The comics that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is based on have often been rebooted and retconned over the years; now, the MCU is flailing so much (Quantumania and Secret Invasion were a bust, Kang may or may not still be the next Big Bad, and would-be hits like Blade are in development hell) that it may need its own reboot.
But what should a Marvel reboot look like, and when should it happen? We think the rumors are true that Marvel should reboot after Secret Wars and should effectively start this cinematic universe over from the beginning.
Rumors Starting About A Reboot
Regarding when the Marvel reboot should happen, rumors have been pointing to a soft reboot after Secret Wars for over a month.
As Screen Rant reports, genre guru Joanna Robinson (author of MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios) claims she has a quote from Kevin Feige “sort of implying that, like, Secret Wars will serve as a soft reboot in which they can prune everything.”
According to her, this will give Feige the chance to “prune everything that’s not working and just keep what is [working], or bring back people you thought were gone forever.”
Crossover Story Event?
We don’t yet know what Marvel’s Secret Wars film will be about or how accurate it will be to the comics.
The original Secret Wars event was mostly an excuse to do a huge crossover, as was the follow-up storyline.
However, the 2015 Secret Wars comic event more ambitiously destroyed and rebuilt the Marvel universe, allowing for fun reboot changes like bringing fan-favorite Miles Morales into the familiar 616 universe.
Reboot Coming In 2027?
Kevin Feige sounds like he will be using this comic as the basis for a Marvel Cinematic Universe reboot, and the timing sounds perfect.
The Secret Wars film is currently slated for 2027, and even if the Jonathan Majors drama gets sorted and the Avengers get to fight Kang, we think the current MCU will be out of gas by then.
Plus, even if the conflict with Kang ends up being a crowdpleaser like the conflict with Thanos, it would be completely insane for Feige and company to think they could keep recreating the Endgame magic without dramatically shaking things up.
X-Men And Fantastic Four?
That takes care of the when, but why do we think a Marvel reboot needs to take the MCU back to the beginning?
For one thing, it will make it easier to introduce major groups like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four to this cinematic universe. Otherwise, it could be a major narrative struggle to explain how mutants comprise so much of the global population.
But we have heard almost nothing about them since Tony Stark famously uttered “I am Iron Man” a decade and a half ago.
Back To Formula
Marvel fans may not want to admit it, but a reboot that takes things “back to formula” is the only way they will ever see the real versions of their favorite characters again.
Even if Disney was willing to foot the bill to bring back big names like Robert Downey Jr., the truth is that none of these actors are getting any older.
Fans who are nervous about these characters getting replaced with less iconic versions (like War Machine or Iron Heart) will eventually need to figure out whether they would be happier getting a new Iron Man actor via reboot or simply never getting another live-action Iron Man adventure.
Forget Bad Ideas And Movies
Finally, a Marvel reboot that goes back to the beginning can help Kevin Feige learn from past mistakes and focus on the characters and stories audiences respond to the most.
There would be no need or expectation for this rebooted universe to follow up on disappointing superheroes (like The Eternals) or fizzled concepts (like the Quantum Realm).
And there would be plenty of chances to make adjustments based on audience preferences (for example, fans prefer a heroic Loki and a comedic Thor rather than the versions we were first introduced to).
A full reboot would also allow future filmmakers to explore forcibly dropped storylines like the Star-Lord/Gamora romance.
No Magical Fix
Obviously, such a Marvel reboot wouldn’t magically fix the MCU’s current behind-the-scenes chaos or help with moviegoers’ ongoing superhero fatigue.
But it would give the beleaguered franchise an opportunity to get back to basics and focus on what put them on the map in the first place.
Otherwise, let’s be real: in another decade, your favorite heroes will have gotten so old that we’re down to D-list groups onscreen like the Great Lakes Avengers, and that would just be downright sad even if it did mean Deadpool got the join the team.