Marvel’s Phase 4, Explained | The Mary Sue

Avengers Endgame team scene.

Marvel’s Phase 4 is well underway, with several movies and Disney Plus series under its belt. The multiverse has been unleashed, the incursions have begun, and not one but several potential team-ups are being teased for Phase 5 and beyond. While Phases 1-3 largely focused on the creation and expansion of the Avengers, the challenges now facing Marvel’s heroes look like they’re going to be too big to confine to just one team. Let’s take a look at some teams that might form over the next few years!

Note that nothing official has been announced yet, so this is all speculation. Also, you might notice that some characters appear on more than one possible roster, and other characters, like Loki, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Black Panther have not found homes quite yet. Plus, although it looks like a Fantastic Four movie is coming, we do not know when that’ll be. Nevertheless, here are the teams, some of which are based on comics, that we might see before too long.

The New Avengers

Sam Wilson holding Captain America
Sam Wilson (image: Marvel)

Although the Avengers seem to be on indefinite hiatus since the destruction of their compound and the deaths of half their members in Endgame, Phase 4 has dropped several hints that a new Avengers lineup might be on the way. In Eternals, Ikaris suggests that he could lead the Avengers (although if you saw the end of the movie, you know that that possibility is now pretty unlikely). The She-Hulk trailer shows one of Jennifer Walters’ friends saying that Jennifer could be an Avenger.

There are other clues that do not mention the Avengers by name, but imply pretty heavily that some kind of team-up is on the way. At the end of Shang-Chi, Shang-Chi and Katy get a formal introduction to the superhero lifestyle from Wong, Carol Danvers, and Bruce Banner (and Wong makes it abundantly clear that Katy is a full-fledged member of the team). In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam Wilson finally accepts Steve Rogers’ shield and takes on the mantle of Captain America. Put all these developments together, and you have the makings of a new Avengers roster.

The Thunderbolts

wyatt russell
John Walker, AKA US Agent (image: Marvel)

In the comics, the Thunderbolts are a group of criminals put together by Baron Zemo. Later, the group turns itself around and becomes a force for good. Although the original Thunderbolts lineup does not seem likely in the MCU (yet), many Marvel fans have been speculating that the MCU might be setting up a similar group. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the US government introduces a new Captain America after Sam Wilson donates the shield to a museum. John Walker, also known as US Agent, tries to live up to Steve Rogers’s reputation, but he proves to be too violent to be America’s mascot and is stripped of his title. At the end of the series, he’s recruited by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who’s putting some kind of team together.

In Black Widow, Natasha’s sister Yelena Belova is recruited by the Fontaine in a similar way. Yelena appears again in the Disney Plus series Hawkeye, but even after she decides not to kill Clint, she still seems to be operating in a morally gray area. Do not be surprised if we see US Agent and Yelena join a Thunderbolts-type team in the future, especially since Zemo is still out there.

The Young Avengers

America Chavez running Dr.  Strange 2
America Chavez (image: Marvel)

The Young Avengers have been a team in the Marvel comics for many years now, as a team made up of teenage and college-age heroes. Marvel has not announced any plans for a Young Avengers project yet, but Phase 4 is clearly laying the groundwork for the team to come together eventually. Kate Bishop, America Chavez, Wiccan, Speed, Cassie Lang, and Kid Loki are all members of the Young Avengers at some point in the comics, and they’ve all already made their MCU debuts. Kate Bishop takes on the name Hawkeye in HawkeyeAmerica Chavez becomes an apprentice at Kamar-Taj in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Wiccan and Speed ​​(Billy and Tommy Maximoff) exist somewhere out in the multiverse as Wanda’s kids, Scott Lang’s daughter Cassie is now a teenager, and Kid Loki is still hanging out in the void at the end of time. Plus, other young MCU heroes like Kamala Khan, Riri Williams, and even Peter Parker would be logical additions to the team.

The Cosmic Team

Jane Foster as the Mighty Thor.
Jane Foster as the Mighty Thor (Marvel)

Cosmic Marvel — that is, the branch of Marvel that takes place out in space — has always been a thing, but with Phase 4’s expansion, we’re beginning to see a clearer cosmic wing take shape. Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy are already Cosmic Marvel mainstays, although Thor may end up handing off his title to Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder this summer. It’s also hard to say what the Guardians’ future will be like after Guardians of the Galaxy 3, especially with Gamora’s character getting a huge reset in Endgame. The cosmic wing will be joined the remaining Eternals, though, who are now on a mission to find other Eternals and tell them the truth about the Celestials and their own origins.

We’ll also see the Skrulls continuing to infiltrate Earth in the upcoming series Secret Invasionand in 2023’s The Marvels, Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan will team up with Carol Danvers.

The Street Team

Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez / Echo in Hawkeye
Maya Lopez (image: Marvel)

Hawkeye introduced three potential members of a street-level team dedicated to taking on Kingpin, the Tracksuit Mafia, and other New York City baddies. Maya Lopez, AKA Echo, will return in her own series after having shot Kingpin and left the Tracksuit Mafia. Kate Bishop could also return to take part in some street-level activities if she’s not too busy with her Young Avengers duties. Finally, Yelena Belova would be a natural addition to a street team, since she and Kate hit it off as they were hitting each other in Hawkeye’s final series.

The Supernatural Team

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Doctor Strange (image: Marvel)

In Phases 2 and 3, Doctor Strange was the only main supernatural hero in the MCU, but now that horizon is broadening, too. Now that Wong is Sorcerer Supreme, he’s starting to emerge as a hero in his own right, having played a pivotal role in Doctor Strange 2. Wanda Maximoff, AKA the Scarlet Witch, is probably still alive (remember, if you do not see a body, the character’s not dead), and the end-credit scene of Eternals set up the entrance of both Black Knight and Blade. Plus, Moon Knight and Layla El-Faouly’s new persona, the Scarlet Scarab, are now both in play thanks to the machinations of the Egyptian gods Khonshu and Taweret.

The Sinister Six

(image: Chuck Zlotnick)

This team-up isn’t technically in the MCU, but since Eddie Brock and Adrian Toomes both got sucked into and out of Earth 616, it warrants a mention. Sony is currently building up its own version of the league of Spider-Man villains known as the Sinister Six, and so far the roster includes Morbius, Venom, Vulture, and the forthcoming Kraven the Hunter. Will they eventually meet Tom Holland’s Spider-Man? Having Spider-Man face another multiversal pile-on would seem kind of repetitive, but it seems obvious that Sony is building up to something.

(image: Marvel)

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