Marvel Television Exposes The Big MCU Lie

By Zack Zagranis | Published


Disney recently announced that it’s bringing back the Marvel Television banner to let fans know that they can “jump in anywhere” when it comes to enjoying the MCU. Previously, many casual viewers were turned off by the idea that they had to experience every single last bit of Marvel content in order to understand what’s going on in the next Avengers movie.

This pivot away from the interconnectedness of everything is great news for fans of the MCU but also serves to expose the lie Marvel has been peddling for years: comic books don’t work that way.

Marvel Admits Series Can Standalone

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The idea is that a fan can watch a Marvel Television production like Daredevil Born Again without watching the upcoming Ironheart and still make sense of the next big MCU blockbuster. Disney is finally admitting that its previous superhero model, where every single live-action show, animated offering, and movie was all part of one overarching story, was a bit overwhelming for many fans.

Marvel Studios head of TV Brad Winderbaum recently explained how, following Avengers: Endgame, there was “maybe, a little bit of an obligation to watch absolutely everything.

Cross-Overs Should Be Rare

It’s usually stated that the MCU did that in the first place to simulate an interconnected comic book universe for the first time on screen. That’s great and all, but that’s just not how the Marvel/DC universe works in the comic books. Yes, Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four both operate in New York City, but outside of a rare crossover, fans were never required to read one to understand the other.

The Example Of Batman


Canon, as we now know it, was never a big deal in fandom until the MCU came along. It was there, sure, but both comic book writers and readers didn’t care all that much about continuity. For instance, since 1940, Batman has appeared monthly in at least two books: Detective Comics and Batman. For the majority of the last 85 years, both comics have told different stories simultaneously, and most fans couldn’t care less.

It’s just accepted that Batman is doing one thing in Detective Comics and another thing in his self-titled book, and if the two storylines don’t line up continuity-wise…oops?

Let Go Of Canon

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Yes, both titles have aligned several times over the years, but it’s always been if and when it suited the writers and not just for “canon’s” sake. Disney’s new Marvel Television branding is essentially setting up the same situation where a joke in the next MCU Spider-Man movie might make more sense if you’ve seen Daredevil, but if not, it won’t make the movie any harder to understand.

Why The Marvels Failed To Connect

Marvel comics used to operate on the assumption that every comic book might be somebody’s first, a thread the television shows and movies of the MCU seemed to have lost. Just look at The Marvels and its abysmal box office. The movie’s failure had less to do with the actual content of the film and more to do with the fact that two of the main characters—Kamala Kahn and Monica Rambeau—were introduced in Disney+ shows.

No Movie Should Feel Like Homework

Many movie-only Marvel fans didn’t appreciate that Disney expected them to sign up for its streaming service to watch two Marvel TV shows they had no interest in watching just to understand the latest MCU film. Marvel Comics never expected the average comic book reader to buy every single title they had to offer on a regular basis.

That’s why big, company-wide crossovers are usually given their own books, like Secret Wars or Avengers VS. X-Men, so that readers don’t feel like they have to pick up ten different titles to understand what’s going on.

Marvel Television Only Matters If Disney Sticks To Their Guns

Bob Iger Daredevil

Ultimately, the Marvel Television rebrand will only really mean something if the MCU sticks to its guns. Unfortunately, we have a feeling that Disney won’t be able to help themselves when it comes to using the multiverse or some similar plot device to connect everything down the road. The Mouse loves his synergy just a little bit too much to ever truly give it up.

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