Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe straight up delivered the goods. Years of build up finally culminated in one of the greatest two-part sequels ever produced.
Avengers: Infinity War and Infinity: End Game sucked everyone in as the conclusion of the original Avengers was told. The phase ended with Spiderman: Far From Home which was perfectly fine.
Phase 4 never had a chance. Just like the old saying goes, “you never want to be the guy to replace THE guy.” There was no way Marvel was going to be able to live up to the hype they just pulled off.
As Phase 5 kicks off with the third Ant-Man and Guardians movies, there is some hope that Marvel can regain some steam after some real stinkers in the previous phase. Obviously, it was a cash grab, riding the wave of their success, but man, they probably would want a mulligan on some the stuff.
Even with the bad in phase 4, there were some bright spots like Loki on Disney+. Spiderman: No Way Home and Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness offered nostalgia, but in general, it was a phase to forget.
The 2022 Ole Miss baseball season was MCU Phase 3. Years of hype and build up finalized as they became the College World Series Champions. Beloved characters such as Tim Elko, Justin Bench and Kevin Graham all returned for one last ride and man did they deliver.
In reality there was no chance the 2023 iteration of the program could live up to what just took place. That was ok. It was expected. But to come out and pull an MCU Phase 4 and be a complete stinker, that just stings.
It has been hard to watch, yet we stomached through because of what we just experienced. Ultimately, this will be a season to forget, but hopefully 2024 can be what MCU Phase 5 is starting to show... something with a little bit of promise.