Nobody could really predict that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be as big as it is right now back in 2008 when the first Iron Man film was released. Now, Marvel Studio is a couple of months away from releasing their thirteenth film in the franchise and four successful television shows have been developed with another four in the works. Whether you are a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or not, you have to admit that what Marvel has done with their most popular characters is very impressive by turning their movies into one gigantic, shared, live-action comic book world. However, no film franchise is perfect and the MCU is no exception to this rule.
While the MCU is great for any avid comic book fan, there are some facts that should be known in order to fully enjoy what the Marvel films and television shows have to offer. Here are the 10 MCU facts you need to know in order to fully enjoy this franchise.
10. The villains range from mediocre to completely forgettable
The MCU has given us a few decent villains including Red Skull, Wilson Fisk, Kilgrave and the very popular Loki. Even Darren Cross from the recent Ant-Man film wasn’t so bad for a one and done villain. However, most of the other villains can range from mediocre to almost insulting to the audience but we’ll get into that later. Practically nobody remembers the villains from Thor 2: The Dark World and The Incredible Hulk. The rest of the villains are basically your usual one and done villains that are given very little backstory or motivation to rival the main protagonist.
Even the big, major villain that Marvel has been building up for the past 3 years hasn’t done anything interesting yet but we need to be excited because Thanos has been built up to be the most powerful villain in the known galaxy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really excited for Infinity War to come in 2019 but I hope we get to see more of a reason to be pumped up for this guy.
9. The first Avengers movie will probably never be topped
It’s no big news that Avengers: Age of Ultron did not make as much money as the first Avengers movie and Disney and Marvel Studios were not happy about this. The first Avengers film might not be any kind of cinema gold or a masterpiece but this was the first film to bring a comic book universe together so glamorously. This film was built up for about 5 years and Marvel Studios was taking a huge gamble to make this franchise and it truly worked for them. The first Avengers is currently number 4 on the highest grossing movies of all time list making over $1.5 billion at the box office.
By the time Avengers 2 came out, the excitement of seeing the shared universe come together had somewhat passed for some people. I’m sure Avengers: Infinity War will be unbelievably awesome with the addition of Spider-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and more but I doubt it’ll surpass the excitement and wow-factor that the first film gave us.
8. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will probably overstay it’s welcome
Marvel has proven to be a powerhouse at the box office and will continue to be one all the way through the third Avengers film. However, if Ant-Man taught us anything, it’s that non comic book fans are starting to feel some superhero fatigue or maybe even some Marvel fatigue with Ant-Man being one of the lowest grossing films in the franchise. Marvel is now putting out at least two movies a year and DC is joining that race this year with Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman. Even after the third Avengers film, an Inhumans movie is set for a release after Infinity War.
People are now even speculating what Marvel should do for Phase 4 by introducing new characters and storylines which is almost insane. The bigwigs of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are pretty much done after the third Avengers film after their contracts end and this franchise does need to end at some point. Maybe Marvel has a brilliant idea how to end everything after Inhumans but it almost seems that Marvel wants to milk this franchise for all it has got.
7. Loki is a better character than Thor
Now don’t get me wrong, Thor isn’t a terrible or boring character and he even gets his own story arc about learning to control his anger and spread peace among the nine realms. But if Thor: The Dark World taught us anything, it’s that Loki can almost outshine anyone including the titular character and the main villain. This could be due to Tom Hiddleston’s fantastic performance or the fact that he has a more interesting story arc and motive for his antagonistic actions. Even with the new Thor movie teasing Ragnarok, people are still more interested in what role Loki will play in the movie. There really isn’t any one person to blame for this but it is still a little mind-boggling.
6. Avengers: Age of Ultron is a disappointment
Now, Avengers: Age of Ultron is not a bad movie. It still offers the fun of the previous Avengers film and you can argue that the plot is more interesting than the first film. However, the marketing for this film was unbelievable and got fans super hyped up. Unfortunately, after three trailer drops, a bunch of leaked videos and dozens of plot speculations from fans, Age of Ultron was put on such a high pedestal that there is no way that it, or any film, could live up to its hype. Each of the trailers got millions of views on YouTube and the fans were so excited to see the big bad Ultron on the big screen.
