Marvel Expands Their Universe, Two New Projects Coming


Hannah Hendron, Reporter

The MCU continues to expand its universe and audiences will receive two new exciting projects before the next school year starts. Luckily, we won’t have to wait too long before more projects are released between September and December of this year to conclude the slate of MCU 2021 releases.

The next Disney+ series will be centered around Loki after he grabbed the tesseract (space stone) in Avengers: Endgame. Loki will be a little different since he will be the version of himself that appeared at the end of the first Avengers film. If you recall, he had just tried to conquer earth albeit under the mind control of Thanos though still particularly villainous of his own accords. It does seem that the new character Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) will give Loki the knowledge of how our Loki’s life played out until his death by Thanos when he tried to kill him. By Infinity War, Loki was walking the path of a good man though now we will all have to see where this journey takes this current Loki. He is already in trouble with the Time Variance Authority (TVA) for disrupting reality since he took the space stone. Time works differently in the TVA where they protect the proper flow of time. Loki is now tasked with helping them fix this as multiple realities created because of him are causing chaos. All different types of realities and even various versions of Loki are causing a massive headache for the TVA. This could be potentially including Lady Loki (Sophia Di Martino) who seems to be stirring up the most mischief. The series is likely to introduce Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) as his comic book history has been heavily tied to the TVA since he is a time-traveling villain. It has already been confirmed that we will be seeing Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. It will be interesting to see how this journey plays out and whether or not it will hint if we’ll see Loki in Thor: Love and Thunder by the end. Loki begins airing weekly episodes on June ninth, exclusively on Disney+.
The first Marvel Studios movie that will be released in theaters since 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home is Natasha Romanoff’s Black Widow. This film has been long-awaited as is releasing a little over a year after its original release date. Natasha sacrificed her life for Clint to receive the soul stone, which aided in the help of defeating Thanos and resurrecting those who were blipped away. The story we will see is set during that time between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War where Nat was a fugitive for helping Steve and violating the Sokovia Accords. She seems to have found her foster family of sorts who have a unique dynamic that’ll be interesting to see more of. We do know that we will see flashbacks of Natasha as a younger girl with her foster family and then when she was in the Red Room being brainwashed to become a ruthless assassin. Nat’s foster family consists of the characters Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz), Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour), and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) who are integral to this story. The villain of this particular journey is the Taskmaster who benefits from uncanny photographic reflexes that allow them to copy the fighting techniques of other individuals. The mystery of who Taskmaster is shall be intriguing to discover when we have a slew of new characters that may be questionable. Throughout Natasha’s time in the MCU she has shared her story with her fellow Avengers, which limited what we saw of her prior to working with Nick Fury. It would have been a great disservice to us as an audience and her character to have never seen more of what shaped Natasha as a woman. It’ll be rewarding to finally see a solo journey for Natasha where we can prepare our hearts for our final goodbye to such an amazing character. Black Widow will be released on July ninth with a same-day theater and premier access on Disney+ option to accommodate all audiences.

With not too long of a wait after Black Widow the next film slated to premiere is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Simu Liu stars as Shang-Chi who is living in San Francisco when his past with the Ten Rings Organization draws him back along with his new best friend Katy (Awkwafina) unaware of his connections to the organization. The film is said to be featuring exciting action sequences that MCU fans have never seen before. The movie will be released in theaters on September third with a 45-day release window before moving to Disney+.

Expanding the mythology of the MCU, the Eternals will give us the story of a group of protectors created by the Celestials. The Eternals have a long history together spanning centuries influencing the fantastical elements of the MCU leading to what we have this far. With that knowledge, a big question needing an answer is why the Eternals didn’t intervene or help during the many catastrophic events the Avengers faced. The film will be released in theaters on November fifth without an attached release date to Disney+.

Peter Parker is unlikely to catch a break in Spider-Man: No Way Home since more than one villain is seeking to end his life. Peter not only has to balance being a high schooler and a superhero as he now has to deal with his identity being revealed to the public. Besides that, it seems two particular villains might have made their way through the multiverse from the existing franchises of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man. It has not been confirmed whether or not the two previous actors of Spider-Man will be making appearances, but theories have gone wild with possible plot-lines including the chaos that could ensue with their returns. Tom Holland’s third Spider-Man film will be the second installment of the multiverse act as Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be the concluding act on March 25, 2022. The friendly neighborhood Spider-Man will be swinging on to screens on December seventh in theaters without a coinciding release date on Disney+.
After the drought of Marvel content in 2020, the slew of films and Disney+ series are very much welcomed and appreciated. The expansion of the MCU has just begun as more projects are being created for years to come to keep us all content and satiated with our love of superheroes.