One of the things I have done on my blog is write about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I reviewed the films and wrote about my love of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as part of the grand plan I had for my blog in 2016.
Having spent a good chunk of my festive holiday re-watching the films in a marathon, I thought it was a good time to actually re-visit what I used to think about the MCU. My original post on the MCU was honest and full of a great deal of hope.
I was honest about disliking Tony Stark, and I had a great deal of hope about the future of the MCU. However, people change – my grand plan for 2016 was based on being really excited about the films of major franchises.
Most unfortunately one of the recent conclusions I have made about franchises, affects the MCU the worst. One of the things I loved most about the MCU was the Infinity Stone story arc. I had felt that the complex and interconnected universe of films was finally beginning to pay off.
However, while I’ve not reviewed them yet the additions to the MCU from 2016, including Civil War and Doctor Strange haven’t propelled my excitement for the MCU into new heights – when I wrote that I was excited, it was because I was genuinely excited. I was excited going into the cinema to see the films for the first time. I came out of Doctor Strange still buzzing (less so with Civil War), but I did do with a slightly bitter taste in my mouth.
And it was very much to do with the slightly clunky, probably not needed, reveal of the fifth infinity stone in Doctor Strange. I felt insulted that its reveal was for the ‘audience’, as if somehow if it had simply been mentioned that it was an ancient and powerful relic from before the universe, the audience wouldn’t make the connection. UGH!!! Why would the term of ‘infinity stone’ be universally known? Why did the connection to the MCU need to be made so darn clearly, as if it’s audience was clearly stupid and needed the addition buzz of the wider universe arc to make them love the film even more?
Let me answer those questions – the term wouldn’t be universal, the stones would probably have different names in different cultures, across the world and the universe, you know because people are actually diverse. Oh and Marvel, your audience isn’t stupid – we have invested a lot of time into loving the MCU, we would have figured out that Strange’s power over time was caused by an infinity stone. It might have even been a nice reveal for a later film, like Loki’s Sceptre was from one Avengers film to the other. Just a thought Marvel.
As much as the MCU is something that I enjoyed, its time as one of my favourite things is coming swiftly to an end. I will see it out until the end of the Infinity Stone arc, purely because I do want to know what happens, but I’m currently doubting it’s ability to hold my attention beyond that – someone bringing Agent Carter back to my small screen is the only thing I’d really pay attention to if it happens after the film universe has lost my attention.
There are two reasons for this change of heart – one being that having watched all of the films in sequence in the last couple of days, the initial excitement I felt just isn’t there anymore. There isn’t enough complexity in the MCU as I find in other franchises to keep me wanting to go back to them again and again.
The other reason is a one I’ve figured out in recent weeks when I’ve been thinking more about Star Wars and Fantastic Beasts – the MCU, (and X-men and DC as well) don’t inspire me. I haven’t come out of an MCU marathon inspired by the characters, plots and story-world to go out into the world and produce my own characters, plots and story-world.
I’m actually kind of left a bit empty really, probably because the original source material (comic books) just doesn’t float my boat. I’ve been writing a lot recently about my own writing and re-discovering what inspires me, and I came to a pretty harsh conclusion – superhero franchises based on comic books don’t inspire me as a creative person. I had been drawn in with ease into the hype of a massive cinematic universe and I have been left empty of my own creativity because of the ease in which these characters and stories be can be told and then forgotten.
I feel as if I had disposed of my creativity’s needs with the same ease that Marvel uses to dispose of its villains.
So in revisiting the films, while the MCU certainly will always have a place in my heart, and I’ll made trips to the cinema at least for the coming couple of years as the Infinity Story is wrapped up, the shiny gleam that MCU used to offer me has dulled quite a bit.
Also, I will admit Tony Stark is not as bad as I used to believe – he had been outshone by Thor and Captain America, but in truth he’s gone up a little in my estimations and they have come down a bit, so they are all on a level playing field now.
Still love Loki though – that will probably never change.