of Paul Bettany‘s Vision, nor of Wanda’s children, or even of the title witch herself (even after the events of Multiverse of Madness). All of these characters, as well as Wanda’s anti-heroic actions, will have massive consequences in the MCU’s next phase.
‘Hawkeye’ (2021): Characters For Christmas Presents!
The Disney+ series hawkeye starring Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner aired during the winter of 2021, boasting a holiday atmosphere alongside action and adventure. The first few episodes of this series are deceptively tame in terms of big MCU connections. By the end of the show, however, there is no question that hawkeye will be as much of a catalyst for future Marvel projects as any other work from Phase 4.
hawkeye features a number of characters that Phase 5 intends to bring into the full spotlight. Alaqua Cox‘s Maya, a villain turned anti-hero in time for the show’s finale, will star in the upcoming Echo. She is connected to the infamous Kingpin, who is promised to return in Daredevil: Born Again. Black Widow‘s Yelena (Florence Pugho) also joins the holiday adventure, leaving no doubt in audience minds that she will return in the future, most likely in Thunderbolts.
The Guardians Of The Galaxy: Forever Saving The Universe
The Guardians of the Galaxy was initially met with skepticism by audiences. Fans feared that the story about a band of space misfits would be too wild and unpredictable for the early stages of the MCU. Audience perceptions were quick to change upon their viewing of James Gunn‘s movie, and now the Guardians of the Galaxy are as beloved as any of Marvel’s other heroes.
The third and final Guardians movie has been one of the films that Marvel fans have been looking forward to the most. The end of the Guardians trilogy is, of course, set to be another epic space adventure. Though the heroic misfits might not return in the future, their antics across the galaxy are always worth a rewatch, especially as you prepare for their last film.
The Marvels: Heroes Of Earth And Space Collide
Captain Marvel‘s sequel movie, The Marvels, is set to hit theaters in the summer of 2023. It should come as no surprise that very little information about this film has been shared by Marvel Studios. Fortunately, the common consensus among fans is that Captain Marvel, WandaVisionand Ms. marvel are undoubtedly the three projects that will prepare you the most for the movie.
The Adventures of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau, and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellanic) show how each character gained her powers and became a hero. The trio has a few overlapping experiences that have generated theories regarding the plot of the upcoming film. Monica and Carol have both interacted with the Skrulls, which might tie into the upcoming Secret Invasion Disney+ series in addition to The Marvels. Kamala and Monica’s powers were introduced as potential mutations, which has convinced many fans that mutants will soon become canon in the MCU. Most importantly, all three have histories regarding space exploration and magic. After watching their projects, audiences will have no doubt that the trio will be ready for anything coming their way.
NEXT: MCU Timeline Explained, Infinity Stones And Beyond