#6 – Secret Invasion
This might have a little something to do with expectation vs. reality. Like Captain America: Civil War, Secret Invasion is named after a well-known storyline from the comics. However, the series never reached the heights of its comic book counterpart, as the tense tale of paranoid espionage we hoped for ended up being a muddled exercise in testing how long viewers would stay tuned before bowing out.
#5 – The Marvels
Hopes were high for the debut of Ms. Marvel on the big screen after the success of her series, and to her credit, Kamala Khan was the bright spot of this movie. Unfortunately, the shortest movie in the MCU ended up feeling rushed, never leaving enough time to properly explore the relationships between Carol and Kamala or Carol and Monica. Pair that with one of the most boring villains from Marvel Studios and you end up with a movie that never reaches its potential.
#4 – Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
When I think of the prior two Ant-Man movies, I think of street level action and humor. Unfortunately, Quantumania throws a wrench in that formula. Sure, there are a decent amount of laughs, but the scale gets much larger, resulting in this entry in the Ant-Man franchise losing a lot of its charm. Kang makes his big debut, which should have been more exciting than it was, reducing the next “big bad” of the MCU to another disposable villain.
#3 – What If…? Season 2
Like the first season of What If…?, there are highs and there are lows, depending on the episode that you’re currently watching. While there are definitely some fun concepts to explore here, What If…? continues to be bogged down by its desire to create a connected plot through a lot of the season. I’d prefer that they ditch the connected plot and start exploring more outlandish ideas.
#2 – Loki Season 2
Season 2 of Loki had a lot to live up to after a stellar first season. While the first half of it dragged a little slower than I cared for, the latter half picked up and concluded with one of the best visuals we’ve ever seen in an MCU project to date. I also can’t talk about Season 2 of Loki without bringing up how great Ouroboros is.
#1 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Guardians 3 is perhaps the only project from 2023 that felt like it delivered on everything that we used to expect from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It honored the journey of a group of characters we’ve grown to love while also making us laugh, cry, and keeping us engaged with its many needle drops and action sequences. It even had one of the most interesting antagonists in the MCU that we’ve seen in awhile. More of this please, Marvel.