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What Are 4 Big-Burning Questions From MCU Phase 4 So Far?

Phase 4 has left us all with many unhinged questions…some big, some even bigger. Will they ever be answered?

By Mohit Srivastava
November 30,2022

Ever Since its inception with Iron Man in 2008, Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has recently concluded its Phase 4 in the fall of 2022. While newer stories and newer characters were introduced in Phase 4, there were also introduced some complex concepts like realms, multiverse, incursion, and timelines.  That is probably why they were so divisively received by audiences and critics (see our coverage here). Every MCU project of this phase (movie, tv series, or special) did try to deal with a comprehensive plot(but in a very disjointed way), and still, they all left a few burning questions for audiences. Let’s look into the top 4 biggest questions of them.

4. What is the origin of Mandarin’s Ten Rings and Kamala’s Bangles?

Mandarin’s rings & Kamala’s bangles

Shang Chi – the Legend of the Ten Rings introduced us to Mandarin’s magical Ten Rings. All the movie told us about the ‘Rings’ was they had immense kinetic powers, could open portals to other realms, and granted Mandarin youth and immortality. Except that, nothing else is known about them. There is a tiny tease in the movie’s post-credit scene where Wong tells Shang-Chi that the ‘Rings’ have an origin that is very old. They also think that the rings are acting as a beacon to something. However, MCU is yet to clarify the genesis as well as abilities of these powerful weapons.

Similarly, Ms. Marvel had a very vague story for Kamala Khan’s magical bangles. In one of the flashbacks, it is revealed that Kamala’s great-grandmother had actually found the bangle at an alien crash site. There is a blue alien hand visible in the rubble which might tie its origin to the Kree alien race. It was later found by Kamala’s Mom in her mother’s things. The bangle has the ability to stop time, teleport the owner to the past, and provides the owner ability to project constructs of cosmic energy. Besides this, the origin of Kamala’s bangles was not clearly specified.

3. How is Earth dealing with the knowledge of the existence of Celestials and Gods?

Arishem in the Earth’s sky

The Avengers (2008) saw that Nick Fury decided to start the Avengers Initiative after the arrival of Thor on Earth. However, since that time there have been numerous cosmic threats to Earth – Melekith, Loki, Thanos, Arishem, etc. It was revealed in Spiderman: Far From Home that Nick Fury is secretly operating in a Skrull spaceship with his fellow Skrull friends.

However, till now the people of earth have suffered a direct five-year blip as a result of Thanos’s snap (Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame) and they also have seen giant Arishem appearing suddenly in the sky (Eternals), and with no more Avengers, how is Earth coping with these threats is unknown. How are various countries of the world preparing for a future catastrophic alien invasion? These questions are still tickling in the audiences’ minds and need to be answered as soon as possible.

2. Who is the Next Big Bad for Earth?

Kang, the Conqueror in Ant Man 3

Another burning question is who exactly is the next big bad of this Saga. A few years ago, after the commencement of Phase 3, it was reported by some sources that the upcoming Marvel movies could probably have two main villains – one cosmic-based, and the other earth-based. So, who could they be? Yes, Kang could be the one, the one who is cosmic-based. Kang is the titular character for the upcoming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty in Phase 6.

This potentially puts Kang at the forefront as the next possible antagonist for the Avengers. But, the same cannot be said for Avengers: Secret Wars. Because, in the comic Secret Wars, Dr. Doom played a pivotal role. But, in the MCU he is yet to be established. So, MCU will probably have to fill his shoes with another villain (potentially an earth-based villain). This guy is yet to make a mark in the universe. It is still unclear who (if there indeed is one) will be the second villain, or it’s just Kang who will supersede the entire Multiverse Saga.

1. Where is the new Avengers team and who is the leader?

Avengers Tower

Probably the hottest question of all is who and where are the Avengers. In the previous phases, every phase’s story arc was concluded in an Avengers film (Phase 1 – Avengers, Phase 2 – Avengers: Age of Ultron, Phase 3 – Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame). This kind of structure neatly tied the plot of each phase as well as the overall Infinity Saga. However, in the case of Phase 4, this was missing. It consisted of individual projects, with very little connecting story arcs. That is why the phase felt so disjointed in many ways. And that is why we are still left wondering who the new members of Avengers are.

There have been some young characters have been introduced like Eternals, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Skaar, Love, Mighty Thor, America Chavez, Billy, Tommy, Shang Chi, Kate, and Yelena. However, the connecting threads between them are still missing. Similarly, it is also not known where the Avengers’ base of operation is and who is their current leader. Which face will replace that of the wise and brave, Captain Steve Rogers? Will it be Sam’s Captain America, or Captain Marvel, one of the Eternals, or Ms. Marvel?

The answers to these questions…only time will tell. And, we are waiting.

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