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What is MCU’s Phase Three?

MCU's Phase Three

The MCU’s phase three was its most successful one so far and a huge turning point for the cinematic universe as we know it.

Achieving a total of $13.504 billion at the box office in the span of 3 years and 11 movies, it’s safe to say the infinity saga ended with a bang (or in this case, a snap).

Let’s take you through all the films and how each of them affected the universe in its own way.

Check out our article on MCU’s Phase One and Two if you’ve missed them so far.

Captain America: Civil War

Marvel Studios

There’s no better film to start this era in Marvel than Civil War, essentially the best example of a turning point.

Most, if not all, actions done by our heroes have consequences and in this movie, they have no choice but to face them.

After another incident involving innocent lives paying the price, The Avengers are now called upon to sign “The Sokovia Accords”, a status quo having the government oversee them. Half sign, while the other half do not. Add in a very large HYDRA threat to the mix and you’ve got yourself a great third installment to the Captain America franchise.

Compared to others, the story felt surprisingly intimate considering the number of characters involved. No matter which side you chose to be on, you felt a sense of urgency and tension from each. Like no matter what happened, theMCU’s phase three wouldn’t be the same.

Introduced in MCU’s Phase Three: Doctor Strange

Fans were finally able to see the comic book character on the big screen and if you look at how far Strange has come now, this movie was a great introduction.

Marvel Studios

Stephen Strange suffers injuries from a car accident causing his hands to no longer be of use to him. After the search for any type of healing, he discovers a very unlikely place to answer his callings.

Strange appears in 4 other movies as well as his own sequel, currently scheduled for a March 25, 2022 release.

Introduced in MCU’s Phase Three: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Marvel Studios

What a bunch of A-holes, the guardians return for their sequel with huge ties to future MCU installments.

Adventures continue with the main team while introducing new additions like Mantis. This time, we find them fighting mostly themselves to keep each other together while unveiling mysteries from Star-Lord’s family and past. Actor Kurt Russel plays Ego, Peter Quill’s father. The development of the relationship between Drax and Mantis is done very well and holds a great sub-plot to hang onto.

The movie features a few cameos that would go on setting up other titles like “Infinity War” and “Guardians 3”, which are currently in the works at Marvel Studios.

MCU’s Phase Three: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Marvel Studios/Sony

Peter Parker had one of the best introductions for this large-scale cinematic universe. Up until 2016, Spider-Man films were set in their own universe with only its characters existing. It wasn’t until President Kevin Feige and Sony had a mutual idea. ‘Captain America: Civil War’ was the start of that idea.

After those events, this story consists of Peter trying to balance his new Avenger-formed life and maintaining his own personal one. Under the mentorship of Tony Stark, he awaits his “next mission”, not knowing his own was right in front of him. The main villain is Vulture, played by Michael Keaton, with a few Easter Egg nods like “The Shocker”.

In the comics, Spider-Man lives in a world where other Marvel heroes exist, all while staying true to himself and being a friendly neighborhood web-slinger. The movie is a nice example of that with great new takes on each character.

Thor: Ragnarok

Marvel Studios

In the simplest terms, this was the best Thor movie and a worthy title for best MCU movie. Ragnarok shifts Thor’s arc on a much better path than previous titles did. The first two Thor’s were great don’t get me wrong, but a character needs to grow in order to evolve. Director Taika Waititi and Marvel did just that.

Thor and Loki end of across the universe from Asgard, on a planet with no escape. With time not on Thor’s side, he must find a way to get back and save his people from “Ragnarok” aka the destruction of his home and people. Bruce Banner also trapped on the planet, connects his disappearance in “Ultron” very well.

The main villain is Hela, who is by far the most powerful the God of thunder has faced. As he learns more about his whereabouts, can Thor assemble his own team to get out and save his people? The film explores Thor’s true powers and plants the seeds for his future.

