MCU: The Best Duos in Phase Four  | Screen Rant

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MCU: The Best Duos in Phase Four | Screen Rant

2022 is shaping up to be the year where Marvel finally fires on all cylinders. After 2021 saw the MCU release several canon TV shows, the franchise doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Not only are there three films scheduled to be released in cinemas but the producers are also planning on releasing 6 shows too (including the highly anticipated ).

Phase 4 is officially underway, but before everyone gets too deep into the Multiverse, it’s important to look back at some of the duos that have contributed to Phase 4’s fantastic start. When it comes to great duos, it’s not about how much screen time the characters get, it’s about whether their chemistry enables each person to grow, while leaving enough room for the audience to want more.

Although they didn’t get along at first, fans have thoroughly enjoyed watching the friendship between Sam (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) grow. Like any great coupling, Sam and Bucky were seen to be complete opposites. Where Bucky was pessimistic, Sam wasn’t. Where Sam was a lot more open, Bucky preferred to stay closed off. They just didn’t seem to work.

However, this all changed come The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. While in the midst of their grief for Steve (and now facing several other conflicts), the two men grew closer. Bucky encouraged Sam to challenge and question authority, while Sam teaches Bucky the value of trust and honesty. They built a newfound trust and respect for one another that hadn’t been there before. With  fans are hoping to see more of this dynamic.

After watching them team up in WandaVision, fans have come to love the friendship between Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings). With Jimmy previously seen as the dumb Fed from the Ant-man movies and Darcy not getting much time to shine in Thor, the viewers are glad that WandaVision gave them a chance to prove themselves.

Not only is Jimmy seen to be a lot more competent than fans were led to believe but he also seemed to be a good influence on the other characters too as he instilled Darcy with a lot of courage. Although Darcy had shown a bit of arrogance over her intelligence, fans did like that she treated Jimmy with respect and didn’t patronize him as others did. They just seemed to make a great team.

Taking over for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) as a father figure for Peter Parker (Tom Holland), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a reluctant mentor at best. This is perfect for Spiderman: No Way Home, a film where Spiderman finds his bonds of friendship and family on the verge of tearing.

Initially, Strange’s sticking to his principles seems cruel and indifferent to Peter. To Strange, Peter’s desire to save the film’s villains at the risk of interdimensional chaos is naive. It leads to quite an interesting dynamic and conflict that has fans on the edge of their seats. However, by the end, fans can see that the two do genuinely come to understand and respect one another’s values. It’s just a shame that the MCU won’t have the chance to explore this further onscreen.

Eschewing the standard trope of a romance between the hero and their lovable, loyal sidekick, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings features something even better: a loving, platonic friendship between two people still trying to find their way in the world. While both are friendly and fun-loving, Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) have clear differences in personality that play off each other nicely.

The audience knows from the very first scene they share together (when Katy insists they go for a joyride in a “borrowed” sports car) that Katy’s loud charisma is going to contrast with Shang-Chi’s go-along-to-get-along nature. Whether they’re enjoying late-night karaoke or saving the world from a gigantic soul-eating demon, this is a pair that audiences can’t wait to see more of in the future.

If ‘s stunning, modernist production design takes the viewer back to the post-war ’50s, the wisecracking, sniping traits of the Loki/Mobius partnership bring back memories of ’80s action duos like Murtaugh and Riggs or Tango and Cash.

Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) less-than-concealed arrogance and acerbic asides are pure antagonistic entertainment when paired with Mobius’ (Owen Wilson) world-weary cop. It is Loki’s skepticism that convinces Mobius to investigate the dark secrets of the TSA,  and it’s Mobius’ aw-shucks dedication to doing good for humanity that leads Loki to pursue a more glorious purpose.

Like Shang-Chi and Katy, these are two characters that have very similar personalities, and yet their chemistry is fueled by their differences. Both are action-oriented risk-takers.

However, whereas Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) is loquacious, outwardly cocky, and image-conscious, Clint (Jeremy Renner) is taciturn, jaded, and avoidant of the spotlight. Throughout the course of the series, they become essential to each other’s lives. Clint tutors Kate on the toughness and focus required to live a life fighting bad guys, and Kate teaches him to truly embrace being a hero (and all the good and bad that comes with it).

This is a bit of a cheat, as much of the building of their relationship occurs in the Phase 3 finale, Spiderman: Far From Home, but the budding romance between Peter Parker and Michelle Jones (Zendaya) is the crux of a film series inspired by ’80s teen rom-coms. Always a perpetual outsider, it makes perfect sense that Peter would fall for this MJ.

Both characters can be seen as misfits, but MJ’s social awkwardness presents itself in the form of skepticism and brutal honesty (which is in direct contrast to Peter’s trusting nature). It’s the closeness of this bond that effectively rips the viewer’s heart out at the end of Spiderman: No Way Home.

In the words of Maya Angelou: “laugh and dare to try to love somebody, starting with yourself.” Being the God of Mischief, Loki has always had the laughing part down. But it wasn’t until he met Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), a Loki variant from an alternate universe, that he truly understood what it meant to love somebody, let alone himself.

Sylvie might be a Loki variant, but she possesses many different traits from the Loki who once attacked New York in The Avengers. She is aggressive, focused, and most importantly, completely self-aware of who she is and what she wants. If Mobius was the person who put Loki on the path to redemption, Sylvie was the one who proved to him that he could walk down that road without losing himself. Their coupling makes Loki one of Marvel’s oddest–and unexpectedly believable and satisfying–love stories.

Marvel stories aren’t exactly known for romance. What they do exceedingly well, however, is rely on different–even stronger–bonds to drive the emotional narrative, and there’s probably no more powerful and relatable bond than that between parent and child (an essential aspect of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings).

Wenwu (Tony Leung) is a sympathetic villain. Yes, he’s a conqueror who has used the eponymous Ten Rings to leave numerous civilizations in his destructive wake. But he’s also a father that loves his son. This is not lost on Shang-Chi, whose love and eventual acceptance of Wenwu is not only the key to the former’s ascendence but the source of the latter’s redemption.

From the moment in Hawkeye when Yelena (Florence Pugh) thanks Kate for “the girls night,” the viewer knows that this pairing is going to be fun. More than that, however, are the deeper points of connection; these are two people who know loss intimately.

While Kate was raised in a wealthy and Yelena was raised in a brainwashing Soviet spy program, they are both young women yearning to make a connection to something greater than themselves. It says a lot about the synergy of the two characters that so much chemistry was built in very little screen time. This is a duo that audiences will definitely be seeing more of in the future.

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