Marvel Phase 4 is just around the corner, here are some important things to remember before WandaVision premieres
It’s been over a year since we last got an entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the unprecedented pause is about to come to an end. WandaVision, the first MCU TV show, is about to drop on the Disney+ streaming service. And while this show looks really, really weird, it’s still an important next step in the future of the MCU, and will undoubtedly pick up on some plot threads and ideas from old movies that you may or may not have left slip from your memories during the break. After all, WandaVision is now kicking off MCU Phase 4 .
In fact, there might be a bunch of different details and story fragments that have slipped your mind as 2020 raged on into 2021–and, considering the astronomical amount of content just over the horizon, from and beyond, we thought it best to revisit some of the characters you’re likely to see coming into the spotlight just to brush up on what they’ve been up to along with some critical facts about their origins you may have forgotten.
Not everyone has a clearly sketched out roadmap to the future–in fact, there are still a lot of unknowns for almost everyone, but in the case of characters like Wanda, Vision, Sam Wilson, or Bucky Barnes, we ought to be arriving at answers very soon. Others, like team Ant-Man, Thor, and The Guardians of the Galaxy, might be a bit of a wait–but we’re sure it’ll be worth it.
Here are some critical things you might want to remember about Wanda Maximoff. She was first introduced back in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where it was revealed that she and her twin brother, Pietro, were voluntarily experimented on by HYDRA scientist Baron Strucker. It’s not completely clear whether Strucker’s experiments gave them their abilities or made them viable candidates for the program–Maria Hill seems to imply that Pietro being “fast” and Wanda being “weird” were things that were only amplified by Strucker’s use of Loki’s scepter (AKA the Mind Stone).
After the death of her brother during Ultron’s attack on Sokovia, Wanda went on to join the Avengers, though not everyone (including the government) was entirely thrilled by this development. Her involvement in the team was a partial cause for the events of Captain America: Civil War, which called to question her ability to control her powers.
She went into hiding along with the rest of her Civil War “team” but maintained a secret relationship with Vision, which ultimately came to a head during Avengers: Infinity War, where she was forced to “kill” him by (temporarily) destroying the Mind Stone in his head.
Vision was created during Avengers: Age of Ultron when Tony Stark and Bruce Banner used the JARVIS AI programming in conjunction with both Ultron and the Mind Stone. He was uploaded into the synthetic body made for Ultron and powered by the Mind Stone just in time to defeat Ultron himself.
Vision later became a member of the Avengers, but found himself on the opposite side of the fight, opposing Wanda, during the Civil War.
Ultimately, he was “killed” by Wanda and then Thanos during Infinity War and has not been seen since.
Bucky was childhood friends with Steve Rogers, and was later caught, tortured, and brainwashed by HYDRA to become the Winter Soldier in modern times. Along with concerns about superpowered individuals like Wanda, his existence was another key factor in the Civil War after he was framed for a terrorist attack that killed the king of Wakanda, T’Chaka, by Helmut Zemo.
Following the Civil War, Bucky went back into cryostasis in Wakanda until his brainwashing could be reversed. He was woken up in time for Thanos’s initial attack in Infinity War and was present during the final fight against him in Avengers: Endgame after he was returned from being “snapped” away.
He was then left in the present after Steve Rogers returned to the past.
Sam was introduced as an ex-pararescue airman who used experimental Stark tech wings on his missions. He helped in the first confrontation between the Winter Soldier and the eventual destruction of the HYDRA infested SHIELD.
He joined Steve’s side during the Civil War despite lacking trust in Bucky Barnes and then assisted in the fight against Thanos’s first attack on Earth. Like Bucky, he was snapped away, but was returned for the final fight.
After Steve went back to the past and returned an old man, he gave Sam the Captain America shield to, presumably, take on the mantle.
Loki’s wild ride just keeps getting wilder. After stints as a villain, a crony, a villain again, a reluctant ally, a full-on ally, and finally a corpse, he’s back and ready for more in a way that only an Asgardian mischief god can be. Loki was killed during Avengers: Infinity War during a confrontation with Thanos, who he worked for during The Avengers. However, during Endgame, Steve, Tony, Bruce, and Scott Lang traveled back to the events of The Avengers and interfered, allowing this time-displaced version of Loki to escape the scene with the Tesseract, AKA the Space Stone, in hand.
The version of Loki that exists within the MCU now, therefore, did not experience the events of Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, or Avengers: Infinity War.
Alas, young Peter Parker–he’s not dead, but he’s definitely in a world of hurt. Following the death of Tony Stark in Endgame and Mysterio’s gambit in Far From Home, Peter has been framed for murder and outed as Spider-Man to the world thanks to .
Unfortunately we have no idea what this will actually mean for him in the future–but historically, looking at the comics where similar things have happened, Peter usually winds up having to look for magical solutions to erase everyone’s memory. Being public has never gone well for him.
