How Marvel Phase 5 Just Saved the MCU

Now, of course, 6,000 screaming fans getting their first look at their favorite franchise’s next three years of movies and streaming series doesn’t necessarily translate into the kinds of billion-dollar behemoths that we saw during the first 10 years of Marvel’s reign. But the studio nevertheless did nearly everything it could today to restore the confidence of its fans – with more yet to come.

Marvel vs. DC

DC in the past has certainly brought a spectacular presentation to Hall H – traditionally getting the fans riled up on Saturday morning – complete with 180-degree screens, massive slate announcements and the like. But this was not the day for that.

Aside from The Rock’s knockout entrance, the DC panel was a modest affair, consisting of a new Black Adam trailer and the unveiling of the first trailer for Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Here’s some news: both were really good! This writer even enjoyed the new Black Adam trailer a lot more than the first.

But that was it. Nothing about any other films. Not even Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom or The Flash, both of which are imminent (at least for now) in early 2023. Not a peep about Wonder Woman 3, Batgirl or The Batman 2. And certainly not a goddamn appearance from Henry Cavill to announce his return as Superman, a bullshit rumor that was given traction by a professional industry site (cough, Deadline, cough) that should have known better and led to a social media feeding frenzy.

Here’s the thing, though: I’m gonna cut DC some slack. Not only are the first 2023 releases in its pipeline plagued – through no fault of the studio – with problematic stars (Ezra Miller for The Flash, Amber Heard for Aquaman 2), but the entire Warner Bros. conglomerate has just come under new ownership which is still in the process of going over everything the company is doing.

Disney has taken its knocks over the past few years, some COVID-related and some not, but there is a level of stability there and certainly consistency in terms of the running of Marvel. So they are in a good position to flood the zone with tons of content. Warner/DC is going through what one might call a “rebuilding” phase right now, and even though DC has been there before, this one is more significant than usual. So let’s leave them be for now. There will be plenty of time to pick them apart later.

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