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A humble fan's expectations for Marvel Phase 4
Marvel studios officially announced the list and order of the movies they will be producing for Marvel Phase 3. It includes two new Avengers movies, the third movies for Thor and Captain America, but I'm personally more excited for the new characters they will be introducing to the the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They will be reimagining Spiderman on the big screen, for the third time, but they will also be introducing new fan favorites, such as Dr. Strange, Captain Marvel, Black Panther and the entire Inhuman royal family.
As Phase 2 comes to end this summer, many of the MCU fans who are not members of my comic book loving brethren have asked me, where is Marvel going with this and how can they keep producing these movies.
So ive decided to throw in my top picks for what the MCU's Phase 4 should look like.
1: Namor the Sub-Mariner
Starting Phase 4 with a brand new character like Namor McKenzie would be awesome. While most Americans are familiar with DC's Aqua Man, the majority of people aren't aware that Marvels Prince of Atlantis is the character he is based on.
Though he is a bit of an underground hero, despite more than 70 years of comic book history, Marvel studios did a fantastic job introducing the even less known Guardians of the Galaxy. So pulling off a Namor movie should be piece of cake.
In the books, Namor is the first Mutant/ Atlantean hybrid in history. He is a deeply interesting and hotheaded anti-hero, but to understand the character you have to understand his origin story.
The Atlanteans are a genetic offshoot of the baseline race of humans the Celestials experimented on. It's a mystery as to how they came to existence, one theory that the comics put out there is that the Atlanteans are the result of a Deviant experiment to help find a way of stabilizing their genetic code. Atlanteans are typically blue skinned, aquatic humanoids who, despite their far superior strength, durability and speed, are incapable of breathing outside of a saltwater environment.
Like their Inhuman cousins, Atlanteans are isolationists. That is until their Princess, Fen, fell in love with a human boat captain resulting in Namor's birth.
His appearance is completely human with the exception of pointed-Atlantean ears and a pair of small vestigial wings on each of his ankles.
Its hard to tell which of his abilities come from him simply being a hybrid and, which ones come from his X-gene, but he is one of the most destructively powerful characters on earth.
Like all Atlanteans, Namor can breathe under water, is far more durable than humans, can survive high pressures, swim as fast as most human built ships and has no body fat whatsoever.
His hybrid physiology grants him a human skin color, makes him several times physically stronger than the average Atlantean and gives him the ability breathe air.
His mutant abilities make him ridiculously overpowered. He can fly, he has an accelerated healing factor, like Wolverine, that is triggered whenever he is submerged in water, he can telepathically communicate with other Atlanteans and sea creatures, and he can take on the characteristics of any aquatic creature, such as blasting electricity as if he was an electric eel or camouflage as if he was a leafy sea dragon. The latter ability not being limited to traditional aquatic life either. In one instance, Namor demonstrated abilities similar to the Human Torch, because an Atlantean mutant developed the ability to do so. Meaning he can potentially mimic any mutation any Atlantean develops.
Namor truly is a character trapped in two worlds. Despite his fantastic powers, his hybrid physiology has a built in weakness. If he stays under water for too long, he becomes under oxygenated and has to leave the ocean depths before he suffocates, but if he breathes air for too long, he becomes over oxygenated, dehydrated and his Atlantean abilities become weaker the longer he is away from the ocean. The quirk in his physiology forces him to divide his life between the sea and the land despite his position as his people's reigning monarch.
Namor, on his own, is more than interesting enough to hold his own movie, especially if they get an actor like Ian Somerhalder to play the deeply conflicted and wrathful prince. He also is one of only three or four mutant characters that Marvel still has the rights too and can portray in the MCU.
He eventually becomes an Avenger, which fits right into the MCU, and probably the only non-Inhuman that is a friend and ally to the Inhumans, which is a big deal because he is a monarch.
Creating a Namor movie also opens the doors for several other possible MCU movies, such as an Illuminati movie and introduces yet another species of "powered people" that the MCU can play with on Agents of S.H.I.E.LD.
