2018 has been a crazy yet fruitful year for the MCU and its fandom. And to cap off 2018, we present to you, loyal reader, our picks for the biggest shocks and reveals of the year, the first of a seven-part series.
I’ll admit that I was one of those people who were legit shocked at seeing half our heroes turned to dust in front of our eyes at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. To see them fail spectacularly in their task to stop Thanos. I knew that a direct sequel had already been filmed, that many of these characters already had movies in development, that Marvel and Disney wouldn’t leave these characters dead for long, and that the ending was even spoiled for me days before I saw it. But, in that moment, that brief moment, my mouth was agape in shock to see all these characters we’ve been watching for years crumble to dust or their friends and loved ones helplessly baring witness to their death. This is coming from a person well into their 20s, so I can hardly imagine how a child would react to seeing all their favorite superheroes broken or dead and Thanos victorious. I would have been distraught at the sight of it. I can only imagine that this moment will be many children’s “I am your father,” it certainly would have been for me. – Pierre Chanliau, Editor
For me, Thanos’s Snap was easily the biggest shock of the year. Yes, we know that it happened in the comics, but the fact that the Russo’s and the MCU has the balls to do this in the film was quite surprising. Not only did they show the heroes of the story losing, but they subverted the entire movie to focus on Thanos. In a movie with seemingly an endless amount of heroes, the villain is the one who gets a character arc, who we follow throughout the movie, and who ultimately gets the victory. To see our characters turn to dust in such an emotional way and to end the film with Thanos sitting quietly on his farm was such an ominous and subversive move, and I have to hand it to the filmmakers involved. – Kevin Carter, Editor
The Firing of James Gunn
I doubt I’m alone in this, but the firing of James Gunn was by far the biggest shock this year and I think we’ll continue to feel the ramifications of this decision for years to come. – Alex Lurie, Feature Writer
Yeah, Alex isn’t alone in this. Easily the biggest MCU shock for me this year is the sudden firing James Gunn, the man responsible for gifting the MCU and the world the Guardians of the Galaxy as we know them. The man who turned an unknown property into a hundred million dollar franchise that even my 75-year old grandma knows about, canned over decade-old tweets. So much of Gunn’s personality is embedded in the franchise’s DNA; the incorporation and use of pop music is purely him along with Quill’s Walkman among others. It’ll be interesting to see how the franchise moves forward without its father’s imprint in the third installment. – Charles Villanueva, Editor-in-Chief
Daredevil Gets Cancelled
After Luke Cage and Iron Fist, we all knew it was a possibility. But still, given the quality of the third season and the approval of both fans and critics, it seemed crazy for Netflix or Marvel to cancel one of their flagship shows, and perhaps the MCU most successful series. Daredevil leaves behind a legacy of quality superhero television and gritty storytelling, and the absence of a fourth season will leave fans disappointed for a very long time. – Tiago Fiszbejn, News Writer
The biggest shock to me was seeing Netflix officially cancel Daredevil. Iron Fist and Luke Cage at least had a fallback, like they could turn them into a Heroes for Hire show. Yet, the moment Daredevil got cancelled, one of Netflix’s biggest shows, it really started to sink in that this was the end of an era for Marvel TV. – Joseph Aberl, Editor
The Title Reveal
Given that “Endgame” has been the long-leaked and long-speculated title for Avengers 4, and that Marvel Studios held out so long to reveal it, I was genuinely surprised by the title reveal. It also isn’t a big comics title like Infinity War or Age of Ultron are, so it was extra weird for me. – Curtis Johnson, Feature Writer
Kevin Feige Makes TV
For me, it was the unveiling of MCU shows with established film characters on Disney+. Given the failures in terms of grand scheme connectivity that all other shows had seen for the most part, I thought it was inevitable that Marvel would be moving away from this model, but was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. The more film-based content we get, the better. – KJ Callahan, Feature Writer
What are the biggest MCU surprises, reveals, and shocks to you this year? Let us know in the comments below!