Why is Marvel Dying Off?


Tyler Suwankosai

With the release of the new movie, Eternals, we see Marvel yet again fail to deliver the masterpieces the franchise used to create. Its glory days are now behind them as they struggle to reach the heights they once had reached. Marvel is dying off. It’s latest movies Eternals and Shang-Chi have performed substandardly compared to the cinematic box office hits of Endgame. Not only that, Eternals’ money haul is one of the lowest in the franchise, with Ant-Man grossing higher. Additionally, it’s ranked the lowest of the Marvel movies on Tomatometer with a score of 48%. But why? Why is this king of movie-making failing to live up to its name? To understand, we must look before Marvel’s latest installments. 

Marvel is known for risk-taking and for its creativity. The franchise has constantly provided us with fresh new movies, brimming with imagination and thrill. For example, take Guardians of the Galaxy. James Gunn took a lesser known group of superheroes and turned them into worldwide superstars. But, as the company gains fame and wealth, they stop being daring. They resort to looking back at the past, then moving on to the future. Take Loki for example. Instead of creating new characters for fans to love and enjoy, Marvel expands on an already old character. They piece together a story with little to no continuity and thus, there are so many plot holes. What could’ve been a tightly written story with fresh new characters, Marvel overstays its welcome with Loki and makes a great personality into an average character.

Marvel does focus on the future though. That future is the multiverse, a complicated mess where Disney buys every single film company, takes its superhero movie and then connects it to the main storyline. Take Venom: Let There Be Carnage, where Tom Holland (the Spiderman from the Marvel Universe) shows up in the post-credit scene. Take the original Spider-Mans. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are coming back for another round, but this time in the Marvel Universe. It’s getting out of hand. It’s way too complex. In order to actually appreciate the new No Way Home Spider-Man movie, we’ll need to catch up on all the movies I’ve just mentioned. AND, this’ll probably be the same for every movie after this one. 

I get it. Marvel is trying to shake things up. They don’t want to stick to their regular superhero formula. They want to add new, fresh content to their sprawling world or else they’ll die out. But, finding a new idea for the hero genre is difficult. It’s hard creating a whole new concept that’ll impress millions. And a multiverse is not doing it. By introducing a multiverse, Marvel hopes for a box office hit by bringing in the old and the new (the old Spidermans and the new Spidermans) and throwing them into the thick of it. They want to create a box office hit matching that of Endgame. Yes, this has brought in a buttload of hype. I can declare at least 100 million people will buy tickets to watch the film in theaters. Yet, Marvel has sacrificed quantity for quality. They’ll complicate their franchise to the point where no one can follow what’s going on. Yes, I could be wrong. I admit it. No Way Home might be a home run, breathing new life back into a dying franchise. That’s wishful thinking though. Most likely, No Way Home will be too complicated, filled with too many plot holes, and too much of a letdown for it to be the masterpiece so many are hoping it will be. 

I am a lover of Marvel. I’ve watched all the movies, read so many comics, and sat through all the Disney+ shows. And even I must admit, Marvel is dying off.