January 27, 2023
The Highs and Lows of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2022

Darcie takes a retrospective look back at the highs and the lows of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2022

With the Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas Special now out on Disney Plus, it means the Marvel Cinematic Universe is wrapped up for 2022. For me, this year the MCU has been a mixed bag. In fact, I have only fully enjoyed three projects this year: Black Panther Wakanda Forever, She-Hulk Attorney at Law, and the Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas Special. Of the others, I felt Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness didn’t go far enough and wasted Wanda as a villain. Thor: Love and Thunder was an absolute disaster and, in my opinion, is the worst MCU project ever made. Ms. Marvel was okay. And Moon Knight was trying so hard to be clever but ended up just mimicking every mystery/character with multiple personality tropes. Werewolf by Night was a great addition and a brilliant style experiment. So, I thought I’d share with you my top 5 best and 5 worst moments of the 2022 MCU projects.

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Let’s start with the worst/my least favorite 5 moments because I’d hate to end this post on a negative.

  1. Pizza Poppa

There was a time when MCU after-credit sequences were fun, important to the plot, or even just fill in a story plot hole. After-credit scenes are a little extra, almost a desert after a great meal. At the very least they are worth sitting through the credits. Even after you’ve been sat for three hours or more (May be longer when you factor in trailers and adverts). But this particular scene featuring Bruce Campbell’s Pizza Poppa still slapping himself in the face felt out of place and a waste of time. I mean I didn’t like it when Strange put the curse on him. So perhaps that’s why I didn’t find it funny. But this scene certainly left those in my screening feeling underwhelmed.

Marvel Cinematic Universe
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.
  1. Relationship between Kamala and her mother

So many mother/daughter relationships on screen are dysfunctional, with a mother that does not understand her daughter, that is overly strict and seems to not even like her. I think the show would have benefited from seeing a healthy, loving dynamic between Kamala and her mother, perhaps they could have figured out the power origins together, embracing their shared heritage together.

(L-R): Zenobia Shroff as Muneeba, Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, and Samina Ahmed as Sana in Marvel Studios’ MS. MARVEL, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Patrick Brown. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.
  1. Moon Knight god fight

The fight taking place towards the end of Moon Knight felt out of place. Did we really need two giant gods fighting it out? And if we did – why did it last minutes? Surely gods fighting would be an epic, multi-year battle?  A battle for the ages, that would cause mass destruction. Perhaps a better route for this battle would have been a battle that took place within a space outside of time and place. Also, giant gods fighting must have caused a lot of media coverage and would have been on the radar of the Avengers. Yet it’s never mentioned again – not even in Thor: Love and Thunder which had a god council.

Marvel Cinematic Universe
(L-R): Ammit (voiced by Saba Mubarak) and Khonshu (voiced by F. Murray Abraham) in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT., exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.
  1. Lack of Multiverse

When you have a film titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a multiverse. What we got was a look at one different universe and a quick montage through a few more – all of which were set in New York. We didn’t get characters played by different actors. We didn’t get a look at different planets. And we didn’t even get to see a different location on Earth. The multiverse was not mad it was boring. And personally how cool would it have been to see a different version of Iron Man? I think it would have been great to have Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen play Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

DOCTOR STANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS - Marvel Cinematic Universe
A scene from Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios 2022. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.
  1. The whole of Thor: Love and Thunder

Okay, this feels a little harsh, but I abstained from even writing a review for Thor: Love and Thunder as I couldn’t find anything nice to say. I’m glad for people that enjoyed it, but for me, it felt like a parody, the goat jokes were outdated. Giving children superpowers was cringe as were most of the jokes. The god’s scene and Gore the God Butcher were wasted opportunities. The worst MCU entrée to date.

Christian Bale as Gorr in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Now onto the best moments! Exciting, here are my five best moments of the MCU 2022.

  1. Daredevil and She-Hulk

She-Hulk overall was a brilliant series, that trolled certain fan groups, was super relatable, and wholly original. It also marked the return of Charlie Cox as Daredevil and his MCU debut which was great to watch. But the chemistry between Jen/She-Hulk and Daredevil was off the charts. The depiction of their relationship is healthy, workable, and fun. I’m hoping Jen will make a cameo in the upcoming Daredevil series.

(L-R): Charlie Cox as Daredevil/Matt Murdock and Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk/Jennifer “Jen” Walters in Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
  1. The Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas special  

When a Christmas special was announced I thought for sure it was going to be cheesy and rather cringey. What we got however was something special and heartfelt. The big reveal is great. I loved seeing the characters in a smaller story without massive battles. But I fear that this cute special will only make Guardians of the Galaxy 3 a more emotional watch.

Marvel Cinematic Universe
Pom Klementieff as Mantis in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
  1. Queen Ramonda gives a speech

Let’s be honest, all of Angela Bassett’s scenes in Black Panther Wakanda Forever were incredible. Get that woman an Oscar! But the moment that gave me chills was her speech to the world leaders. The way Bassett delivers each line is faultless, dripping with emotion. The intercutting of the mission with the speech is particularly powerful. One of the best MCU moments to date.

Marvel Cinematic Universe
Angela Bassett as Ramonda in Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER. Photo by Annette Brown. © 2022 MARVEL.
  1. Wanda takes down the Illuminati

Whilst I wished for a more drawn Wanda villain arch almost similar to Thanos’ arch, there was one particular scene that stood out to me. When Wanda takes down the Illuminati, she holds nothing back. She takes them out with such ease. The ‘what mouth’ line is delivered in such a perfect way, chilling and menace punctuated with each letter. Elizabeth Olsen reminds us just how great she is in the role of Scarlet Witch. We spent so much time seeing Wanda develop into a top-level character, and this scene cemented her as the most powerful in the MCU currently.

DOCTOR STANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS - Marvel Cinematic Universe
Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.
  1. Black Panther Makes her entrance

And in the first place, we have the first appearance of Letitia Wright’s Shuri as Black Panther. The moment Shuri aka the new Black Panther drops from the jet in full costume just hits! It’s powerful and bold. The first time I experienced this scene everyone in the cinema, cheered and clapped, it was a truly exciting moment. The reveal felt so earned, the mantle rightfully passed along. A goosebump moment.

A scene from Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

So there you have it, my top best and worst moments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2022. Next year is sure to be another jam-packed year for the Marvel Cinematic Universe although some projects seem to be changing. In 2023 I’m most looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and Secret Invasion.

You can explore the awesomeness of the Marvel Cinematic Universe exclusively on Disney Plus. Subscribe today and enjoy a treasure trove of wonders!

What are your favorite moments from the MCU in 2022? Sound off below.

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