Truth is Marvel Studios has wanted to make a Namor movie for sometime. The only thing standing in their way is Sony. Namor may be a mutant, but due to his character preceding the X-Men franchise by a decade, his character rights did not fall into the mutant umbrella 20th Century Fox currently owns. However, Namor was one of five characters Sony owned for almost 20 years before Marvel bought the production rights back, unfortunately, Sony still has the distribution rights. Marvel and Sony have four years to work this issue out and seeing as Sony is allowing Marvel Studios to incorporate Spider Man into the MCU, Namor coming to the MCU seems more of a possibility than ever.
2: The Illuminati
If they did make a Namor movie, it would be the final piece of the puzzle to create an Illuminati movie.
The illuminati is a secret organization composed of Professor Xavier, Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man, Black Panther, Namor, Black Bolt and Dr. Strange. The group comes together to make what they consider to be decisions so important that it has to be kept secret from their individual teams and nations. They believe that if they don't take drastic actions, the world will destroy itself.
In the comics, they operate as puppet masters, super heroes who orchestrate events as if they where the clandestine agencies of the free world. For years they operate in this manner, until their teammates discover what they had done and hold them responsible for the consequences of some of their more brutal decisions.
We may never get an Illuminati movie will Professor X and Mr. Fantastic, due to 20th Century Foxing owning their production rights, but those characters can easily be replaced with Nick Fury and another super genius, such as Hank Pym, the original Ant man.
An Illuminati movie also helps set up the story line id like to see in Phase 4, because the decision that ultimately comes back to bite the Illuminati is sending the Hulk away to a planet with no sentient life where the Hulk can live out his days in peace and protect Earth's population in the process.
3: Planet Hulk
Turns out that the Illuminati's plan goes FUBAR and the Hulk accidentally gets sent to a savage world full of super powered aliens where he is forced to fight in an Arena as if he was a Roman Gladiator.
Planet Hulk would be an excellent storyline for the MCU to explore because it would allow Mark Ruffalo to star in his own MCU flick, which he has expressed an interest in, and would allow the fans to get to know the Hulk, not Bruce Banner, as a hero in his own right.
Planet Hulk is the story of the Jolly Green monster as he fights his way through the Arena and eventually discovers he is part of an ancient prophecy foretelling the death of the Red King, an evil monarch who rules the planet, by the hands of a green monster, the Hulk.
After a lengthy story full of all the kinds of fun Marvel is great at delivering, the Hulk becomes the ruler of a planet full of super powered warriors and he marries a grey skinned priestess who is not only becomes the love of the green monster's life, but also gives him a son.
Seeing as we know that the Hulk and Black Widow are supposed to start a romance in Avengers 2. This would be an excellent opportunity to finally make the joint Hawk Eye and Black Widow movie the fans have been clamoring for.
A new installment with constant flashback scenes to the dreaded "Budapest" incident would be a fantastic addition to the MCU. We could see how the Widow handles the disappearance of Bruce Banner while also exploring her romantic origin story with Hawk Eye.
The movie would also give the fans insight as to Hawk Eyes origins, who remains the most mysterious member of all of the Avengers.
5: The Avengers: World War Hulk
World War Hulk is the Avengers movie that every single Marvel fan wants to see. In the Comics, the Hulk's wife and unborn child is killed and in his rage, the Hulk decides that he would have never experienced this loss if the Illuminati had not sent him away.
Now, fueled by more rage than he had ever experienced before, the Hulk returns to Earth with an Army at his side hellbent on destroying Earth's mightiest heroes.
This story is the grudge match that Avengers fans have been waiting for. The Hulk Vs. the combined power of the Avengers, Illuminati and the Inhumans, in an non-stop brawl that ends with the deaths of thousands of people, the shameful outing and dismantling of the over-reaching Illuminati, the end of the Avengers as a team and eventually leads to the Hulk being semi permanently put down.
Why they haven't made this movie already is beyond me.
6: Iron Man 4: Redemption
So we know that Robert Downy Jr. Has been in talks with Marvel Studios about extending his contract and producing a fourth Iron Man Movie. If Marvel went with the story line I've created thus far, this would be the perfect opportunity to make the final installment of the Iron Man series.
