2021 Marvel Show Ranking


Ella D'Amore

(Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures) Vision (Paul Bettany) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) look around, bewildered, that their life is changing right before their eyes.


SPOILER WARNING this ranking contains spoilers for each of the five 2021 Marvel Shows.


(Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)
The What If series on Disney+ features alternate possibilities of many of the Marvel cinematic universe’s heroes. In the first episode, a twist is put on the story of Captain America and shows what it would’ve been like if Peggy Carter took the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rodgers. (Ella D’Amore)

How could something with such an interesting premise turn out so disappointing? What I had high hopes for turned out to be just a big bummer. 

A role reversal where Peggy Carter, Captain America’s love interest, was the first Avenger? A very yucky timeline where Thanos, the Big Bad of the Avengers movies, never snapped his fingers and is one of the good guys? Killing Dr. Strange’s beloved Rachel McAdams over and over? Marvel! What was the reason? 

Maybe What If will find its place higher on the list if it actually has any effect on the MCU, but for now it just felt unnecessary, especially since it’s such a drag. I’m willing to give Marvel the benefit of the doubt; they can develop great stories with the time provided in movies, sequels, and shows where stories span multiple episodes. Maybe 20-minute segments just aren’t their thing.


(Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)
Loki (Tom Hiddleston), God of Mischief, stars in the new Disney+ series: Loki. Loki meets other variants of himself while trying to flee from the TVA, on a quest to find out who the timekeepers really are. (Ella D’Amore)

Loki is filled with twists and turns as it brings back Marvel’s most beloved villain, Loki Laufeyson (Tom Hiddleston). The show kicks off with his escape from the Avengers tower (a scene from Avengers: Endgame). Loki leaves using the Tesseract and plans to make a quick trip back to Asgard – until he finds himself surrounded by Minutemen working for the TVA (Time Variance Authority). Upon arrival at the TVA, Loki meets Mobius (Owen Wilson), an analyst attempting to crack the case of a rogue variant. The pair are incredibly entertaining as they travel through timelines searching for clues, attempting to catch Mobius’ missing variant, Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), a female Loki variant.

The show is filled with plot twists as well as introductions to new aspects of the MCU, including possible steps towards exploring the multiverse. One of the show’s defining moments was the introduction of the Loki Variants — different versions of Loki throughout different timelines, making for hilarious banter and plenty of enjoyable Loki moments.

The final episode ends with Sylvie and Loki turning against each other in an argument over whether or not Kang (who is uncovered as the true mastermind behind the TVA), should live or die. We see a romantic breakthrough between the characters when Sylvie kisses Loki to distract him before sending him back to the TVA so she can fulfill her plan of killing Kang (Jonathan Majors). Whether or not this relationship will continue into the newly confirmed Season 2 of Loki is unknown, but the romantic relationship between Loki and Sylvie is without a doubt strange since they are variants of each other. The final episode ends in a cliffhanger as Loki realizes Sylvie has killed Kang, and therefore unleashed a multitude of new timelines. 

Through his developing feelings for Sylvie, as well as his sudden change in scenery, the show allowed for ample character development for our 2012 Loki, but this also took away slightly from his villainous tendencies that make Loki such an appreciated character. Though we appreciated the show’s new characters as well as the new possibilities that will likely unfold in future Marvel productions, we miss our scheming, mischievous Loki. Although Loki didn’t quite reach our expectations, we enjoyed the show nonetheless. We look forward to seeing more of him in Loki Season 2.


(Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)
The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) navigate their first mission as partners. They are forced to work alongside the new Captain America, John Walker (Wyatt Russell) as they track down the Flag Smashers. (Ella D’Amore)

Falcon and the Winter Soldier picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame, in which the Avengers successfully bring back half the universe. After Cap passes on his shield to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), we see his struggle with the burden and importance that the shield carries, as well as Bucky Barnes’ (Sebastian Stan) struggles to move past his days as the Winter Soldier. 

The two are immediately faced with John Walker (Wyatt Russell), the so-called “new Captain America,” as well as the rising radical group of supersoldiers called the Flag Smashers. With this resurgence of super-soldier conflict, the two turn to Zemo (Daniel Brühl), the main antagonist tearing the avengers apart in Captain America: Civil War

Not only did the show bring back several beloved characters, but it gave Marvel fans insight into how the MCU was now progressing after the events of Avengers: Endgame. The show incorporates Bucky’s struggle with PTSD as he handles his guilt from his years as an assassin, as well as the effect the blip has had in countries across the globe.

