The Television Takeover of the MCU

With the release of Disney+, Marvel have been able to expand into new ways of storytelling. Ever since Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment back in August 2009, Marvel has inexplicably become one of the biggest cinema franchises in the world. With the move to Disney+ this allows the franchise to expand the MCU. However, this isn’t the first time Marvel have branched to television. Until 2020, Marvel had Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D as well as 

Marvel’s first Disney+ release WandaVision brought together a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda and Vision – two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives – begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems. This show was a big step for Marvel as it was their first step in bringing the MCU to the television screen. I think they were successful with bringing something new and innovative to two characters we all know and love.

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, we were given The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. With the move to television Marvel can help shed light on real life issues that are going on in society, more than they can in movies. This is what sets this series apart from the others in tackling issues from political, racial, and even personal issues to make us think.

Loki is a pivotal series for this new phase of Marvel as fans are given more of an insight to the multiverse. At the core of this show is about identity and the struggle between who you are and who you want to be. Additionally, audiences see a different side to Tom Hiddleston’s character that we haven’t seen before showing a great sense of character development throughout the series.

What If, Marvel’s animated series, allowed them to take the characters we’ve grown to love in different directions while remaining in the MCU for example ‘What If… Captain Carter Were The First Avenger?’. It’s the sense of surprise which drives this series as the scripts are pacy, whizzing through the highlights of the movies we already know with unexpected payoffs. Each episode revolves around one central change, then resulting ripple effects in every instalment feel well-considered.

Disney is using its MCU shows to power its Disney+ streaming service worldwide. While each Marvel movie has the potential to gross billions of dollars in the global box office, a streaming service has the potential to make more money. With the release of Marvel shows being exclusive to Disney+ and then movies being released to the service a month or two after the initial film release, the company is hoping to convert its millions of fans into Disney+ subscribers.

The next phase of Marvel is looking bright with the next show Hawkeye being released later this month. I believe that Marvel will create a balance in the fact that they can connect the shows enough so that watchers will feel like they have an inside edge, but not so much that non-watchers become confused. For example, Wanda could make a joke in the new Doctor Strange film that would be funny, but extra funny if you had seen the show.

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Caitlin Telford

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May 2022
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