Dr. Strange is another wild card in the Phase 4 landscape. A surgeon-turned-wizard after a tragic accident ruined his hands, Strange has managed to squeeze in some real character development in movies where he plays only a supporting role on the team. We last saw him helping with Thanos’ defeat on Earth in Endgame, and we know his upcoming second solo feature is going to deal with the Multiverse (it’s right there in the subtitle–The Multiverse of Madness) but his immediate trajectory after Thanos has yet to be teased anywhere.
We can, however, look to his original solo movie for some potential hints–Dormamu is still, technically, out there, and we have no idea what potential effect Endgame’s “time heist” may have had on his time-loop prison. Mordo is also still very much in play and likely to become an issue.
Kree-human hybrid Carol Danvers returned to Earth to help fight Thanos in Endgame but didn’t stick around for very long–she left Earth again once he was dealt with and we’re not sure where she’s headed or what she’s planning on doing. More importantly, we also don’t know if she reconnected with any of her human friends during her time back on the planet, like Monica Rambeau, who was a child in the ’90s and will now be in WandaVision as an adult.
Nick Fury and the SHIELD leftovers
Fury, Hill, and the remains of SHIELD were featured heavily in Spider-Man: Far From Home, with a twist–at the end of the movie it was revealed that both Fury and Hill were in fact Skrull imposters while the real Fury was up in space working alongside the rest of the Skrulls in what fans assume is the base of operations for SWORD–a sort of replacement for SHIELD that operates throughout the galaxy rather than just the planet Earth.
Of course, we don’t actually know how long they’ve been operating like this, what exactly they’re trying to accomplish, or who may be working with them in the wake of Thanos. We do know, however, that a is headed to Disney+ at some point in the future, meaning the Skrulls are likely to remain an important element for a while.
Clint Barton, as near as we can tell, came through the fight with Thanos relatively unscathed and no one seems particularly eager to prosecute him for his stint as a post-apocolyptic murder machine, so he seems to be going into his Disney+ show without any real baggage. We know he’s going to be training Kate Barton, but we don’t know how they met, why he’s picked her as a protege rather than his own daughter, or what his family’s up to while he’s doing it.
Bruce Banner’s came to an end with “Professor” Hulk, the healthy union between Bruce and Hulk. This is only important to remember because Bruce’s cousin, Jennifer Walters, is about to get her own show on Disney+ as She-Hulk–and while Bruce’s story in the MCU may be officially wrapped up, there’s still a healthy possibility that he could have some input on his cousin’s future through that show. Afterall, She-Hulk comics have dealt with Jennifer’s inability to shift from her Hulk-self to her human-self or vice versa in the past, which is something Bruce is intimately familiar with.
Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne have plenty of irons in the fire after the events of both Endgame and Ant-Man and The Wasp. There will be a third movie for them, called Quantumania, and while we know that it will feature the introduction of , details and specifics remain sparse.
That said, Ant-Man and The Wasp did leave plenty of dangling threads to resolve with both Ghost and Goliath, who were left in the wind, Janet’s time in the quantum realm, Scott’s time in the quantum realm, and Scott’s daughter Cassie who, in the comics, becomes a superhero named Stature.
Rhodey’s post Endgame story is going to continue in the upcoming on Disney+, which will follow Rhodey trying to track down misused Stark Tech in the wake of Tony’s death–which, yes, sounds a lot like the plots of every Iron Man movie and also Spider-Man: Homecoming, but we’ll still give it to them.
Following his paralysis in Captain America: Civil War, Rhodey’s been using Stark-designed mobility aids to move and pilot his own War Machine armor. It’s also worth remembering Pepper Potts also has her own Stark armor that appeared in Endgame, but it’s unclear whether or not it will also play a part in Armor Wars.
Everyone’s favorite god of Thunder has had quite the adventure since his solo debut, losing his hammer, then earning it back, then losing it all over again. We last saw him leaving Earth after a brief sojourn during which he established a new Asgard in Norway for Asgardian refugees. He left New Asgard in the hands of Valkyrie to act as king in his stead.
It’s not entirely clear what Thor will be looking for out in space with the Guardians–his new movie Thor: Love and Thunder will feature a comics villain named Gor the God Butcher and the return of Jane Foster (). However, there have been no hints about Thor’s involvement in the Loki show or Loki’s involvement in the film.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Peter Quill and company had one of the more confusing turns for Infinity War and Endgame with all the death and time travel. First, Gamora was killed in Infinity War in exchange for the Soul Stone. Then, basically everyone–except Rocket and Nebula–was dusted during the snap.
Later, during the time traveling heist, Nebula went back and retrieved Gamora from the timeline of the first Guardians movie, but inadvertently caused some chaos when her own past self was able to intercept some of her robotic memories, which alerted past Thanos and allowed him to travel to modern day Earth. This resulted in the giant final fight which killed past Nebula and past Thanos, leaving modern day Nebula and past Gamora, along with the rest of the Guardians who had been resurrected from the reverse snap.
At the end of it all, however, Gamora bailed–after all, she’s a Gamora from before she ever met Peter and the rest of the Guardians–leaving Peter and co (along with Thor) to leave Earth to try to track her down.
Source: Game Spot Mashup