With the release of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on November 25, Phase 4 of the MCU is officially over. As such, we thought it was a good time to update our rankings of Marvel Studios’ Disney Plus shows to include every Phase 4 project.
Every MCU saga is separated into phases, and in The Multiverse Saga, those phases include the shows that Marvel is releasing on Disney Plus. Technically, every live-action Marvel show currently on Disney Plus is part of Phase 4 (barring the Netflix shows like Daredevil and Luke Cage). So, without further ado, here’s what we think of them all.
MCU Phase 4 shows, ranked
10. Moon Knight
After the first two episodes of Moon Knight, I was hooked. This was one of the strangest and most adult-oriented projects Marvel Studios had ever produced.
Oscar Isaac was having a ball playing two characters that shared the same body, and Moon Knight himself looked like an imposing antihero. Unfortunately, the season lost steam in the middle and never really found its footing again. The final battle was exciting, but the stakes were never entirely clear, and the season’s end was a confusing mess.
Wasted potential was the name of the game for Moon Knight season 1.
9. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Call me a Grinch, but The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special just didn’t really do it for me. There are some standout moments, and the soundtrack (as always for a Guardians project) is fantastic, but this felt more slapdash than anything else James Gunn has ever done. Save for Pom Klementieff (Mantis) and Dave Bautista (Drax), none of the actors really looked like they wanted to be there. But again, the songs are great!
8. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Some of the best moments of any of the shows come in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, especially Sam Wilson’s interactions with Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly). Wyatt Russell makes for a great villainous Captain America, Daniel Brühl is never not having fun on screen, and I could watch Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie drink on a boat all day.
None of that can save a bland, poorly written story. As with a few of the other entries on this list, Falcon may have benefitted from an extra episode or two. The team also had to cut a major storyline from the season that seemingly would have been vital connective tissue. The end result is a chaotic action comedy that doesn’t do either especially well.
7. What If…?
The only animated entry on this list, What If…? is an anthology series that tells us much more about the multiverse than Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness could. Some entries are better than others (the “Doctor Strange” and “Zombies” episodes stand out), but there was plenty of fun to be had throughout the season’s nine episodes.
What If…? is also one of the few shows on this list definitively coming back for season 2.
Jeremy Renner’s future in the MCU remains unclear, but if Hawkeye was his final turn as Clint Barton, it was a fitting send-off for the Avenger. After (understandably) taking a backseat to his superpowered colleagues in previous movies, Clint gets to be the star of the show.
At least, he does for a while before Hailee Steinfeld and Florence Pugh steal the spotlight for themselves. Nevertheless, we learn more about one of the few remaining original Avengers and get to see how he operates without the help of a green monster or a god.
Unlike some of the other shows on this list, Hawkeye doesn’t take itself quite so seriously. As a result, this is one of the more breezy and fun shows Marvel has released. It also brings the Kingpin into the MCU, which has us incredibly excited for the future.
5. Werewolf by Night
Unlike the Guardians Holiday Special, Werewolf By Night is completely detached from the MCU at large, and it’s all the better for it. Gael García Bernal is, unsurprisingly, a great addition to the MCU as Jack Russell, but the biggest surprise is Laura Donnelly’s Elsa Bloodstone. Whether or not she shows up in Avengers: Secret Wars or any other major Marvel movie, I can’t wait to see more of her beast-hunting adventures.
4. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
No MCU show has taken a bigger swing than She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. As with Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight, this character is debuting on the small screen, but there aren’t any existential threats for Jennifer Walters to deal with. Rather, she has to learn how to mesh her life as a successful lawyer with her new life as a superhero.
Tatiana Maslany is spectacular in the lead role, bringing to life a character that has a relationship with the audience that is surprisingly similar to Deadpool. This culminates in one of the most bizarre finales of any Marvel series, and one which has proven quite controversial. But despite some missteps, She-Hulk is one of the funniest, most relatable, and most inventive of Marvel’s TV output so far. And we need more Madisynn ASAP.
The first Marvel Studios show on Disney Plus is still one of the best. With nine episodes, the creative team actually had the time to tell a complete story about love, loss, grief, and witch battles hundreds of feet in the air.
The concept was thrilling and fresh, with Wanda jumping through decades, recreating eras of sitcoms in order to live out the life she never got to live with Vision.
Aside from its lackluster finale, the show’s biggest blemish is the existence of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The movie quickly undid much of the interesting character work that WandaVision achieved over the course of its only season.
Not only is Loki one of the best MCU shows to date, but it also might be the most important. With the first season of Loki, Marvel Studios gives us an intro-level course on the multiverse. This series helps set the stakes for Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange 2, and beyond. Plus, it introduces us to an all-time Marvel villain: Kang the Conquerer.
But that’s not why we love the show as much as we do. Tom Hiddleston is one of the most charismatic actors in the sprawling cast of the MCU. He shines here as a different Loki than the one we remember from before Avengers: Infinity War, and he plays so well off of Owen Wilson’s Morbius and Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie.
The season finale is a glorified info dump that fails to tie up any of the emotional loose ends, but a second season of Loki is currently in the works.
1. Ms. Marvel
Iman Vellani is a real revelation as Kamala Khan. She brings fresh energy to the MCU and knows how to sell even the most ridiculous of her superpowers. Her family and friends are just as lovable, and these relationships help to elevate the show far beyond Marvel’s other episodic adventures. Most importantly. Ms. Marvel sticks the landing in a way that Marvel’s other Disney Plus series haven’t. Ms. Marvel is one of the true highlights of Phase 4 so far, and we can’t wait to see Kamala in The Marvels next year.
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