All Is Not Well in the MCU

By Brandon Labecki, Current Staff

With Marvel’s conclusion to the third phase in its superhero film franchise, it seems that there is limited room to move forward and keep its audience engaged. 

After the release of Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame,” which ended the Infinity Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2019, and the pandemic of 2020, the newest releases portray a sense of struggling to move on from the past.

Several television series such as “Wandavision,” “Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” and “Loki,” have expanded on characters from pre-existing films, but there are downsides to this decision.

Releasing several TV series revolving around known characters comes across as an attempt to work within the safety of the audience’s nostalgia, instead of creating something fresh. The constant releasing of TV series also puts the audience in a position of almost drowning in content that they feel the need to catch up on, exhausting the want for more stories.

The most recent addition to this idea is in Marvel’s animated show “What If…,” which just ended its first season. The show revolves around seeing older events with different outcomes, purposely using past films to draw in audiences on the basis of nostalgia.

The trailers for films such as September’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and the upcoming “Eternals” were portrayed in a lackluster way, almost insinuating that Marvel Studios themselves don’t trust a new intellectual property unless it already appeals to their demographic.

This might have been most notably seen through the “Spider-Man: No Way Home” trailer which deliberately clued the audience in on characters that they already have extreme attachments to.

With an overwhelming release schedule of content mostly filtered through a nostalgic lens, it’s difficult to not see the recent trend as simply a risk-free way to attract audiences in order to continue the studio’s profits rather than tell interesting, compelling, and thoughtful stories that move on from the Infinity Saga.

Hopefully, if Marvel continues in this direction, it will be with the intent to create fresh content instead of merely repeating previous works.

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