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How Marvel Has Failed Since the Infinity Saga

In 2008, when Marvel started recreating the stories and characters we know and love from the Marvel comic books, it was a welcomed and exciting new venture on the movie scene. When they laid out their plans and timeline for the next two decades, fans were thrilled, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was born.

Suddenly, Marvel seemed to take over everything. This takeover comprised much more than just dominating the box office; it also encompassed TV series, merchandise, and video games. Heck, even Marvel slot games would stand out in an online casino that offers thousands of free slot games and paid ones—they were that popular.

Marvel’s timeline encompassed multiple phases that scheduled the launch of movies and TV series into the late 2020s. The different phases are lumped together into sagas to indicate an overarching storyline. We’re currently in the fifth phase, part of the Multiverse Saga. 

But now that we’re neck deep in the MCU phases, many fans have changed their tune about the whole MCU plan, with the harshest critics feeling that they’ve been downright failing since the wrap-up of the Infinity Saga, which encompassed phases one to three, and the movies released between 2008 and 2019.

From Wiki Fandoms to major publishing platforms, people have weighed in on the MCU’s failure, and these are some of the key reasons that people have recently been disappointed by the franchise.

Loss of Major Characters and Actors

The end of the Infinity Saga (note, spoilers ahead!) saw the loss of some of the franchise’s biggest characters, including Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, and Natasha Romanoff. While these losses were tough, they were woven into the storyline well, with each character getting a hero’s ending and creating room for fans to grieve and recover. But even with this, the stellar cast behind the characters is dearly missed.

The franchise also saw losses beyond these characters that carried over into reality when major actors walked away from the Marvel franchise. Zoe Saldaña, Chris Hemsworth, and Tom Holland all stepped away for various reasons. 

There was also the heartbreaking loss of Chadwick Boseman, which left a hole in the franchise and huge shoes to fill, with TIME saying, “while Letitia Wright admirably took the weight of Black Panther 2 on her shoulders after Boseman’s passing … His shadow looms large.”

Prioritizing Quantity Over Quality

Part of the MCU master plan was to release more than just movies by building worlds and characters through TV series. These TV series helped propel the overarching stories of the MCU phases. While, in theory, supporting the movies and the overall universe with extra content is a great idea, in reality, the quality of the shows and films had to be sacrificed to keep up with the timeline.

The visual effects artists working with the franchise call Marvel out for this. In a scathing Vulture article about Marvel’s relationship with the artists, the author says, “[Marvel] sets dates, and it’s very inflexible on those dates, yet it’s quite willing to do reshoots and big changes very close to the dates without shifting them up or down.” This leads to teams rushing to complete things while being understaffed and working overtime.

Content Overwhelm

On the note of the vast quantity of content being pumped out by the Marvel franchise is the feeling of being overwhelmed by how many series, characters, and plot details the newest phases require their audience to keep tabs on. The amount to keep track of starts to feel exhausting rather than thrilling and exciting, making it harder to enjoy each movie or TV show as a stand-alone piece (something the Infinity Saga did well). 

Disjointed Storylines

The most recent phases have had mixed reviews, particularly when it comes to the TV series. They still hold the action and adventure of the superhero genre, but the plots are confusing and disjointed. Part of the disjointed feeling is because we’re in the midst of the Multiverse Saga, which means there’s a lot of jumping through universes and timelines, but it loses any sense of reason or grounding that we need to follow and enjoy a story.

Superhero Fatigue

For over a decade, there have been superhero movies and shows at every turn. It has been Hollywood’s trendy, exciting genre, but as with all trends, people eventually move on. The dwindling interest in superhero movies has been referred to as “superhero fatigue,” and it has slowly been showing in box office numbers and surveys for the last few years. There’s a worry that Marvel hasn’t planned or adapted to this shifting attitude.

They Set the Bar Too High

The first saga Marvel brought us was novel and exciting. It was reviving the superhero genre, building to a bigger, dramatic story with tidbits at the end of each movie hinting at what was to come, all while generating tons of money and topping the box office with hit after hit. It was shaping an experience that simply can’t be recreated while also raising the hopes and expectations of viewers. 

After the Infinity Saga story arc came to a close, the attempt to build another major storyline wasn’t made with the same polish and finesse and, of course, lacked novelty because this format had already been done before. Unfortunately, this translates to less appealing movies because the bar was set too high with the first three phases. 

Unsurprisingly, Marvel movies have started to wane in their box office rankings and revenues. The second-to-last movie in the Infinity Saga, Avengers: Endgame, generated more than $2 billion. It was their most successful movie, but they haven’t been able to top it since. Many people now think this would have been the perfect place to wrap things up for the MCU.

Conclusion: Should Marvel Have Quit While They Were Ahead?

The idea that Marvel should have quit while they were ahead is floating around reviews and commentary from disappointed fans, and it’s hard not to agree with them (or at least wish Marvel had taken a healthy break before diving into another storyline). But whether or not it’ll be able to reinvent itself and regain viewers’ attention, we’ll just have to wait and see. 

About the author

Tom Smith

Please note that articles by this author may be in collaboration with other companies.

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