as a character he went from supporting to link in Phase 4 of the MCU

“I call it the Wong phase”. Although it is a joke, the affectionate nickname that the actor Benedict Wong gave to Phase 4 of MCUin an interview with the magazine empire, could not be more accurate. From the snap of Thanos’ fingers (Josh Brolin), in Avengers: Infinity WarKamar-Taj’s former librarian left Doctor Strange’s shadow (Benedict Cumberbatch) and became a more constant presence in the new stories of the shared universe. the last episode of She-Hulk it’s really just the most recent example. Because, if you notice, he was involved in some way in virtually every major event following the rematch against the Mad Titan, from the investigation into the artifacts that nearly destroyed the universe in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings until the crises with the multiverse of Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

The change is due, in part, to Wong’s rise to the rank of Sorcerer Supreme. When Stephen Strange disappeared on the Blip, he was left with the arduous (and lonely) job of protecting the Sanctum Sanctorum and, by extension, Earth against any new mystical threat. The responsibility, however, was accompanied by a more active voice and, no wonder, he now occupies a position among the remaining leaders of the Avengers even after the universe returns to normal. So, whether Strange likes it or not, he has to ask Wong’s permission to perform certain spells — as well as listen to his scolding when things go wrong.

From the point of view of building the universe, however, the justification is much more immediate. In such an introductory phase, it is natural that Casa das Ideias uses old acquaintances of the public to give cohesion to the various plots it is opening. While some act as mentors and pass the baton to a new generation, such as Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), others deal with the many losses and rancidity of the last great war. It is a time of reconstruction and everyone, almost without exception, feels it. Almost, because Wong, in this case, is a neutral piece. As sidekick of Strange, he didn’t have any arcs or even solid character development that made the damage and consequent risks minimally personal for him. Therefore, the wizard presents himself as a great guide for the public, for his proven seriousness and loyalty, but also as a good script device given his lack of ballast. You can believe he would be anywhere in the MCU, involved in all kinds of conflicts, even in a clandestine fight club, facing the Abomination (Tim Roth). Why not?

It is still too early to know how the marvel studios intends to cap off this increased visibility for Wong, that is, if they intend to actually use him as a centerpiece in the new mystical and supernatural adventures to come, or if they’re just warming up for a tragic farewell — that’s how it was with Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) in Phase 1, remember? Anyway, for now, it’s the public who wins. Because, you see, all it takes is a script that’s a little more inspired than the embarrassing jokes of Doctor Strange for Benedict Wong to steal the show. She-Hulk, in this sense, offers the actor the best situations for him to demonstrate his charisma and his precise comic timing and, on top of that, it also gives fans glimpses into the Sorcerer Supreme’s personal life – precious information, which makes the mystery of his life a active in itself. For example, did you know that Wong was a department store salesman for nearly a decade before he came to Kamar-Taj?

If Marvel is smart, she won’t say goodbye to Wong anytime soon. We are facing a character widely celebrated by the fandom and an actor who enjoys and enjoys every second he has on screen. As much as in the comics he has a secretarial role, this is the kind of scenario where being true to the base material is counterproductive. So here’s the appeal: let the Wong Phase be just the beginning. Give this man more spotlight!

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