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Every Marvel Phase 4 Movie and TV Show, Ranked Worst to Best

Tatiana Maslany in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022)

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which just wrapped up with The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, sure was a wild ride. With 18 films, series, and specials, Phase 4 introduced a ton of new characters and took us on a tour of the multiverse. If you’re a Marvel newcomer, you’ll want to get in on this before things get even more complicated in Phase 5. If you’re a Marvel veteran, you might be wondering which projects are worth a second (or third, or 50th) rewatch. Either way, here’s every movie and TV show, ranked!

Remember that it’s hard to judge epic films alongside limited series and hourlong TV specials, so no ranking is going to perfectly capture every nuance of every entry on the list. Also, once you get toward the top of the rankings, the films and series are all so strong that they could really be in any order.

18. Eternals

eternals-angelina-jolie-thena
(Marvel)

Woof. With an absurdly large cast and a runtime to match, Eternals was doomed from the start. Clocking in at 2 hours and 37 minutes, Eternals is essentially a bloated “assemble the team” movie, with most of the plot revolving around the Eternals finding each other and reuniting in order to stop (yawn) a world-ending threat. Oh, and they also have to fight the Deviants, which are the least interesting and most generic Marvel monsters we’ve witnessed to date. Every trope was recycled and every sequence was boring. And then they randomly throw trolls and vampires in after the credits? Hopefully they’ll get the formula right in Eternals 2.

17. I Am Groot

Baby Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
(Marvel)

This collection of animated shorts only comes out to about 15 minutes of content, total, so there’s not much here to judge. They’re mildly funny, although Groot’s mean streak left a bad taste in my mouth. The cameo at the end was nice, though.

16. What If…?

Peggy Carter as Captain Carter in Marvel's What If...?
(Marvel)

What If…? is fine. It’s just … fine. Some episodes are funny, like “What If…Thor Were an Only Child?,” and others are compelling because of external circumstances, like “What If…T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?” But the aimless plots and lackluster animation leave this series feeling like a half-hearted thought experiment.

15. Werewolf By Night

Gael García Bernal in Werewolf By Night
(Marvel)

Werewolf By Night is entertaining, but since it’s an hourlong special introducing new characters, there just isn’t enough of it to judge it fairly alongside all the epic movies and series that came out in Phase 4. It’s definitely not bad. It’s fun, like a rubber bat or a plastic spider ring. Harriet Sansom kills it (ha!) as the maniacal Verussa Bloodstone.

14. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+.
(Marvel)

There’s a lot to love about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, like Sam’s love/hate relationship with Bucky, its commentary on racism, and Erin Kellyman as the unassuming villain Karli Morgenthau. In the end, though, the series just felt like a stepping stone to Sam and Bucky’s next adventures—which, it turns out, will be Captain America: New World Order and Thunderbolts.

13. Black Widow

rachel weisz, florence pugh, scarlett johansson
(Marvel)

It kills me to rank Black Widow so low on this list, because Natasha deserved her own story so much, and I’m a huge Yelena and Red Guardian fan. But Marvel did Black Widow—both the character and the movie—a huge disservice by finally telling this story after she died. Thanks to the post-credit scene, it doesn’t really fit anywhere on the timeline. If a Marvel newcomer watches it in release order, it feels anticlimactic after the titanic events of the Infinity Saga. If they watch it in timeline order, the post-credit scene spoils Natasha’s fate. This movie is fine, but it could have been so much more.

12. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Xialing and Shang-Chi
(Marvel)

I’m optimistic about Shang-Chi’s future in the MCU, because Simu Liu and Awkwafina play so well off each other, and there are a lot of directions they could take these characters. Unfortunately, most of the movie is a standard origin story, the third act is a CGI-filled mess, and the VFX is jarringly noticeable in places where it really should have been seamless. Still, Wong doing karaoke? I could watch that forever.

11. Hawkeye

Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner in 'Hawkeye'
(Marvel)

When I look back on Hawkeye, I realize that it has a lot of the same problems as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. All the stuff I love the most about it—Kate Bishop! Echo! Kingpin!—are just setups for later series or movies. With that said, though, Hawkeye has a lot of great comedic moments, and the ending is really sweet.

10. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

(Marvel)

Doctor Strange became my very favorite Marvel character after the first movie came out in 2016, and I spent six interminable years champing at the bit for the sequel. Then I found out Sam Raimi was directing, and the movie was going to have the multiverse and Scarlet Witch and America Chavez, and by the time I sat down in the theater I was literally trembling with excitement. I guess that much hype is bound to lead to letdown, though, because the movie just didn’t live up to my (yes, astronomical) expectations. It’s still a lot of spooky fun, though.

9. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

(Marvel)

Like Werewolf by Night, this special is only about an hour long, but it has the benefit of featuring characters we already know and love. You want a fun Christmas romp that involves human trafficking and and teary revelations? You got it! Oh, and apparently you have to watch the special in order to know what’s going on in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Oh, Marvel.

Related: The 61 celebrities who have played themselves in the MCU on We Got This Covered

8. Moon Knight

Marvel's Moon Knight
(Marvel)

Moon Knight was kind of a new direction for Marvel, telling a completely self-contained story with almost no references to anything happening elsewhere in the MCU. Thanks to Oscar Isaac’s creative control over his characters, one of Marvel’s more obscure heroes ends up being a really moving character study (oh, god, that flashback!), and Layla’s emergence as the Scarlet Scarab is great.

7. Thor: Love and Thunder

The main cast of Thor: Love & Thunder walk in Omnipotent City
(Marvel)

Like Doctor Strange 2, this movie didn’t quite live up to all the hype, but it’s still a lot of fun. It manages to bring Thor’s character arc to a place that feels real and satisfying, and Jane’s all-to-brief stint as a superhero has made me a Mighty Thor fan for life. And Christian Bale as Gorr? Amazing.

6. Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel in Ms. Marvel on Disney+.
(Marvel)

Ms. Marvel is one of the best-written Marvel comics of all time, and the series does it justice. It’s funny and irreverent without sacrificing a compelling story, and Iman Vellani is pitch perfect as a teen fangirl-turned superhero. The plot kind of falls apart in the second half, but it’s so much fun spending time with these characters that you almost don’t care.

5. WandaVision

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen in WandaVision
(Marvel)

WandaVision was Phase 4’s very first entry, and it remains one of Marvel’s most ambitious and moving projects. They executed the sitcom homages perfectly, let us know what was going on at exactly the right pace, and explored Wanda’s grief in a way that opened up new layers of her character (before Doctor Strange 2 slammed them shut again). The finale dissolves into one of Marvel’s signature CGI fights (“I shoot you with my magic beams! Pew pew!”), but up until that point it’s flawless.

4. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Peter Parker reaching for the pumpkin bomb in the Spider-Man No Way Home trailer
(Marvel)

In addition to being thoroughly enjoyable, No Way Home does so many interesting things with Spidey—none of which I can write about here, because they’re huge spoilers! The cameos are unforgettable, the death is a shocker, and it all adds up to a fantastic Spider-Man movie (with a dash of Strange).

3. Loki

Loki and Sylvie stand next to each other, looking out in a promo image for Loki
(Marvel)

Loki is my personal favorite Phase 4 series, and the story that bumped Doctor Strange down to #2 in my Marvel obsessions. This series goes hard in its weirdness, which is fitting for a story about a trickster god, and it works. The best part is Loki himself, though. The moment I watched him break down in grief and shame in the first episode, I knew we were going to get a dramatically different side of him.

2. She-Hulk

Tatiana Maslany's She-Hulk in Marvel's She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Disney+ series. (Marvel Entertainment)
(Marvel)

As a legal procedural sitcom, She-Hulk doesn’t reach the earth-shattering heights of some other Marvel projects, but, as Jen herself points out in the finale, it has a different set of stakes. As I think back on it, I’m trying to find something to critique … and I’ve got nothing. This show is a perfect superhero sitcom, and there’s nothing about it I don’t like.

1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Letitia Wright in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
(Marvel)

How could Black Panther 2 ever live up to the legendary first film, especially after the passing of Chadwick Boseman? Sequels to great films often stumble, but Black Panther 2 managed to take the series to new heights. Yes, the plot is more complicated than it needed to be, but it’s so lush and sweeping that you don’t notice. Tenoch Huerta is unforgettable as Namor, and Letitia Wright delivers a heartbreaking performance as someone who never expected to be a superhero, and just wants her brother back.

(featured image: Marvel)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) lives in Los Angeles, where she reads tarot and watches Marvel movies. You can check out more of her writing at linktr.ee/juliaglassman, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.