Following a mixed response to Phase 4, Marvel Studios is currently rethinking its approach to the MCU going forward, including further "quality control" and "re-evaluating future releases" that are on the way.
This will impact even the closest of the MCU's Disney+ releases as a number of upcoming series have apparently been delayed out of 2023.
The delays are seemingly part of a more long-term plan to slow the franchise's streaming output and generally release fewer shows.
Marvel Brings Disney+ Episodes to YouTube
On February 10, Marvel Studios marked the beginning of Phase 5 by releasing the three latest episodes of its Legends recap series on Disney+ as part of a new Season 2 label.
Those three episodes focussed on "Ant-Man," "The Wasp," and "Hank & Janet" to get audiences up to speed ahead of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Now, Disney officially released those episodes on Marvel Entertainment's YouTube channel for free viewing just one day before Quantumania comes to theaters on February 17.
The House of Mouse shared descriptions for the three installments to celebrate their YouTube debut which can be read and watched below:
Episode 1: Ant-Man
LEGENDS traces those moments big and small that transformed Scott Lang into the tiniest of Earth’s mightiest heroes. Scott faces off against powerful adversaries, meets the love of his life and becomes the dad he was destined to be. Oh, and it’s Ant-Man who winds up providing the key to defeating Thanos and saving the universe. He’s kind of a huge deal.
Episode 2: The Wasp
All her life, Hope was shielded from the action by her overprotective father, inventor Hank Pym. But when the Pym Particles fell into the wrong hands, Hope reluctantly trained a thief named Scott Lang to become Ant-Man. In time, Hope donned a suit and wings herself and was transformed into The Wasp. LEGENDS follows Hope’s journey, one that leads to her fighting alongside the Avengers.
Episode 3: Hank & Janet
Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne were the original Ant-Man and The Wasp, but after an epic show of bravery, Janet was lost forever… or so Hank thought. LEGENDS chronicles Hank’s journey, as he goes from dedicated scientist to overprotective father. Eventually, with the help of burglar-turned-hero Scott Lang, Hank and his daughter rescued Janet from the Quantum Realm, and the remarkable family was reunited.
Why Marvel Just Put Disney+ Episodes on YouTube
Disney's decision to release these three episodes on YouTube for free is a significant one as it marks Marvel's first Disney+ release to become available outside the platform.
Star Wars has recently made a similar, albeit more exciting move, in airing the premieres of Andor and The Mandalorian on cable TV.
Making Legends accessible for free will not be at all detrimental to Disney as there probably aren't any Disney+ subscribers signed up just for that. If anything, this will likely help draw more attention toward Legends and Disney+, as well as of course Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
In the run-up to the biggest releases, content creators across social media often produce their own recap content to get general audiences up to speed. So, Marvel Studios allowing their own versions of these to be accessed by all without charge only makes sense.
Disney and Marvel Studios are clearly eager to make a splash by moving Legends onto YouTube due to the release of a formal press release to accompany them.
The viewership attracted by these three episodes will likely determine whether this decision is repeated for future MCU releases, including the next which will presumably be Disney+'s Secret Invasion.
All 29 episodes of Marvel Studios Legends are streaming now on Disney+.