10 Methods Marvel Studios Is Using To Combat Superhero Fatigue

There's a reason that Marvel are at the top of the food chain.
infinity saga

There was once a time when superhero films were not always guaranteed to be  Hollywood's opus of success. It was young upstart Marvel Studios that changed that in 2008; embarking on an unclear path and altering the precedent of live-action comic book properties forever.

Marvel Studios have released 24 films theatrically with the first ten years of their master plan concluded. However, Marvel's great success has opened the door for competing studios to spearhead superhero projects of their own. In a world now oversaturated with comic book content, Marvel Studios remains at the center of the superhero boom for a reason. 

A Dash of Social Commentary
The Indian Express.com

10. A Dash of Social Commentary

Contrary to popular belief, Marvel Comics and its array of superheroes are built on the foundations of some comprehensive social backing. One of Marvel's most popular teams the X-Men was conceived during the height of the Civil Rights movement, with its most infamous mutant figureheads Professor X and Magneto loosely based on leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

Though Marvel Studios have yet to introduce the mutants, the MCU has made due, most frequently with the Captain America and Black Panther franchises. Captain America The Winter Soldier focused heavily on the dangers of government oversight and surveillance, while Black Panther brought continued awareness to racial injustice and isolationism.

Though these are superheroes, Marvel Studios makes it a point to place the heroes in situations that bear similarities to our own world. 

Follows Serialized Storytelling of Comics
MCU Exchange.com

9. Follows Serialized Storytelling of Comics

Marvel isn't for its relatable characters and action, but for the throughline that consists of a shared universe.  This originated from Marvel Comics themselves, where characters constantly interact and make appearances in other titles outside of their own.

Similar to a comic book or television series itself, each film/show is necessary to view in order to stay in tune with the universe at large. Since The Avengers, several Hollywood studios have made an attempt to replicate the style of Marvel's shared universe model, but none have quite succeeded in the same manner. 

Balance Between Humor and Action
Game Spot.com

8. Balance Between Humor and Action

Similar to the publication of Fantastic Four #1 laying the groundwork for Marvel Comics' future superhero titles, 2012's The Avengers was influentially vital in defining the MCU's trademark humor and tone. Superhero movies prior to The Avengers always had a dash of humor implemented throughout but it was inconsistent.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe, particularly the movies Black Widow (2021) and Captain America The Winter Soldier (2014) tend to deal with some heavy subject matter, which can be balanced with humor.

It can even be argued that the humor found within certain Marvel films is more genuine than most humor found in modern comedies. Though the humor may occasionally outweigh the drama, audiences can expect both a chuckle and a dose amidst the world-ending stakes.

Making Use of Hollywood's Best Talent

7. Making Use of Hollywood's Best Talent

Since hiring independent director Jon Favreau to direct Iron Man, Marvel Studios have constantly sought the best talent to bring their larger-than-life superheroes and villains to life. Though, Marvel has strayed from many rival studios in choosing young up-and-coming independent filmmakers rather than established auteurs.

It's about the passion involved rather than a stacked resume of films and content. Marvel will be enlisting vintage director Sam Raimi for the next Doctor Strange feature titled Multiverse of Madness, but it's a rare occurrence that will only spell good tidings for the movie.

While it does not look like legendary directors Martin Scorsese or Steven Spielberg are coming to the MCU anytime soon, Marvel has made well due with the talent amassed. 

A Long Term Plan is in Mind
The Independent.com

6.  A Long Term Plan is in Mind

From the very beginning, Marvel Studios remained forward-thinking in the layout of their film verse. The debut movie Iron Man laid the groundwork for 2012's monumental superhero crossover The Avengers, which would become the MCU's first initial payoff.

Each film released is not only being released for a committee or purely financial reasons but to move the grand story along.  Not only are sequels planned years in advance, but the various actors and actresses responsible for portraying the MCU's biggest heroes and villains were signed indefinitely to multi-picture deals. 

