Marvel Studios: Legends
|Marvel Studios: Legends|
|Based on||Marvel Comics|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||21|
|Running time||5–10 minutes|
|Production company||Marvel Studios|
|Distributor||Disney Platform Distribution|
|Original release||January 8, 2021 –|
|Related shows||Marvel Studios: Assembled|
Marvel Studios: Legends is an American television docuseries created for the streaming service Disney+, based on the Marvel Comics characters and objects that appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Produced by Marvel Studios, each episode showcases an individual character or object with footage from past MCU films and Disney+ series, highlighting their prominent moments from the MCU.
The series was first announced in December 2020. Marvel Studios: Legends premiered on January 8, 2021, with subsequent episodes releasing shortly before a Disney+ series' premiere or a film's initial release. It received positive responses for being helpful to casual viewers of the franchise, but criticism for being a clip show with no new footage or documentary elements.
The series examines individual heroes, villains, moments, and objects from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and how they connect, in anticipation of the upcoming stories that will feature them in the Disney+ Phase Four series and films.
Marvel Studios: Legends was announced in December 2020 as a new series that would revisit characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) ahead of their appearances in new feature films and Disney+ series as part of Phase Four of the MCU. Two episodes were initially announced, with one for Wanda Maximoff and one for Vision ahead of their roles in WandaVision. Upon its announcement, many commentators believed the series would be a clip show and a good way to remind viewers of a character's history and allow casual viewers a quick way to catch-up without watching hours of past MCU content. Chaim Gartenberg at The Verge also likened the series to the one-page recaps Marvel Comics uses to similarly catch readers up for ongoing stories.
The series features short episodes made up of footage from past MCU films that featured the highlighted character, moment, or object. Collider's Matt Goldberg felt Marvel Studios: Legends did not cost Disney or Marvel Studios "anything more than some editor's work and a bit of music" to produce given each episode's length and content. In February 2021, episodes for Falcon, Winter Soldier, Zemo, and Sharon Carter were announced ahead of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
In May 2021, before the release of Loki, episodes for Loki and the Tesseract were announced. The following month, an episode for Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow was announced ahead of the character's appearance in the Phase Four film Black Widow (2021), which was set to be made available on Disney+ with Premier Access. In July, episodes for Peggy Carter, the Avengers Initiative, and the Ravagers were announced, ahead of their appearances in the series What If...?. In August, before the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, an episode for the Ten Rings organization was announced. In October, an episode for Clint Barton / Hawkeye was announced to debut for Disney+'s "Disney+ Day" event, ahead of the character's appearance in Hawkeye. In April 2022, episodes for Dr. Stephen Strange, Wong, and Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch were announced, ahead of the characters' appearances in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022). At the end of June, three episodes for Thor, Jane Foster, and Valkyrie were revealed, ahead of their appearances in Thor: Love and Thunder (2022). A Legends episode for Bruce Banner was revealed in August 2022, ahead of his appearance in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022).
|No.||Title||Associated MCU work||Original release date [a]|
|1||"Wanda Maximoff"||WandaVision ||January 8, 2021|
|Wanda Maximoff and her twin brother Pietro fight the Avengers during Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), but ultimately join them. Pietro dies in that film, and Wanda subsequently builds a relationship with Vision across Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). She returns in Avengers: Endgame (2019).|
|2||"Vision"||WandaVision ||January 8, 2021|
|Tony Stark's artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S., first seen in Iron Man (2008), becomes Vision during Age of Ultron when Stark combines J.A.R.V.I.S. with a synthetic body and the Mind Stone. Vision starts a relationship with Wanda Maximoff in Civil War, but she destroys him in Infinity War in an attempt to stop Thanos from getting the Mind Stone.|
|3||"Falcon"||The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ||March 5, 2021|
|Sam Wilson befriends Steve Rogers in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), and fights as an Avenger in Age of Ultron and Ant-Man (2015). Wilson sides with Rogers during Civil War and subsequently goes on the run. They return to fight Thanos in Infinity War, and Rogers hands Wilson the mantle of Captain America at the end of Endgame.|
|4||"The Winter Soldier"||The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ||March 5, 2021|
