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Phase Four critics miss the ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ era, which was 9 whole months ago

Ah, the glory days of December 2021...

spider-man no way home
Image via Marvel Studios/Sony

It goes without saying that the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s Phase Four has proven to be the most contentious stage of the franchise’s expansion by far, and nothing illustrates that point better than the galling fact we live in a world where Inhumans is held in higher esteem by the general public than She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

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Not a single project manages to hit the big screen or Disney Plus without causing some kind of online firestorm for reasons that range from the reasonable to the ridiculous, whether it’s the supposed dearth of big-name cameos to have featured in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, or the continuous review-bombing campaigns against the likes of She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel.

Incredibly, things have gotten so bad that fans are now reminiscing for the long-lost days of…. less than a year ago, when the buildup to Spider-Man: No Way Home was the single biggest talking point among pop culture in general, not just longtime fans of the MCU.

Lamenting that nothing has come close to matching No Way Home is ludicrous when not only has it been a mere nine months since the multiversal extravaganza was released, but Jon Watts’ threequel was a trilogy-capper focusing on arguably the single most popular superhero on the planet, which also tied up almost 20 years’ of web-slinging stories in one fell swoop.

Of course, the internet being the internet, people are surprised that Werewolf by Night, I Am Groot, and What If…? haven’t been able to recapture that high. Who would have thought?