2021 has come and gone, and so we enter the second year of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) Phase 4. With the hole 2020 left in its wake, a ton of releases in both theaters and streaming services were released last year. We saw some familiar faces like Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, Wanda, Loki, Hawkeye, Falcon and the Winter Soldier returning in a post-Thanos universe.
This was great but as far as new heroes went, we found that the MCU left much to be desired in that regard. Sure, we saw the rise of Shang Chi, the Eternals and Kate Bishop from “Hawkeye” but it still felt very much like we were living in the shadow of the “Infinity Saga”. With 2022 finally here, the MCU seems to be gearing for Phase 4 to finally come into its own! Here’s the rundown for all the new heroes coming into the MCU this year!
We’re excited to announce that Tatiana Maslany, who played Sarah Manning in “Orphan Black”, will be making her debut in the MCU this year as She-Hulk! When Bruce Banner’s cousin, Jennifer Walters, finds herself in a life-threatening situation, Banner makes the fateful decision to undergo blood transfusion to save Walter’s life. Walters does indeed make it but finds her life forever altered in the process. She now has the same powers as the Hulk. So what does she choose to do with her newfound abilities? Does she go on to become a full-time superhero or join the military? Nope. Instead, she presses on doing what she’s always does best: being a lawyer.
Maslany’s “She-Hulk” series is a rather novel take on legal dramas. Walters in the series, much like her comic-book counterpart, is a lawyer who specialises in cases involving superhumans. This would be a really refreshing and great way to introduce new characters into the MCU, by having them be Walters’ clients. Expect to see some big comic-book level action but we’re honestly hoping that the series will stick to the character’s legal roots. The first season “She-Hulk” will be premiering sometime in 2022.
2. Ms Marvel
Last year, we saw the MCU’s first Asian superhero. This year, Muslim fans of the MCU are finally getting some representation with Kamala Khan, or Ms Marvel. In the comics, Kamala was your ordinary average Pakistani-American teenage girl. All that changed when she was exposed to the Terrigen Mist, a substance that awakens latent superpowers from a host’s Inhuman lineage. Now with the power to stretch and morph her body at will, she aspires to walk in her idol’s footsteps, Carol Denver’s Captain Marvel! She’s your everyday, ordinary teenager but when crime is afoot, she’s Ms Marvel!
Iman Vellani will playing the role of Ms Marvel in the first season of a Disney+ series, “Ms Marvel” is set to come out in the middle of 2022. Barring Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, we rarely see how younger heroes in the MCU cope with issues of identity, parents and the angst of growing up. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how young Kamala comes into her own by the end of this season. One thing’s for certain, you’ll be seeing Ms Marvel stand alongside her hero, Carol Denvers in 2023’s “The Marvels”. Till then, she’s on her own solo adventure…or is she?
3. Red Dagger
Joining the cast of “Ms Marvel” is Aramis Knight as a friend of the Khan family, Kareem. Another young Pakistani student trying to make his way in the world. During Kamala’s visit to Karachi, Pakistan, she learns that the both of them share something in common. He too is a secret crimefighter. When night falls, Kareem dons his crimson cloak, patrolling the streets of his city and meeting out justice as Laal Khanjeer, or the Red Dagger. Later on, Kareem, and the Red Dagger, would visit Kamala in America. Leading to them teaming up once again to save the day. In the comics, the Red Dagger and Ms Marvel are quite close to another. One might even say there’s a bit of a romance between them.
Now what would a high-school superhero drama be without a little bit of romance? We’re expecting to see some sparks fly between Knight’s Kareem and Vellani’s Kamala throughout the series. That being said, Red Dagger isn’t just there to be hunky eye-candy. In the comics, he’s also a member of a group of young heroes led by Ms Marvel. They’re known as the Champions. Could his appearance in the series be laying out the groundwork for a new superhero team? We’ll just have to wait till “Ms Marvel” comes out on Disney+ to find out.
4. Ms America
In our breakdown of the teaser for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, we couldn’t help but notice the appearance of one Xochitl Gomez. We have confirmation Gomez will be playing the role of America Chavez in the film. She’s better know by her other name, Ms America. In the comics, she was born in a dimension called Utopian Parallel and was given power of strength, speed and inter-dimensional travel by a being called the Demiurge. She travelled across multiple realities and worlds, looking to prove herself as a hero. She would eventually find her place in a team known as the Young Avengers, one led by Kate Bishop’s Hawkeye.
While her exact role in “Multiverse of Madness” is unknown, we at least know that her character will definitely have a connection to the wider multiverse of the MCU. In fact, she nearly appeared in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” before it was decided she would debut in “Multiverse of Madness”. Now that Kate Bishop is in the MCU, we could see America Chavez meeting up with Hawkeye’s protege in an end-credits scene. It seems the seeds for a Young Avengers film or series is in the works.
5. Moon Knight
Come 2022, the Moon Knight will be making fearsome debut in the MCU with a Disney+ series of his own. The series follows the story of a mercenary, Marc Spector with Disociative Identity Disorder (DID) who is resurrected by Khonshu, an ancient Egyptian moon god. He’s brought back to life on the condition that he acts as Khonshu’s agent of vengeance. In the day, Marc learns to find balance between multiple personalities. When night falls, though, he becomes the caped crusader known as Moon Knight. We did a whole breakdown of his character if you’d like to get info on Marvel’s very own version of the Dark Knight.
One thing we loved about Netflix’s MCU like “Jessica Jones”, “The Punisher” and “Daredevil” was their depiction of street-level heroes. While Iron Man, Thor and Captain Marvel were out there saving the world and universe, they were doing the dirty work. Fighting against the violence and terror of the criminal underworld. So when we heard that their Netflix series were cancelled, we were sorely disappointed. Hopefully Moon Knight will bring back the grounded reality of urban crime and street justice we so miss.