Now Geek This: The Genius of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

now geek thisLet me begin this article with a Spoiler Alert.  Normally, I try not to spoil anything when doing a review or discussing a movie or television show, but in this case, there is no way for me to discuss the Marvel Cinematic Universe without bringing up some details from the movies and television show.  Therefore, you have been warned, if you have not seen all of Marvel’s movies, or the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television show, than you may find a few spoilers in this article.

With that warning out of the way, let’s discuss the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and what Marvel Studios has done with this universe that I consider to be so truly brilliant.

Recently, my friend and I were discussing how much we enjoyed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which inevitably led us to a discussion about all of the other Marvel Studios movies.  Naturally, our discussion about Marvel movies led us down the path of discussing the truly amazing feat that Marvel Studios has accomplished with their entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, which will be refereed to as the MCU from this point on.  When we considered what Marvel Studios has done with the MCU, we immediately realized that they have accomplished something truly unprecedented and quite revolutionary.  Marvel has used their vast stable of comic book characters to create a cinematic universe with its own continuity and its own cohesiveness.

That might seem like an obvious statement, and you may wonder if the point of my article is to just state the obvious, but, I assure you there is a point to me made.  If you look under the surface of my statement, you can see exactly what I mean.  Marvel Studios started slowly building theiruniverse with the Ironman, and you could probably include the Incredible Hulk in there if you so choose, as they worked their way to the Avengers movie.  Marvel Studios took some big risks with their ideas, and those risks have really paid off.

Marvel Studios has done more than just create a handful of fun movies featuring some of their best characters, they have connected every single one of those movies, plus a television show, together in a way that has never really been done before.  The possibilities of what Marvel Studios can do with the MCU they have created get me very excited.  In fact, we have already seen a lot of the possibilities already.

Take for example the bonus scenes at the end of each Marvel Studios movie.  A simple scene of Agent Coulson finding a hammer in the desert at the end of Ironman 2 was more than just a tease of the Thor movie that would be coming up next, it was also a way to directly connect Thor and Ironman together.  Just as a scene at the end of Incredible Hulk starring Tony Stark connected Hulk and Ironman, or a scene at the end of the first Ironman movie starring Nick Fury hinted at what was to come.  All of these scenes were just the beginning building blocks of a massive, cohesive Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Another factor that shows just how brilliant Marvel Studios is can be found in some of the crossover appearances that have been seen in the movies and in the television show.  As a comic book fan, it is always fun to see my favorite heroes crossover into other books and interact with other heroes.  The Avengers is an example of the largest type of crossover, but you can have fun with smaller crossovers as well.  Take, for example, the Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff.  The widow began as a character brought into Ironman 2 to watch over Tony Stark, then moved over to become a major player in the Avengers movie, and finally ending up as Captain America’s partner in Winter Soldier.  Black Widow’s transition in the three movies felt completely natural, and she fit in perfectly in each of the movies she was featured in.  That is a perfect example of the crossover that is a beloved staple in the comic books these heroes originated in.

There have been a couple of other great crossovers found in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D television show as well which give the show a nice sense of continuity with the rest of the MCU.  An episode starring Lady Sif was a great crossover from the Thor movies, and it was fun to see her on the show.  Of course, the best crossover from the movies to the television show happened after Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out and they could finally reveal on the show that Hydra had taken over S.H.I.E.L.D.  This bit of crossover has given the show a fascinating edge that has really perked it up.  Of course, cameos by both Nick Fury and Maria Hill, as well as a few other examples, have also helped bring the show into the MCU continuity as well

Thinking about what Marvel Studios has accomplished leads me to also consider the future possibilities with excitement.  After Captain America: The Winter Soldier was released, the internet was abuzz with a scene that simply mentioned the name Stephen Strange, a character that Marvel fans know as Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange.  Just the simple fact that his name was mentioned means that Doctor Strange is officially part of the MCU.  Whether in the rumored Doctor Strange movie, or his own television series, Doctor Strange is now a part of the same universe as the Avengers.

In addition to Doctor Strange, we will soon have Iron Fist, Power Man, and even Daredevil returning to the Marvel Studios fold.  In August, the Guardians of the Galaxy will be brought in to the MCU, adding a cosmic element to the MCU, and opening up even more possibilities.

The MCU that Marvel Studios has built is truly remarkable and exciting.  It is so revolutionary, that other studios are even attempting to copy what Marvel has done.  Warner Brothers appears to be attempting to build up the DC universe in an attempt to perhaps bring the Justice League to their movie universe that has so far only included Batman and Superman in various iterations.  Sony pictures appears to be attempting to build up their Spider-Man franchise in a similar fashion.  The only concern I have with both of these examples is that I fear the movie studios may be attempting to do too much too quickly.  The true brilliance of what Marvel Studios did is that they have taken their time building the MCU over several years, giving fans time to appreciate each character individually as well as part of the Avengers.  When Agent Coulson died in the Avengers, and then was brought back to life in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., fans cared because Marvel Studios took the time to slowly build Coulson’s character into someone that the fans truly care about.  Marvel studios took the time to build all of their characters so that the fans would care about them.  That is the true key to the success of the MCU.

That’s it for this edition of Now Geek This.  Thanks for reading and tune in next time for our next exciting adventure.