Marvel Needs To Ditch The Multiverse For Good

By Christopher Isaac | Published

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Like a lot of people, when the Marvel multiverse first started, it was something I found new and exciting. For Avengers: Endgame, it was something we had not seen before and that upped the stakes of the story. But now years later with the multiverse still going, it’s just making the MCU a mess to follow and really needs to get wrapped up at this point.

A Tired Gimmick

I understand that the Marvel multiverse is kind of the entire gimmick of this phase of the MCU, but I think most fans would also agree this has been the MCU’s worst phase. Admittedly, part of that is on the Jonathan Majors scandal screwing up the Kang the Conqueror arc.

But even leaving that aside, this phase of the MCU just feels directionless and like so little overarching story progress is being made. I think part of that is just because the multiverse has become a difficult gimmick that directors are feeling obligated to use.

Too Many Timelines

One of the biggest barriers to getting into comic books is finding a good entry point due to how sprawling they can be. The MCU initially did good at circumventing that problem, but now they have just become a cinematic version of the same issue. The Marvel multiverse now has so many different timelines that it makes it a homework session for newcomers to figure out what events are significant to the main timeline.

Death Is Meaningless

We’ve seen the Patrick Stewart version of Professor Xavier die about four times now, but he could still very well appear in Deadpool & Wolverine for all we know. And then even if Xavier were to die again, or Deadpool or Logan for that matter, who would honestly even care?

It has now been firmly established that death is meaningless in these movies because some other version of the character can always come back in Marvel’s multiverse. So what is lost if the version we know dies? The multiverse went from a fun way to bring back characters to just eliminating all sense of stakes in the movies.

The Stakes Are Too Grand

tobey maguire andrew garfield spider-man

And Marvel having its multiverse be a part of every movie now makes it hard to do smaller scale movies. How can we go back to neighborhood heroes like Daredevil or Spider-Man when the audience has been conditioned to expect every movie to be some huge crossover time travel event?

Superhero movies with smaller stakes can still be great because it allows the emotional depth of the characters to take center stage over cameos and gimmicks. But when is the last time we have had a Marvel movie that wasn’t about the fate of multiple timelines hanging in the balance?

It’s Done

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I just feel like Marvel had a cool idea with its multiverse initially, but it should have kept the concept to more rare occasions. It has worked a few times, like in Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: No Way Home. But the other MCU movies of this phase have been some of the critically lowest rated of the entire franchise.

I think Marvel needs to realize that they just overdid it with this concept and it is time to move on. Let the heroes be the selling point again and leave the gimmicks out for a while.

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