She-Hulk: Attorney at Law recently had its finale on Disney Plus, bringing the tally of completed MCU shows up to nine (including one TV Halloween special). So far, that means that “Phase 4” series have overtaken the feature films. But of those nine shows, which is the best MCU show? Your mileage may certainly vary, but below is our MCU show ranking, ordered from worst to best.
Related: Test your superhero knowledge with our MCU quiz
To avoid getting bogged down in questions of MCU canon, this list only includes MCU Phase 4 titles. That means you won’t find Daredevil or other Marvel shows previously on Netflix here, or many animated series and live-action shows from ABC, Hulu, or other networks. While most of those are streaming on Disney Plus, it’s not entirely clear whether or how they all fit into the MCU canon. (But we can’t wait for Daredevil: Born Again to shed a bit more light on that.)
If you haven’t watched the shows listed below, you can check them out, along with other Marvel titles, on Disney Plus by hitting the link below:
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Phase 4 MCU shows ranked
Editor’s note: We will update these rankings as more new MCU series are added to Disney Plus
9. What If…?
There’s so much potential in the multiverse-centric animated series What If…? Each episode takes place in a different corner of the multiverse. As such, we see familiar events reframed in a new light. What if Steve Rogers hadn’t become Captain America, with Peggy Carter instead donning the iconic shield. Or what if T’Challa had been abducted from Wakanda instead of Peter Quill, making him Star-Lord instead of Black Panther. The animated MCU series has a great central conceit. It allows for stories that aren’t beholden to existing canon.
Having said that, the concept gets old pretty fast. It feels less like an exercise in breaking from the confines of continuity and more like a string of winks to the audience. In some cases, these stories feed into later projects like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which can make for satisfying worldbuilding. On its own, though, What If…? mostly feels like a missed opportunity.
8. Moon Knight
While it was full of cool ideas and featured some of today’s finest actors, Moon Knight stumbled a bit out the gate. Built around the mystery of museum employee protagonist Steven Grant’s lost time, the show slowly reveals that Steven has dissociative identity disorder, and that manifests as completely distinct identities that take turns inhabiting his body. Among them is mercenary Marc Spector, who is the earthly avatar of the Egyptian God Khonshu. As the series progresses, we learn more about the Egyptian Gods and Steven’s traumatic past, though the series plays with our perceptions of what is real and what is in Steven’s mind.
Moon Knight features some stunning effects and dark, clever themes, but as an introduction to an entirely new character, it leans a bit too heavily on mystery before we’re actually invested in any of the key players, making this one of the weaker MCU show entries.
7. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
The title of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was a bit puzzling when it was first announced. At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Steve Rogers hands off the Captain America shield to Sam Wilson, his former sidekick The Falcon. It seems like a clear indication that Sam is the next Captain America. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, though, we see Sam, partnering with Bucky, after he has rejected the title, the two taking on new Super Soldiers and their old enemy Zemo. It seems inevitable, though, that Sam will accept his new responsibility by show’s end. It’s a bit of an obvious fakeout.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, perhaps more than any other MCU show, feels like it would have been better served by the feature film treatment. It’s full of unnecessary asides, and the pacing never quite finds its stride, despite a number of great plot points (the introduction of a previous Black Super Soldier stands out as particularly poignant and a reminder of America’s dark past). Of course, that should all be remedied when Sam gets his own feature film with the as-yet-untitled Captain America 4. But it’s hard not to see The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as a trial run for Sam’s solo title. He didn’t need the training wheels.
6. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
The most recent MCU outing, She-Hulk has big shoes to fill, and while it doesn’t hit the top half of our MCU show ranking, it’s a terrific take on the classic comic character. It’s also the first MCU sitcom, taking the form of a legal comedy as much as a superhero origin myth.
Jennifer Walters is an LA lawyer. She’s also Bruce Banner’s cousin, and after a car accident exposes her to his blood, she’s a Hulk just like Bruce. While humor is nothing new in the MCU, fourth-wall-breaking meta-commentary on the MCU itself is. While Jennifer’s asides — spoken directly to the audience — could be tiresome, star Tatiana Maslany pulls them off expertly, drawing us in all the way to a shockingly self-reflexive finale.