Introduced in MCU’s Phase Three: Black Panther

Marvel Studios

Another character that opened the MCU further in Civil War, we have Black Panther. In so many ways, this film was a positive turning point and an inspiration for many people around the world. The ability for someone to look at themselves on the big screen and can relate is what these stories are mainly about. The movie made a total of $1.348 billion and won three Academy Awards.

The story begins with T’Challa returning home to Wakanda. In the wake of being crowned the new king of Wakanda, an old enemy with a shocking backstory appears putting T’Challa to the test.

The nation of Wakanda goes on to play a big role in the universe going forward.

Avengers: Infinity War

Marvel Studios

This was the biggest crossover event in the history of cinema. Years prior, Marvel fans heard hints about a crazy Avengers movie. Given that up until this point, it was the most secretive project the studio has ever done, naturally giving fans concerns for their favorite characters. Along with rumors that the story of the original six Avengers was coming to a close, the pieces were set for a giant cinema experience.

After ten years of work, we find our heroes facing their biggest force yet, Thanos. When word spreads about the magnitude of this threat, All of the Avengers take action seeking help wherever they can find it. Due to the events of Civil War and Ragnarok however, we do see some of the original six split into different places in the universe. Only giving the advantage more to Thanos.

The ending was the best and most shocking possible outcome for the story. After years of hearing whispers about how serious the movie would be, everyone in the entire world left the theatre in pure shock, asking nothing but questions about how the future of the MCU would be. You just had to wait for ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to find out.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Marvel Studios

Releasing right after Infinity War but taking place during its events, we have this incredible yet underrated film. Questions asked about where Scott Lang was during Thanos’ attack on earth. This movie explains just that and is a great reminder of how big the MCU can be.

Scott Lang is dealing with the consequences of his actions from Civil War, all while trying to maintain a nice relationship with his daughter Cassie. Suddenly, he’s reunited with Hank Pym and Hope Vann Dyne but not by their choice. He needs to suit up as Ant-Man and go on an important mission with Hope aka the newly appointed Wasp. Here’s the catch, he’s on house arrest.

It’s a very important watch in order to understand Endgame.

Introduced in MCU’s Phase Three: Captain Marvel

Marvel Studios

Every project so far has had ties to the bigger picture, this is no different. An origin story about a powerful Avenger brought to the big screen leaving the ball on the tee for Endgame.

Set it the 90s, Carol Danvers, one of the most powerful beings in the universe, takes part in a galactic war between two alien races. However, she soon learns things about herself that could potentially turn the war into a mystery. She finds herself on earth meeting none other than Nick Fury on her quest to find the truth about everything.

Connecting the dots to the after-credit scene of Infinity War, giving hope going into the finale of the infinity saga.

Avengers: Endgame

Marvel Studios

The title says it all, there aren’t many words that can describe the experience audiences had with this end of an 11-year story. You just had to be there, to watch it all unfold. The highest-grossing Marvel Studios movie brought in a total of $2.798 billion at the box office with also having a theatre re-release. You can read that again if you want.

A culmination of it all, Endgame finds our heroes at loss for the very first time. After a five-year time jump, hope arises for one last shot of bringing half the universe back and setting Thanos a new score.

22 films prior and a whole lot of characters, this saga will never be done again by any other studio, ever. The fan services that had everyone filled with joy and the moments that had us in tears, Avengers: Endgame was a great end that left you excited for the future (Phase Four).

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Marvel Studios/Sony

Although Endgame was the finale for some, it wasn’t for all. Far From Home takes us on another journey with Peter Parker and his evolving life as Spider-Man.

This time, he joins his friends on a summer trip to Europe. The initial plan was to just enjoy his time as himself and as usual, receives a call to action this time by Nick Fury when discovering non-human like creatures in the area.

It’s a great example of what a Spider-Man movie should be and perfectly displays Peter trying to balance his superhero life with his actual one.

MCU’s phase three has been completed, if you want to check out what Phase Four has in store you can check my article on that here.

Thank you for reading.

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