The Marvel Universe has seen many changes in 2021 after the difficult year that the global pandemic has caused for all publishers in 2020. As a publisher, Marvel has made giant leaps in its comic book universe and its cinematic universe, finally releasing the stories and movies that had been delayed.
2021 has also seen the characters celebrate milestone anniversaries, negotiate new distribution deals, capitalize on contracts signed in 2020, and expand their library of digital comics. They have also started looking beyond 2022 with announcements of ongoing projects and a diversification of their product line.
ten The Marvel Universe in 2021 has provided fans with great stories as well as longtime creators who have completed their critically acclaimed runs
The Marvel Universe has seen some of its biggest stories and events unfold and come to an end in 2021. The year began with king in black, written by Donny Cates, with art by Ryan Stegman, found Knull and his symbiotes invading Earth. In May, Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness explored a Marvel Universe where the Avengers never existed. heroes reborn. Other standout stories of 2021 include Ben Reilly’s return in Amazing Spider-Man Beyond the storyline, Doom and Scarlet Witch entered the Darkhold, Elecktra took over the mantle of Daredevil, setting up reign of the devil.
There were significant changes to the creative teams as Nick Spencer ended his run on Spider-Man, Ta-Nehisi Coates ended his historic runs on Black Panther and Captain America, and John Romita Jr. returned to Marvel. These events and other endeavors set the stage for the Marvel Universe in 2022 and beyond.
9 The Marvel Cinematic Universe has exploded onto TV, courtesy of Disney+ and Hulu
Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe began in January with Wanda Vision, the first Marvel series to air on Disney+, with Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprising their roles as Wanda Maximoff and Vision. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiered next on the Disney streaming service in March, with Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie reprising their respective roles as Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson, following the events of 2019 Avengers: Endgame.
In June, Tom Hiddleston reprized his role as Loki in the show’s first season, which introduced the concept of variants to the MCU. Live MCU shows closed out the year with Hawk Eye introducing Kate Bishop and dealing with leads from the Avengers and Black Widow films. Marvel also released three animated series: WHAT IF…?, hit the monkey, and MODOK, on Disney+ and Hulu, respectively.
8 The MCU returned to theaters with four action-packed movies
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has come back strong with three big screen outings. Black Widow featured Scarlett Johansson in her final appearance as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow. After multiple setbacks and delays due to the ongoing pandemic, the film finally saw a release, marking the start of phase four of the MCU movies. The next movie released in 2021 was Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, looking at Simu Liu as Shang-Chi.
Eternals, the 26th feature in November, which although received mixed reviews from fans and critics, still managed to be the tenth highest-grossing film of the year. The year ended with the long-awaited Spider-Man: No Coming Home, which introduced the concept of the multiverse and saw many familiar faces from past Spider-Man trilogies return to the screen.
seven Marvel Entertainment has announced the schedule for upcoming MCU releases in 2022
Marvel Studios also revealed upcoming film and TV releases for 2022 and beyond that are expected to complete the MCU’s fourth phase. The film’s dossier for the studio includes the 2022 releases of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Future movies announced include Wonders, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania scheduled for 2023, and the Fantastic Four teaser.
Disney+ MCU releases in 2022 include Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Secret Invasion, Ms. Marvel, Ironheart, Armor Wars, a series set in Wakanda, and Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.
6 Marvel Cuts Ties With Diamond Comics Distributors, Moves To Penguin Random House
In March 2021, Marvel announced that it would be leaving Diamond Comics Distributors Inc in October for Penguin Random House Publisher Services from Penguin Random House. The agreement between the two companies means that Penguin Radom House will be Marvel’s exclusive distributor for all newly released and background comic books, trade collections and graphic novels to comic book stores worldwide.
Marvel also announced that Penguin Classics Marvel Collections, a new series, will begin with Black Panther, Captain America and The Amazing Spider-Man slated for release in June 2022. Each edition will include a foreword by a young adult author and an introduction scientist explaining the enduring significance of iconic characters and how they speak to Marvel’s transformative impact on popular culture.
