MCU: The Shots of Phase Four...so far
2021 saw the start of a new era for Marvel. After the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the big purple guy is seemingly out of the picture and now new heroes can rise from the ashes that the old ones left behind. Amongst those new heroes are some old favourites too, with Disney+ being the standout platform for some of our legend-status MCU characters to thrive in a way that they haven't always been able to do in a 2 and a half hour film filled with butch white men and CGI final battles. This article showcases a standout shot from each MCU project of 2021, and should fill us with hope and excitement for the future of the universe.
-- spoiler warning for all MCU projects of 2021 --
Agatha All Along
In the final moments of episode 7 of the first MCU Disney+ original, it was revealed to the audience that Agnes the nosy-neighbour, expertly played by Kathryn Hahn, was in fact Agatha Harkness, the witch. This reveal was delivered in the style of a sitcom-musical number, sang by Hahn herself. It was a quirky choice of reveal for seemingly the big bad of the show and the track was an ear worm that did the rounds on social media for weeks on end. It was the standout moment from the show, and sums up just how bold the show was from start to finish.
A New Kind of Cap
The Falcon & The Winter Soldier
This was one of the darkest moments in all of the MCU. John Walker (Wyatt Russell) loses his temper in front of a crowd of onlookers and uses the edge of his Captain America shield as a weapon. As he stands back up, a low angle shot capturing his villainy, he holds a blooded shield. Never did Steve Rogers use the shield in pure aggression, and now it begs the question, not just for the civilians within the world, but the audience watching the show, what does the shield symbolise now?
Loki as we know him (the one played by Tom Hiddleston) is met by four very different versions of himself, so different in fact that one of them is an alligator. This shot again shows the absurdity of the show and now lets audiences know of the risks the MCU are now willing to take. They have won over their audience, and now they can branch out into new and exciting ideas that are very much outside the box.
Passing the Baton
We are now so comfortable with Scarlet Johansson's Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff, that the thought of never seeing her again was a tough pill to swallow. But this film (although perhaps a little too late) gave us a lasting couple of hours with the hero. But who could possibly follow in her footsteps as we move into the next phase of the MCU: Florence Pugh was a good call. This shot signifies the passing of that baton; fans so easily joined the side of Yelena and now look forward to her future, and with that future Natasha's legacy will sure be remembered.
Shang-Chi & The Legend of the Ten Rings
This is just a fantastic scene, and it comes so early in the film. The promotional material made this look like an origin story, when in actual fact Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) already knew his capabilities. The possibilities that lie ahead for this character are unbelievably exciting, and in this shot in particular we see the fun and fresh energy that the characters and the story brought to the franchise. It's also just a bloody fantastic fight scene.
A New Kind of Super Group
The image shown here doesn't even show every member of the Eternals; the group are too strong in numbers to fit. Where Loki showed us the risks that the MCU were now able to take, Eternals showed us what position Marvel are now in, being able to tell stories of different backgrounds and cultures. The team assembled in this film are all from different backgrounds, and for once it's not the white male who saves the day. Every character is given equal relevance and characters are created for any child watching to look up to. The cast are fantastic, and this shot was probably intentionally placed in the film to say look at this amazing talented group of super people from all different walks of life, who in the end, fight for the same cause.
When trailers first emerged for Hawkeye everyone noticed the posters for 'Rogers the musical' but no-one could've expected to see a full musical number as a post-credit sting in the show. This shot still somehow shows how relevant the super group are in pop culture, and it shows how culturally iconic even the costumes have become. Every character has their own colour to represent them and besides anything else the sequence is just so much fun.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
In a literary sense, pathetic fallacy is used to reflect a character's emotions through the weather. Here that is done perfectly, with tears and rain merging together to run down Peter Parker's face. After one of the saddest moments in all of the MCU, this shot shows just how much Tom Holland's spidey has been through, and it is stunning.
The MCU is full of beauty amongst its CGI and geology collections, and the rest of phase four will surely bring more of it. This year sees familiar faces grace the big screen with a Thor sequel, Doctor Strange sequel and Black Panther sequel, whilst Disney+ is introducing us to new characters Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel & She-Hulk. The universe is ever expanding, but now the first eight projects of the fourth phase feel settled, and we're ready for another batch of superhero excitement.
All MCU projects available now on Disney+ besides Spider-Man: No Way Home which is still in select cinemas