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Marvel creates too many products

Jessica Li / The SPOKE

By Eshan Singh, Staff Reporter

On Nov. 10, Marvel released the movie “The Marvels,” featuring a team-up between Carol Danvers, or Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan, or Ms. Marvel. Wait, who’s Monica Rambeau again?

Ever since Marvel started releasing TV shows on Disney+, it has been pushing out way too many products. It is practically impossible for the average viewer to know what is going on. Marvel needs to slow down and focus more on creating a cohesive story than on making as many new shows and movies as possible.

According to entertainment website Digital Spy, Marvel has released 23 new products from  January 2021 through October 2023, which is 29% of its total output despite the studio having been around since 2008. Worse yet, 18 of these products are essential viewing, either because of a significant plot development or because a new character is introduced.

This means that for someone to fully understand what is going on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) right now, they would have to watch a new product once about every 1.9 months. This is not unreasonable for a big Marvel fan, but most people do not watch the MCU at such a high frequency.

In addition, it is practically impossible for a viewer to know how important a new movie is since Marvel does not spend a proportionately higher amount on more essential films. For example, according to entertainment website We Got This Covered, the budget of “Black Widow” was $200 million, the same amount as “Eternals,” “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” and $50 million more than “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” All of these movies are undoubtedly more important for people within the MCU than “Black Widow.”

Also, Marvel appears to be releasing all these new products with no rhyme or reason. There is no gap between the first two seasons of “Loki,” but Marvel released 19 new products after Season 1 but before Season 2. And it’s not like “Loki” is some side project: The events in the show are the most important in the MCU right now. It was a terrible idea to release so many products between the seasons as viewers waited patiently for the setup of Kang as the main villain of “The Multiverse Saga.”

Moreover, it’s not a coincidence that the MCU’s drop in quality has coincided with the increase in quantity. The average Rotten Tomatoes score for MCU products released after 2020 is less than 80%, and feature films, theoretically the best Marvel products, have an average score of only 72%.

In comparison, according to entertainment website Screen Rant, the MCU’s pre-2021 average score is 85%. Marvel has clearly recently been focusing on releasing a lot of new products than on releasing good products.

Some may say that the more new entertainment released, the better, but there is no point in having more MCU products if you do not understand what is happening and the quality is not good.

In the midst of this surge in output, the actors’ strike forced Marvel to delay “Deadpool 3,” “Captain America: Brave New World,” “Thunderbolts” and “Blade,” according to Variety Magazine. The strike gives Marvel an opportunity to bring the pace of its output back down to pre-2021 levels. Hopefully, it takes it.

Eshan Singh can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Eshan Singh, Staff Reporter
Eshan Singh is a sophomore and Staff Reporter for The Spoke. He currently writes for the Opinion section but has previously written for the Sports section. He is also a member of the Conestoga Investment Club and Model UN.