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    • Holy $h!t. Marvel just held a huge event at San Diego Comic Con and I am still pumping with excitement! So many awesome things to look forward to, not just in the cinema, but to stream as well as the MCU will now branch into the episodic series format on Disney+. There were so many cool announcements that were made, and here's the bulk of it all.

      A growing cast of amazing actors

      The MCU has been home to some stellar cast members over the past 10 years, and that cast just got even more amazing. Just to name a few, we now have Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, and Salma Hayek in The Eternals, Simu Liu and Awkwafina in Shang-Chi And the Legend of the Ten Rings, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz will join the Black Widow movie, and Mahershala Ali will be bringing Blade back to the big screen. This is just crazy.

      Disney+ shows

      Many characters from the Infinity Saga won't be returning to the big screen, but some of them will be starring in their own Disney+ shows once the streaming platform is launched. Falcon and Winter Soldier will be living in a world without Steve Rogers as Captain America. Wanda has her own series as well called WandaVision, which will be very interesting as Vision had already died in Infinity War and this series takes place after Endgame. Everyone's favourite Marvel villain, Loki, will also get his own show where we follow his exploits after escaping in Endgame when the Avengers time travelled back to NYC. And finally, Hawkeye will return as well and he'll be training Kate Bishop to take his place.

      Something new and exciting will also be coming to the MCU courtesy of Disney+, the first ever animated production called What if...?. This animated series will explore a lot of what if's in the MCU. For example, the first episode will reportedly explore what would have happened if Peggy Carter was the one who got injected with the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. The characters in this series will be voiced by their real-life counterparts, so it will definitely be exciting to watch.

      Needless to say, Marvel just helped ensure that Disney+ will have a lot of new subscribers once the streaming service is launched later this year.

      Returning heroes

      On the big screen, we're set to see three major sequels in the next two years, with several more announced without a definitive release date. First off, the Black Widow movie is finally happening, and it will kick off phase four in less than a year! Technically this isn't a sequel, but we've seen Natasha Romanoff in so many movies already that it does feel like she's "returning" to the MCU. Of course, if you watched Endgame you'll know that she dies to save Hawkeye, so this film will take place between Civil War and Infinity War, which was a surprise to me as I was expecting it to be an origin story. Regardless, it's about time the character got her own film, and I'm excited for it!

      A year after that film, we'll be treated to the Doctor Strange sequel, entitled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Yes, we will be exploring the multiverse in phase four after being teased about it in Spider-Man: Far From Home. That's not the only thing to be excited about though. This film will also star Elizabeth Olsen, who will reprise her role as Wanda! So we will have the Sorcerer Supreme and the Scarlet Witch in the same movie! And the director was excited to announce that this will be the first "scary" movie in the MCU, which could imply a slight horror element to the film. If so, that would be really cool. Magic, mysticism, and horror, oh my!

      Lastly, in an unprecedented move thus far, Thor will be getting a fourth solo film, the only hero in the MCU to hold such an honour. Thor: Love and Thunder is set to be an exciting film following the success of Thor: Ragnarok, but if that's not exciting enough, Natalie Portman will be returning as Jane Foster and she will inherit Mjolnir and take on the role of Lady Thor! So excited!

      But that's not all. Though those were the only films to be featured on stage, Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige also announced that sequels for Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Guardians of the Galaxy were also in the works. Not to forget, I'm sure the next Spider-Man sequel is somewhere in their plans as well. But wait! There's more!

      Fantastic 4 and mutants!

      That's right! Though we know literally nothing about the Fantastic 4 or the X-Men and how they'll be incorporated into the MCU, Kevin Feige said at the end of the panel that they just didn't have the time to talk about the two newly acquired Fox properties. But the fact that he mentioned them at all should be extremely promising and exciting, as we now have more or less solid confirmation that we will see the Fantastic 4 and the X-Men in the MCU, hopefully not too far in the future.

      That was a huge panel and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's excited about the next phase of the MCU. Though it's sad that many of the heroes we grew up with over the past decade will no longer be along for the journey, it's great that the MCU will now be able to focus on lesser known heroes and stories, which will be very exciting and fun to see. With Endgame just being announced to have surpassed Avatar to become the highest grossing movie of all time, we have so much to look forward to in the next phase of the MCU, and the larger saga which as of yet hasn't been announced. I'm excited!

    • Holy moly they know how to put on a show. Not a moment wasted, whipped the crowd into a frenzy, stars, reveals...

    • There were a lot of very cool moments throughout the panel, moments which I didn't highlight in my recap. So for those of you who couldn't watch the entire panel, here are a few moments that stood out for me.

      Taika Waititi passing on Mjolnir to Natalie Portman

      Nevermind the fact that Lady Thor was announced for Thor: Love and Thunder, the film's director, Taika Waititi actually brought along Mjolnir and in a symbolic gesture, knelt before Natalie Portman and presented her with the mystical weapon. I feel like it would've made more sense for Chris Hemsworth to pass the hammer on to her instead, like a proper passing of the torch, but hey, it was still a pretty cool moment.

      Jeremy Renner's entrance

      While everyone else was waiting backstage before being invited on stage for their respective sessions, Hawkeye himself wanted to do things a little differently. He waited at the back of the hall and when invited on stage, he walked through the crowd, earning him the award for best entrance at SDCC.

      Simu Liu addressing the hall in his mother tongue

      If there's one thing that Marvel is looking to accomplish with phase four, it's to promote diversity and inclusivity among its cast to build upon what they achieved with Black Panther. They've certainly done so with the casting of Shang-Chi And the Legend of the Ten Rings, and lead actor Simu Liu took the opportunity to address the audience in Mandarin, a very powerful gesture and one that I think will be remembered for a long time.

      "Loki! Loki! Loki!"

      If you didn't know by now, Tom Hiddleston's character in the MCU, Loki, is possibly one of the most beloved characters ever, despite being a "villain". I don't know if it's his good guy-bad guy duality, his portrayal by Tom Hiddleston, or just his character in general, but people absolutely love him. So much so that he was the only character to have his name chanted in the entire Marvel panel.

      Happy Birthday Benedict Cumberbatch!

      Nothing can be cooler for an MCU actor than to have your fans singing happy birthday to you in Hall H at SDCC during the unveiling of your new movie. That's exactly what happened, and Benedict Cumberbatch lapped up all the love and adoration of the audience.

    • I was at SDCC this year but my badge was only good for Thursday. So I didn’t get to see the MCU panel but I did get a pic of the people in line for the panel the night before.