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MCU Phase IV Recap: All The Shows in the Fourth Marvel Arc

The fourth phase of the MCU is over! If you missed any of the TV shows in this sprawling project, we've got you covered with this recap.
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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is structured into “Phases,” and those are then grouped into “Sagas” of their own. The third phase ended the Infinity Saga, which was primarily concerned with the efforts of Thanos, the Mad Titan, on his quest to wipe out half of all life in the galaxy.

Once Thanos had been defeated and several of our favorite Avengers left the MCU, the fourth phase of the multimedia project was saddled with some heft expectations. Rather than emulate the third phase’s sweeping narrative, however, Phase IV spent a lot of time introducing a slew of new characters and setting up future plot points. Here’s a quick rundown of the events that transpired in all the Phase IV TV shows. 

WandaVision

Wandavision-finale
Marvel Studios | Disney Platform Distribution

The first Phase IV property was also the first Marvel Studios-helmed TV series. WandaVision follows the immediate aftermath of Avengers: Endgame and explores how Wanda handles the death of her husband, the synthetic life form named Vision.

The show offers Marvel’s unique spin on a horror-tinged walk down memory lane, recontextualizing sitcoms throughout the decades as the veneer over a dangerous hex cast by Wanda. The show also introduces Monica Rambeau, the super-powered hero who has been called Captain Marvel, Photon, and Quasar in the comics.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Sam Wilson AKA Falcon AKA Captain America
Marvel | Disney+

The next Marvel show, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, gives fans some closure on the narrative arcs of both Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. After Steve Rogers’ retirement in Endgame, he passes the mantle of Captain America to a reluctant Sam Wilson. 

The series also introduced an important pair of plot points: Sharon Carter, Peggy Carter’s great niece, is now the Power Broker, a shadowy figure in the MCU’s underground. Another important character, John Walker, also became the “official” successor to Steve Rogers, though his public humiliation led him to become a more underground figure called US Agent. 

Loki

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in new series
Marvel Studios, Disney+ via YouTube

Loki has had perhaps the most important role in Phase IV’s shows so far, as it introduced the concepts of the Time Variance Authority and the multidimensional antagonist Kang the Conqueror. Kang is a super scientist from the far future who can jump between timelines and apparently wages war with his alternate-reality selves.

The strongest Kang variant set himself up as “He Who Remains,” the arbiter of the TVA sitting at the end of time. Loki and his ally Sylvie killed He Who Remains, though, causing the “sacred timeline” to splinter and crack apart. This will surely have major implications for the future of the MCU.

What If…?

What If...?
Marvel Studios via YouTube

The delightful animated What If…? series is exactly what its name implies. It’s a somewhat-episodic look at the multiverse of the MCU, asking some interesting questions about what would have happened if certain events had played out slightly differently. 

The show is framed by the appearances of Uatu, the Watcher, a mystical being from outside of time who, as his name suggests, watches over the multiverse. The show introduces a handful of interesting multiversal threats, like a version of Doctor Strange who collapses his reality by trying to save the love of his life, Christine Palmer. Another major villain in the series, Infinity Ultron, could appear in later properties as a multi-Phase threat.

Hawkeye

Hawkeye
Marvel | Disney

Hawkeye is a genuinely thrilling Christmas-themed short series about Clint Barton’s brief adventure with newcomer Kate Bishop. Kate, herself an ace archer, is the clear successor to Hawkeye’s mantle, and will likely become a Young Avenger in her own right (whenever the MCU sees fit to roll out that team).

The series pits the archers against Wilson Fisk, the deadly Kingpin of Crime, in a short but satisfying six-episode series. It also introduces Echo, a superhero who can mimic the fighting style of any combatant she observes. 

Moon Knight

Moon Knight
Disney+ | Marvel Studios

Moon Knight is another limited series that charts the origins of a troubled superhero named Steven Grant, a gift shop worker and a huge Egyptian mythology nerd. Wait, that’s not right, sorry–his name is Marc Spector, and he’s a mercenary who offered to fight for a moon deity in exchange for saving his life and granting him superpowers. Oh, hold on, his name is really Jake Lockley, and he’s a limo driver who uses his connections to the criminal underworld to select his targets.

What’s going on here? Moon Knight is a mind-bending show about a troubled protagonist who finds it hard to separate his dreams from reality. He might have started life as Marc Spector, but his dissociative identity disorder causes him to spend long stretches of time as an alter, like Steven or Jake, which makes things complicated when he’s fighting for his life against the forces of evil as the avatar of Khonshu, the God of the Moon.

Ms. Marvel

Ms Marvel Finale
Marvel Studios | Disney+

Another origin series, Ms. Marvel is the MCU introduction of Kamala Khan, the young superhero Ms. Marvel. She’s a huge fan of Carol Danvers, the inimitable Captain Marvel, so she takes her name from her hero. After happening upon a mysterious bangle passed down from her great-grandmother, Kamala begins manifesting bizarre supernatural powers. 

The series introduces the concept of the Noor Dimension, a parallel universe that serves as the homeworld of Djinn, the troublesome spirits from Middle Eastern mythology. The show will tie directly into The Marvels, as Carol and Kamala seem to be somehow connected through the bangle that gives Ms. Marvel her powers.

She-Hulk

She Hulk
Disney+ | Marvel

Finally, the last Phase IV show, She-Hulk, has the most overt links to the Avengers team since The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Jennifer Walters, the cousin of Bruce Banner, becomes infected with Bruce’s blood after they’re in a car accident. His gamma-irradiated blood alters her body’s physiology and turns her into She-Hulk, the super-powered… attorney.

Yeah, Jennifer isn’t really concerned with saving the world or beating up villains. She’s a good lawyer and she wants to continue pursuing that career. She-Hulk introduces a few major shake-ups for the MCU, though: for one thing, the Abomination and Bruce are on good terms now, and Emil will likely play a role in the upcoming Thunderbolts film. Another tantalizing plot point is that Bruce has a son, possibly Hulkling, who was born on Sakaar. Oh, and Daredevil is back in the MCU now after his cameo in She-Hulk!