Every Marvel show on Disney+, ranked, from 'WandaVision' to 'What If...?'

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Every Marvel show on Disney+, ranked, from 'WandaVision' to 'What If...?'

Disney+ will add another MCU seres to its quiver when Hawkeye arrives next week, so let's rank the four we've already seen in anticipation.

WandaVision Episode 9

Hawkeye, the latest Marvel Studios original series, drops into our laps like an early Christmas present, with a Kate Bishop-sized bow on Nov. 24 on Disney+. It will mark the fifth brand-new, six-episode series adding to the ever-expanding MCU canon, which got us thinking about everything we've seen this year. The four Marvel Studios series have given us club dancing Baron Zemo, Party Dude Thor, the delightful concept of Loki variants, and Sam Wilson as the new Captain America. That's a whole lotta story packed into a very brief 11 months.

As we take stock of the full library 2021 library, SYFY WIRE has ranked the four Marvel Studios series we've seen so far, ranked from least to most marvelous.

4. What If...?

What If Still

The first anthology of the MCU, Marvel's What If…? brings the comics concept to life in the first animated Marvel Studios project in its history. Season 1 tells stories entirely within the Infinity Saga narrative, so it's very Avengers-centric, and that's not a bad thing at all. It opens with arguably one of its best episodes, giving Peggy Carter the super serum making her a rousing Captain Britain with Steve as her wing man in the HydraStomper suit. What If…? really soars when it uses its not-exactly-canon anthology format to take wild swings that wouldn't fit into the "main" MCU, like-like exploring T'Challa's alternate life as a Ravager or a Doctor Strange who uses his magic to do what he knows he should not and exploring those heartbreaking consequences. On the less successful side, the series had leaned into repeated deaths too often, and the two-part finale scaled up so fast that it didn't necessarily feel earned. Even so, What If…? is an exciting format and a great playground for the MCU to continue to explore alternate possibilities in going forward.

3. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

The clear two-hander of the collection, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier picks up where Steve Rogers left off after he handed the shield to Sam Wilson in Avengers: Endgame. But, does Sam want the mantle in a world not ready to embrace a Black Captain America? It's a huge topic to confront, and though there are times when the show really interrogates the role of race in American society, the series doesn't quite live up to its lofty goals. Even though TFATWS ultimately falters on that point, there's plenty to appreciate in what it tried to say about racism and disparity through characters like Carl Lumbly's surviving super soldier, Isaiah Bradley, and Erin Kellyman's next-gen super soldier, Karli Morgenthau. All the while Wyatt Russell's John Walker served as a dark mirror to Captain America, showing that unfettered patriotism can easily rot the symbolism and spirit of the shield. The series was incredibly ambitious and had maybe two more storylines than it needed, but it certainly gave a lot of needed backstory and context to Sam and Bucky Barnes' relationship with each other and the absent man who brought them together. The two are still fun to watch squabble, but they were even more interesting to watch navigating a life without their best friend, Steve.

2. Loki

Loki Ep 105 Still

From the moment Tom Hiddleston sauntered on screen as Loki, the trickster God and brother to Chris Hemsworth's Thor, we (and Marvel Studios) haven't been able to let go of the guy. While his demise in Avenger: Infinity War seemed permanent, only a show like Loki, which formally introduces the concept of multiple timelines into the MCU universe, could resurrect the character and not seem like a huge cheat. With its quirky design and existential exploration of self, Loki went deeper, and weirder and sillier than expected all to its benefit. Owen Wilson's turn as Mobius made this a quasi buddy-cop show with the two rubbing each other wrong, and then right, as the machinations of the TVA became more clear. The narrative also introduced a credible love interest and sparring partner in Sylvie (Sophia DiMartino) and a Phase 4 big bad with Jonathan Majors' equally odd, He Who Remains/Kang.

1. WandaVision

WandaVision

Marvel Studios introduced themselves to the streaming world in the most audacious way possible with WandaVision. The show tried to do a lot of things at once: It was a mystery, a love letter to classic sitcoms, and a heartbreaking exploration of grief and lost love. Amazingly, WandaVision hit the bullseye on all three targets. (Eat your heart out, Hawkeye.) It also served as a showcase for the talents of Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, who both only got minuscule big screen real estate because of the density of the films. In the series, we got to see their comedic timing, their chemistry, and the gravitas they always bring to the characters, just amplified. Plus, we got Agatha Harkness as a canon character, with Katherine Hahn stealing the show as the nosey next door neighbor hiding oh, so much. She so earned that theme song in mere hours, that she's getting her own Disney+ series with Agatha: House of Harkness. WandaVision raised the bar and remains the creative title to beat.

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