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Everything We Learned From Marvel Studios' San Diego Comic-Con Panel

San Diego Comic-Con has become a major event for fans of all things related to comic books, television, animation, and films. Perhaps most importantly, many companies use the California convention as an opportunity to tell fans in person what their plans are for the future of their franchises. This is especially true for Marvel Studios, who have made Earth shattering reveals during their Comic-Con panels over the past several years, from an early look at "Avengers: Infinity War" to Mahershala Ali's casting as vampire hunter Blade

In 2022, Marvel Studios returned to Comic-Con ready to reveal much about the MCU's upcoming new projects and to outline the company's long-term plans over the next three years. This includes films, Disney+ series, and even updates on Marvel's animated projects like "What If...?" and "X-Men '97." Needless to say, Marvel fans walked away from the panel with a lot of new content to be excited about. These are the highlights and biggest reveals from one of San Diego Comic-Con's most anticipated panels. 

Phase 4 is approaching its end

One of the biggest shocks of the evening came at the start of Marvel's Comic-Con panel. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed at the top of the panel that "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," slated to release in November 2022, will be the final film of Phase 4 of the MCU (via GamesRadar). Previously, it was believed that all of Marvel's upcoming slate through 2023 and 2024 would be additional content for Phase 4 leading up to a typical Avengers team-up film. However, the Multiverse Saga will be much different than that. 

As a result of this announcement, the panel took a moment to reflect on the journey of Phase 4 and continuing the Marvel Cinematic Universe following the impossible feat that was "Avengers: Endgame." The phase began in 2021 with "WandaVision," with 17 projects in total spanning movie screens and Disney+. All that's left in Phase 4 is the remainder of Marvel's output in 2022, which includes "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" in August, the untitled Disney+ Halloween special in the fall, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" in November, and "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" in December. 

A new trailer for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law was shown

Of course, Marvel spent a good amount of time at the panel talking about the next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Disney+ series "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law." The biggest news about the show came from its official trailer, which was screened at the panel and was later posted online. After previous criticisms of the show's use of CGI, this new preview offers a better look at the MCU's first series revolving around a completely computer-generated character

Tatiana Maslany also shines in the trailer as Jennifer Walters, a defense attorney for superhumans who also happens to be the cousin of Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk. It's unclear how Walters actually becomes the not-so-jolly green giant, but fans who are interested in finding out will have to tune in on August 17 when the show premieres. However, there's a lot to be excited about in anticipation of its release. 

The trailer also reveals the return of Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky, who was the antagonist of 2008's "The Incredible Hulk" opposite Edward Norton as Bruce Banner. However, what's even more exciting for fans is the reveal of Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, sporting a comic-accurate yellow-and-red Daredevil outfit. While it'll be fun to see She-Hulk and Daredevil come face-to-face, some fans may be even more excited at the possibility of Jennifer Walters and Matt Murdock squaring off in the courtroom. 

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania kicks off Phase 5

With "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" set to be Phase 4's final film, Phase 5 needs to come in swinging. Fortunately, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" may be the film to take things to the next level. At the Comic-Con panel, director Peyton Reed was joined on stage by the film's cast, including Paul Rudd, Kathryn Newton, Evangeline Lilly, and Jonathan Majors (via Variety). 

The audience was also treated to a first look of the film, which fans who couldn't make it to the panel will unfortunately have to wait to see. A lot's been happening with the cast of "Ant-Man" since their last appearance in "Avengers: Endgame." Scott Lang is thriving from the fame that comes from saving the universe, which has distanced him from Hope, as well as his daughter Cassie, who is getting caught up with the police, much like her father. 

The trailer also revealed that MODOK will be appearing in the film, as well as Bill Murray as Krylar, a former associate of Michelle Pfeiffer's Janet van Dyne. The highlight for fans, however, was Jonathan Majors' appearance as the film's antagonist, Kang the Conqueror, whose variant previously appeared in the first season of "Loki." In one scene, Rudd's Scott Lang confronts Kang, boldly stating, "I'm an Avenger." Kang menacingly replies, "You're an Avenger? Have I killed you before?"  