|In Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Bucky Barnes is a sergeant in the United States Army during World War II, fighting as a Howling Commando with Steve Rogers. After seemingly falling to his death on a mission, Barnes is recovered by Hydra and brainwashed to become an assassin, the Winter Soldier. Rogers helps Barnes remember his past in The Winter Soldier and Civil War, and Wakandans remove his programming by the end of Black Panther (2018). Barnes fights Thanos in Infinity War and Endgame.|
|5||"Zemo"||The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ||March 12, 2021|
|Helmut Zemo works to divide the Avengers in Civil War after their actions in the battle of Sokovia during Age of Ultron led to the deaths of his loved ones. Zemo's plan involves revealing that Tony Stark's parents were murdered by the Winter Soldier, and leads to the Avengers parting ways, though Zemo is captured by Black Panther and imprisoned.|
|6||"Sharon Carter"||The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ||March 12, 2021|
|Sharon Carter, also known as Agent 13 of S.H.I.E.L.D., is assigned to watch Steve Rogers during the events of The Winter Soldier and becomes an ally of his during the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. Carter then joins the CIA, where she again aids Rogers as he attempts to save Bucky Barnes during the events of Civil War.|
|7||"Loki"||Loki ||June 4, 2021|
|A prince of Asgard living in the shadow of his brother Thor, Loki attempts to claim Odin's throne during the events of Thor (2011) but is defeated by Thor and presumed dead. He later reappears on Earth in The Avengers (2012), where he is apprehended by the Avengers and returned to Asgard. Loki is again presumed dead in Thor: The Dark World (2013) after apparently sacrificing himself to save Thor, but is found to be alive and impersonating Odin in Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Loki is killed by Thanos in Infinity War.|
|8||"The Tesseract"||Loki ||June 4, 2021|
|Red Skull uses the Space Infinity Stone, called the Tesseract, to build weapons in World War II during The First Avenger. Howard Stark finds it, and, by 1995, Wendy Lawson uses it to create an experimental lightspeed engine in Captain Marvel (2019). An accident with the engine gives Carol Danvers superpowers, and she entrusts the Tesseract to Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. In 2012, S.H.I.E.L.D. is making weapons with the Tesseract in The Avengers. It is taken to Asgard until Loki steals it during Ragnarok. Thanos takes it from him in Infinity War and later destroys all of the Infinity Stones. In Endgame, the Avengers try to retrieve the Tesseract from 2012 when Loki steals it and teleports away.|
|9||"Black Widow"||Black Widow ||July 7, 2021|
|Before her death in Endgame, Natasha Romanoff was a Russian operative trained in the Red Room. She defected to S.H.I.E.L.D., and later became a founding member of the Avengers in The Avengers. After the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. in The Winter Soldier, Romanoff continues to fight with the Avengers until she sides with Tony Stark in Civil War and signs the Sokovia Accords. She then breaks the Accords by helping Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes escape custody, and goes on the run leading into Black Widow (2021).|
|10||"Peggy Carter"||What If...? ||August 4, 2021|
|In The First Avenger, during World War II, Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) agent Peggy Carter works on Project Rebirth which turns Steve Rogers into a super soldier. She falls in love with him, and is devastated when he seemingly sacrifices his life to stop Hydra. After the war, Carter becomes a founder of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Agent Carter (2013). She survives to see Rogers return more than 70 years later in The Winter Soldier, and dies in Civil War. In Endgame, Rogers travels back in time so he can live with Carter.|
|11||"The Avengers Initiative"||What If...? ||August 4, 2021|
|In 1995, Nick Fury helps Carol Danvers fight the alien Kree Empire in Captain Marvel. When she leaves Earth, he plans to find more heroes like her to help with future alien threats, and names this initiative after her Air Force call sign "Avenger". In The Avengers in 2012, S.H.I.E.L.D. recruits Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, and Thor as part of the initiative. They, along with S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton, become known as the Avengers, and more heroes join their ranks in the following years.|
|12||"The Ravagers"||What If...? ||August 4, 2021|
|The Ravagers are a group of alien thieves and smugglers. One Ravager captain, Yondu Udonta, breaks their code when he is hired to retrieve the children of the Celestial Ego from around the galaxy. Yondu learns that Ego is killing the children and chooses not to deliver the last one, the human Peter Quill who he raises as a son. Yondu and his Ravager crew help Quill and the Guardians of the Galaxy defeat Ronan the Accuser in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), and Yondu sacrifices his life to save Quill from Ego in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017). Despite his breaking the code, the other Ravager captains honor Yondu's sacrifice with a traditional Ravager funeral.|
|13||"The Ten Rings"||Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ||September 1, 2021|
