CCA Pulse Magazine
The Decline of Marvel: How a Once-Dominant Franchise Fell from Grace | Harleen Missan
The company that has brought us some of the most beloved superheroes has posed a valiant effort in maintaining the magic it once had. However, to no avail. It is difficult to say that there has been a "downfall" of Marvel as a company or brand, as it continues to be a major player in the entertainment industry and its comics and characters remain popular. However, there have been some recent controversies and criticisms surrounding Marvel and its handling of certain storylines and characters.
One issue that has been raised is the lack of diversity and representation in Marvel's stories and characters. While the company has made efforts to introduce more diverse characters and cast members in its films and TV shows, some critics have argued that these efforts have not been comprehensive or consistent enough. Additionally, some have criticized the way that Marvel has handled the representation of certain characters, such as the decision to cast a white actor as the traditionally Asian character Mandarin in the "Iron Man 3" film. Another aspect in question has been the way that Marvel has handled certain storylines and characters in its comics. Some fans and critics have taken issue with the way that certain characters have been portrayed or written, such as the decision to make Captain America a secret agent of Hydra in the "Secret Empire" storyline. Others have criticized the way that Marvel has handled the deaths and resurrections of certain characters, arguing that it diminishes the impact of death in the Marvel universe.
Marvel, in later years, has been criticized for the lack of creativity and originality in their recent stories and films. While the company's earlier comics and films were known for their innovative storytelling and unique characters, some fans and critics have argued that more recent stories and films have felt overly formulaic and predictable. Rather than allowing the growth of new characters to set the stage for more fan favorites, the company has tried to perfectly curate some of them to fit the roles that once were. We see this perfectly portrayed in the Doctor Strange storyline, as there has been a shift in his character’s persona as well as his stature. It seems that he has been thrown into a newfound role of a leader, reflecting a parallel between himself and the position that Iron Man—or the beloved Tony Stark—once held. It’s a tale as old as time. If the formula isn’t broken, why try and fix it. Additionally, some have criticized the way that Marvel has reused certain storylines and concepts from its comics in its films, arguing that it has led to a lack of surprise and excitement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The biggest contributor—to many—of the slow decline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, could be the implementation of the multiverse. The use of the multiverse has led to a lack of stakes and consequences in the comics. When characters can simply travel to another universe if they are killed or defeated, it can diminish the impact of death and loss in the comics, making it harder for readers to become emotionally invested in the stories.
Additionally, the use of the multiverse has also been criticized for being a narrative crutch for Marvel to bring back characters and events that were previously concluded. This can make the comics feel repetitive and unoriginal, and can also make it difficult for new storylines and characters to gain traction.
The concept of the multiverse, or the idea that there are multiple parallel universes within the Marvel Comics universe, has been a popular and enduring storyline in the comics. This does not diminish the fact that it also poses to be one of the largest threats to the company as it is. Some fans and critics have argued that the use of the multiverse in recent years has contributed to a lack of continuity and coherence in the comics. By introducing multiple parallel universes, it can become difficult for readers to keep track of the different storylines and characters, and it can also make it harder for writers to maintain a consistent and logical continuity within the comics. The Marvel pot has been over stirred so much that what little substance is left is simply unworkable.
In summary, while Marvel continues to be a major player in the entertainment industry, there have been some recent controversies and criticisms surrounding the company, including issues related to diversity and representation, the handling of certain storylines and characters in the comics, and a lack of forward progression in their films. However, the company continues to be popular among fans and has a number of upcoming projects that have generated excitement among many dedicated fans. Although, it is hard to tell whether the company is going to remain on their tallest toes, or if they are already moments from hitting the ground.