The audience got a first look at Secret Invasion

On the Disney+ side of things, the first series of Phase 5 will be "Secret Invasion," which features Samuel L. Jackson in his first lead role in the MCU. Co-star Cobie Smulders, who plays Fury's right-hand man Maria Hill in the series, appeared on stage at Comic-Con to present fans with a first look at the series. The preview footage featured a scene between Fury and the Skrull leader Talos, played by Ben Mendelsohn, who last appeared in "Spider-Man: Far From Home" in a post-credits scene that revealed he had been masquerading as Fury on Earth. 

Fans were also surprised to see Don Cheadle return as James Rhodes, as well as footage of Oscar-winner Olivia Colman. The series centers on the Skrull invasion of Earth, with Fury and Talos teaming up to thwart it. According to Smulders, the show is "darker" than previous Disney+ series and that fans are "never going to know who people are" thanks to the Skrull's ability to shapeshift. 

The cast is rounded out by "Game of Thrones" star Emilia Clarke and "One Night In Miami..." star Kingsley Ben-Adir. It's unclear if they will play humans or Skrulls, but judging by what we know of "Secret Invasion" so far, it may continue to be a guessing game. 

Upcoming films and shows move to Phase 5

Many films and series that were expected to be part of Phase 4 have now been confirmed by Kevin Feige to be entries of Phase 5. Aside from "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" and "Secret Invasion," Phase 5 includes some of the most anticipated upcoming MCU projects. On the film side, there's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," "The Marvels," and "Blade," though little is known about the latter other than the involvement of Mahershala Ali and the inclusion of the Ebony Blade, which appeared in a post-credits scene in "Eternals."

On the TV side of things, there's "Echo," which follows Alaqua Cox's Maya Lopez following the events of "Hawkeye." The show will also feature Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio as Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk, respectively. Phase 5 will also include the 2nd Season of "Loki" as well as "Ironheart," which will star the character of Riri Williams, set to debut in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever." The previously-announced Disney+ series focusing on Kathryn Hahn's character from "WandaVision," Agatha Harkness, will also premiere in 2023, titled "Agatha: Coven of Chaos," though very little is known about this project. 

Thankfully, Kevin Feige's announcement of Phase 5 didn't come without a few surprises for fans. 

New Phase 5 projects have been unveiled

While revealing the Phase 5 slate, Kevin Feige confirmed the existence of three new projects that will round out the end of the Multiverse Saga's second act. The first is the 18-episode-long first season of "Daredevil: Born Again," which features the return of Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio. It's unknown how much this show will be connected to the Netflix MCU series like "The Defenders" and "Jessica Jones," but nevertheless it'll be a fun reprisal for fans of the Man Without Fear.

Feige also revealed the next adventure for Sam Wilson, the MCU's new Captain America. Wilson will return in "Captain America: New World Order," which was also the title of the first episode of "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier." Little is known about what Sam Wilson will be facing in this film, but it's likely that Sebastian Stan and Emily VanCamp will play key roles as Bucky Barnes and Sharon Carter. 

Finally, Phase 5 will end with "Thunderbolts," a film that will explore the secret plans of Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who debuted in "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" to recruit John Walker for mysterious purposes. She later returned in the post-credits scene of "Black Widow" as the employer of Yelena Belova. In the comics, the Thunderbolts are a group of Marvel's biggest anti-heroes, essentially their own version of DC's Suicide Squad. However, other than Walker and Belova, it's unknown who else will be joining this MCU team-up. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the end of an era

Emotions were high as James Gunn and the cast of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" took the stage. Gunn didn't mince words when he described this entry as the final installment of the trilogy he began in 2014 with the first "Guardians of the Galaxy." Everything is leading up to Rocket Raccoon, who Gunn says most of this third film focuses on (via Entertainment Weekly). That's especially apparent with the reveal of the film's villain, the High Evolutionary, who will be played by "Peacemaker" star Chukwudi Iwuji

Iwuji joined the cast on stage in costume as the High Evolutionary, calling the audience "unevolved, disgusting low-life" before promising to "create the perfect species." In the comics, the High Evolutionary is responsible for creating Rocket Raccoon, among other human-animal hybrids. The audience also got a look at the villain in a trailer for the film, which apparently drew tears from the cast with its depiction of a baby Rocket Raccoon. It also featured the first look at Will Poulter and Maria Bakalova as Adam Warlock and Cosmo the Space Dog, respectively.

