Crammed between all the news that Marvel needed to announce at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con in Hall H were dates for five upcoming Disney+ shows that are intimately bound to the events from the past decade of MCU films.
As Keven Feige announced each, and we had the opportunity to hear from the stars of the show about what to expect, it became clear that Marvel Studios is taking a large leap from film to episodic story telling. We may be in for some fantastic stores in the coming years that have more time to develop when compared to their film counterparts. Once the restraints of a two- or three-hour movie are taken away, there is far more freedom to get into the details of each story. We begin now, with “the odd couple.”
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
With a debut date set for the Fall of 2020, we will now see Anthony Mackie carrying the iconic Captain America shield, and likely take on the name Captain Falcon in the process. Sebastian Stan will again be taking on the role of Winter Soldier, and together the pair will be facing off against Baron Zemo, still played by Daniel Bruhl from Civil War.
Fans of the old comic will appreciate how Zemo is now sporting his classic mask, and there is no telling what he plans to do this time around. In Civil War, Zemo has the advantage of anonymity, no one even knew who the man was until nearly the end of the film, but this time his plans will need to rely less on subterfuge.
Staring Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany in his role as Vision, the premise of this show remains a complete mystery to everyone, even more now that Feige confirmed that the events of WandaVision take place following Avengers: Endgame. Given that Vision is very much dead in both of those films, we are left scratching our heads at what this might look like.
Still, Feige also stated that the story will be tying into the story for Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which may offer a solution in the title. In another time and another place, it could have been Wanda who died in place of Vision, and the two could be happy to find the other in some way, even if it is through an untenable multiverse. Still, this is pure speculation.
Tom Hiddleston stormed onto the stage with many excited fans chanting the name of his MCU character. Again, the multiverse will allow Hiddleston to return to his role as the trickster god following the time travel slip up in the year 2012 in Endgame. This series raises some of more serious questions, mainly, what could Loki possibly be up to when the series releases in the Spring of 2021?
If we are indeed following a Loki from 2012 onward, then we do not have a more experienced, humbled individual who has grown closer to his brother, Thor. Instead, we have only the emotional, needy individual who just led a failed invasion of Earth with an alien force, killing many people in the process. This one is going to be interesting to see develop simply in terms of what they plan to have Loki do when considering the time from which he comes.
Releasing in Summer 2021, this series is likely to be the most liberal with continuity and the most fascinating to watch. As an animated series, it will be easier to venture into strange locations and meet all manner of individuals compared to the other live-action shows.
Jeffrey Wright will be playing the voice of The Watcher, beings that appear in moment of crises to record critical events. They are sworn never to interfere, and yet they sometimes do. Go figure.
This is likely to be based loosely on the Marvel comic series of the same name which explored alternative endings or situations for our favorite characters before the idea of a multiverse became popular. For example, in What if? Vol 2, issue 42, we see the potential future if Spider-Man has kept his six arms, which he obtained while accidentally tinkering with the same formula that turned Professor Connor into The Lizard.
At first Spider-Man thought this would ruin his life, but with the help of Mr. Fantastic, Peter Parker was able to hide his extra arms with invisibly, and the extra limbs make it possible to defeat foes quite more easily. This means that Spider-man defeated the Green Roblin, Gwen Stacey never died, and in this story, Parker marries Gwen and never meets Mary Jane Watson. These comics were always interesting to consider and seeing animated episodes next year will be equally as interesting!
The final show discussed will air in the fall of 2021, with none other than Jeremy Renner coming back to his role. So far, we know that he will be training Kate Bishop, another hero to take up the mantle of Hawkeye in the Young Avengers group.
Overall, we can say that the next couple of years are looking fantastic for these Marvel shows, and we can only hope they do better than Inhumans.