The Marvel Cinematic Universe has given us fans a lot of movies and series with different genres regardless of their only goal of portraying the Marvel characters. Yet when we get something more than the usual action movie, it turns dark. So here are some of the darkest MCU series and movies that bring out the worst of the characters.
These movies and series are listed according to the chronological order and their place in different Marvel phases.
1. Iron Man 3 (2013)
The Iron Man series has been one of the favorites among the marvel fans. The movie series describes the life of Iron Man and shows all the sides of the character Tony Stark. This movie, however, is described to be the darkest out of the three movies about this particular character. The first movie, Iron Man was released in 2008, where we get a brief introduction to the character and the world that we were about to step in. Yet, it is a little disappointing when we get to the antagonist of the series.
However, the movie is more focused on the protagonist and the fight that continues within him in the form of anxiety. Tony Starks seems to be very shaken after Aldrich Killian’s attack with Mandarin’s help. Not only does he come close to death, but also his loved ones, his armors were destroyed and it all comes down and gives Tony Stark a lifetime scar that makes him vulnerable to his failures.
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
This Captain America movie brings in the terror that Marvel fans never imagined seeing. The whole movie shows the main protagonists of this movie drifted off by a distraction while HYRDA was able to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D from within. Captain America: The Winter Soldier marks to be the second movie in the Captain America movie series where we get to see how Captain America continues his life after the first Avenger movie. The winter soldier that is signified in the title of the movie is Bucky Barnes, Captain Roger’s old friend who was frozen in ice as well.
However, he was turned and was used by the enemies, HYDRA. It was later found out that the secret society started to work as a parasite that eventually leads to the destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D. We get to see how all the ships and the entire S.H.I.E.L.D headquarters fall on the Washington D.C, which causes a big catastrophe and marks to be one of the missions that the S.H.I.E.L.D and Captain America himself weren’t able to finish.
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
In this second movie of the Avenger series, we almost come close to seeing the destruction of humankind by the force of robots. Avengers: Age of Ultron is where we are further introduced to the world of Avengers and their fight against the AI that was once built by Tony Stark himself. This AI system, named Ultron someone starts to create itself much more powerful and advanced than Tony wanted it to be. Ultron soon started to hate the Avengers and wants a global extinction with robots and Ais ruling over the world. However, all the blame starts to fall on Tony’s head for creating a destruction program that is about to end them and the whole universe.
Along with some mind games and physical harm, the Avengers are seen to take a toll on the situation regretting their choices in life and other mistakes that are inexcusable in their eyes. The movie also introduces us to two new characters, the Maximoff siblings, Pietro and Wanda. While they try to create someone equally powerful as Ultron, the avengers create Vision from the mind stone that was inside the scepter.
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4. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
It would be scary enough to watch your favorite bunch of superheroes fights against each other. Well, you witness this as well in the third movie of the Captain America movie series. Captain America: Civil War is a movie that brings out the vulnerable stage in Captain America’s life. Captain Rogers comes to a disagreement with Tony Stark on the matter of whether or not Avengers should be under the watch of the United Nations. While they try to surpass the upcoming conflict, Captain Rogers’ friend, Bucky Barnes shows up but under someone else’s control.
The conflict becomes a civil war between the heroes as they try to prove themselves correct. We get to see more heroes like Spider-Man, Antman, and Black Panther who were newly introduced to the MCU. This fight between the heroes brings a lot of pain and a feeling of betrayal between the two main protagonists of the entire Marvel universe. The ending fight between Captain America and Iron Man almost shook the entire fandom as we see Captain America throwing his shield at Iron Man’s toes.
5. Doctor Strange (2016)
Doctor Strange is the movie that brings the art of sorcery into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first time released in the year 2016, we get introduced to the new world of magic, teleportation, and mystic arts. We are introduced to new characters and the main protagonist named Doctor Stephen Strange who was an arrogant yet brilliant neurosurgeon. Due to an accident, he loses his ability to operate, and hence he opens up to the mystic arts in the hope to regain a better functioning hand.
However, the movie turns dark as we continue to get into the plot where we see Kaecuilius use the mystic powers to bring Dormammu from the Dark Dimension to destroy the whole world. The world faces a dark force and these sorcerers try their best to stop Kaecuilius and Dormammu from harming the people of this planet. The new world of sorcerers and timeline brings the dark phase of MCU into existence.
6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
The Guardian of the Galaxy series has been known for its comic factor in the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movies stand firm at the punch line made by each character as we see a bunch full of people from different planets and different motives to save the galaxy. However, not every part of this movie is happy and hilarious as described. Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gives us a shocking turn in the movie as we see Star-Lord struggling to sort out his problem with his parents.
However, the events turn out violently as we see his father, Ego admits the fact that he killed his wife, Start-Lord’s mother in the most painful way possible. The sense of bitterness and betrayal is to be portrayed by the protagonist bringing in the dark factor of the movie and this brings an emotional factor that fandom has never seen before. The movie holds the hilarity throughout yet this event for Star-Lord makes the movie sadder and veil as we see him seeking revenge for his mother’s death.
