Forget just another chapter, 2023 ripped open the MCU’s Multiverse, shattering timelines and reshaping its future. Phase 5, a seismic shift itself, planted the seeds for epic narratives while bidding farewell to iconic heroes and welcoming fresh faces. Here are 10 of the most defining stories that will echo through the Multiverse Saga:
1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Legacy and Rebirth: While Star-Lord and Gamora embarked on personal journeys, Rocket Raccoon, the unlikely hero with a tragic backstory, took the reins of a thrilling new Guardians team. This emotional farewell intertwined with Groot’s heartfelt sacrifice and Drax’s unexpected fatherhood, marking the bittersweet end of an era and the dawn of a new Guardians legend.
2. Secret Invasion: Skrulls Among Us
The shocking revelation of Rhodey’s Skrull replacement sent shockwaves through the MCU, casting doubt on past events and throwing Armor Wars into a maelstrom of paranoia and betrayal. Meanwhile, Nick Fury’s return from galactic exile signaled a potential new Avengers assemble, with the Skrull threat offering a sinister backdrop for this future reunion.
3. Loki Season 2: Redemption Redefined
Loki’s heroic transformation culminated in a mind-bending finale, where he became a living temporal tapestry, holding timelines together. This cemented his redemption arc, potentially making him a powerful weapon against future antagonists, and left his future in the MCU tantalizingly open.
4. Ms. Marvel: The Young Avengers Assemble
Kamala Khan, the MCU’s teenage champion, didn’t just save the day; she planted the seeds for a future generation of heroes. Her quest to recruit young heroes like Kate Bishop hinted at the formation of a Young Avengers team, promising a fresh dynamic and exciting clash in the Multiversal arena.
5. The Marvels: X-Men’s Beast Crosses the Divide
The post-credits scene of The Marvels wasn’t just a cameo; it was a universe-shattering earthquake. Hank McCoy, the X-Men’s brilliant Beast, arrived in the MCU, courtesy of Kelsey Grammer’s iconic portrayal. This opens up a treasure trove of mutant storylines, potential crossovers with established heroes, and a future overflowing with possibilities.
6. Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse
Misplaced Miles: Miles Morales’ multiverse-hopping adventure took a surprising turn in the animated epic, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. In a cliffhanger ending, he mistakenly lands in a dystopian Earth-42, overrun by crime and facing his own doppelganger turned villain, the Prowler. This sets the stage for a mind-bending sequel and further exploration of the interconnected Spider-Verse.
7. Ant-Man And The Wasp Quantumania
Kang’s Abbreviated Arc?: While Jonathan Majors’ departure throws a wrench in the planned Kang Dynasty storyline, the defeat of two Kang variants in Loki and Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania remains significant. Could this be a temporary setback for Kang, a permanent closure, or an opportunity for a new interpretation of the Multiverse’s ultimate villain?
8. Moon Knight: Embrace the Chaos
Disney+’s Moon Knight wasn’t just a superhero show; it was a psychological odyssey into the fractured mind of Marc Spector. Oscar Isaac’s masterful performance brought depth and complexity to the Moon Knight persona, while the introduction of Egyptian gods and Khonshu’s cryptic machinations left the door open for further mind-bending adventures in the MCU’s supernatural corner.
9. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Wanda’s Sacrifice: While not solely in 2023, Wanda’s descent into Scarlet Witch and her climactic sacrifice in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness resonated throughout the year. It left a mark on the fabric of the Multiverse, with Wanda’s fate uncertain but her impact on the landscape of magic deeply felt.
10. Blade: The Daywalker Returns
Mahershala Ali’s chilling yet charismatic portrayal of Blade in the post-credits scene of Eternals sent a ripple of excitement through the MCU. While details remain shrouded in mystery, Blade’s arrival promises a gritty and action-packed exploration of the supernatural underworld, adding a new layer of darkness and thrilling possibilities to the ever-expanding MCU.
2023 wasn’t just about individual stories; it was a season finale for some chapters and a thrilling season premiere for others. Familiar faces bowed out, leaving legacies behind, while fresh heroes stepped into the spotlight. With Jonathan Majors’ exit introducing intrigue, 2023 could be remembered not just for