How the Phase 4 MCU TV Shows Saved Neglected Marvel Characters

How the Phase 4 MCU TV Shows Saved Neglected Marvel Characters

Loki

When Thanos killed Loki, there was a sense of redemption in there, but it only went as far as Loki’s relationship with Thor and maybe Asgard. Despite the events of Thor: Ragnarok, Loki was still full of himself when it came to others and felt that it was his destiny to rule. He was not sorry about his role in Avengersnor was he sorry about the genocide he almost committed in the first Thor.

The Loki Variant created from Avengers: Endgame gets to be not just a better version of Loki, but presumably the best. Through his adventures, he is forced to question his own actions and the ramifications. He’s pushed to understand that his own vindictive nature would lead to his mother’s murder. He remains an egomaniac to the point of being in love with a version of himself, but he does gradually learn that he can improve. When he ponders the possibility of ruling all of time and space during the finale, he is more focused on what’s better for everyone than full-on megalomania.

Also, it says a lot that Loki’s best friend in all of this is a completely down-to-earth human being. It’s like Loki had to learn the same lesson of humility as his brother, but in a more outrageous way.

Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton in Marvel's Hawkeye

Clint Barton

Something I’ve always found interesting about the Hawkeye in the MCU is that the Clint Barton we’ve seen is mostly based on the Ultimate Marvel take. Ultimate Hawkeye and 616 Hawkeye are extremely different outside of the arrow gimmick. The former is more of a straight-laced assassin and the latter is a rebellious swashbuckler. Even Clint’s run as Ronin in Avengers: Endgame is more in line with how he was in the Ultimate comics after his family was killed.

The Hawkeye series takes this cinematic adaptation of Ultimate Hawkeye and puts him in an adaptation of one of 616 Hawkeye’s adventures. When you look at it through that lens, it’s a fascinating experiment. By existing alongside Kate Bishop, the Tracksuit Mafia, and Grills, Clint starts to shed his disgruntled, self-serious nature and not only gets over the tragedies of his past, but also embraces the heroism that he has inspired over the years. With Kate taking up his mantle while seeing only the best in what Clint is capable of, Clint can walk away from his life as Hawkeye completely fulfilled.

Florence Pugh As Yelena Belova in Marvel's Hawkeye

Yelena Belova

Like much of Phase 4, Black Widow was about passing the torch. In this instance, it was Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova following in Natasha’s footsteps. Despite young Natasha’s wishes, she could not protect her sister from becoming a bitter assassin. The two were able to confront their past, as well as the authority figures who molded them into killers, and came out of it stronger and closer. The post-credits scene showed that Yelena has been trying to enjoy her own independence while feeling a void due to her sister’s heroic death. It also sets up her appearance in Hawkeyeas she’s sent to kill Clint Barton, officially for money but unofficially for revenge.

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