To be clear, I’m not just highlighting the increasing diversity of Marvel’s heroic roster — though the introductions of heroes like Black Panther, The Wasp and the eventual debut of Carol Danvers next year do help. Instead, I’m actually referring to a perceived increase in diversity of thought and unique filmmaking style. In the earliest days of Phase 1, Marvel movies (largely by necessity) had to play to cliché character beats and well-known story formats in order to get audiences familiar with the landscape of the MCU. In fact, if you go back to watch some of the films that led up to the release of The Avengers, you may find yourself surprised by how many of them had the idea of a lone, exceptional, macho hero overcoming a broadly evil antagonist by punching their way out of a situation. It was a formula you could set your watch to back then.