Marvel Cinematic Universe Breeds Success

Cody Marshall, Sports Editor

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has seen nothing but success, since its 2008 origins, but why?

Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, wanted to make movies involving his favorite comic book brand Marvel Comics. Unfortunately, at this time Marvel had sold the movie rights to some of its most important characters like Spider-man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Feige being such a fanboy realized he had not so mainstream characters at his disposal which gave him the idea for a shared universe.

In an interview with Matt Goldberg of Feige is quoted as saying, “I think it’s what we’ve always tried to do, is just find a unique way in, and find a unique way to be true to what the character is from the comics and what fans are aware of and expecting. And at the same time do it in a way that mainstream audiences and as wide an audience as possible can find their own way into it.

Feige first wanted to create individual movies for his characters with teasers and easter eggs and then later bring all the characters together on screen at once.

In another interview with Brian Gallagher of, Feige said, “The Avengers films, ideally, in the grand plan are always big, giant linchpins. It’s like it was in publishing, when each of the characters would go on their own adventures and then occasionally team up for a big, 12-issue mega-event. Then they would go back into their own comics, and be changed from whatever that event was. I envision the same thing occurring after this movie, because the Avengers roster is altered by the finale of this film.”

He started his universe with the key character Iron Man and then followed up with The Incredible Hulk, Thor, a second Iron Man and Captain America which all built up to the Avengers.

Iron Man was a massive risk. The character wasn’t popular like his other team members, and the theme for superhero movies was dark and gritty, not witty and colorful. The other risk was their choice of actor, Robert Downey Jr. At this time he was recovering from years of drug abuse and was considered a liability, but over time he became a main staple in the universe.

“Since quarantine started I started watching all the movies, and Iron Man has easily become my favorite character,” senior Kaycie Blankenship said. “ He is a flawed person who wants to do good, while throwing sarcastic jabs at his fellow superheroes.”

The MCU hasn’t used A list Hollywood actors with the exception of Samuel L Jackson. Relatively unknown actors before the films opened, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk made up the cast list of the team members and have continued to reprise their roles. As the universe grew they continued casting smaller names to play new characters.

“My favorite actor was Paul Rudd as Ant Man,” senior Jackson Bukowski said. “ He added much needed comedic relief in all the movies he was in.”

Marvel Studios made characters mainstream as well. The Guardians of the Galaxy were never considered popular characters, as they are a group of intergalactic outlaws who steal things and save the galaxy. It was a risk to make a movie for them, and the risk paid off as the GOTG are not only a staple in the MCU, but are a fan favorite of moviegoers all around. Both movies have grossed 1.6 billion worldwide.

The MCU has fans of all genders and ages. They are movies that parents will more than willingly take their children to.

“I’ve always loved science fiction and action movies, and the MCU did a great job of tying both in together,” senior Liam Nichols said.

“Avengers Endgame” made 2.8 billion which holds the record of highest-grossing movie of all time. Marvel Studios also has two more movies in the top 10 with “Avengers Infinity War” bringing in 2 billion and “Avengers” with 1.5 billion. All together the studio has brought in over 22 billion dollars creating a franchise that can last for decades.

Feige and the studio are nowhere near done as they have Phase 5 in the works as they introduce new characters, especially more characters of different ethnicities, genders and sexualities. Disney has recently purchased the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four, meaning the MCU has plenty more years worth of material.