The Marvel Cinematic Universe had a big year for movies, even with only a few releases. But what were some of the franchise’s biggest moments in 2022?
Each phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has shown fans that the franchise has yet to reach a ceiling. What started with an ambitious vision to introduce The Avengers has since grown to make ambitious choices like creating a multiversal war. But with over a decade of time put into the series, audiences can finally see the fruits of its labor, with Phase Four offering a full exploration of the universe. However, with three very different yet expansive films released in 2022, there were countless opportunities to create memorable moments. But only a few stood out among the rest.
Doctor Strange 2’s Illuminati Made a Splash With Fans
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness offered several opportunities to explore different worlds. However, the film’s horror backdrop promised that many of these realities would be more dangerous and scary than others. But perhaps the most dangerous came with Earth-838 and its authoritarian government seemingly spearheaded by an unlikely group, the Illuminati. Consisting of Reed Richards, Professor X, Black Bolt, Mordo, Captain Carter and Captain Marvel, this team was a collective of powerful minds that sought to solve the world’s problems before they happened. However, doing so compromised their morals and made them dangerous in their own right. In the end, Wanda Maximoff killed each of them violently. But even their abrupt deaths weren’t enough to deter the surprise of the team and the appearances of Patrick Stewart and John Krasinski.
Namor’s Attack on Wakanda Showed How Dangerous He Is
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was the MCU’s most small-scale film entry in 2022. But even though it didn’t have a cosmic impact, it introduced a mutant homegrown on Earth-616. Namor was the ruler of Talokan and a deadly warrior that decimated his enemies swiftly. That was best shown after Wakanda inadvertently kickstarted a conflict with the nation, which made Birnin Zana ground zero for a devastating attack. With Namor leading the charge, audiences saw his speed, power and ruthlessness as he destroyed countless ships, punched out M’Baku and killed Queen Ramonda before sunset. The scene was also the first time they saw Namor act out his aggression, proving he might be stronger than he let on.
The Mighty Thor Had a Heroic Debut in Love and Thunder
Thor: Love and Thunder, as a film, was met with mixed opinions regarding execution. That said, there’s no denying it had some exciting and fun moments that felt like the comic brought to life. A great example of this was the debut of Jane Foster as the Mighty Thor. While her setup as a scientist dying of cancer served as comic-accurate, her debut as Thor stood out due to her natural desire to be a hero and her creativity in using Mjolnir. As Jane protected New Asgard, audiences learned that she had learned a lot about being a Thor from watching the God of Thunder in action, but she also brought her own distinct style.
Shuri’s Debut as Black Panther Was the Perfect Payoff
The loss of Chadwick Boseman rippled throughout the MCU, having to be addressed in a way that also resulted in the death of T’Challa. But Wakanda Forever added the extra narrative of Shuri failing to help him with her science. As a result, she had animosity toward herself and her spirituality that ate away at her. But even though she wasn’t ready to face the future for most of the film, her mother’s death pushed her toward revenge and the desire to recreate the heart-shaped herb and become the next Black Panther. This debut was easily the biggest surprise in the film, and her synth-based theme made her distinct from her brother while giving her an edge. In the end, Shuri’s first outing as the next Black Panther showed growth on her part and a new age for the character.
Zombie Doctor Strange Took the Character to His Roots
Multiverse of Madness‘ horror direction greatly impacted how the film’s magic was used. But it wasn’t until Sam Raimi’s influence was added did things take a turn for the unorthodox in the best way possible. When Strange got trapped in another universe, he had to use dark magic to embody the corpse of his variant to save America Chavez from the Scarlet Witch. As a result, he brought forth a zombie Doctor Strange that harnessed the spirits of Hell to create a cloak of levitation and flew to Mount Wundagore. The scene was great from a horror perspective but also captured the character’s peculiar roots and established how many terrifying things he must encounter. But most importantly, it was the perfect setup for an exciting conclusion.