The media keeps throwing around the term “superhero fatigue” left and right, as if they want the genre to fail. But, why should it? Movies from Marvel Studios, DC, and Fox are still performing great, as fans clamor to watch sequels featuring the return of favorite characters and new solo-films that introduce new heroes on a yearly basis. In the process, superhero films have evolved into a number of different genres; just look at Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, Deadpool and Logan for evidence. Besides, for the number of superhero films released a year there are dozens of spy thrillers, action comedies, and more young adult novel adaptations then you can count. Westerns ruled Hollywood for decades, with far more released a year than the current crop of superhero flicks, so why wouldn’t this genre be here to stay as well?
Scott from Nerdsynce has his own theory for what may prove to bring down the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it is not the usual “superhero fatigue” line you normally hear. In comparing the MCU films to what was their true inspiration, the Ultimate Comics line from Marvel, Scott believes it is possible that the same fault that caused that comics universe to collapse may bring down the films. Check out the video:
“Building a rich world is great, don’t get me wrong, but again, it runs the risk of having continuity swallow everything and confusing audience members who maybe didn’t pay that much attention to the details.”
I think Scott may have a valid point. I once spent an hour explaining just the films, with a focus on Infinity Stones, to my best friend who has seen them all and reads the comics.And he still didn’t get it. I have the advantage of soaking up useless knowledge like a sponge and viewing all the films dozens of times, but if my superhero loving friend can’t trace all the lines leading up to Avengers: Infinity War, what hope does the average movie goer have?
After all, Infinity War takes all the threads and far too many characters and is expected to deliver a package that is entertaining without becoming overstuffed. I have great faith in the Russo Brothers, but this is a genuine fear of mine. And I know as much as one can about all the films released thus far.
I agree with Scott, that this doesn’t necessarily mean the end. Last year, unprecedented continuity didn’t stop anyone from seeing Civil War, the most complex story to date. And as long as Marvel keeps pumping out side characters with truly (well, mostly) stand-alone movies like Doctor Strange, there will be new jumping on points for newcomers to the universe. I also feel one more comparison needs to be made between the Ultimate comics and the films; the number of stories in so many years. Yes, the MCU is ten years in, as were the comics when they failed, but you’re not getting an issue a month filled with important information, you’re getting two to three films a year, with multiple years between official sequels for franchises within the MCU.
We will have to wait and see if his theory does pan out after the expected huge success of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4. I think it is more likely that Marvel will be their own undoing. As original actors leave their posts, a soft reboot or full reboot, Ultimates style, may loom in the not-so-distant future. Just take a gander at how often Marvel comics revert their titles like The Amazing Spider-Man and The Avengers back to Issue #1, just to attract new fans, without resetting the story. And if we’ve learned anything from the first relaunch of the Spider-Man movie franchise, fans aren’t so keen on quick reboots.
How do you feel about NerdSync‘s theory? Do you feel the comparison between the Ultimate Comics and the MCU holds water?
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