Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has finally confirmed that MCU Phase 4 is a mess, agreeing with criticisms of the franchise in recent years. This month, Marvel returned to San Diego Comic-Con for the first time since 2019 on the heels of the MCU's Infinity Saga. As usual, Feige spearheaded the studio's Hall H presentation, announcing a slew of projects that go all the way to the MCU's Phase 6 movies and shows with back-to-back Avengers sequels releasing in 2025. It's a similar storytelling format to the Infinity Saga, only this time projects are coming out at a faster pace.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
The MCU's San Diego Comic-C0n 2022 presentation is forward-looking. While unveiling their whole Phase 5 slate makes sense since Phase 4 ends with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever this fall, Feige went further down the road to lay out their overall Multiverse Saga plans with the announcement of Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars. The producer's decision to already talk about Phase 6 was surprising since Marvel Studios is known for keeping long-term plans close to the chest for as long as possible.
Related: Marvel's Multiverse Saga Sneakily Fixes Phase 4's Story Problem
When asked about the choice, Kevin Feige explained Marvel unveiled Phase 6 plans so early on because they wanted fans to have a "guide point," meaning an idea that everything that they have been doing thus far is leading to something. The fact that he felt compelled to make these announcements years before their release indicates that they are aware of how poorly Phase 4 has done in terms of building on their interconnected storytelling. For context, the latest phase of the MCU has been criticized for being disjointed and directionless, and those comments were not without merit. Feige announcing Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars effectively squashes worries that Marvel Studios is dropping the ball after the Infinity Saga. For context, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which ended MCU Phase 3, weren’t announced until the middle of Phase 2, meaning these new announcements should have come in sometime during Phase 5.
Can The Multiverse Saga Solve MCU Phase 4’s Issues?
Marvel Studios' decision to lay out their timeline for the MCU's Multiverse Saga is their subtle way of reassuring the public that they know what they are doing. It's no secret that after the Infinity Saga, there were concerns that the MCU had already peaked, and it didn't help that it's difficult to see a clear narrative throughline among most Phase 4 projects. Granted that Loki, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness were all thematically connected, it wasn't enough evidence to gauge what's Marvel Studios' next big crossover event was until Feige's Comic-Con announcements. Unfortunately, this doesn't solve all of the MCU Phase 4 issues, which include tonal problems for some of their projects, not to mention VFX work that appears to be getting worse. These can only be addressed by actively tackling such specific criticisms moving forward.
Whether or not Phase 5 will be plagued by the same negative issues that MCU Phase 4 encountered is uncertain at this point. However, Kevin Feige's Multiverse Saga announcement at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 is an indication that Marvel Studios is listening to their audience and reacting accordingly. At the very least, having an idea that everything set up in MCU Phase 4 is leading to a potentially satisfying payoff should be enough to keep people invested until the end of Phase 6.