ETERNALS

Is ‘Eternals’ Paving the Way for a Much More Mature Phase of the MCU?

After Eternals and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier is Marvel’s Phase 4 looking to deliver more mature content?

Is Marvel’s Phase 4 looking to deliver more mature content after Eternals? The MCU is a franchise that, like Star Wars, felt like a family affair. The movies, while dire at times, are mostly kid-friendly with a bunch of lovable characters whose stories were never as dark as say, Batman’s movies. And then, something changed.

Falcon And The Winter Soldier Episode 4
John Walker (Wyatt Russell) in Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
MATURE MARVEL

I started to notice a shift on the mature meter when The Falcon and the Winter Soldier allowed some of the bloodiest scenes in all of the MCU. I mean, John Walker killed a man by appearing to be cleaving the man’s head off with Captain America’s shield. It was shockingly gruesome, to say the least.

Black Widow also took a darker approach to a Marvel movie with scenes and themes that felt more mature than normal MCU entries, even if it wasn’t as blatantly striking as John Walker’s extremely violent ways. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was the only MCU installment this year that feels like something I could show to a child under eleven years old.

(L-R): Ikaris (Richard Madden) and Sersi (Gemma Chan) in Marvel Studios’ ETERNALS. Photo by Sophie Mutevelian. © 2021 Marvel Studios. All Rights Reserved.

And then we just got Eternals, the most mature MCU movie to date with a love story that features a tame-but-obvious sex scene.

PHASE 4

It was shocking for some and yes it felt unnecessary. But what is that scene really telling us? It’s telling us that Phase 4 is ready to delve into mature content considering that many of us loyal fans who were kids or even teenagers when Iron Man came out in 2008 are now full-blown adults.

MOON KNIGHT

And this is ahead of destined-to-be-gritty content like Moon Knight and Blade. One of the reasons fans were a bit worried about Moon Knight getting his own series was that they figured his very dark story (and the violence that comes with it) would be watered down. And yet the first official footage of the show does paint a dark picture. And yes, there’s even blood.

I don’t see the MCU making any R-rated material anytime soon. But I do feel like they are pressing the PG-13 rating and I’m here for it. Maybe that’s what the commercials meant when they said Eternals would “change the MCU forever.”

What do you think? Are you ready for a mature MCU? Leave a comment below.

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