One of the standout surprises of Marvel’s foray into MCU shows was no doubt Hawkeye. While arguably the most minor of the original Avengers, Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, nevertheless sure can carry a show. It didn’t hurt that he was joined by MCU new addition Kate Bishop, an obvious successor to the Hawkeye mantle and charismatic new addition to the ever-growing cast of characters. In Hawkeye, Clint and Kate spend the holiday season fighting bad guys in New York. Clint’s past has caught up with him, and when his path crosses Kate’s, the two become unlikely allies in their attempts to solve a mystery, clear their names, and make it home in time for Christmas morning.
By the end of the series, it feels a bit like Hawkeye is trying to cram too many Easter eggs and teasers for upcoming projects into its runtime at the expense of the show’s own narrative. It doesn’t ruin it by any means, but it does cost Hawkeye a few points in the MCU show rankings.
Loki has been a fan-favorite anti-hero since his first appearance in 2011’s Thor. Since then he has shifted allegiances, nearly destroyed Earth, and found redemption as a loyal ally to his brother, the Asgardian God of Thunder. Having died in Avengers: Infinity War, though, Loki is off the board. Or, rather, the Loki we’ve followed through the entirety of the MCU is off the board. In Avengers: Endgame, we saw Loki in an alternate timeline make his escape after the Battle of New York in the original Avengers. That Loki is alive and travelling through the multiverse when we meet him again at the start of Loki.
Of course, messing with the multiverse attracts the attention of the Time Variance Authority, who put Loki to work finding a variant version of himself. With eerie, pulpy sci-fi and a version of Loki learning to be good anew, the series is a terrific use of the multiverse and of the character Loki, setting up some exciting possibilities for the larger MCU while telling a thrilling, funny, and addictive story. All six episodes of the first season are must-watch Disney Plus content, and Season 2, due out next year, is looking to be an even bigger hit for the platform.
3. Werewolf by Night
Released as a one-off Halloween special, Werewolf by Night is a fun standalone story that stands apart from most other MCU titles in its evocation of classic Universal monster pictures. Clocking in just under an hour, the special sees a group of monster hunters assembled for a hunt that will determine the next leader of their cabal. Gael García Bernal stars as Jack Russell, one of the hunters, who seems to have something to hide as he colludes with the beastie they’re all after.
Introducing Marvel’s Man-Thing and Elsa Bloodstone, Werewolf by Night may well be lining up some future projects, but it’s a terrific story on its own, and it has the added benefit of requiring no knowledge of previous MCU titles.
The first MCU show to premiere on Disney Plus. WandaVision set the bar high for the shows that would follow. WandaVision’s first episodes followed Wanda and a miraculously revived Vision enjoying domestic life in a small suburb. Each episode was modelled on a different classic sitcom as we slowly came to realize that Wanda was controlling and brainwashing her neighbors through magic.
WandaVision gave Wanda far more character development than she ever got in her MCU film appearances, and it had one of the most unique and original styles of any Marvel project so far. While the plot got a little out of control by the end and made way for a bland, CGI-heavy final battle, the show remains a major standout and laid the groundwork for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as well as hinting at a potential X-Men launch within the MCU.
1. Ms. Marvel
While Kamala Khan is a big Avengers fan, giving Ms. Marvel strong links to other MCU projects, there’s something refreshing and exciting about how self-contained the series is. Yes, it eventually offers a very brief tease to the upcoming feature The Marvels, but 99% of the time, it’s a hero origin story tucked into a moving and heartfelt coming-of-age teen drama. Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight are arguably the only two MCU shows to offer such fundamentally new stories within the established Marvel Universe, though Ms. Marvel does it much better.
Kamala Kahn is a teen trying to fit in. A superhero geek, her bedroom is plastered with Captain Marvel posters. When she finds a family heirloom that gives her superpowers, Kamala embarks on a journey to discover her family’s origins in Pakistan as she fights off new enemies, including a shadowy government organization. Having Kamala’s story stretched across a season of TV gives it enough room to stretch out. We get a glimpse into Kamala’s friendships, her family life, and more, without having to cut straight to the action. It evokes some of the best elements of the Spider-Man films while also carving out its own exciting identity, putting first among MCU show rankings.
Those are our MCU show rankings, including all nine Disney Plus series that are part of Phase 4.
We’ll be sure to add new series to the list following their finales.
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