When Iron Man first started the MCU in 2008, fans knew from the beginning that something special awaited them. Not only was the movie itself great, the franchise was clearly very promising. Marvel had obvious intentions to continue beyond this movie.

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After Disney got involved in the MCU, properties began to fly into their possession and they have been able to acquire almost all of Marvel at this point. With so much to pull off, the MCU has only expanded further and further, changing with each movie added to the universe.

10 Includes Marvel One-Shots

After the movies began, someone involved in the MCU came up with the brilliant idea to introduce Marvel One-Shots. These generally comedic shorts are among the top movies and provide little glimpses of the MCU cast.

Marvel’s first One-Shot, The consultant, was released after Thor in September 2011. After that, MCU fans got Something funny happened on the way to Thor’s hammer, item 47, Agent Carter, Y All hail the King. As if that were not enough, in December 2020 it was announced that a series of short films starring Baby Groot, entitled I am groot they came to Disney +.

9 Continued on ABC

Nick Fury in Agents of Shield

Agent Phil Coulson was assassinated in 2012 The Avengers, devastating fans who had come to know the Captain America fanboy as a surrogate for the audience. The character was revived in the first MCU show on ABC, Agents of protection, which ran from September 2013 to August 2020.

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There, Phil Coulson developed further as his own character, and fans began to like him, and the other titular agents of SHIELD, even more. Shortly after Agent carter aired on ABC from January 2015 to March 2016, and Inhumans ran from September 2017 to November 2017. These bonus shows provided much more additional weekly content for MCU fans at the time.

8 Expanded to streaming services like Netflix

As more and more people started signing up for streaming services, the MCU followed audiences and began streaming shows on Netflix, rather than exclusively on ABC. Reckless came first, receiving three seasons between April 2015 and October 2018.

The rest of the Defenders also had their own programs: Jessica jones from November 2015 to June 2019, Luke cage ran from September 2016 to June 2018, and Iron fist ran from March 2017 to September 2018. Defenders It only had one season in August 2017, before Marvel stopped streaming Netflix shows with The Punisher, which ran from November 2017 to January 2019.

7 Struggling with television

After realizing the success of its Netflix shows, the MCU decided to expand to other platforms. However, this was not considered a success overall. Hulu ran Fugitives from November 2017 to December 2019, but the show never made it to the mainstream. Helstrom had an even worse reception, with mostly negative reviews and only one season, which aired in its entirety on October 16, 2020.

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At the same time, Freeform tried to run Cloak and dagger, but it only aired for two seasons from June 2018 to May 2019 before it was also canceled. The Infinity Saga was starting to have problems, and the MCU realized they needed to work harder on the television aspect of the universe.

6 Making your way to Disney +

Disney is now trying to gather all of its television properties from Marvel. Instead of having shows spread across multiple platforms, the MCU now focuses exclusively on Disney +. They already have a full roster ahead of them, fully integrating their television roster in the next phase of the MCU. Show how WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Y Loki, with countless more on the way. This is exciting and something that fans could never have predicted at the beginning of the franchise.

5 Divided into phases

two men looking at a third man on the ground in a garage

Unlike most of the big franchises, the MCU is divided into phases. The DCEU has done no such thing, not the superhero sagas of the past or the massive universes. It could be argued that no one has produced anything quite like the MCU in movie history, so it’s really setting its own precedent.

The MCU is currently divided into four phases. Phase One ran from Iron Man to The Avengers; Phase Two ran from iron Man 3 to Ant Man; and Phase Three ran from Captain America: Civil War to Spider-Man: Far from home. The first official Phase Four film will be Black widow, and will probably continue through Fantastic four, at least – a fitting ending to Phase “Four.”

4 Beyond the original six avengers


The first six Avengers introduced to the MCU were Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. While Iron Man, Cap, and Thor were the obvious golden boys, these six characters quickly became the priority of the MCU.

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However, fans had many favorites throughout the MCU, and this helped the creators realize that a bit more balance was needed. As the MCU expanded, more and more characters were introduced to the Avengers. Famous Marvel heroes like Black Panther and Scarlet Witch have joined the team since then, among many others.

3 Featured Characters Fans Thought They Would Never See In The MCU

Gamora and Star-Lord Captain Kirk and Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy

While fans were expecting characters like Iron Man and Captain America to appear heavily in the MCU, there have been a few surprises along the way. When the first trailers started to fall Guardians of the Galaxy, Fans were incredulous that the Guardians had their own movie.

While they like them enough, they aren’t as popular as the Avengers and it seemed like it would take them some time to get a movie, if they ever did. However, not only Guardians of the Galaxy They came out in August 2014, they have been an integral part of the MCU ever since.

two Combined each plot into one massive narrative

The worldwide introduction to the MCU, Iron Man, made it clear that the movie was part of something bigger. The first post-credits scene has Nick Fury reveals himself to Tony Stark and asks if he can talk about the Avengers Initiative. Fury tells Tony that Iron Man is not the only superhero in the world, and that there are others like him.

Fans thought this was cool at the time, but they had no idea what’s to come. Every movie in the MCU slowly rebuilt the franchise until Avengers: infinity war when all the characters came together and were shocked together by the same universal event: Thanos and his intended Snap.

1 Let go of the big three

Steve Rogers, Thor and Tony Stark together in a line

The MCU’s golden trio are undoubtedly Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and Thor. They are the only characters that have gotten their own trilogies to date. However, now that Tony Stark has passed away and Steve Rogers has functionally retired, Thor is the only one left, and he is no longer really engaged in the whole Avengers thing.

Now is the time for other characters to shine, with multiple heroes, like Spider-Man, making their way into their own trilogies. Letting go of the big three and making room for other characters is something the MCU has been able to do slowly and has begun to excel at.

NEXT: 10 Ways WandaVision Has Already Changed The MCU

10 times the MCU chilled audiences to the bone

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