MCU’s first live-action Disney+ shows were inventive & experimental – and had massive pacing problems that Marvel needs to fix before the next wave.
As What If…? comes to an end, it’s clear that Marvel has to fix its pacing problems with the next wave of MCU Phase 4 Disney+ shows. Both Marvel’s Phase 4 and a new era of streaming TV shows kicked off with WandaVision, followed by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, then Loki, and most recently What If…?. So far, it’s been a resounding success, with the MCU’s streaming shows offering the chance for multiple supporting characters who couldn’t be afforded more time in the spotlight in the movies to be explored more fully. It also showed Marvel’s desire to experiment and get weird with genre, not to mention setting up Phase 4’s multiverse in a big way.
With that experimentation, however, there was bound to come some negatives, and each show drew some criticism. At times, that criticism boiled down to Covid-19 necessitating some hurried narrative restructuring that showed (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), at others, the unique genre concepts devolving into typical Marvel smash-ups in the finale (WandaVision), or personal beliefs that the relationships with the series protagonist should have worked out in another way (Loki). Some of those criticisms are warranted, while others fall under the category of personal preference rather than actual problems.