Phase 2 of the MCU had some towering heights and a few unfortunate lows, so it’s time we rank its six movies to determine which one is the best.
With the first Avengers movie, it seemed like Marvel had reached an unprecedented height that would’ve been impossible to surpass. But there were bigger plans in store for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and they were officially set in motion once Iron Man 3 premiered in 2013. For two years, Marvel would build upon everything it achieved with its first phase of movies by releasing sequels for well-known characters and by introducing brand-new heroes on the big screen.
However, a major difference between Phases 1 and 2 of the MCU is the amount of expectations people had. By the time audiences got to know Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, they wanted their future adventures to be memorable and meet high standards. Unfortunately, it seems this pressure got the best of Marvel, as some of the projects in Phase 2 had mixed results.
A lot of work went into assuring Avengers: Age of Ultron would be better than its predecessor, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. While the movie was far from a disaster, it spent too much time setting things up for future stories that it forgot to tell its own cohesively. Furthermore, Thor: The Dark World failed to resonate with audiences with its grim style and forgettable antagonist. Speaking of which, something that also hurt Phase 2 of the MCU was its lack of good supervillains. Ultron was a letdown for many of us, and while Guardians of the Galaxy was a fantastic movie, Ronan the Accuser was a pretty terrible character.
Overall, Phase 2 of the MCU wasn’t its most iconic so far, but it wasn’t a total letdown either. It was a necessary stepping stone from which Marvel could learn and keep expanding. Besides, it did have a few standouts that can be considered some of the best superhero movies created so far. So it’s time we dive into our ranking and discover which of these projects are truly iconic and which failed to take audiences by surprise.