MCU´s Phase 2 Review: A Theory On The Overall Theme

With the release of Ant-Man, the Phase 2 of Marvel´s Cinematic Universe is finally complete. I present here a posible running theme that unites the films in said phase.

Editorial Opinion

I want to start by saying that If any editorial similar to mine has been posted already please let me know, I apologize if that´s the case.

Phase 1 introduced the core characters of the Marvel Cienmatic Universe, serving as build up for a more complex story finally culminating with the Avengers movie. Those films share that theme of uniting the Avengers and they suceed at it but with Phase 2 featuring 4 sequels and 2 origin stories that have very different stories and styles from each other it begs the question: what is the thematic conexion between them?.

Well, upon examining the films and specially the characters I would say that the theme of this phase would be that of redemption. Fits perfectly really, all the films feature at least one character who seeks a chance to make things right and try to become a better individual for varying reasons. Here I highlight said characters from their film:


  • IRON MAN 3: One of the mayor themes of the movie is that of Tony Stark suffering a form of PTSD after the battle of NY, leading him to create various armours and focusing too much on his "hobby" while leaving Pepper on the side. After his house is destroyed, Pepper gets kidnapped and left without his aromours Tony realizes at the end of the film that the most important aspect of his life really is Pepper and that his hobby is taking way too much out of life so he decides to blow up his armours and finally get the schapnel out of his chest so he can be Tony Stark and redeem himself with Pepper. That can be tied to Age of Ultron as well, since we get to see Tony trying to end the fight against evil so they could finally "go home". He creates riot drones that really ilustrate how he wanted Ultron to be: an AI who  can watch over the planet with the same sensibilities as him but obviously that doesnt go right. At the end you can see him more tired, posibly hinting that he gave up on the dream of ending the fight which could make a great reason to join the pro registration side on Civil War. Another example would be Maya Hansen, who created Extremis as a way to help people but in order to create it she sold herself and it became a weapon. When she´s finally confronted with this, she tries to redeem herself by not giving Extremis to the Mandarin. It doesnt go well.
  • THOR THE DARK WORLD: Loki´s character arc is that of revenge because Malekith killed his beloved mother Frigga. He willingly teams up with Thor to defeat Malekith and by the end not only did he helped save the world he once attacked but he was redeemed in the eyes of Thor and posibly everyone on Asgard. Now you could say that he really didn´t redeem himself because he usurped Odin´s thone and has started posing as him. Well we really dont know if he did it for a nefarious purpose, he may as well could be planning something with Oding in preparation for Ragnarok or hell he could still try to be a decent king like he always wanted. This is one of those unresolved plotlines that Im really curious to see concluded.
  • CAPTAIN AMERICA THE WINTER SOLDIER: Now obviously there is Bucky and his redemption at the end by saving a drowning Steve Rogers but you could make the argument that Black Widow also redeems herself at the end by admitting the crimes she commited as a Soviet spy and her obvious regret of it. It also tiess with her romance with Bruce Banner, since she feels like a monster because of her nightmare of a past but doesnt think that saving the world TWICE makes up for it. That´s why she connects with Banner, since he feels the exact same way about himself and both find comfort on one another. You could also say that Nick Fury redeemed himself by ending the organization he partially screwed over by being a liar and unthrustful and posibly rebooting it at the end of Age of Ultron with all of those mistakes learned and helping evacuate a whole city.
  • GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: Its pretty easy in this case since all the main characters are criminals who try to stop a bad guy but the biggest one would have to be Gamora. She was literally tortured by Thanos, killed hundreds of innocent people and even at the beggining she just wanted the orb to sell it and go off into the sunset. But upon realizing that the orb is really an Infinity Stone she is the first on insist that they should take it to the Nova Corps and she´s the one who incites Peter Quill to be more heroic and stand up against Ronan and like the rest of the Guardians she was willing to endure massive pain for her friends and give up her life for the galaxy. Pretty underrated characted IMO.
  • AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON: I´ve already mentioned my take on Stark and Romannoff so next would be the twins. They go from tecnically Nazis to true heroes in a very interesting way. They are both trying to help people but unfortunately they dont know how to do it. At first they teamup with HYDRA because they hold a grudge against Stark but after their base is destroyed by the Avengers they team up with Ultron with their new objective being the Avengers. Upon learning of Ultron´s true intentions and seeing just how much the Avengers care to save people they finally realize that the best way to help to world is uniting the Earth´s Mightiest Heroes. Quicksilver also sacrifices his life to save Hawkeye and a kid without thinking it, he had the heart of a hero and he died as one. Another member that fits the theme of redemption is Bruce Banner aka the Hulk, after destroying tons of South Africa and posibly killing innocent civilians he decides to ride off into a self imposed exile yet again to protect Natasha andthe Avengers. Like the Loki stoyline, this one is the one im really dying to know how it will be resolved.
  • ANT-MAN: Have you ever wondered why Marvel decided to end Phase 2 with the Ant-Man movie? Well its because it perfectly encapsulates the overall theme of this phase. ALL of the characters in the movie seek out redemption and all of them are perfectly understandable from an emotional standpoint. The best one by far is Scott Lang and his desire to redeem himself for a crime he commited because he though it was morally the right thing to do. The movie does make you care about him and the other characters with a really emotional scene between Hank Pym and his daughter Hope being a stand out. Much like The Avengers fitted the theme of Assembling this one end Phase 2 with a home run.

So what do you guys think? Do you agree? Disagree? Think there is more to add to my theory? Please comment below and let me hear you much appreciated feedback!



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