How Marvel Can Fix Its “Quantity Over Quality” Issue

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Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk marvel

Credit: Marvel Studios

Are people really just tired of superheroes?

hawkeye jeremy renner hailee steinfeld hawkeye mcu series disney plus
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Tiny Secret In ‘Ant-Man 3’ Reveals HUGE ‘Fantastic Four’ Future

As Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) expands ever-larger, The Walt Disney Company has seen fit to adjust its approach as the years wear on. Initially beginning with the Robert Downey Jr. vehicle Iron Man (2008) (whose return to the MCU has been much-discussed), the Infinity Saga is quite a long way over with Phase Three’s iconic ending, Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019) directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo. Robert Downey Jr. as the beloved Tony Stark/Iron Man sacrificed himself for the greater good, while Chris Evans as Steve Rogers retired as Captain America, beginning a whole new Multiverse Saga. Now, Phase Four of that Multiverse Saga is over with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), and audiences have been introduced to the wildly charismatic and terrifying Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror — who will be the MCU’s Big Bad moving forward à la Josh Brolin’s Thanos.

Jonathan Majors as Kang in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania' (2023). Credit: Marvel Studios
Credit: Marvel Studios

“Superhero fatigue”, and what Marvel Studios is doing about it

Marvel Studios originally did not want to admit that this is an ongoing issue. Nor were they initially planning to do anything about it. Instead, they seemed set on riding the wave of excitement from Avengers: Endgame and the general public (and Marvel fans’) existing goodwill. It seems like they’re adopting an integrated approach, however — since Kevin Feige himself has indicated plans already underway for Phase Seven, after Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2025) and Avengers: Secret Wars (2026).

President Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Credit: Marvel Studios
Credit: Marvel Studios

Due to the move from Marvel Studios’ move from Netflix over to Disney+ after their parent company started their own streaming platform, Marvel had been tasked with contributing to Disney+’s streaming slate — the backlog of well-received movies was not enough — Disney+ needed Originals to pad out their lineup. Especially as Marvel Studios had control over the Disney golden goose, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All of this falls in line with then-CEO Bob Chapek’s goals, with his focus on growing Disney+ as the premier, go-to streaming platform amid the seemingly-eternal streaming wars.

As a result, Marvel Studios began pumping projects out at rather ridiculous rates starting from 2021 — beginning with WandaVision (2021), starring Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch) and Paul Bettany (Vision), to Tom Hiddleston (Loki Laufeyson/Loki Odinson) and Owen Wilson (Mobius) vehicle Loki (2021), till the more recent Ms. Marvel (2022) starring newcomer Iman Vellani (Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel), and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022) with Tatiana Maslany (Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk).

Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Officially Rebooting the Avengers With Brand New Team, Captain Marvel to Lead

But now, it seems that Marvel Studios and The Walt Disney Company are realizing that superhero fatigue is a concern that they actually need to face and mitigate. Perhaps it could be seen as an act of past hubris and arrogance, but it appears that Marvel are finally recognizing that they can no longer depend on their audience’s “sunk cost fallacy” when it comes to the longevity of the MCU. The visible steps taken so far include shrinking their streaming content, as well as spreading their releases out more — leading to delays all across Phase Five.

How Marvel Studios can fix their quality issues

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man
Credit: Marvel Studios

An unfortunate result of these speedy releases? A marked decrease in the quality that fans expected with the mainline Marvel movie releases. More than oversaturation, the quality of each Disney+ project has taken a significant hit to the extent that fans have noticed. Additionally, the stretched out weekly releases did not help with keeping fans engaged, with fans either dropping off over the weeks or left feeling unsatisfied by the end, after sinking in hours of their precious time.

From now on, Marvel entertainment needs to genuinely innovate, and show that they can reinvent their own formula by taking risks that pay off. Directors like James Gunn, Taika Waititi and Ryan Coogler have almost auteur-esque vision when it comes to their projects — perhaps instead of hiring pure comedy writers off shows like Rick and Morty, Marvel Studios needs to invest in some real innovative talent, and trust them to turn their skills into genuine vision and passion, for quality to truly surface. This means following Robert Downey Jr.’s advice — and allowing creators to delve deep, and giving them time to find what works.

Slowing down the rate of releases would definitely help — but the quality must improve for fans to stick around. Especially with Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn now poached by Warner Bros. Discovery to head their DC Universe, Marvel might be facing some real competition — for the first time in a while.

What do you think about Marvel Studios’ quality issues? Can anything be done? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Stan Lee’s Marvel Comics have definitely come a long way. Coming up next with Marvel Studios’ theatrical releases is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 directed by James Gunn and starring Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord and his space-roving pals on a final adventure across the galaxy. Upcoming Ironheart Disney+ series stars Marvel Studios newcomer Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, while Secret Invasion (2023), follows Samuel L. Jackson as Director Nick Fury and tells of his spacetime and Krull-centric exploits. Right now, you can watch Moon Knight (2022), She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022), and Netflix Marvel favorites like Daredevil (2016) and Marvel’s Jessica Jones (2015).

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