The cast was equally emotional on stage. Sean Gunn, who plays Kraglin Obfonteri, stated, "it's not just about the joy of working with [his brother James], but it's the joy of working with these other people." It's safe to say fans should bring tissues to the theater for this one. 

The Multiverse Saga expands into Phase 6

Of course, Feige couldn't let fans go without just a little more to be excited for. After outlining the plans for Phase 5, audiences were surprised to learn that Phase 6 would be the conclusion of the Multiverse Saga. While Feige confirmed the phase would have multiple projects spanning film and TV, the majority of those reveals will be saved for Disney's D23 expo in September. 

Feige did, however, confirm Phase 6's first film, "Fantastic Four," which will release in November 2024 (via Polygon). The casting of Marvel's First Family is still a mystery, despite John Krasinski appearing as a variant of Reed Richards in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." However, this reveal pales in comparison to the bomb that Feige dropped on the audience next.

The end of Phase 6 will come in 2025 with the release of two Avengers movies in the same year. "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty" will release in May 2025, while "Avengers: Secret Wars" will release six months later in November. These titles give fans a lot of ideas about where the Multiverse Saga is heading. It's clear that Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror will be a major player in "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty." However, if Marvel plans to adapt one of the biggest crossover events in the comics, combining the Avengers with the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the multiverse, that means "Avengers: Secret Wars" could make "Avengers: Endgame" look like child's play. 

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a tribute to Chadwick Boseman

After a panel of big reveals and emotional cast members, the biggest and most emotional news was saved for last. Kevin Feige was joined on stage by Ryan Coogler, the writer and director of the upcoming "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever." The film had a tumultuous production following the passing of Chadwick Boseman, star of 2018's "Black Panther." However, Coogler was soon joined on stage by the cast who banded together to finish the project in remembrance of Boseman.

Audiences were also shown the first trailer for the film, which was released online after the panel ended. The mystery of who will take up the Black Panther mantle is unknown, even though fans had predicted it would be Letitia Wright's Shuri. The trailer also showed the first official look at Tenoch Huerta as Namor, the film's antagonist and one of the biggest characters in Marvel Comics history. The film will certainly be an emotional ride for Black Panther fans but also will be filled with some intense action sequences as the Wakandans head to war with Atlantis

Despite how excited fans are for the film, it won't be quite the same without Chadwick Boseman at the forefront. Hopefully, his character is given the send-off he deserves. 

There were no updates about certain future projects

Marvel Studios' 2022 San Diego Comic-Con panel was full of surprises for fans. However, not every surprise involved the reveal of a new Disney+ series or Avengers team-up film. Some fans were shocked to not hear about certain MCU projects that have either been confirmed or rumored. One of these is "Armor Wars," a Disney+ series starring Don Cheadle as James Rhodes, which doesn't appear on the slate for Phase 5. However, the series' writer, Yassir Lester, posted in an Instagram story that the show is still coming (via The DisInsider). 

There was also no new information regarding the upcoming Disney+ Halloween special, which has yet to even receive an official title. The special will star Gael García Bernal as the comic book character Werewolf by Night, with Laura Donnelly appearing as Marvel's monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone. Hopefully, some official details are revealed about the project during Disney's D23 expo in September. 

Finally, fans were disappointed not to hear any news about the future of some fan-favorite MCU characters. No Spider-Man projects have been confirmed for Phase 5 or Phase 6 as of yet, and the rumored solo Scarlet Witch movie starring Elizabeth Olsen was also not confirmed. Other characters, like Doctor Strange, Moon Knight, Deadpool, and the Eternals are also absent from the upcoming Marvel roster. Perhaps these characters will make supporting appearances in upcoming movies, or their future projects are part of Phase 6's unknown line-up.