With Marvel Studios currently struggling to make the same impact with its Multiverse Saga as it did with the Infinity Saga, many are wondering what Marvel will do next. Their most recent film and TV projects have received mostly mixed reviews, and superhero fatigue is evidently becoming an issue.

2023’s summer blockbuster The Marvels featured Monica Rambeau, Carol Danvers, and newcomer Kamala Khan as they struggle to control their powers when they become intertwined with one another. The film did not perform favorably at the box office despite generally positive reviews from critics. In this article, I’ll be diving into what’s next for the female heroes of the MCU, and why The Marvels was a good step forward for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Marvels

Compared to Ant-Man: Quantumania and Guardians of The Galaxy 3, I think The Marvels felt the closest in tone to the first decade of films the studio released. Plot-wise, The Marvels doesn’t promise a lot for future projects as it’s quite contained in its own world, but the post-credit scenes and the whereabouts of certain characters prove that the MCU is full of potential.

Kamala, Monica, and Carol have a great dynamic together and they also hold their own really well. While nothing has really been announced regarding Captain Marvel’s future, Monica and Kamala are only just beginning theirs.

Kate Bishop

Kate Bishop first graced our screens in 2021’s mini-series Hawkeye. Her character is a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to Hailee Steinfelds‘ charismatic portrayal, and I really hope that we’ll see more of her not only in Disney+ projects but also in future films.

Hawkeye (2021) – source: Disney+

Those who have seen The Marvels will have seen the post-credits scene between Kamala Khan and Kate Bishop, where Kamala recruits her to become part of a new team. It mirrors a lot of those early post-credits scenes from the first few movies where Nick Fury is out recruiting the Avengers.

Hopefully, after a slew of post-credits tags that haven’t truly led anywhere, Kate and Kamala’s partnership is a sign of a new era. Fans have been eagerly speculating over the possibility of a young Avengers series, and The Marvels gave the impression that we’re one step closer to it even if it’s further down the line.

Yelena Belova

Florence Pugh‘s Yelena Belova has given fans one of the most compelling characters of the MCU. First introduced in Black Widow, she also plays a key part in the last few episodes of Hawkeye. Yelena has become a fan-favorite since her introduction and hopefully, this means she’ll become a key character in the next few phases.

Black Widow (2021) – source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Yelena certainly isn’t a hero. Her morally grey disposition is what makes her so interesting, considering that her sister was Natasha Romanoff. She often goes back and forth between wanting to help the people she loves and struggling with unlearning everything she had trained for as a Black Widow assassin.

Although you might think after the events of Black Widow she’d be putting her assassin past behind her, Hawkeye shows us the very opposite after she’s hired to kill Clint Barton thinking he killed Natasha. We may be seeing more of that villain side of her as Pugh is slated to appear as Belova again in Thunderbolts. Not much is known about the project besides the fact it bands a group of villains together, but I’m excited to see how Yelena evolves as a character and in her role within the MCU.

Kamala Khan

Marvel’s foray into the world of streaming with Disney+ has paved the way for a variety of new origin stories. One of the first to be introduced to the TV world of Marvel was Ms Marvel. Iman Velani‘s portrayal of the fangirlish teenager Kamala Khan is refreshing and gives off a similar performance to Tom Holland‘s Spider-Man in the sense that they’re working with the very people they’ve been idolizing for so long. Ms Marvel really is the heart, soul, and most of the comic relief of The Marvels.

The Marvels (2023) – source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Her constant enthusiasm for everything superhero-related is exactly what fans of the MCU need, and in my opinion, she has been one of the best additions to the MCU in a long time. The plots of Ms Marvel and The Marvels are kept separate to avoid confusion for those who might not have seen her origin series, but her charisma just goes to show she has a long road ahead and it’s only just beginning. My hope is that she’ll lead a new era of young heroes into the next set of Avengers films.

What’s Next?

It’s hard to tell where Marvel plans to take its heroes next. For the first time, Marvel’s future seems relatively uncertain. After dropping Jonathan Majors from all of their future projects, Marvel may be looking at other avenues to take their stories.

According to Marvel’s own timeline, we are well into Phase 5 (The Multiverse Saga) of the MCU. Films and TV shows slated for the next two years and the last projects of Phase 5 include Deadpool 3, Captain America: Brave New World, and Thunderbolts, which is set for a July 2025 release.

While Marvel seems to be going through a rough patch at the moment I think the future is bright, especially for female heroes who deserve to have their time in the spotlight. While Kate, Yelena, and Kamala may end up being key focal points to the future of the MCU, Monica Rambeau certainly has some mysteries of her own to tend to. Additionally, Agatha Harkness of WandaVision is receiving her own spin-off show which I hope will expand on the MCU in some weird and wonderful ways. As a longtime fan of the MCU, I really hope that they can create more magical moments in their upcoming films.

What are you most looking forward to seeing next from the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Let us know in the comments! 

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