Thank you, Marvel

Like pretty much every other person on the face of the Earth, I will be fortunate enough to see Avengers: Endgame this weekend.  And also just like everybody else on the planet, I’ll have thoughts.  Boy, will I have thoughts.  I obviously already do, which is why I’m here.  My plan is to keep this short and avoid spoiler territory (especially since I haven’t even seen the film yet).  It also just so happens to be National Superhero Day, so let’s get to it!

Now I’m not looking to type up another movie review that sums up the same material and talking points as every other post out there.  (Remember when I said I haven’t seen it yet?  Yeah, a review would be difficult then.)  No, I’m thinking more of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.  This is hardly a new observation, but with Endgame wrapping up this generation of superhero movies as we know them, I just want to look back at the enormity of what Marvel was able to pull off over the last eleven years.

The way they managed to weave a single, common thread through more than twenty movies and tie them all together is nothing short of masterful.  Obviously, it’s not like they created it all from scratch, having about seventy-five years worth of source material from the comics the characters originated from, but as we’ve seen time and time again, source material isn’t always properly applied to the big screen.  Another angle to illustrate my point about the quality of work Marvel has pulled off is to look at none other than their direct competitor, DC.  Warner Brothers has desperately tried to recreate Marvel’s recipe for success with their DC properties and have failed time after time.

Marvel had a grand vision when they started to piece together the MCU with the first Iron Man movie.  They gave us a tease of what they had in mind at the very end of the credits, then we all had to patiently wait for each subsequent movie to see where the connection was going to take us.  I can’t imagine the amount of forethought and patience that went into building these stories, but man, did it ever pay off.

And not only do I appreciate the way they put together the MCU, but the quality of each movie is something else to take into consideration.  A quick Google search might lead you to believe that we’ve reached the point of superhero fatigue.  Every major blockbuster seems to be a superhero movie, and people are tiring of the genre.  Time will tell if that’s actually the case.  The buzz around Endgame indicates we certainly have not reached that point, but the actual test will be what happens after this film.  Can the MCU maintain their success without the likes of Iron Man and Captain America leading the way?  (This is purely speculation on my part based on actor contracts.  I have not seen Endgame yet and am not privy to any spoilers, so everybody stay calm!)  Can Marvel keep their track record intact with the likes of Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, and Black Panther, or are box office sales finally going to hit a wall and indicate the genre fatigue that the internet has been spouting for the past few years?  Like I said, time will tell.  But I’m skeptical.  The remaining properties mentioned above have all been wildly successful.  Add in the Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr. Strange, and Spider-Man, and I’m telling you right now: superhero movies aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

But I was really thinking of some of the older movies from the MCU.  The success of these franchises is based on the quality of the story telling.  Captain America: Civil War made it possible for audiences to cheer for different characters, and be justified whichever side they fell on.  That is nothing less than incredible writing.  Iron Man 3 had some amazing character development and depth to the story while Tony Stark dealt with some major PTSD issues resulting from the first Avengers film.  Even Avengers: Infinity War complicated viewers’ reactions by making Thanos somewhat relatable.  He’s still a psychopath who’s trying to destroy half of the world’s population, but his reasoning is based on logic.  That is great character building, and that is why I can confidently say that Marvel movies will remain to be blockbusters for the foreseeable future.

So this is essentially a love letter to Marvel, but as a writer, I needed to take the time to recognize the writing skills associated with the MCU.  So for that, I say thank you, Marvel.  Now excuse me, I have a movie to get to!

Thank you, that is all.

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