It would be fair to say that when the screen faded to black on completion of Avengers: Endgame and the events of that movie had played out (be warned, spoilers will follow), there would have been a sense that the MCU (Marvel Comic Universe) was bringing an end to an era.
No doubt executives, as well as the legions of fans of the series, will have been a tad concerned about the future and what it would hold for the beloved characters (those who had not seen their character arcs brought to an end) in the next phase of the hugely successful enterprise.
While obviously comic books movies existed long before the Marvel Comic Universe honed into view, it would be fair to say that the series of films made under the guidance of producer and president of the MCU Kevin Feige has reinvented and reinvigorated the genre on a grand scale.
A comic book movie is no longer just a thriller that’s laced with CGI, samples from a sound effects library, and interspersed with footage of destruction and mayhem. In order for the MCU to work, there has to be buy-in from an audience that is notoriously picky and does not accept anything less than a total commitment to the cause.
Feige, among others, helped to create a film series that effectively intertwines a number of characters and stories, which in turn builds a bridge between various production vehicles in a way that is not forced or created simply to expand its reach and financial standing.
From the release of Iron Man, way back in May 2008, to the most recent of its series, Spider-Man: No Way Home, the MCU has fashioned a remarkable array of work, and notably of its 27 films, you could only really consider two or three to have been failures of any sense, which is an incredible percentage when you consider just how fickle Hollywood can be.
The movies made as part of the series have not only wowed and entertained fans of the genre and the comic book mythology that the source material is cut from but also proven a massive hit with elements of an audience that had previously had little interest in ‘Superhero’ films.
The MCU shows no signs of slowing down, and at least ten movies are either on the books or already in production, and with that in mind, we thought it timely to consider the best of the bunch thus far.
Top Six Marvel Comic Universe Movies
At the time of its release, Guardians of the Galaxy was something of a breath of fresh air as the MCU had been dependent on its tried and tested franchise items, and the casting of Chris Pratt in the lead role was inspired to say the least. An edgier take on the comic book adaptation theme up to that point and a real rollercoaster of a movie with an awesome soundtrack to boot.
It’s widely accepted that Robert Downey Jr. being brought in to play the part of Tony Stark was a game-changer, and that’s why Iron Man’s first outing is always, rightly, considered one of the best movies of the Marvel universe. Directed by Jon Favreau, who has played a vital part in the universe as a whole, Iron Man was a massive success on its release in 2008 and led the way in phase one of the Infinity Saga.
If we are being honest, the Thor series of movies, up to the release of Ragnarok, was a little lacking in depth and meaning. However, Taika Waititi’s Ragnarok changed all of that, bringing a whole new dimension to the MCU with a hugely stylized and very effective take on the comic book genre. Jeff Goldblum steals every scene he appears in, and Cate Blanchett is nothing short of bad-ass as lead villain Hela.
Clearly, the Avengers series of films needed to go out with a bang, and millions eagerly awaited the release of Endgame, and they were not disappointed. The three-hour epic delivered on all counts. Being equal parts effective from an action perspective and surprisingly on point with regards to the emotional range of its leads. Not a dry eye is left in the house as many of the main characters complete their story arcs.
This top five list had to be expanded to six given the release of the most recent Marvel adventure; such is the quality of the 27th film of the MCU series. Tom Holland gets to do battle, can we say it, alongside former Spider-man actors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in this tremendous movie that has been a stupendous box office success.
The Winter Soldier is a cut above all the other movies in the MCU canon as it has such a lot of depth behind its apparent storyline. There’s a lot more going on beneath the layer and between the lines. It gets to grips with more profound subject matter that you might typically associate with comic book movies, from the perils of patriotism to the meaning of grief. It just works so well and feels different from what went before and has gone since.
Well, in 2022 alone, there are three MCU releases slated, and we’d predict that the third of these will be the highest-grossing of the series to date. Firstly in May, we get to see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which will neatly lead off from where Spider-Man: No Way Home left us.
Then we get the eagerly awaited follow-up to Ragnarok as Taiki Waititi directs Thor: Love and Thunder, which will see the Guardians of the Galaxy battle alongside Thor. Finally, in November, we get Black Panther: Wakanda Forever which is sure to be an emotionally charged event given the sad passing of Chadwick Boseman and a film that is going to be nothing short of an epic success.