Now that Ms. Marvel has wrapped up its run, there are seven Marvel Studios Disney+ series that have all been released within the past year and a half. Not surprisingly, many want to compare them to each other, even though some exceed in vastly different ways than others. The legacy of series on the greater MCU is slowly becoming more apparent, and the introduction of major characters and plots in them is surely a sign that Marvel Studios plans to take them seriously going forward. More series are on their way, but this article ranks the current seven MCU series from best to worst.
1. Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel did what few MCU series could do, which is have a great story and a satisfying conclusion. On top of that feat, the story was excellent and managed both small-scale and large-scale aspects of Kamala’s life with charm, wit, heart, mystery and even darkness. The overall quality of Ms. Marvel from episode to episode barely wavered, and the cast and crew were top-notch all around. While the series was never the most hyped for various reasons, the show managed to exceed all expectations despite very polarizing decisions regarding the changes from her comic book origins.
WandaVision is still the highlight of MCU creativity. It took the boldest creative leaps in terms of its narrative structure and style, and it remains wildly unique from everything else in the MCU. While it aired, fans were clamoring week-to-week for the next episode. Granted, it was also the first lesson for MCU fans in (mostly fan-induced) Phase 4 disappointment and rushed finales. The fact that myriads of extreme fan theories did not happen should not be a metric when evaluating any story.
Loki also took a bold route in its design and execution, but overall it was fairly inconsistent episode to episode. Some episodes were a bit dry and bland, while some came out of nowhere in the best of ways. Certain sequences could be dazzling, and the finale could practically do the legwork for the entire first season. But it was met with plenty of criticism on how Loki’s character was developed, and the Loki-Sylvie dynamic was certainly polarizing.
Hawkeye was good old-fashioned MCU comfort pulled off well. It was nothing spectacular, and its big Kingpin reveal was ultimately underwhelming. But overall it had a satisfying story and ending—a rarity—that was sweet and simple. Kate Bishop was introduced but we also got to follow an original and Avenger post-Avengers: Endgame for the first time, and it gave the last of the six his first “solo” treatment. At the same time, it also felt like a constant tool for introducing new or spin-off-type projects like Echo rather than investing in its own story.
5. Moon Knight
Had the finale gone differently, Moon Knight may have been much higher on this list. Oscar Isaac’s performance alone was phenomenal and drove the show, while Egyptian mythology provided a new source of interest for MCU audiences. While the show could be stellar—Episode 5 is one of the best of the MCU—the overarching story was ultimately incredibly generic and a letdown to the potential that the rest of the series built up.
6. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
No one is surprised The Falcon and the Winter Soldier would be low on this list. It honestly, though, is not bad. It is maybe the best example of a comfort project in the MCU other than Hawkeye. We followed known (side) characters in a context and style that felt incredibly consistent with the Captain America franchise they came from. But it was generally lackluster and not worthy of too much praise in terms of the storyline and villains. It did touch on important topics, mostly regarding race and the notion that people would never accept a Black man as their Captain America. But alas, it could come across as dull and unoriginal most of the time.
7. What If…?
It feels too easy to put the only animated series at the bottom of the list, but What If… ? just belongs here. The animated style detaches it from the MCU fans want to engage in, and its anthology multiverse structure makes it feel like there are no stakes. It is a collection of interesting mini-ideas. Some could be brilliant, and the Doctor Strange episode is arguably the best episode of any MCU series. But as a whole, What If…? just isn’t on the same playing field as the rest.