Perhaps unfairly, Marvel Studios’ Phase Four has developed a reputation for not taking itself seriously. This primarily seems to apply to the recent release of Thor: Love and Thunder, which was a consequence-free knockabout comedy (with a tonal whiplash cancer subplot). But to be fair there’s also been a lot of silliness in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Ms. Marvel.
The counterpoint is that other Phase Four movies and shows like Black Widow, Eternals, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Moon Knight weren’t especially funny, but the fact remains that right now MCU fans want something with a bit more grit.
That may come in Disney Plus show Secret Invasion in 2023. Perennial superhero movie insider Grace Randolph claims to have the scoop on the show’s tone and claims it’ll be more akin to The Winter Soldier:
Fans on r/MarvelStudios are loving the news, though many say they almost don’t dare to hope that we could get a modern Marvel production with the same tone as Cap’s critically acclaimed second outing.
It’s worth mentioning that this backlash against humor comes after just a few back-to-back comedic MCU releases. It wasn’t even a year ago that these same fans were bemoaning Eternals for being too po-faced, so this is a pendulum that very much swings both ways.
However, with the next MCU release the “half-hour legal comedy” She-Hulk: Attorney at Law in mid-August, it seems like the MCU is stuck in jokey mode for at least a little while yet.