|Hulk meets with an exec from Disney|
In 2008, Marvel brought fan-favorite superhero Iron Man to the big screen in a very well done, seemingly stand-alone movie. The credits rolled, and fans were shocked and awed as the "Avengers" were mentioned in the post-credits scene. With this, Marvel broke into a whole new world of film-making: the cinematic universe.
That's not to say that there haven't been movies that don't have links, but this took the concept of "linking" movies to a whole new level. Later that same year, "The Incredible Hulk" was released, offering another glimpse by having Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) appear in Hulk's post-credit scene. This is how Marvel really said they meant business. They didn't wait two years for another movie, they dominated the box office in one summer, and laid the groundwork for something much more than just a movie. Followed up with Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Marvel had effectively buried rival DC Comics into the ground. (Don't get me wrong, DC did a fantastic job with the Dark Knight trilogy, but fell flat on their face in terms of beating Marvel to a Justice League movie)
Then, in 2012 (as we all know), Marvel laid the killing blow with The Avengers, which they had been building up to for the past 5 years. But now that the movie has come and gone, why keep going?
As a comic book fan, it's always really fun to see heroes cross over into each other's worlds. I always give a little squeal if I buy a new issue of Spider-Man and see that Iron Man makes an appearance, and so on. But when done in a big-budget, big-screen appearance, it becomes even more fun. Almost everybody who now goes to see a Marvel movie always stays behind after the credits for that little nugget of their next movie project.
|Why is Cap's shield all segmented??|
The second danger is what is currently happening ever since Disney bought out Marvel: over-franchising. The idea of a TV show spinning off from The Avengers sounds like a great idea, truly. It takes place in the exact same universe, and covers a lot of topics from the movie. But the danger is that it almost ruins how special the movies are. The reason the movies are so fun is because they don't come out every week, but instead we slobber and drool over images and trailers for several years before they're released. I've also noticed with this particular example that they keep name-dropping people like Cap and Thor, but you will never see them in the show. Its just a constant tease. This strategy obviously isn't working with Marvel, as ratings for the show revealed that 2/3 of the viewership stopped after the first episode. That's terrible.
DC Comics on the other hand, seems to be having great luck with TV shows. "Smallville" was a very successful show, chronicling the beginnings of Superman/Clark Kent, and spanning ten years on television. More recently, "Arrow", the origins and universe of superhero The Green Arrow/Oliver Queen has been very successful, and just began its second season. The Flash, along with several other large-name super heroes will be appearing on "Arrow" this season, and The Flash is even confirmed already for a spin-off TV show as well. They're also getting gutsier in the realm of movies, with the upcoming "Superman vs Batman" movie planned for 2015, and rumored to include Wonder Woman as well.
|I could see this guy easily moving from TV to movie.|
It's no secret that I'm an Avengers/Marvel Comics junkie, but I've more recently been trying to expand my horizons into the realm of DC Comics as well.
On that note, I have this to say: Marvel, cancel "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and halt all plans for your future TV shows including the (very poor idea for an) Agent Carter spin-off show. Its not what fans want, clearly. You're dangling a steak in front of the viewer, but slipping them a slice of olive loaf. Its not working. And to DC Comics: You're kicking Marvel's ass in television, and building a solid universe with the potential for believable crossover and continuity. But you're too late on the "Origin story movie" train. We all know you're using "Superman Vs Batman" as a test to see if a Justice League movie would be any good. My advice is that you don't make any other movies between the release of "SvB" and "Justice League." Until then, stick with TV shows, you're doing those right.
What do you think? Is the cinematic universe the wave of the future, or is it already dying? Sound off in the comments below!