Marvel Studios' Phase 4 of the MCU began in January of 2021 with the studio's debut Disney+ series: WandaVision. In the year that followed, a number of new heroes were introduced to Marvel fans including Shang-Chi, the Eternals, and Kate Bishop from Hawkeye, while new stories and roles came into play for the remaining Avengers.
This trend looks to continue in 2022 as OG Avenger Thor is set to receive his fourth MCU solo film with Taika Waititi's Thor: Love and Thunder. Releasing in July, Thor will be joined by Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher, and Natalie Portman's Jane Foster, who is expected to become Mighty Thor.
Even though audiences know next to nothing about what the film might hold, Marvel's Phase 4 and its roster of heroes are continuing to come together; and now, thanks to a new leak, fans have a better idea of Thor and Jane's place among Marvel's latest line-up.
New Phase 4 Poster Features Thor's New Costume
Reddit user u/Ryantcairns shared a leaked poster of the Marvel Studios' Phase 4 heroes which include Spider-Man, Shang-Chi, Starlord, Okoye, Groot, and more. However, one of the most interesting aspects of this poster is Thor and Jane Foster in their new armor ahead of Thor: Love and Thunder.
While additional concept art of their new styles leaked online previously and matches what is shown in this poster, this us the first time fans are seeing Thor's new blue and gold helmet in addition to his bold, upgraded matching suit.
It's also worth noting that half of Ms. Marvel - who's set to receive her own Disney+ series in 2022 and star in the Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels - is part of the poster.
On the opposite side, it looks like Black Panther has been cut off as well. However, since audiences know Black Panther: Wakanda Forever isn't replacing Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa, the question is whether this artwork is representing his character or if the 2022 film intends to introduce a new Black Panther.
Next Wave of Avengers
One of the most important details from this leaked poster is who the poster decides to bring to the forefront, and who it keeps in the background. Looking closely, you will notice that many of the heroes that have passed on (Captain America, Iron Man, Gamora) are in the background, while our new leads for Phase 4 (Thor, Spider-Man, Shang-Chi, etc) are in the foreground.
With Thor, so front and center in this poster, could this indicate that Thor will take up a leadership position as the new leader of the Avengers? It is certainly possible considering he is one of the longest-serving Avengers still with us and is arguably the strongest Avenger.
Thor's character arc throughout his movies has revolved heavily around how he deals with both power and responsibility. His inability to accept a leadership position in New Asgard might set Thor up to be the new leader of the Avengers.
Thor's Eternals Fashion Inspiration?
So what is exactly going on with Thor: Love and Thunder? It's hard to say, especially since Taika Waititi's at the helm and the MCU has embraced the Multiverse. At this point, the possibilities are limitless.
However, while Jane's silver and crimson armor seem inspired by Thor's look in the original 2011 film, the God of Thunder's new blue and gold duds are definitely a choice and evoke memories of Ikaris' suit from Chloe Zhao's Eternals.
Even though Thor found redemption and a renewed sense of self in Avengers: Endgame, it was clear that he was still finding his way when he joined the Guardians at the end of the film.
Exactly where fans will find him in Love and Thunder, both physically and figuratively, is anyone's guess; although, his new armor may be a reflection of his journey and new sense of purpose.
In regard to the poster itself, it's a bit of a mystery as well. In addition to just who the Black Panther is, Gamora appears transparent alongside former Avengers like Steve Rogers and Iron Man appear whose time in the MCU is done.
While it's true that she died in Avengers: Infinity War, fans know that a Gamora variant is still out there. Also, while Hope van Dyne's Wasp can be seen hovering between Jane and Star-Lord, Ant-Man isn't pictured in this frame despite their upcoming movie Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
While there are just as many questions and surprises as there are answers in this new art, it does show that the look of the MCU's next phase is slowly coming together.
Thor: Love and Thunder is set to release in theaters on July 8, 2021.