When The Avengers came out in 2012, it seemed like the ultimate climax of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, it was simply the climax to the first act of what would ultimately be three (or four) phases, each with their own Avengers capper.
The worry that came with that, particularly after the behemoth scale of The Avengers, was… How could Marvel hope to top (or even just equal) a supergroup movie with more standalone pictures hinged on individual superheroes, without just creating the impression of the franchise just spinning its wheels?
Marvel being the Pixar it currently is, they pulled it off. Not only that, but despite the fact The Avengers: Age of Ultron proved to be even better than The Avengers, it was outdone by Captain America: The Winter Soldier — the best movie Marvel had yet made, despite it being a sequel to the worst they’d made.
And that was before a superhero war broke out. Continue reading