Marvel Studios is bringing more content than ever before in Phase 4, with a dozen projects having debuted in theaters and on Disney+ over the past 18 months alone. Even though many of those entries have yielded some incredibly positive results, some MCU fans have started to criticize the long-standing series for its increased output compared to its quality.
After the MCU delivered on such a massive scale at the end of Phase 3 with Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, expectations went through the roof for the future, especially following an 18-month delay in releases due to the pandemic. Since MCU output restarted in early 2021, reactions have varied widely for both the movies and TV shows.
For every fan-favorite outing like WandaVision or Spider-Man: No Way Home, there have been other entries that haven't hit the same mark, such as What If...? and Eternals.
This wide variation in reviews continues to be the case deep in the heart of Phase 4, as Marvel is almost at the end of its run of Ms. Marvel on Disney+ and days away from releasing Thor: Love and Thunder in theaters. In recent days, fans have taken to social media to share their thoughts on these varying results for Marvel Studios - some high, but others not so much.
Marvel Fans' Thoughts on the MCU's Phase 4
Marvel fans took to Twitter to share their criticisms about Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, specifically including comments on Ms. Marvel and the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder.
@drippy_darkseid called Phase 4 "a mixed bag" when looking at how the past 12 MCU entries have landed with fans:
"Ngl phase 4 has been a mixed bag to say the least"
@nikitaalexcia still loves the content coming from Marvel Studios, but expressed concerns that it feels rushed at the same time:
"i fear they’re rushing phase 4. don’t get me wrong i love content…just not rushed"
@_SimplyG noted the bad reviews that Thor: Love and Thunder has gotten thus far, calling the MCU's Phase 4 "the weakest" in the theatrical department:
"Love and Thunder is getting pretty bad reviews. Lol MCU Phase 4 has been the weakest from the movie side."
@TheUnknownLurks only got into "a couple of the shows" and called the rest of the group "cringe or boring," largely complaining about the issues with Marvel's use of CGI:
"MCU Phase 4 has been quite mid tbh… only enjoyed a couple of the shows, most have been cringe or boring, quite a few of the movies have been meh, and the CGI through all of this has been significantly worse than previous phases. Why is the MCU going backwards as a whole?"
@JacobHerlees53 didn't hold back in saying that Marvel "really fell off," saying that Phase 4 doesn't live up to the standards that the Infinity Saga set:
"Man Marvel really fell off. What actually happened? Phase 4 by far the weakest of them all."
@TheFilmFella_ turned the attention to Ms. Marvel specifically, sharing their opinion that Episode 5 was "the epitome of what’s wrong" with Phase 4 as a whole. Even while being "a strong advocate" for Phase 4, they were disappointed in what the show delivered with its second-to-last episode:
"The latest episode of Ms Marvel is the epitome of what’s wrong with this Phase of the MCU/the shows in general. I’ve been a strong advocate for phase 4 for the most part, but what the hell was that. Choppy plot with no direction seemingly. Typical penultimate episode stuff."
@CinemazeChannel criticized Phase 4 for not providing the best material when it comes to the superhero side of the story. While they complimented WandaVision, Moon Knight, and Ms. Marvel for their story building outside of the hero aspects, they feel that the other side of the story has felt quite rushed:
"I think another issue with phase 4 is that Marvel are side-lining their superhero roots. Wandavision, Moon Knight, Ms Marvel are all most interesting when they aren't a superhero show, and thats fine but then they suddenly remember they are Marvel and rush the superhero stuff"
Even with these complaints, other fans are quite satisfied with what Marvel Studios has put forth since Phase 4 began.
@SuperSpider2001 theorized that fans are being overly critical of Phase 4 because these new movies don't follow the same formula that the Infinity Saga did:
"It's funny how Phase 4 has mostly been more director driven, creative & unique, Breaking away from a formula & template Phases 1 - 3 followed and now the MCU is being criticised for doing what YOU ALL WANTED them to do? Eternals, Doctor Strange & now Thor: Love and Thunder."
@wcrthysteve actually called out the critics with regard to Phase 4 having "such different styles and way deeper meanings" than what the MCU has delivered in the past:
"i’m sensing a pattern of critics not enjoying phase 4 compared to the previous marvel phases when phase 4 has such different styles and way deeper meanings than the previous movies"
@Jasler_Luce urged fans to look back at how much things have improved since Phases 1 and 2, saying that Phase 3 spoiled audiences after being so good all-around:
"I think people are forgetting how mediocre the first two phases of the mcu are... To think that those two phases are better then phase 4 is wild. Phase 3 just spoiled everyone with how good it was."
@TheNthDoctor attributed the complaints about Phase 4 to fatigue, also noting that many fans are finding it difficult to change their expectations for the stakes after Avengers: Endgame:
"I really don’t think Phase 4 has been the tremendous fall off in terms of quality that many people say, I think people are just fatigued with the franchise at this point on top of people finding it harder to care for post-Endgame stakes"
Phase 4 Continues to Divide MCU Fans
The MCU has had its ups and downs for more than a decade - after all, with nearly three dozen movies and TV shows, there are bound to be some that don't land with everybody.
While these complaints are certainly important to consider (some are even valid), Marvel continues working through a new phase of filmmaking in a post-pandemic world. Advances in technology like The Volume still have an effect on how movies and TV shows are made, and Marvel has made a concerted effort to let its filmmakers do what they do more than in the past.
Even though award-winner Chloe Zhao's vision didn't resonate with everybody after seeing Eternals, she was allowed to make the movie that she wanted to make. The same can be said about horror icon Sam Raimi with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and even Oscar-winner Taika Waititi with Thor: Love and Thunder. And Marvel appears to be standing behind its filmmakers as they move forward.
However fans feel about what Marvel Studios continues to do, the franchise shows no signs of slowing down and there are still projects that have a chance to hit the right mark this year and beyond. No matter what happens, however, as long as Marvel Studios sees the same kind of box office and viewing numbers that Phase 4 has seen already, the team won't hold back from making more bold choices.
The MCU continues with Ms. Marvel, whose first five episodes are now streaming on Disney+. On the movie side, Thor: Love and Thunder is set to release worldwide on Friday, July 8.