Marvel has been on a remarkable hot streak in recent months, but November will see one streak come to an end. It turns out that the House of Ideas has released some sort of new Marvel Cinematic Universe content every month from July of 2017 through October of 2018. Unfortunately, November will see nothing new from the MCU, bringing a streak of 16 months to a close.
The streak started a year ago July with the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming a movie that was technically a Sony production, but one that was still part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity. From there we saw the release of The Defenders in August and the beginning of Inhumans in Septemeber. The streak wrapped up in the last couple of months with Netflix releasing Iron Fist Season 2 in September and Daredevil Season 3 last month. It's true that in a few of these months all we got was fresh episodes of a weekly TV series, but something is better than nothing.
Here's the complete list as compiled on Reddit.
July 2017: Spider-Man: Homecoming
August 2017: The Defenders
September 2017: Inhumans
October 2017: Inhumans
November 2017: Thor: Ragnarok, The Punisher, Inhumans
December 2017: Runaways, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
January 2018: Runaways, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
February 2018: Black Panther, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
March 2018: Jessica Jones, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
April 2018: Avengers: Infinity War, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
May 2018: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
June 2018: Luke Cage, Cloak and Dagger
July 2018: Ant-Man and the Wasp, Cloak and Dagger
August 2018: Cloak and Dagger
September 2018: Iron Fist
October 2018: Daredevil
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become more brand than franchise in recent years, but really looking at this list, you get to see just how big it really is. While we mostly think about theatrical releases when we think of the MCU, and five of the months have those films, there's no month that saw a theatrical release where that was the only Marvel thing that came out. Last November was the biggest month of the streak if you're a Marvel fan, as we got Thor: Ragnarok in theaters, the entire run of The Punisher on Netflix, and Inhumans on standard television.
Oh, and two of those movie releases are the two highest grossing movies of the year.
What's most remarkable about this list isn't just that Marvel is a massive machine that just churns out content, but just how good most of that content actually is. The fact is that the vast majority of what's on this list got well reviewed by both fans and critics.
The only real exception to that is Inhumans which missed the mark by most estimations, but still, with that being the only real black mark on a 16-month long streak, that's pretty impressive. Even Iron Fist Season 2 was well received by some. If nothing else, it was lauded for being significantly better than Season 1.
As far as the future of the MCU, it seems sad to see the monthly streak end in November because December sees the release of the second season of Runaways on Hulu, so something happening this month could have gotten Marvel to a full year and a half of released material. However, the streak still would have ended there as January and February don't currently have anything new planned for Marvel on the TV or movie front. However, things will begin to rev up again with the release of Captain Marvel in March. The still-untitled Avengers 4 is currently set for a May 2019 release, but there have been some indications the film could drop back into April as Avengers: Infinity War did, starting a two-month streak simply with the big screen releases.
It's unlikely that we'll see quite this level of content production from Marvel going forward, at least for a while. Once Spider-Man: Far From Home hits screens in July of 2019, the future of the MCU gets cloudy. Currently, it will be almost a year, May of 2020, before we get another big screen MCU movie and it's far from clear what that movie will be. The delaying of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 appears to have potentially thrown a wrench in the works and with the impending inclusion of characters like the X-Men following the merger with Fox, it's possible the entire MCU is being reworked. One Marvel movie release date from 2020 was recently pulled off the schedule entirely, which would indicate that nearly everything has the potential to change.
Add to that the fact that Netflix has canceled both Luke Cage and Iron Fist, and that nothing is replacing them, and there just may not be quite as much new Marvel content planned for the next year or so. Jessica Jones and Daredevil got new seasons this year as well, which leaves only The Punisher as the Netflix series with another season planned to hit in the future, though we have no date on when that will happen right now.
It also appears that one Marvel mainstay may be on its way out. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. won't be returning until next summer, and with a truncated season. If the show had been given a standard season order we'd be getting new episodes right now that would continue Marvel's streak into the first half of 2019 even if nothing else did.
Of course, at the same time, a host of new MCU related series have been reported to be in development for Disney's own new streaming service, and while we have no idea when any of them will hit the service, once they do, and depending on the schedule, we could start to see a steady stream (pun intended) of content once again and another multi-month streak, possibly one that puts this one to shame.
One thing we do know for sure is that, regardless of the schedule, the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn't going anywhere. It's become a standard and expected part of film and television and while the names and titles may change, Marvel's heroes will continue to fill our screens.