While main rival Warner Bros. (overseeing the DC Universe) may have their own plans for world-building, however, the MCU was the innovator and has kept it flowing without a hitch for over a decade. 

Remain Faithful to Source Material
The Atlantic.com

5. Remain Faithful to Source Material

When it comes to their adaptations, Marvel does not stray away from the costumes and associated with the characters found in the comic pages. Before the inception of the MCU, comic book movies were far from faithful to the worlds and characters depicted on the comic book page.

From Iron Man's armored suit to Doctor Strange and his Cloak of Levitation, Marvel Comics does not hesitate in embracing the associated with the lore. While the X-Men were once covered in black leather, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has opened the door for comic book characters to be represented and showcased in the proper manner.

In fear of driving away tickets, movies with colorful costumes and cheesy catchphrases were left exclusive to comic books. Even though the film adaptation may not be an exact replica of the comic, the movie manages to pay respect to the source material.  

Not Beholden to the A-List

4. Not Beholden to the A-List

Following the success of The Avengers, Marvel Studios could have simply relied on Earth's Mightiest Heroes to carry them comfortably into the next decade of films. Ironically, it was the Avengers which assured Marvel to lay stake into riskier fare of Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther.

However, the Marvel Cinematic Universe namesake would only create strife if Iron Man and Captain America remained the sole breadwinners of the company. The Avengers remained a key entity within the grand scheme of the films but they were a select group in a world now occupied by hundreds of heroes. Marvel was always wise in expanding their universe rather than making it smaller, which paid off greatly in the long run. 

Giving New Properties Time to Shine
Digital Spy.com

3. Giving New Properties Time to Shine

Marvel's premiere comic lineup of Spider-Man, X-Men, and the Fantastic Four once ruled comic dom. Now, thanks to a slate of films and comics fans are being introduced to a wide array of comic book characters that rival the former trio for superhero supremacy.

While rights issues may have forced their hand, Marvel has successfully turned former C-D listers The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Doctor Strange into household names.

Even after reacquiring Spider-Man, X-Men, and Fantastic Four from other studios, Marvel continues to greenlight lesser-known properties. Spidey, X-Men, and Fantastic Four are now slightly lower on the totem pole of popularity in comparison to their glory days. 

Genre Based Storylines

2. Genre Based Storylines

Unlike the comics upon which they are based, Marvel Studios are not in the business of making comic book movies but rather genre films featuring comic book characters. While these are superheroes, the situations they have found themselves as human.

The Captain America trilogy serves as grounded political thrillers, Spider-Man is a coming-of-age high school comedy, Thor is a fantasy akin to The Lord of the Rings, and the Guardians of the Galaxy films are Star Wars esque space operas.

Each and every Marvel film find their superheroes in a new genre of storytelling, to the backdrop of superhero action. Not every audience can relate to a superhero film but most moviegoers have a genre that they are drawn towards. 

Entering Platforms Beyond the Movies
Deseret News.com

1. Entering Platforms Beyond the Movies

As Marvel Studios prepares to enter its fourth phase of films, the comic book juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to premiere content. Disney + not only serves as the exclusive home for Marvel films and shows but the platform for Marvel Studios' own  TV shows.

With three shows under their belt in WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki, they will continue to expand the MCU to areas uninhabited on the film side.

Even fan-favorite superheroes yet to be introduced such as She-Hulk, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and Ironheart will be receiving their own adventures on the small screen prior to an introduction into the movies. 

Produced on a budget comparable to the movies with an all-star cast of talent, look to bring the quality of the cinema to the households of dedicated superhero fans.

With each forthcoming film and television series, Marvel manages to reinvent itself in comic book storytelling. In under just a decade,  the underdog Marvel Studios has managed to become the largest franchise in the world, encompassing a shared universe of costumed heroes and villains. 

Current junior Writing Arts major attending Rowan University. I am an avid writer, comic book reader, and film enthusiast.

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