Well lets look at Stark's record thus far. He creates Ultron, bad move. He starts a civil war with Captain America. He leads the Illuminati, who are indirectly responsible for the Hulk murdering a significant chunk of Earth's population.
At this point Tony Stark should be in a state of depression so dark, that he is disgusted with himself, which is the perfect opportunity for him to redeem himself. Lets see the Iron Man suit up for the last time and leave the MCU on a bright note after taking down another big bad.
7: Spider Woman
Jessica Drew would be an excellent addition to the MCU for two reasons.
First, she eventually becomes a high ranking member of S.H.I.E.L.D., second only to Nick Fury himself, and she is an Avenger.
Second, Hawk Eye an finally have a love interest seeing as Drew becomes his girlfriend in the comics after his marriage to Mockingbird fails.
Now that we are finally going to see the Spider Man in the MCU its about time that hollywood paid attention to some of the other spider powered heroes and heroins who have been gracing the covers of Marvel comics for decades. Plus, she would be the fifth female superheroine introduced to the MCU, which in my opinion should be occurring far more frequently.
Spider woman has all of the same abilities as Spiderman, she is also immune to all toxins, can project venom blasts from her hands and she can glide.
8: Inhumans 2: Terragenesis
Given Black Bolt's involvement in the Illuminati and S.H.I.E.L.D.S. penchant for wanting to keep people with powers under control, the world probably isn't too happy with the Inhumans at this point.
This would be the perfect opportunity for Marvel studios to reveal the next challenge for all of the MCU's super heroes. A movie where Black Bolt unleashes a terragenesis bomb on the Earth's surface. Transforming every single human with the genetic potential into an Inhuman.
A world where thousands of men and women develop devastating powers overnight to bolster Attilan's defenses and leave the MCU in complete disarray. This would also probably lead to the most interesting season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ever.
9: Avengers: Secret Invasion
Okay so i had an ulterior motive to introducing Spider Woman. Between the Illuminati, the World War Hulk Incident and the terrigenesis bomb, the MCU should be practically falling apart at this point, which is the perfect opportunity to introduce the secret invasion story arc.
While the Kree were busy creating the Inhumans and placing their agents all over the world, which we will hopefully see in the Captain Marvel movie, The Skrulls, the shape shifting alien race who has been at war with the Kree for Millions of years, have been replacing key political and powered figures with Skrull agents for years.
In the Comics, the Skrulls replace, Black Bolt, Spider Woman, and several other heroes using a new technology which allows the Skrulls to not only take their appearance, but their powers and memories as well.
Turns out sending the Hulk away, sending him to the wrong planet and even the terragenesis bomb were all part of the Skrull invasion plan to weaken Earth's defenses and bring them one step closer to winning the war against the Kree.
It would make for the perfect ending to Phase 4 were all of the previous relationships and terrible decisions made by the MCU heroes would be explained and forgiven by the fact that none of them were actually responsible for what happened. It was all just the manipulations of the Skrulls.
Other than being one of the best storylines Marvel has ever come up with, it would also breathe new life into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by launching a season of rounding up whatever is left of the Skrull imposters on Earth and with Black Bolt back, and madder than ever, it would set the stage for The Inhuman's eventual conquering of the Kree empire out of the need to end the Kree Skrull War for good.
10: Skaar: The First Dark Avenger
I know this might be Hulk overkill, but my final choice to round out Marvel Phase 4 would be a movie about the son of the Hulk.
In the comics, despite his mother burning to death, Skaar inherited the Hulks regenerative abilities as well as his mother's Old Power, earth magic, which allowed him to survive his mother's death.
As a result, Skaar ends up raising himself in the harsh, unyielding forests of his mother's home world. He becomes a savage beast of a man and ruler in his own right who harbors an intense hatred for his father. This eventually leads him to Earth to confront his father and he becomes the first of a team of Dark Avengers hell bent on killing and usurping the Avengers.
The perfect cliffhanger event to end Phase 4.
Let me know what you guys think of what I imagine Phase 4 to be like in the comments.