To avoid any misinterpretations I will start of with stating why exactly I chose this title. The reasoning is ironically quite simple, Marvel Studios, LLC and ist television unit Marvel Television feel like to seperate entities that feel connected, but only in a rather loose way. What do i mean by that? It is rather simple, while the films are commonly in the spotlight when press events surround Marvel Studios and their films. We discuss the upcoming Age of Ultron, Ant-Man and especially now Civil War. Now and then some questions are raised regarding the future of the Netflix TV series and Agents of SHIELD, which probably builds up the most connective tissue between the two screens. While it makes sense to have two seperate divisions that focus on their respective media, it seems that for now it is difficult as an outsider to consider them as one or as two entirely seperate entities.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is ever expanding, now even with a new spin-off show from Agents of SHIELD in the works and three upcoming Netflix shows that will lead into the Defenders. Besides that, Sony is now participating with their Spider-Man franchise in the MCU and slowly are integrating another character into the ever-growing franchise. Personally, I love seeing this expand in many different ways possible, but I personally feel that there is a slight lack of unity besides the storytelling elements in the films.
Now for the slightly boring section I am taking a slight marketing perspective on the matter. Agents of SHIELD premiere was a gigantic hit with around 12.12 million viewers. Naturally and sadly the viewership has dropped ever since, but maybe because it was marketed strongly as a, well, Avengers property. The marketing was quite succesful, but the lasting impression was the main issue. People expected the Avengers on the small screen but the marketing wanted to bring us a look from regular people. Yet sadly in the first season there was no true connective tissue besides references that ironically everyone wanted to hear, but acted as if they were forced. Now I am not here to talk about criticsm on the web, but rather the overall issue here. People want a back and forth between franchises (while at the same time independant stories like the Netflix series, but I digress) and as Agents of SHIELD was still in ist early stages it needed time to do so, as the second season certainly proved with its Inhumans arc.
Furthermore, the show is called Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, which markets it as a Marvel property, but with external franchises like X-Men and Fantastic Four, should the Marvel Cinematic Universe itself bet he center of a market. We live in a era where Cinematic Universes are become quite a trend even in franchises they are not a smart business decisions. Still, maybe with all this competition it is time to market the MCU then just the Marvel brand. We never truly got a visual representation of the MCU with the exception of the opening banner of Marvel Studios. Anyone watching the TV show will probably remember that this banner is shortened and the word Studios is not present. The human sub-conscious strongly connects things visually and with this litlte change they are creating a gap between TV, Netflix and the movies. Now I am not saying they need their own fanfare, but it would seem at least appropriate to give them a visual key that these films are connected. I still know people that believe the original Fantastic Four and the current X-Men franchise are connected.
This is probably a very personal article simply because of how much I feel connected to this franchise. Iron Man stands as one of the most important films I have seen in my life out of personal reasons and ever since I saw the Avengers I couldn’t wait to see how this franchise evolves. Do not worry, I am also a DC fan, my first superhero and cartoon series were all focused on Batman, a character I still hold dearly. The rules I am setting above are also something I feel Warner Bros. should act upon. Gives us some visual indication that these films are connected as the DC Cinematic Universe starting with the introduction of Man of Steel.
In the end, this is something I cannot control and I believe it to be difficult to create a brand or logo for a Cinematic Universe, but Marvel has proven their marketing is strong and one day I am sure they will think of something. This is not a cinema centric concept though, as I personally think the published Blu-Rays and DVDs would sell even more if there was some sort of specially made design for the MCU films making them feel more connected while standing on the shelve, but I am a film collector so that is probably just a personal wish.
Do you want more articles? Find more (also non-film related) here: Archive Media
These are my thoughts on the matter. Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment below!