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The Best MCU Movie & TV Show Reveals Of 2020

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2020 was a huge year for the MCU, despite the planned movie and Disney+ releases being canceled and pushed back, and there is a lot to look forward to for Marvel fans. Black Widow, Eternals, and WandaVision were all forced to move out of their initially announced slots, but the MCU sleeps for no fan and Kevin Feige's creative team still announced multiple new projects for the next few years.

On the back of the Infinity Saga, it was revealed that Marvel would no longer be considering the same phased approach to releases, despite the inevitable framing of their next release batch as Phase 4. The pivot to include Disney+ shows alongside the movies and narratively linked to them in a far more substantial way than the Netflix shows had been able, changes everything, even if the phase labels remain, however. Disney and Marvel are now on the precipice of a new era for the franchise that leaves few weeks in 2021 without new MCU content. With Star Wars shows on top of that, Disney+'s extensive catalog means it is becoming less an addition to Netflix and more a direct rival. And there's even more to come.

Despite 2021 being the first year in a long time that Marvel didn't release an MCU project, thanks to the pandemic, there were some huge revelations and teases throughout the year, culminating in a stunning Disney Investors Call in December that blew the MCU open again. Here are the biggest MCU reveals of 2020.

Iron Man's Real MCU Replacement Is Riri Williams

The MCU has struggled with the legacy of Iron Man since before Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark died in the emotional finale of Avengers: Endgame. The character was, after all, the founding stone of the entire MCU and his increased importance culminated in his key role in Infinity War and Endgame, as Marvel were forced to contemplate not having their blue-chip actor and character around for the future. The answer so far has been to use Spider-Man as a de facto heir to the Iron throne, but all that did was limit Peter Parker as Stark's sidekick when he deserved to be his own hero. More interesting is the comics approach, which brought in Riri Williams' Ironheart, who more consciously opted into the role and who is now coming to Disney+ and the MCU as a real Iron Man legacy character. Given Tony's actual in-universe legacy was allowing others to follow in his footsteps through financial assistance, seeing a pay-off there is way better than a "you'll do" approach like Spider-Man: Homecoming's.

Secret Invasion On Disney+

The most confusing part of Spider-Man: Far From Home was the other, less notable post-credits scene that saw Nick Fury confirmed as being an impostor (albeit sanctioned by the real Fury) and actually engaged in a mysterious off-planet mission. That was long assumed to be Fury's leadership of SWORD, SHIELD's apparent MCU replacement, which has now been contextualized by the announcement of Disney+ original series Secret Invasion. The MCU obviously has a habit of using established comics event titles to tell different stories, but Secret Invasion has to at least deal with the fall-out of Captain Marvel's Kree/Skrull war and the existence of other Skrull "pods" as mentioned in Far From Home's coda. It might not be a full-blown Avengers-style crossover event, but it would be safe to expect this to be the biggest of the Disney+ shows.

Kang The Conqueror Is Coming To Ant-Man 3

Ant-Man 3's title was officially announced as Quantumania during the Disney Investor's Call, and rumor has the movie pegged as a far more substantial look into the Quantum Realm. Given that dimension's potential, the setting is exciting enough, but the confirmation that Kang the Conqueror will be involved (having presumably been teased in Loki's Disney+ show, given the time travel plot) is huge for Marvel fans. Kang is a real contender to take over from Thanos as the MCU's big bad (or one of them) and the casting of Jonathan Majors is a huge coup to help cement that. He should be given more of an opportunity outside of Ant-Man 3 to take on more Avengers or even other heroes, but Kang's very presence is a major selling point for the MCU and particularly for Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily's threequel.

Armor Wars Continues Iron Man's Legacy

As well as introducing Riri Williams as the MCU's "new Iron Man", Phase 4 and beyond will also look at the flipside of her genesis as a hero. If Ironheart is the right legacy for Tony Stark, Disney+ original series Armor Wars - which is based on a hugely popular comics arc of the same name - will investigate what happens when Iron Man's tech falls into the wrong hands. This was, of course, already a big part of Iron Man 2, with Justin Hammer's involvement (and there is hope Sam Rockwell's stand-out villain will return), but exploring a post-Tony Stark world specifically in terms of one of his own fears (that there would be nobody there to do his job after his death) makes it all the more interesting. Add to that the fact that it will give Don Cheadle's James Rhodes something more substantial to do than be Tony's second and it's a great sell.
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