Death to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

That’s right, I’ll say it. I’m tired of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s dragged me down. I know there are still several more movies in the pipeline but seriously folks, enough already.

It all started out so good

I remember Iron Man. Frankly I was never much of a believer in that character from the comics. I always thought he was sort of a Batman ripoff — cool guy who had too much money and fought crime and all. But I didn’t think there was anything more to the character. I thought Robert Downey, Jr. really fleshed it out so that you could see the difference between the two.

When Incredible Hulk landed and it seemed like it was all going to build toward an Avengers movie, that seemed incredibly cool. That was what, 2010? Then came Captain America and Thor (which was a pretty bad movie but by then you felt like you had to watch it just to get the whole story.) By the time Marvel’s The Avengers came out, it seemed like a little bit of a disappointment but it was still really impressive that they managed to pull the whole thing off.

If only they’d stopped there

By 2013 it seemed we would be essentially drowning in Marvel movies. We piled on two more Iron Man movies, another Captain America movie, another Thor movie, plus two Ant-Man movies, THREE Spider-Man movies if you include the ones from other studios, and two more Avengers movies to date (with another to come.)  There’s even Captain Marvel which, apparently is not the “Shazam” character, that’s someone else and a completely different movie. Let’s not even talk about the Fantastic FourDeadpool and X-Men movies which are technically not part of the “cinematic universe.”

Oh wait, I forgot about Doctor Strange, two Guardians of the Galaxy films and Black Panther. Seriously.

You must also condider the S.H.I.E.L.D content on ABC and several series on Netflix. Frankly I wonder if I have time to do anything else beside watch superhero movies. When you add in the what, half-a-dozen DC movies, I am on the edge of burnout. I have a feeling I am not the only one.

So what now?

I keep hearing that the next thing is “Phase 4,” which apparently will continue down the path of introducing characters whom I’ve barely heard of and who might have had a tiny part in earlier movies. Wow. Just Wow. I’m thinking if there’s a Phase 5 it will include the janitor who works at the Avengers HQ and Black Widow’s first grade teacher. How much more esoteric do things have to get?

Think of it this way.

The Marvel movies are PG-13 so let’s say you saw Iron Man in 2008 at the age of 13. You’d be 23 now and you’ll be 26 by the time the rest of the movies we know about come out. You literally would have spent your entire adult life watching Marvel movies so the mythology might make sense.

But, imagine you turned 13 in 2012, the year Marvel’s The Avengers came out. At some point you’d have to backfill and watch all those earlier films while still keeping up with the newer ones. Your entire teenage years would be spent scrambling to catch up.

Then say you’re turning 13 now. If you really want to get maximum value out of watching Avengers:Endgame in the spring, you would have to binge roughly 45 hours of film plus scores of other pieces of information. How would you ever do this?

Please Marvel, I congratulate you on this amazing achievement. But seriously, enough already. Let it rest. Let it sit 5 years and start again if you want, but for now… I just need my life back.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.