Backlash brews after the release of new Marvel projects

After the end of the ‘Infinity Saga’ marvel brings more content with the new ‘multiverse saga’


Asher Hagan

Marvel needs more films and shows before making a big dramatic movie such as Endgame again. 

Asher Hagan, Arts/Graphics Editor

If you’ve ever watched a Marvel movie, then you’ve probably at least heard of Avengers: Endgame. The Marvel movie that peaked people’s interest and had them at the edge of their seats. I remember sitting in a movie theater the opening weekend and watching Endgame. I remember the emotional roller-coaster that was that movie. It felt like the pinnacle of Marvel like it could only get better from here. 

Then Covid happened, and everything was put on pause. The Marvel content slowed for two years until, finally, Marvel announced they would be doing something they had never done before: a TV show. 

So, two years after the end of the Infinity Saga, the infamous WandaVison came out, one episode a week for ten weeks exclusively on Disney Plus. It was a good show, and Falcon and the Winter Soldier followed it. Then, it was Loki season one. This was when it started. People began noticing that this new phase was distinctly different than the last. People started complaining. Complaining that Sam Wilson shouldn’t be Captain America, whining that Loki is bisexual, complaining that Wanda Maximoff is too powerful. And, after Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk, it got worse.

Along with seemingly everything else, Marvel is now accused of being “woke.” The word is everywhere, and nearly every Marvel project has been labeled woke in the last year or so. Most commonly, people mean to say that a Marvel TV show or movie is making comments on current social or political issues in the world. This happens more commonly in Marvel’s TV shows. People will complain about how Marvel has changed and how different the MCU is from the comic books. I promise you that the MCU is not overwhelmingly different than the comics.

Marvel comics have always had metaphors and a certain amount of diversity. For example, the X men, created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, were a metaphor for racism and people hating other people for something they cannot control. Loki, in the comics, was pan-sexual and gender-fluid. Ms. Marvel was always a Muslim character, and her faith has always been a big part of her identity. 

Female versions of major Marvel characters have existed for a very long time, and most of them were approved or created by Stan Lee himself. The same people who complain about the MCU being woke are those who have never picked up a comic book. In my opinion, Marvel is not getting more woke. It’s getting closer to the source material. People also fail to realize that compared to the entire cinematic universe, there is not much diversity. The majority of characters are still white and straight.

Another thing I hear about Marvel’s Phase 4: “Marvel died with Stan Lee.” People will use this as an excuse to say that Stan Lee would never have approved of the characters in the MCU now. Maybe that’s true, but we have no way to know for sure. 

When he was alive, however, Stan Lee stated that he thought anyone could be a superhero. It didn’t matter if you were a person of color or gay or anything else. That was one of the things he liked about Spiderman. Spiderman is fully covered. Therefore he could be anyone of any race or ethnicity. Beyond people hating Phase 4 because of the diversity, another group of people hate it for its distinct disconnect from the rest of the Marvel Universe.

Some people are confused by Phase 4 because they think it’s all over the place and vastly different from the movies before Endgame. Yeah, because it is. That’s the point. Marvel took 22 movies in total to build up Endgame, and besides, Endgame was the end of one saga (the Infinity Saga). Marvel needs more films and shows before making a big dramatic movie such as Endgame again. 

This year at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel laid out their plan for the future of the MCU. Marvel is introducing many characters in this phase because they are heading toward a storyline called Secret Wars. Marvel has already confirmed that “Avengers: Secret Wars” will end Phase 6 and has dubbed Phases 4-6 the Multiverse Saga. This phase may seem detached, but there is a reason for that, and there is no reason that you cannot still enjoy it.

People also say that Marvel’s CGI and special effects have gone downhill. I think the CGI is pretty good, especially compared to other film franchises and other shows on TV. However, there have been some reports coming out of the places that do CGI for Marvel saying that there are crazy amounts of pressure and harsh deadlines being put on people to produce special effects. 

With all of the MCU projects that are coming out every year and the pressure for Marvel to create content constantly, it is understandable that the impact would be a bit worse than it could be, but I don’t think they are bad by any means. Some people are so opposed to the new phase that they are blinded into thinking the effects and storylines are worse than they are.

Marvel’s phase 4 is not as bad as you think. Marvel is also not trying to piss anyone off by including diversity in their movies. People of color exist in the world. LGBT individuals exist in the world. You can’t expect marvel to recycle old characters and concepts. The CGI will improve and grow. Not every superhero is a rich, white man and people will have to learn to live with it.