All four phases of MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE, ranked

Which MCU phase was the best one?

Lukasz Budnik

4 December 2022

With Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, the fourth phase of the MCU, which began in February 2021 with the first Marvel Studios series – WandaVision, has come to an end. To mark the occasion, we’ve invited the readers to vote for the best of the four MCU phases so far, and here are the results, starting with the phase that garnered the fewest votes.

4. Phase Four


The newest phase of the MCU has not done well in the voting and has been the subject of discussions about material fatigue and overkill on the part of Marvel Studios, which no longer offers audiences only feature-length films, but also series and special  episodes. A total of 18 productions have been included in the fourth phase, and several of them have attracted a mixed reception (including Eternals, the first “rotten” MCU film on Rotten Tomatoes, and Thor: Love and Thunder), while among the voices criticizing this entire installment of the universe are comments that it lacks a specific theme and purpose. The big commercial hit of the fourth phase was Spider-Man: No Way Home.

3. Phase One


That’s where it all started, specifically with the Iron Man movie, which before the MCU was a relatively unknown Marvel hero, but today is one of the most popular, in which certainly great credit goes to the perfectly cast Robert Downey Junior. Iron Man, by the way, lived to see two films in the first phase, although the sequel can be found today rather among those lowest-rated MCU productions. Phase One also saw the first solo adventures of the Hulk, Captain America and Thor, all summed up the first crossover of these well-liked heroes, Joss Whedon’s Avengers, in which the group faced the threat of Loki. The movie celebrated its tenth anniversary this year.

2. Phase Two


We started Phase Two with Iron Man 3, which showed us the impact of the events of the Avengers on Tony Stark, and then came the sequels to the adventures of Thor and Captain America. While Thor: The Dark World ranks low in the MCU today, Captain America: The Winter Soldier -the debut of the Russo brothers in the MCU -is undoubtedly one of those most cherished entries in the universe. Phase Two did not lack another Avengers film, although Age of Ultron was not received as warmly as its predecessor. It was also Phase Two that saw the emergence of characters so important to the universe today, such as the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man.

1. Phase Three


The third phase won by a considerable margin over the others, but perhaps no surprise – it featured two Avengers installments that were the culmination of the entire series, considered by many to be the point where the MCU reached its peak – Infinity War and Endgame. Their directors, the Russo brothers, are also the authors of the opening movie of the phase, the acclaimed Captain America: Civil War. What else is in Phase Three? The first MCU film to be nominated for an Oscar (Black Panther), the much-loved Thor: Ragnarok, two solo Spider-Man films, the introduction of Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange, and sequels to Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s been quite a ride!

Łukasz Budnik

Lukasz Budnik

He loves both silent cinema and contemporary blockbusters based on comic books. He looks forward to watching movie with his growing son.

See other posts from this author >>>