Summary

  • The Infinity Saga was a risky but successful gamble for Marvel, as there was no promise that the MCU would survive to pay off its tease of a shared universe.
  • With the increasing scale of the MCU and the addition of Disney+ series, franchise-wide stories aren’t as effective as they were in the MCU’s earlier phases.
  • The current saga structure is hurting individual character development and risking fan boredom with the oversaturated multiverse concept. The MCU would benefit from more narrative freedom in Phase 7.


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The Marvel Cinematic Universe pioneered a risky concept that paid off in the Infinity Saga, but a change may be needed for the future of the franchise. When Thanos was briefly introduced at the end of The Avengers, it was the beginning of a franchise-wide story that took years of behind-the-scenes development. Every film in the MCU carried a heavier weight knowing that the core of the Infinity Saga was finally set into motion, making the stakes much higher now that there was an end goal.

Marvel’s Infinity Saga was a risk not only because it had never been done before, but there was no guarantee that the MCU would even last to pay it off. Luckily, the Infinity Saga was met with great success, and the gamble paid off for Marvel, establishing the franchise as one of the most successful. However, the same strategy just doesn’t seem to be working with the developing Multiverse Saga and Marvel Studios may have to pivot if they want to keep audiences’ attention and allow the franchise to evolve.

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MCU Multiverse Guide: Every Term, Concept, & Location Explained

The Multiverse Saga has arrived, and here is a complete guide to the MCU’s multiverse with all the terms, concepts, locations, and events to know.


The MCU Is Too Big For Franchise-Wide Stories

The Infinity Saga was the MCU’s first overarching project, and most of the films released early on were part of building up that story. A saga-long overarching story worked when the MCU was smaller in scale, with only around twenty films, as each film felt like its own while having an underlying common goal. However, Marvel Studios has since been producing more content than ever before with the addition of the MCU Disney+ series. Now that the franchise is on such a large scale, it’s clear that an overarching saga isn’t working as effectively.

There have already been 10 films released since the Multiverse Saga’s start with Black Widow in 2021, which brings the MCU’s total to 33. By the time of the Multiverse Saga’s expected conclusion in Avengers: Secret Wars, there will be 40 MCU films if the schedule goes according to plan. The franchise has become too big for franchise-wide stories to work effectively, especially with the addition of the Disney+ series. With 10 MCU shows released so far and two more on the horizon, it’s becoming increasingly hard for audiences to keep track of all of the MCU content, let alone keep track of an overarching story.

The current MCU slate doesn’t include projects with unconfirmed release dates, like Armor Wars or the Shang-Chi sequel, which means there could be more than 40 films in the MCU by the time of the Multiverse Saga’s conclusion.

How The Saga Structure Is Hurting The Post-Endgame MCU

Although the theme of the Infinity Saga was what brought the early MCU together, it was also met with some criticism. Some projects or characters were changed for the sake of the Infinity Saga, only being used as a way to introduce a necessary concept. Such as Thor: The Dark World being used solely as an introduction to the Soul Stone or Peter Parker being a tool for Tony Stark’s eventual character arc, these changes showed how a saga structure can hurt individual stories at times.

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The MCU Has 7 Different Multiverse Explanations & None Of Them Connect

The MCU Phases 4, 5, and 6 are collectively titled The Multiverse Sage, but the franchise has done a poor job of unifying its multiple realities.

By needing every film or series in the Multiverse Saga to have some sort of connection to the overarching Kang storyline, the MCU’s multiverse has become an oversaturated concept. Even if Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars are being built up to be epic battles, Marvel risks boring fans with the multiverse concept before the two films even start production. Needing every project to have some multiversal connection is starting to become overdone, and it is hurting some individual characters’ development.

How The MCU Can Benefit From More Narrative Freedom Moving Forward

Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) using her Quantum Band in The Marvels

The MCU has such a huge cast spanning its numerous film and television projects. With so much talent, it just doesn’t make sense to constrict them to a years-long singular saga. If Marvel were to pivot from the saga structure going into Phase 7, the talent of the MCU would have more narrative freedom to make characters feel like their own again. The MCU is already well-established as being intertwined, so a post-Multiverse Saga world should be able to explore characters without having to emphasize their connections. More narrative freedom would mean more diverse stories, which is one lesson the MCU’s Phase 7 can learn from the Multiverse Saga’s struggles.

There’s no doubt that the Infinity Saga was incredibly successful and a risky gamble that paid off for Marvel Studios. It was the first time a franchise committed to a years-long overarching story that connected all of its characters. However, the Multiverse Saga clearly hasn’t been having the same effect. Audiences are starting to get exhausted of forced connections, and individual character development is suffering for the sake of tying them into the multiverse. The MCU can really benefit from more narrative freedom moving forward, and there is still time for the franchise to evolve past the years-long saga format going into Phase 7.

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