Move over Marvel: The multiverse is disappointing viewers

By Julien Hajenius | Web Editor

Being born in the early 2000s, I have witnessed the growth of Marvel and how much our generation has been attached to it. From seeing the rise of “Iron Man” with Robert Downey Jr. to staying tuned for the finale ofAvengers: Endgame,” Marvel has reinvented the wheel by producing consistency in its movies.

These stories started out as imaginative and clever through the storytelling and the richness of the characters. For example, Captain America felt like a national hero even though Chris Evans never truly saved the world, and Loki’s evil qualities intrigued me about the power of mystery and deception.

However, just like everything, success doesn’t last forever — and we have seen a distaste in the community after “Avengers: Endgame.”

I remember the scale of attention to Endgame, and the seeming climax made it the second-highest grossing movie of all time. Marvel produced 21 movies before Endgame, with two to three movies per year since 2007. It became a staple of the 2010s as the Marvel universe expanded through new characters and sequels, but it preserved its consistency. Once Endgame was released, fans felt satisfied, as the journey seemed to be coming to a close. That is why, when new films were released afterward, the same recipe for gaining popularity and interest wasn’t there. Marvel reached a climax with its universe, and saving the world again wasn’t as entertaining to viewers.

Marvel incorporated the multiverse after Endgame, but the extension only made fans seem angry. The multiverse created a realm of possibility where anything can exist at any time, which killed the original stakes that made the previous movies great. I felt as if everything was meaningless, and I couldn’t find enjoyment in the stale storytelling in the new movies.

As Marvel is losing dominance with viewers, I think it’s a good thing that there is more variety in the most popular films in Hollywood. Last summer, “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” were released on the same day — a great day for people who love movies. “Barbie” tells a story of feminism and the strength of being a woman, whereas “Oppenheimer” shows a historical narrative of humanity’s most catastrophic event. These films reflect current culture and society, and their diversity means they can relate to a certain demographic or person better than a movie that is meant to be enjoyed by everybody.

The consumer’s appetite for originality in films has never been more pronounced. While Marvel movies consistently draw large audiences and generate significant profit, the demand for more diverse and intellectually stimulating content is noticeable, which explains why Marvel movies have been less appealing. Audiences yearn for narratives that defy genre expectations and offer thought-provoking insights into what is relevant in the current day. By shifting focus away from a formulaic model, Hollywood can tap into this hunger for creativity and produce films that captivate and inspire audiences in new ways. Movies such as “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “Us” and “La La Land” fit this description, where they have seen success through originality.

However, this doesn’t mean superhero films are going out of date. Sony recently produced “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which placed an emphasis on stylistic animation and music. Despite telling a story that has been recycled repeatedly, the use of animation made the movie intriguing and refreshing. Viewers were blown away by the capabilities of animation, with its vibrant visuals and dynamic storytelling setting a new standard for the genre. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” proves there is still room for innovation and creativity within the superhero genre to captivate audiences in new ways.