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The Marvel Cinematic Universe Really Needs More Team-Ups

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in an interesting place right now. While the events of Infinity War will see closure next year, the Avengers franchise will still be around in some capacity, whether that means the original actors getting their contracts renewed or new members making up the iconic team, which makes perfect sense. Let's face it -- Chris Hemsworth didn't really get to be Thor until the third movie in his own franchise. But even better than having the O.G. Avengers involved in Phase Four would be for the studio to release more team-up movies.

At first, the prospect of characters in the MCU interacting in-depth with each other in films seemed like something that would only happen in during the Avengers movies. Sure, characters like Hawkeye or Black Widow could have cameos in other films, but big, marquee characters being part of another's movies seems unlikely.

Captain America Civil War

Though Iron Man 2 in 2010 featured the Armored Avenger teaming up with War Machine for the final act of the film, the MCU's first true team-up movie in came with Captain America working with Black Widow and Falcon in The Winter Soldier. But those were considerably small steps, ones that made a degree of sense -- after all, War Machine is Iron Man's best friend, and if anyone else belonged in a modern day Cap film, it was be Natasha Romanoff.

Then came Captain America: Civil War. As risky as it may have seemed to bring all these heroes into that movie, it wasn't really. After all, with the exception of Black Panther and Spider-Man, they were all already connected to Steve Rogers in some capacity.

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No, the first real test to see if team-up films would work in this universe was 2015's Ant-Man. Having billed itself as a small story set on a completely different coast from previous Marvel films, it came as something of a surprise to see Scott Lang and Falcon go up against each other, much less have a bonding moment that would lead to Scott showing up in Civil War.

By now, the MCU has been fleshed out enough that seeing its various superheroes popping up in one another's outings just feels natural. Sure, these crossovers always had logic behind them; of course Iron Man would be in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and for sure Iron Fist would come to Harlem for part of Luke Cage's upcoming second season. But the best team-ups have been with characters that took everyone by surprise. No one would've thought that Thor would be a delight alongside Doctor Strange or the Guardians of the Galaxy, or that Rocket and Groot would be perfect to respectively share all too brief scenes with the Winter Soldier and Captain America.

Hopefully Marvel will pay attention to the reaction to Black Panther, Infinity War, and Ragnarok and craft more team-ups to excite fans. putting Shuri or Miles Morales in Spider-Man Homecoming 2 for example, would no doubt make those movie that much more enjoyable.

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