Opinion: The Marvel franchise has lost its spark


Krista Fleming

Opinion: “Though there have been a few good movies since “Avengers: Endgame,” the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has become a mediocre version of what it used to be.”

The moment my parents deemed my twin and I old enough to watch PG-13 films, we hurried to watch the movies our friends raved to us about. While my sister fell in love with the world of Harry Potter, I turned on the first Iron Man movie and became obsessed. From then on, I eagerly awaited each new release of a Marvel movie. I was rarely disappointed. 

That was, until Marvel began the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). 

I used to not be able to walk down the halls without hearing someone mention the newest Marvel release. When the franchise’s biggest movies, such as “Avengers: Infinity War” or “Avengers: Endgame” came out, teachers would threaten detention to those that spoiled it or would ban the word “Marvel” from their classroom entirely. The films were masterpieces of cinematography and storytelling.

Now, Marvel is as mediocre as generic action movies come. The past few movies have been nothing but action. The stories that are included try too hard to push for emotion and end up feeling overly dramatic. 

When phase four began, I had hope. “WandaVision” looked like it could change the game, and it succeeded. Everyone I knew raved about the show; there were even times my teacher turned it on during class as each episode was released. The show did well because it wouldn’t work as a movie. When Marvel announced its next few series, fans assumed it would be the same. 

But with the releases of “Loki,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Hawkeye,” Marvel television series became a joke. Once Marvel began releasing good shows again, such as “Moon Knight” or “Ms. Marvel,” no one cared enough to watch them or talk about them. 

The movies were not much better. The first three phases may not have been perfect, as movies like “Captain Marvel” got horrible reviews, but most of the movies were top tier. So when the first few movies of phase four fell flat, I hoped Marvel could learn to improve future releases through the critical reviews the company received. To my dismay, each new movie continued to disappoint.

That’s not to say that there haven’t been a handful of good movies since phase three concluded, such as “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which blew crowds away, but the overall quality of the MCU has dropped significantly. The characters fans grew up with were either killed off or given rushed endings during “Avengers: Endgame,” and the few that did make it to phase four are approaching their end. 

I love the old Marvel movies; I’ll still sit down every summer for an annual Marvel movie marathon, but I have yet to find the motivation to watch movies past phase three. I’ll always appreciate the memories that Marvel gave me, but, like Tony Stark said, “part of the journey is the end.”