|In Iron Man, Tony Stark is ambushed by a terrorist group called the Ten Rings who want him to build them an advanced missile. Stark instead builds the Iron Man armor which he uses to escape from them and then later attack them. He begins investigating their leader, the Mandarin, in Iron Man 3 (2013), but discovers that he is actor Trevor Slattery who was hired by Aldrich Killian to pose as the Mandarin. Slattery is arrested, but is taken from prison by followers of the true Mandarin in All Hail the King (2014).|
|14||"Hawkeye"||Hawkeye ||November 12, 2021|
|S.H.I.E.L.D agent Clint Barton's mind is controlled by Loki in The Avengers until he is freed and joins the Avengers. In Age of Ultron, Barton and the Avengers fight Ultron, and the team meet his family. Barton sides with Captain America in Civil War and ends up in house arrest. After his family is among those killed by Thanos in Infinity War, Barton becomes a vigilante who hunt criminals until the Avengers are able to revert Thanos' actions five years later in Endgame. Barton is assigned as Yelena Belova's target being blamed for Romanoff's death in Endgame by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, as shown in Black Widow.|
|15||"Doctor Strange"||Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness||April 29, 2022|
|Neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange severely injures his hands in a car crash in Doctor Strange (2016). Traveling to Kamar-Taj, he learns the Mystic Arts through the Ancient One, fighting Kaecilius and saving the world from Dormammu, subsequently becoming the Ancient One's successor as the Sorcerer Supreme. He later joins Tony Stark and the Guardians of the Galaxy in a battle against Thanos in Infinity War, where he becomes one of the latter's victims. Strange is revived in Endgame, where he witnesses Stark's sacrifice to defeat Thanos.|
|16||"Wong"||Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness||April 29, 2022|
|In Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts Wong becomes an ally of Stephen Strange during his training at Kamar-Taj. In Infinity War, Wong helps Strange, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner in fighting Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian. In Endgame, he and other sorcerers make portals to unite many superheroes in aiding the Avengers in their battle against Thanos. Wong also meets Shang-Chi in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021).|
|17||"Scarlet Witch"||Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness||April 29, 2022|
|In WandaVision, Wanda Maximoff is consumed with grief over Vision's death after the events of Avengers: Endgame and creates a suburban fantasy for herself (the "Hex"), inspired by classic television sitcoms, inadvertently holding the town of Westview hostage in the process. Her actions bring her into conflict with S.W.O.R.D. and attract the attention of her next-door neighbor "Agnes", who reveals herself to be the witch Agatha Harkness. Wanda faces Agatha in a final showdown and embraces her identity as the Scarlet Witch. She then bids Vision and her sons one last goodbye as she frees Westview from the Hex, overcoming her grief, and goes into exile with the Darkhold, leading into the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).|
|18||"Thor"||Thor: Love and Thunder||July 1, 2022|
|19||"Jane Foster"||Thor: Love and Thunder||July 1, 2022|
|20||"Valkyrie"||Thor: Love and Thunder||July 1, 2022|
|21||"Bruce Banner"||She-Hulk: Attorney at Law||August 10, 2022|
Matt Goldberg at Collider described Legends as "elaborate fan videos that offer cross-promotion" for Marvel, which he did not think was bad but he did wish that the series "offered up something new", such as actors "talking about their characters or offering a fresh teaser for" what was being promoted. He concluded that Legends was "content to be a highly produced recap video". Charlie Ridgely, writing for ComicBook.com, called Legends "incredibly handy" given there had not been any new MCU content in 2020. While conceding viewers already familiar with the highlighted character's stories might not see the need for the episodes since they were "quite literally just a recap of what happened in the movies", he felt it was still "a great refresher" for viewers interested in the new Marvel Disney+ content who "maybe aren't as into the greater MCU... allow[ing] everyone to be on a similar page". Variety's Caroline Framke felt Marvel was anticipating confusion from casual MCU viewers during their new Disney+ series, and called Legends "pretty helpful" heading into WandaVision. Some viewers were disappointed in the series, expecting a more in-depth documentary with creatives providing interviews rather than a clip show.
In February 2021, fellow Marvel Studios docuseries Marvel Studios: Assembled was announced. Some commentators called Assembled a companion series to Legends, since Assembled presents behind the scenes material after a MCU film or series. In June 2022, the documentary short A Fan's Guide to Ms. Marvel was released on Disney+ in preparation for the character's debut in the series Ms. Marvel. It featured an exclusive look at the production of the series and interviews from the filmmaking team and star Iman Vellani.
- Each Legends episode is released prior to the premiere of the associated series or film.
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