The first half of Deadpool 2, in which Vanessa is murdered and Wade becomes purposeless and suicidal, is a slog. The second half, where Wade commits to defending an angry teenage mutant, positively soars with fantastic action and some of the funniest superhero film moments in years.
The focus on Thanos single-handedly saves Avengers: Infinity War from becoming the overstuffed mess many feared and lends the film a relentless action pace more akin to Mad Max: Fury Road than a superhero blockbuster.
Ryan Coogler's Black Panther engages with deep and timely social, cultural, and psychological concepts, and completely taps into America's zeitgeist.
James Gunn crafts a deeply flawed film, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which digs deep into daddy issues, is still entertaining, visually gorgeous, and likable.
They've gone on to write and direct Captain Marvel, but there was a time when Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck made small films like Half Nelson and seemed poised to create a distinct, unpredictable body of work.
Marvel Studios launched its second phase of films with Iron Man 3, a film filled with bold storytelling choices and irreverent humour that would become hallmarks of the MCU.
By perfecting the comic book superhero formula and creating the first big-budget shared universe with The Avengers in 2012, Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios came to define this decade of blockbuster filmmaking.
Marvel Studios recognized that by mining other genres through the superhero lens, it could continue to keep comic book films fresh and entertaining to audiences and sidestep the constant predictions of imminent superhero fatigue.
Marvel Studios' goal with The Incredible Hulk was to rehabilitate the Hulk in the minds of moviegoers after a disappointing 2003 film, and also reimagine him as a more heroic character that would fit within the larger universe it was crafting.
Iron Man is a colorful, light, comedic film, and as the first film in the MCU it was responsible for establishing the tone and approach of the series moving forward.