Annlyel takes a look back at Marvel Studios’ highlights of 2021. From WandaVision to Spider-Man: No Way Home

It’s been a great year to be a Marvel fan. From January to December we got riveting series and incredible movies that featured brand new characters, villains, and astonishing character growth for the heroes we already know and love. So, let’s look back at what has been the best year of the MCU.


Quicksilver’s(?) Return

WandaVision was the story to start Phase 4 and it was an unforgettable experience. The theories, the iconic moments, but there may not be a greater moment in this show than this one.

Episode 5 was already the best episode so far as it started to finally crack the mystery that had been nagging viewers for four weeks straight. After Wanda and Vision’s shocking confrontation it was already a great conclusion to the episode but then Marvel Studios decided to make things even more jaw-dropping.

When Wanda opened the door of their home to find none other than 20th Century Fox’s Quicksilver before her there was obvious pandemonium among the Fandom. Who knew it would be the ultimate foreshadowing for the franchise crossover event that was Spider-Man: No Way Home?

WandaVision Pietro
Evan Peters as Pietro in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

“You don’t need to tell me who I am.”

It took years for Wanda Maximoff to officially become the Scarlet Witch but it was well worth the wait. Her transformation into who she was always meant to be was not only powerful but it made her an MCU icon. It was also made official at that moment that she has one of the best outfits in the franchise.

A scene from Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

“I’m Captain America.”

As an African-American woman, the realization of seeing a Black Captain America onscreen was one of the most powerful fictional moments I’ve ever seen. I didn’t even realize how much it would affect me until I saw him saving the day in a striking star-spangled outfit with the shield on his arm. It hit like a powerful blow and I’m not ashamed to admit, I had happy tears in my eyes.

I can’t wait to see Anthony Mackie gracing movie posters in theaters for Captain America 4 in a couple of years.

Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) in Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Meeting He Who Remains

There were theories that Kang the Conqueror could make an appearance in Loki but it wasn’t until that door slid open, revealing Jonathan Majors himself that it became reality. That episode, Majors’ performance, was all quite outstanding and undoubtedly one of the most memorable moments in the MCU this year.

He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Ultron vs. The Watcher

There were so many standout moments in What If…? but this fight scene was very awesome. To see two powerful beings having an epic battle across multiple realities was nothing short of fascinating.

The Watcher (voiced by Jeffrey Wright) in Marvel Studios’ WHAT IF…? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Wenwu Meets Ying Li

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings would turn out to be one of the most celebrated Marvel movies of the year thanks to a great story and even greater action scenes. But the most remarkable scene in the film came early with a simply stunning dance-fight between destined lovers Wenwu and Ying Li, Shang-Chi’s parents.

It was quite unlike anything I’d seen before as it paired incredible choreography with a romantic flair that turned the scene from pretty to downright gorgeous. It makes me smile every time I watch it.

Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Hawkeye Makes Things Right With Yelena Belova

Black Widow’s death was tragic but it wasn’t handled with nearly as much importance as Tony Stark’s death. That all changed with Hawkeye; a series that completely dealt with Clint’s journey following Endgame in exciting ways. But most importantly, it showed him grieving Black Widow’s death and that was already special as it was. To see him bring closure to Yelena in the season finale is honestly not just one of the best moments of the year but one of the best moments in the entire franchise.

Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop and Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova in Marvel Studios’ HAWKEYE. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

They’re Back

It still feels a bit taboo to talk about the returning Spider-Men but yeah, that happened. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield not only reprised their roles for No Way Home but they reminded us of the power of Spider-Man. Seeing them help Holland’s Peter Parker through this incredibly emotional stage of his journey was not only beautiful but powerful as well.

And yes, the trio hug was everything. ❤

Honorable Mentions

I would also like to give a shout-out to the inspiring characters we met this year like Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari, the first deaf Marvel superhero. She became an instant fan favorite thanks to more than just her powers. Her presence onscreen was not only powerful but moving. Then there’s Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos, the first openly gay superhero in the MCU. He exuded strength in Eternals that was not only inspiring but downright awesome.

There’s Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi, the first Asian superhero to headline his own film. Not only did he prove that it’s taken too long for Asian superheroes to have major roles in this franchise but he also is undoubtedly one of the greatest new Avengers to appear in the MCU.

Maya Lopez in Hawkeye
Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in Marvel Studios’ HAWKEYE. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

And finally, there’s Alaqua Cox’s Maya Lopez, an actress that’s not only deaf but has a disability with a prosthetic leg. Not only was she portrayed as a totally capable hero but we got to see her use her disability as a strength, not a weakness. What an awesome thing to see!

Like I said before, what a year to be a Marvel fan. ❤



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