Kevin Feige Abandons Essential Moment for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Chris Evan's Captain America talking to Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios has gone a long way past Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Captain America, but somehow, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has forgotten what made the franchise good.

Marvel Kevin Feige
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Right now, almost every movie you watch in the MCU is filled with team ups. Heroes fighting together to stop a common foe, and while this is usually great, it has become a little formulaic or hurts the story. For Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2023), the story revolves around Ironheart (Dominque Thorne) because of a device she creates, but the story isn’t really about her. It just helps throw Namor (Tenoch Huerta) into Shuri (Leticia Wright) as the two nations fight.

Another example would be Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) where Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang/Ant-Man works with his daughter, Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) to stop Jonathan Major’s Kang the Conqueror, but her role in the movie isn’t that big even though she is supposed to be one of the bigger characters in that movie. Why? Because the story doesn’t give Cassie a meaningful part in that movie because Kang must be stopped at all costs.

Jonathan Majors as He Who Remains/Kang in Marvel's 'Loki'
Credit: Marvel Studios

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It feels like after several phases of storytelling that Marvel is no longer interested in telling stories around their big super heroes. Some MCU projects like Moon Knight do focus on their characters and Oscar Isaac’s performance shows why that’s good to dig deeper into telling a great story, but most of Marvel is focused on setting up the next project in the Marvel Cinematic Universe instead of actually telling a story that helps the main character grow. Ant-Man’s story doesn’t really change after Quantumania and he is one of the Avengers!

During Phase One, Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.’s character had a lot of character growth because they didn’t start out as super heroes and they made mistakes, but they learned from it and the audience got to see that growth. If Marvel just skipped that growth and showed Tony how he was years later suddenly, it would be jarring and not satisfying, but that’s what Marvel is slowly doing. Instead of telling these stories that change their characters, they are allowing them to suddenly be exactly what the story needs and this is why fans aren’t emotionally attached to the characters.

Brie Larson in The Marvels
Credit: Marvel Studios

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It also doesn’t help that Kevin Feige and co. hasn’t revealed who is part of the Avengers team and given fans an idea of what to expect. With all of the team ups, it’s apparent that sometimes the heroes aren’t there to help each other grow, but really just for the action scenes and Marvel needs to change this. Phase Five has had a rough time with several lackluster projects and while some of that is due to poor CGI, the stories told could’ve focused more on the characters involved. Not every MCU project is a failure because James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) was entirely focused on characters and it shows.

Marvel can still make projects that are what fans want, but it seems like the MCU’s slate is too inconsistent to keep fans engaged until something big happens and with all the recent wave of delays, who knows when Avengers: Kang Dynasty (2025) actually releases.

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Do you think Marvel needs to change how they tell their stories? Let Inside the Magic know what you think!

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