There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the latest Marvel movie, Captain America: Civil War. However, there is also a reason to be giddy over Civil War I haven’t heard much chatter about; it’s just the beginning of Marvel’s Phase Three.
That’s right. Marvel will be bringing us 10 more movies between now and the end of 2019. That means we will continue to see the established heroes we know and love, but it also means we’ll be introduced to plenty of new movie characters worth being thrilled about. Here are seven of mine, and I’ve even ranked them so you can tell me how wrong I am in the comments! Let’s go.
1. Black Panther (to be featured in Black Panther — February 16, 2018 release*)
Let me start by saying this: I’m happy to debate who you’re most excited to see in the Marvel universe, not whether Black Panther is “new” or not. Yes, we saw T’Challa in Civil War. No, he wasn’t “featured” in Cap’s latest film. At least not in the way I want him to be.
For my money Black Panther was the breakout star of Phase Three’s opening film, and I can’t wait to get more of him in his 2018 origin story. The suit is sleek, the moves are polished, and the character is endearing. Plus he’s being played by a quality actor in Chadwick Boseman. T’Challa sits at the top of my most anticipated new character list.
2. Dr. Strange (to be featured in Doctor Strange — November 4, 2016 release*)
I’d like to tell you that Black Panther is hands-down the new Marvel movie character I’m most looking forward to see, but I’m just too big of a Benedict Cumberbatch fan for that to be true. It’s not all about Cumberbatch, though. The recently released Doctor Strange trailer is mysterious and fascinating in a way that makes it different from other Marvel movies.
For me, the trailer also made the title character compelling and leaving me wanting more. While the character may be more intriguing than exciting, I still have a lot of anticipation for the title character of Marvel’s next film in Phase Three.
3. Captain Marvel (to be featured in Captain Marvel — March 8, 2019 release*)
As much as I enjoy the Marvel movie universe, it’s no secret a bigger female presence would be welcomed. That’s exactly what we’re going to get with Captain Marvel. Admittedly I don’t know much about Carol Danvers, but from what I’ve gathered she’s a strong female protagonist who needs an equally strong casting to get people excited. Brie Larson, fresh off her Academy Award for a brilliant performance in Room, would certainly fill that criterion. Kudos to Marvel for getting those rumors (at least) generated.
Speaking of rumors, I should mention there’s a good chance we see Captain Marvel in part 1 of Infinity Wars, which is scheduled for a 2018 release. The sooner we get an appearance from her the better, as far as I’m concerned.
4. Spider-Man (to be featured in Spider-Man Homecoming — July 7, 2017 release*)
I fully expect to catch all the web-slinging criticism for my four spot, considering all the fans Spidey caught in his web during Civil War (Two spider puns is plenty, I think). However, having Spider-Man grace any “most excited” list of mine that isn’t “most excited to never see again” is quite the accomplishment by both Marvel and Tom Holland. Trust me.
I do want to pump the breaks just a bit on the Spider-Man anticipation thanks to how poorly the previous two versions were made, but this rendition definitely has some promise. I really enjoyed the light-hearted nature and comedic relief Peter Parker brought to Civil War. If that’s any indication of what his 2017 origin story will look like, I’ll welcome it with open arms.
5. Grandmaster (to be featured in Thor: Ragnarok — November 3, 2017 release*)
Some people may say they’re more excited to see Skurge in the new Thor film, but I’m personally more eager to see the Grandmaster. The reason? I’m glad you asked — while Skurge is an Asgardian through-and-through, the Grandmaster is more of an Avengers villain than a Thor villain. Plus he seems like a pretty big-time player within the universe.
I think the character, played by Jeff Goldblum, will contain some foreshadowing to Infinity War (a-la Loki with the first Avengers). Count me in for that.
6. J’Son (to be featured in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 — May 5, 2017 release*)
I have a confession to make: Guardians of the Galaxy is my second-favorite Marvel movie that ever existed. It could be considered a minor upset I have any new character from the franchise ranked so low. I like to laugh and have a good time with my comic book movies, and Guardians is that above all else.
That said, one of the serious and story-related tones in the film is Star-Lord’s relationship with his father; aka J’Son (aka Jason of Spartax). Rumors and reports have Kurt Russell playing the role, which is all well and good, but I’m very interested in the development of the character J’Son himself and seeing how he fits into vol. 2 and beyond.
7. Hela (to be featured in Thor: Ragnarok — November 3, 2017 release*)
Remember what I said about a stronger female presence up at number three on this list? Women tend to have a meaningful role in the Thor franchise, as evidenced by Frigga for starters, and it looks like Hela could be the next in line. I haven’t done too much research into the Goddess of Death, but the fact she is played by Cate Blanchett is reason enough she’s someone to be excited about come 2017.
*Note: All release dates are tentative. But they better be released on that date, if not sooner.