Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” released in May 2022, was a messy film that had no clear sense of direction. The story was advertised as a big event in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) but turned out to be a short story with a plot that made no sense and writing that was overall cringy.
“Thor: Love and Thunder,” Marvel’s second theatrical release of 2022, was a fun, oddly paced and underwhelming comedy that tried to pull at heartstrings but favored jokes over the minimal character development.
This has been the recent trend of Marvel Studios’ projects for the past few years.
Many of Marvel’s projects have come under recent fire for feeling rushed and disappointing, and yet Marvel Studios seems to push the envelope every year to see how much more they can release.
Recently, Marvel has upped the number of projects released each year to beat the year prior, but based on the quality of the past few projects, Marvel seems to be stretching itself too thin. From writing to visual effects (VFX), Marvel is holding quantity over quality, and it shows.
With the launch of Disney+ in 2019, Marvel Studios began releasing shows set in the MCU for the service. The first series, “WandaVision,” was met with rave reviews from both critics and fans.
Every week, social media would be taken over by Marvel fans, including myself, theorizing about what would happen and the implications the show would have on the rest of the MCU. “WandaVision” had nine episodes, allowing for the development of multiple characters and using the unique sitcom parody format to move the story along. No Marvel show since has garnered the same amount of attention in the public eye, since most use a six-episode format, not allowing enough time for the stories to be fully fleshed out.
While some shows have been fine with six episodes, others really struggled with pacing and keeping their central themes in focus. For example, in the second show to be released, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” the mantle of Captain America is stolen from Sam Wilson, or Falcon, and given to a random white man who is quite controversial.
The central themes of this show call out the American government for years of oppression against minorities. All of this setup is essentially lost in the finale to make room for an overly simple, nonsensical resolution for all of the storylines and a big reveal of a mystery character. Had the show been longer, the central conflict wouldn’t feel rushed to a solution that was a little too convenient.
Now that Marvel Studios can see the success they can have if they spit out content left and right, they are filling up their release schedule.
You would think that they would take a step back and focus more on the quality of their content after their projects received bad reception from fans, but they are actually pushing out more than ever. Instead of keeping their average two-three projects a year, they jumped to nine projects for 2021, and 11 projects for this year.
Marvel Studios also just recently announced their lineup of projects through 2025. This news came just in time to hide the bad press Marvel was getting for overworking their VFX teams.
If the quality of the content wasn’t going downhill, then I would be elated that we are getting this much content from Marvel, but I have been a little disappointed by nearly every project that has been released in the past few years. The fans are noticing, and they aren’t happy.
I love Marvel, but I value a good story over the amount of content I get, and right now I’m really disappointed in what Marvel Studios is doing.