Movies & TV Shows

Why Do MCU Phases Last Only 2 Years Now?

Marvel has moved to a new approach, with Phases 5 and 6 lasting only two years each. Why are the MCU’s new phases so short compared to the past?

The MCU‘s Phases are now shorter than ever, with Phase 4 ending this year and Phase 5 running for just two years. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had always promised that the company would only go to San Diego Comic-Con if they felt they could over-deliver. That was certainly the case, with Marvel officially announcing the end of Phase 4 at SDCC 2022 and unveiling the slates for the MCU’s Phase 5 and part of Phase 6.

According to Feige, Phases 4 through 6 are known collectively as “The Multiverse Saga.” Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror stands at the heart of this story following his introduction in Loki, and he’ll return in Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania. Kang will only become more significant from here on out – Avengers 5 is officially titled The Kang Dynasty. Still, as exciting as the announcements may be, many viewers have been somewhat surprised upon realizing that both Phases 5 and 6 will only be two years long. That’s quite remarkable when compared to previous phases: Phase 1, for example, ran from 2008 to 2012. Marvel seems to be moving to a two-year pattern.


Related: Mutants Are Officially In The MCU Now

In truth, this approach is probably sensible. The MCU is now a transmedia franchise with a range of Disney+ TV shows complementing the movies – and, unlike previous Marvel Television shows, they connect to and influence the narratives in the tentpole movies. That means there’s more MCU content coming out than ever before, and Phase 4 is already longer in viewing hours than the entirety of Phases 1-3. “The Infinity Saga” was 11 years in length, while “The Multiverse Saga” will run for just 5.

Short, Two-Year Phases Are Better For The MCU

Kang Multiverse phase 4 introduction causes Avengers 5 problem

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is growing at a prodigious rate, and that’s something of a challenge for the studio to coordinate – understandably so given the task at hand. Unfortunately, this has given something of a disjointed feel to Phase 4, with some viewers struggling to identify its overarching narrative direction. While the MCU has clearly been setting up a multiversal Secret Wars event, it’s difficult to see how some of the films and TV shows fit into this arc, making the overall story feel more disorienting than before.

Hopefully, shorter Phases will allow Marvel to counter this issue by considering the narrative of the entire Phase and ensuring that it’s more carefully balanced. That may explain the absence of Armor Wars on the updated slates – it may either have not fit into the overall arc or might have been folded into something else off the back of a resemblance to another Disney+ TV show. To resolve some of the criticisms of Phase 4, Marvel will need to take a much more considered and interconnected approach when it comes to navigating Phases 5 and 6. Certainly, there are already hints of this longer-term strategy, with New World Order now serving as the title of both the first episode of The Falcon & the Winter Soldier and the title of Captain America 4. It will be interesting to see how Marvel improves their approach to the MCU as “The Multiverse Saga” continues throughout Phases 5 and 6.

Want more San Diego Comic-Con 2022 coverage? Check out our essential content below…

More: Avengers 5: The Kang Dynasty Title Explained

  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)Release date: Jul 06, 2018
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023

Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man 3, John Krasinski as Reed Richards in Doctor Strange 2, and Fox X-Men movie team

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