The film however did not deliver a memorable villain in Ultron and there were some story points that didn’t add up or seemed unexplained. While the film wasn’t bad, it still didn’t give audiences and fans the same excitement from the first film.
5. The Hulk will never get another standalone film
It’s no secret that the Hulk gained a lot of new fame after the release of the first Avengers movie. Not only did Mark Ruffalo prove that he is a good substitute for Edward Norton, but the final act of the Avengers where the Hulk fought with the Avengers was both exciting and hilarious. So why hasn't Hulk gotten another standalone film like the other Avengers? Well, apparently, not only are there some issues with the rights between Universal and Marvel but Marvel Studios just has no place for him in the future line up. Marvel has a bunch of new heroes to include in the MCU for Phase 3 including Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange.
The Incredible Hulk movie also left a few unanswered questions with the lead up to the Leader and was merely a serviceable film to both critics and fans. Unfortunately, The Incredible Hulk is usually the most forgettable film in the MCU franchise.
4. The MCU will sometimes butcher classic characters and stories
This is mostly showcased in Iron Man 3 and Ant-Man. Iron Man 3 had such a good thing going with Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin and the trailer built him up big time. The Mandarin was portrayed as an intelligent but intimidating villain in the trailer but then they made the character more into a joke and disappointed many fans with the twist of who the main villain was. Even though Guy Pearce wasn’t bad in the movie, he was not Mandarin material like Ben Kingsley was. Ant-Man, on the other hand, doesn’t follow anything from the comic book storyline at all.
Hank Pym is Ant-Man in the Avengers, Yellowjacket is Pym’s other “superhero” identity, Hope Pym was a villian called the Queen and so much more. Don’t get me wrong, Ant-Man was still a very enjoyable film, maybe one of the best in the Phase 2 line-up, but it’s very confusing to see how much the movie doesn’t take from the original source material. Even the upcoming Captain America: Civil War doesn't seem to be taking anything from the original storyline as there doesn't even seem to be a registration act in effect. I guess as long as the movies are good, Marvel can do anything they want with their movies.
3. There is little to no variety to the heroes in the MCU
This is a much more controversial thing in the universe: most of the heroes in the Avengers’ main line up are white, muscular males. Sure, there’s Black Widow, who is awesome on her own merits, but the only ones who have gotten their own movie or TV series so far are the beautiful white men. However, Phase 3 will still give us the first black and female superheroes in the MCU. Also Netflix has released Jessica Jones, probably one of the most compelling female superhero in the Marvel Universe.
This doesn’t really bother me so much as I’m a Caucasian male but this will obviously anger or annoy some folks with the lack of diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
2. The movies and the TV shows will never crossover
This is probably one of the hardest ones to swallow but it’s very unlikely that any of the movies will even remotely reference the TV shows and the TV shows will only sometimes give a passing nod to the Avengers or the events that occurred in the movies. We’ll most likely never see Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Punisher, Iron Fist, Luke Cage or the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. team up with the Avengers. While the television programs continue to impress audiences with Daredevil, Jessica Jones and season two and three of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel seems to have little interest in incorporating them into in the film. Fans were really hoping for Daredevil to make an appearance in Civil War but that doesn't seem to be happening now.
There are also rumors that the minds behind the television part of the MCU are butting heads with the people on the movie side of the MCU. Whatever the reason is, don’t hold out on any hope for these two worlds to collide anytime soon.
1. We will never see X-Men, Deadpool, Fantastic Four or Wolverine in the MCU
Probably the hardest thing that we need to come to terms with is that we will never see any of the FOX owned superheroes in the MCU. Many people are holding out that Marvel and FOX will bury the hatchet and start playing nice like Sony did. After the utter failure of Fan4stic, we were hoping that FOX would give a shout out for a life line like Sony did after the failure of Amazing Spider-Man 2 but still no dice. FOX also just happens to own some of Marvel’s most beloved characters including the Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, Deadpool, Galactus, Cable, Fantastic Four and many more.
It also seems that even though Fan4stic failed as not only a superhero movie, but a movie in general, FOX might still be going ahead with a sequel to the film for some weird reason. Maybe sometime in the future, FOX will learn the errors of their ways and play nice with Marvel Studios sometime in the future but that probably won’t happen in this Marvel Cinematic Universe.