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7. Avengers: The Infinity War (2018)
And we come to the darkest movie in the entire universe which practically shook every Marvel fan all around the world. Avengers: Infinity War was all about how all of the superheroes come together to fight off one of the strongest villains MCU has ever seen, Thanos. When people say it is one of the darkest movies, they are talking about the harm they saw happening to the characters. Half of the population turned into dust with just a snap was much more than devastation.
Thanos brings in the terror when he starts collecting the six stones and he practically destroys everything and everyone who is on the way. We can see all the heroes fight with their life preventing the calamity to happen. It is much more painful to watch since everyone predicted the end of Thanos was possible by Thor and his new ax. The movie shows how greatly the Avengers failed to save the people all around the world and even some of the superheroes like Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and many more vanish into dust by the end of the movie.
8. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Following Infinity War, we come to see what follows after the calamity that was caused by Thanos. Now, the remaining crew fight to try to get back to Thanos. Somehow, they managed to get to Thanos and were able to kill him, and had no other way to reverse back things like they were. Even after five years, the people who vanished to dust were still nowhere to be found and some heroes were back to live a normal life with drastic life changes. Tony Stark settles down with his wife, Pepper, and his daughter, we can see Thor lives a life of a drunkard and others who had nothing to do except mourn for the loss.
However, the plot does continue when Antman comes in and asks these heroes to bring the stones back from the past. The gauntlet was made once again and the fight started again. The war comes to an end with Tony Stark’s life having to pay the cost of all. Avengers: Endgame somehow marks the end of the Third Phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we see the original Avengers bring their life to settle down and bring in peace temporarily.
9. WandaVision (2021)
WandaVision is the beginning of the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is the time where we see Wanda Maximoff continuing her life after the great Avengers war. However, life wasn’t exactly easy for her to continue after the number of tragedies she has faced in her life. Lost her brother in their first Avenger war and lost Vision whom she loved the most because of the mind stone that he possessed.
However, when we talk about the dark side of this series, we talk about how her sorrow was able to radiate and capture the entire town, named Westview, under her control. assigning each person, a role she keeps under her control where she imagines a life where she brings up a family of her own with Vision. The plot gives out the sorrows of Wanda and brings out the dark side of her mind covering it all under the happy moment that is created by her powers.
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10. Loki (2021)
The series is the direct continuation of how we see Loki escaping in the middle of Avengers: Endgame. Loki is a series that explains a lot about what happens to him after he vanishes from the past which causes unnecessary chaos within the timeline. However, the series explains how Loki becomes a variant, and to get back in time, he needs to help the TVA (Time Variance Authority) to bring back the most notorious variant, named Sylvie, a variant of Loki.
The series proceeds to be dark as we see them struggling through the after-effects of the disturbed timeline and how well it affects reality. The series brings out the worse when Sylvie kills Loki and how it goes to the terrible part when she tries to get to He Who Remains. The plot takes a strange turn of events when everything turns out to be fake and absurd by the end of the series. The events bring in the terror of how Loki creates and saves himself from the harms that are about to happen in both the multiverse and the reality.
11. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
The most recent Spider-Man movie has made everyone sad and confused as we see a huge piece of Peter Parker’s life getting destroyed. After the whole world found out his true identity, his life was not exactly good as he thought it would be. Continuing his life after the great Avenger war, Peter Parker and his friends try to live a normal life but they couldn’t and he thinks it is his fault. The guilt of bringing in the villains of other universes to this world continues to build and somewhat explodes when Peter sees his aunt, May, dying. But it was predictable because that is what other Spider-Man movies have shown us before.
The multiverse of Spider-Man continues to tear their world apart and it can only be saved by the spell that is cast over the entire world which will make everyone forget who is Spider-Man. The ending of the movie brings in the saddest part where his friends end up forgetting everything about him and his true identity. Peter Parker once again becomes the loner that he was once with no one remembering him but only the masked superhero who fought along with the Avengers in the greater war.
12. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
And now the most recent movie in the Marvel Universe, which is also said to be the most terrorizing and darkest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Released in May 2022, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness brings in the terror of the multiverse and what sort of harm can it do by allowing the other versions into one’s realm. We get to see different Doctor Stranges, all from different universes, and how dangerous it is to let them face each other. We get to see Wanda Maximoff, continuing her life after the series named Wanda Vision.
We can see several events happening that almost leads to huge disasters and incredible use of mind games and mystic arts that bring chaos and darkness into the movie. This Multiverse of Madness shows different forms of the universe, like Eart-616 (the current universe), Earth-838, and other characters like America Chavez, from Earth-838, Karl Mordo, and his group called Illuminati, which consists of Peggy Carter, Blackagar Boltagon, Maria Rambeau, Reed Richards, and Charles Xavier.
All these movies and series can be found on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar. You can find other movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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