Summer brings a lot of good things with it. Sunshine, vacations to the beach and, of course, announcements from Marvel Studios, specifically in regard to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

With phase three of the MCU coming to a close after the box-office hit that was Avengers: Endgame, the comic-book movie machine didn’t take a step back. Instead, they announced a slew of new movies and TV shows between presentations at San Diego Comic-Con and D23, making fans feel like kids in a candy store.

The big thing that sticks out with this new phase four of the MCU are the TV series that will be canon to the universe and streamed through Disney’s answer to Netflix, Disney+. 

This could go one of two ways. On one hand, money-seeking corporate businessmen could churn out much more quantity and dial back considerably in quality. Or, these TV shows end up being just as good as the big screen blockbusters we’ve gotten up to this point, and we all continue to live our lives in the nerdy bliss that is the MCU.

From characters we haven’t seen brought to life on screen like She-Hulk or Moon Knight, to secondary characters we kind of know like Falcon, Vision and Loki, the keys to these series’ successes lie in Marvel Studios not getting greedy. Or, more specifically, Disney not getting too greedy. 

If they simply continue the way they have been, with committed directors, writers and actors, these shows have the potential to add a whole layer to Marvel’s on-screen universe by allowing us to get to know characters we would never have the opportunity to.

Plus, we’re getting an animated series called What If…? that will show alternate versions of each movie so far, narrated by a Watcher, so if this isn’t the time for Marvel geeks everywhere, that time may just not exist.

There are new stories with characters we’re familiar with, from Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness setting out to be the first horror entry in the MCU to Thor: Love and Thunder bringing back Natalie Portman as a female Thor. There also continues to be a trend of diversifying the MCU and expanding it to include characters no one’s really familiar with yet, such as Shang-Chi or The Eternals.

It’s great to see Marvel not stick to the trusted, familiar favorites. They continue to be innovative in an industry that, let’s face it, is due to slow down eventually. While some might call it risky, the likes of Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy prove that obscure characters can still be brought to life and personalized for any audience.

The only movie that seems a little out of place is the solo Black Widow film. While it should have come much earlier in the MCU, there seems to be a lot of promise in terms of giving this under-used, yet beloved character a proper sendoff after being slightly overshadowed by Iron Man.

And, no, let’s not get started on the Spider-Man disaster again.

With a movie like Avengers: Endgame coming out, most would be reasonable in expecting, well, an end. But, with these recent announcements, there’s hope for a whole lot more to come in the MCU, even without familiar faces like Captain America or Iron Man. With such a huge and exciting slate for the next phase of the MCU, Marvel Studios is sending us off into the sunset of summer dreaming about what might be announced next year.

Jackson Horvat is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jackson by tweeting him at @horvatjackson.

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