5 Hickman leaves the X-Men universe but stays with Marvel
The end of 2021 not only marked the end of Krakoa’s First Age of the X Universe, but also marked the end of Jonathan Hickman’s time as the architect of the X-Men titles. The House of X/Powers of X story that Hickman pitched in 2019 and was one of the most defining X-Men stories in years.
In addition to overseeing the X titles, Hickman also wrote the four-issue INFERNO series which served as the end of his run and helped set up the Second Age of Krakoa which is set to kick off in 2022. As Hickman leaves the X -Men, he’s not leaving the Marvel Universe, but instead plans to focus on the next “Big Marvel Thing.”
4 Captain America, Fantastic Four, Deadpool and Miles Morales celebrated publishing milestones
Marvel celebrated impressive release milestones in 2021 as one of its star characters, Captain America, celebrated 80 years leading the charge. Captain America wasn’t the only iconic character Marvel celebrated with specials and big events; Marvel’s first family, the Fantastic Four, celebrated their 60th anniversary of being one of the most impactful and exciting superhero teams.
Other characters such as Deadpool and Miles Morales also celebrated 30th and 10th birthdays respectively. These characters, which are hallmarks of the Marvel Universe, represent the past and present and the ongoing cultural impact that these characters and others have become in today’s pop culture.
3 Marvel’s Unlimited Digital Service Added Exclusive Infinity Comics That Introduced A New Way To Read Digital Comics
For years, Marvel has offered the largest collection of digital comics through its Marvel Unlimited service, which gives subscribers access to over 29,000 digital comics. In September, Marvel announced that in addition to its catalog of titles, a new line of comic books, Infinity Comics, would offer readers a unique digital comic book reading experience.
So far, these comics have featured well-known characters such as Spider-Man in The Spine-Tingling Spider-Man, Hulkling and Wiccan, to new characters such as Ghost Rider: Kushala, and side characters like Lucky the Pizza Dog, written by some of the best talent in the industry. These stories also use a new method of presenting comics as they are read vertically, making them more mobile and tablet friendly.
2 Marvel’s 2020 Sirius/XM Deal Takes Fans To The Wasteland And Behind The Scenes
In December 2020, Marvel Entertainment and satellite radio service Sirius/XM signed an exclusive deal that brought Marvel podcasts and other audio entertainment to subscribers. The deal brought Marvel podcast series such as Wonder/Method, the weekly Marvel fandom podcast hosted by Method Man, and new episodes of popular ongoing Marvel podcast series like This week in Marvel, Women of Marvel, Marvel’s Voices, Marvel’s Pull List to subscribers before being shown on other streaming services.
Not only have new episodes been made available, but new podcasts such as Marvel’s Declassified, and Marvel wasteland, the multi-part original scripted audio series starring Star-Lord, Hawkeye and Black Widow, debuted in 2021.
1 The Voices of Marvel showcased the diversity of the Marvel Universe with four anthologies in 2021
The Voices of Marvel, the anthology comic series spun off from the Marvel Podcast that explores and spotlights various storytellers and their journeys, had a huge boom in 2021. In February, Marvel Voices: Legacy #1 showcased Marvel’s incredible black hero legacy with stories featuring heroes such as Black Panther, Blade, Falcon, Ironheart, Luke Cage, and more.
In June, Marvel celebrated Pride Month with Marvel Voices: Pride #1, their first-ever queer-centric anthology featuring LGBTQ+ characters such as Wiccan and Hulkling, Iceman, Mystique and Destiny, Karma, Akihiro, and Runaways Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean. In August, Asian creators and characters such as Shang-Chi, Ms. Marvel and Silk took center stage in Marvel Voices: Identity #1. End the year was Marvel’s Voices: Communities which gave Latinx voices and characters a chance to shine.
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