As Stan Lee once said, “Marvel has always been and will be a reflection of the world outside your window,” which is exactly what The Falcon and the Winter Soldier proved when the show explored Racism in America and the necessity for black representation. Marvel shedding light on these issues that we see occur in our world every day was extremely gratifying, especially through Sam becoming Captain America. 

The show was action-packed, with exciting plot lines and incredible character development. Though it may not have been our favorite, Marvel’s Falcon and the Winter Soldier turned out to be another winning production. We’re excited to see a future for Sam and Bucky in the MCU.


(Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)
Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) a prestigious fighter and archer, encounters her idol Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) as they outrun Clint’s heinous past as Ronin. (Ella D’Amore)

If I had to sum up this show in one word: adorable. This show is a masterclass on how to introduce a new character to root for in the MCU. Hailee Steinfeld as champion archer Kate Bishop is such a treat. But Hawkeye wasn’t without its heartfelt moments; what’s a Marvel production without a tragic love story? Clint Barton (AKA Hawkeye, portrayed by Jeremy Renner) must stay in New York to protect Kate and resolve his dark past, but in doing so misses out on quality Christmas time with his newly united family. Although this is a hard and painful decision for Clint, his wife Laura, and their kids, they all know he would never let innocent Kate, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, get hurt because of his dicey past.

Although there’s a 31 year age difference between Clint and Kate, their chemistry feels as if they’ve been a team for years. Kate is like a golden retriever Clint found on the street that he now feels protective of; she’s loyal, ready for fun, and there when you need someone to listen (Could Pizza Dog be a metaphor for Kate?).

Kate is a breath of fresh air to the Marvel universe. Finally, multidimensional female protagonists that aren’t tortured by their superhuman abilities or distracted by a passionate love affair. This brings me to my next point: the Yelena situation. Hawkeye seamlessly continued and satisfyingly concluded the cliffhanger at the end of Black Widow. Yelena (Florence Pugh), Natasha’s sister, is approached by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and is led to believe her beloved sister was murdered by Clint. Gasp! Yelena entered the Hawkeye world in style with a vengeance, and left with the closure she might not have expected but needed. This was such an excellent addition because it added to the excitement and intrigue of the plot instead of distracting from it. 

The fun, the action, the Christmas spirit, the Pizza Dog. Perfection. 


(Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)
Vision (Paul Bettany) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) look around, bewildered, that their life is changing right before their eyes. (Ella D’Amore)

WandaVision was introduced as a highly anticipated fun addition to the Marvel universe with the premise of referencing a different era of sitcoms every episode while hinting that something isn’t right in Wanda and Vision’s world. Starting with a 50s style homage, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) enter the black and white screen with smiles, witty one-liners, and a nosy neighbor with husband problems. It’s classic TV — it’s comfort. After a dinner party goes awry, an eerie atmosphere creeps over the screen with rising music, a camera zooming onto each of the distressed characters’ faces, and a burning question that bubbles to the surface: what is going on?

Throughout its 10 episode run, WandaVision excites viewers and takes us on a roller coaster ride of emotions, toying with reality and rewriting the rules of what makes someone a villain. Is Wanda a manipulating mastermind? Or is she just a person overwhelmed by grief, whose actions are wrong but are still simply motivated by basic human emotions we can all relate to? Well, turns out it was Agatha all along. So many twists!

Wandavision is a masterpiece because it pulls you in from beginning to end, with the perfect mix of laughs and tears along the way and enough plot twists to give Pretty Little Liars a run for its money. 

Besides the beautiful cinematography that sets the tone without even having to speak, the natural chemistry between Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany is absolute magic. At its core, WandaVsion isn’t about the Marvel Universe, Agatha, or even just Wanda, it’s about Wanda and Vision’s love story. Yes, it is a tragic one built from grief that must find closure or it will destroy the universe, but it’s a love story nevertheless. This show rightly earned its place in the Marvel Hall of Fame with some of the best storytelling I’ve seen from Marvel yet.