Greetings from the Odinson,
With 2019 San Diego Comic Con just about a month away, I imagine we are going to start getting announcements about the next Phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Films and projects involving Spider-Man, Black Panther, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and Falcon’s Avengers are a surefire bet. With all the time traveling in the last film, I’m pretty sure Kang the Conqueror is in our future. I am also very happy to hear that a Shang Chi Master of Kung Fu film is in development.
But, what else does the future hold?
If the first 10 years of the MCU, Phase 1-3, from Iron Man (2008) to Avengers: Endgame (2019), with all the movies, TV shows, and specials in-between, represent the dawn of the Marvel Age on the Big Screen, i.e. Marvel Comics 1961-1969, minus the Fantastic Four and X-Men, then the future, the next Phase of films, will be a metaphor for Marvel Comics 1970-1979.
The Odinson’s Expectations for the Next Phase of the MCU
Not only will we get Charles Xavier’s First Class but more specifically, we will get the All-New, All-Different team of mutant heroes – The Uncanny X-Men! One would think that with nearly 20 years and 12 films under their belt Fox has ran the well dry on the stories that can be told with Marvel’s Merry Mutants.
To quote the great John Bender – “Not even close, Bud!”
The world of the X-Men is so much more than just we have seen so far. They have had adventures every bit as cosmic and otherworldly as any that DC or Marvel’s premiere super teams have been on. The Odinson’s wish list of X-Men staples he wants to see on the Big Screen include an introduction of the Shi’ar Empire which leads to the Starjammers which leads to the Brood which can bring Captain Marvel into the mix. Also, The Asgardian Wars which can incorporate the New Mutants and Alpha Flight and bring Loki into the mix.
Finally, their big center piece should be the Mutant Massacre! If they do the tale justice this will involve the First Class, Uncanny X-Men, and the New Mutants. It could introduce Power Pack which has ties to Marvel’s First Family. And, it can even include already established Marvel heroes – Thor and Daredevil. Plus, the aftermath can set up the classic Fantastic Four vs. X-Men tale involving the diabolical Doctor Doom! This could be this phase of the MCU’s version of Captain America: Civil War.
Deadpool is such a wacky character, with all his fourth wall-breaking shenanigans, nothing really has to change for him. Of all the new faces coming over to the MCU, his transition will be the smoothest.
Thor joining the ranks of the Guardians of the Galaxy opens up so many delicious possibilities. Plus, if there is one thing we have learned in the last decade it is Chris Hemsworth is really good at bringing the funny. One of the most charming qualities about the Guardians films are their sense of humor. Their cosmic adventures can cross paths with Captain Marvel and introduce other Marvel sci-fi heroes like Adam Warlock, Nova (Richard Rider), Moondragon, and Beta Ray Bill, most of which have already been hinted at in previous MCU films.
The cosmic corner of the MCU would also be a good spot to introduce villains like the other Elders of the Universe and the High Evolutionary. Plus, it can tie in with the X-Men by crossing paths with the Shi’ar and the Brood.
It’s all connected!
3 – The Eternals
Jack Kirby’s epic saga about immortals, monsters and space gods will make its debut during this new phase of films. This will give these pretty underappreciated Kirby creations a chance to shine. Plus, this will shed more light on the impressive Celestials, which made a brief appearance in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
4 – Marvel Monsters
If the next phase of films is a metaphor for 1970s Marvel Comics, then it would stand to reason that the monsters show up for the party, and the House of Ideas is sitting on a treasure trove of great monsters: the macabre Man-Thing, Satana the daughter of the devil, Simon Garth the zombie, Jack Russell the Werewolf by Night, the Monster of Frankenstein, Howard the Duck the master of Quack-Fu, and the freaky Night Shift. This is the dark corner of the MCU where Doctor Strange operates and it can also introduce supernatural heroes like Clea, Moon Knight, Daimon Hellstrom, Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), and Brother Voodoo.
Tomb of Dracula is a pop culture treasure. Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan created an epic masterpiece that would make an amazing movie trilogy, or even better, a HBO Game of Thrones-style show. The series not only establishes one of the truly menacing, all-time great Marvel villains, but it also brings Blade into the fold, the character whose film franchise can be argued launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
They need no introduction. They are comic book royalty. As the Avengers spearheaded the first three phases of the MCU, the Fantastic Four, alongside Spider-Man, will steer the ship for the next. Their trilogy should introduce and involve Doctor Doom, the Sub-Mariner, Silver Surfer, and Galactus. AND, most importantly, these four monumentally important characters should be treated with the respect and diligence they deserve. If Marvel Studios wants to finally get Marvel’s First Family and their supporting cast right, then do Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four.
Setting up Prince Namor paves the way for our next addition to the MCU.
If the FF brings in the Sub-Mariner and Silver Surfer and the Marvel Monsters bring in Hellstrom into the MCU, all that is needed is to add the already established Doctor Strange, Hellcat, Valkyrie, and Hulk, then introduce Nighthawk and Gargoyle, then Marvel’s greatest non-team is ready to explode off the Silver Screen!
7 – Who will be the Next Big Bad?
Who could possibly attempt to fill the boats of Thanos as the next Big Bad of the MCU? It has to be somebody truly epic. A villain that can challenge a host of mighty heroes both terrestrial and cosmic. It has to be somebody that is a true threat to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Answer: Annihilus.
Annihilation is an event story that could match the epic feel Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame gave us, and it is on a scope that could involve and include every single character mentioned above.
Finally, the last entry on this list is a bit of wishful thinking, but hey, an Odinson can dream, right?
8 – The Hyborian Age
In 2018, Conan the Barbarian made his triumphant return to the House of Ideas. Disney has deep pockets. Can a great film starring Robert E. Howard’s mighty Cimmerian be far off?
With already established heroes like Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Captain Marvel leading the charge, mega icons like the Fantastic Four and X-Men being added to the mix, fresh new faces like Shang Chi, Adam Warlock, and Moondragon spicing things up, and powerful and sinister villains like Kang the Conqueror, Galactus, and Annihilus thrown in for good measure, the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe could be another decade of excellence.
This one’s for you, Stan.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
NOTE: Be sure to check out my book – The Survivors: A Glen Haven Tale. Available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook.