On Nov. 5, Marvel is set to release Eternals, the next installment of the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film will be the seventh major installment in the MCU this year and now has some people raising the question: is there too much Marvel?
In 2021 fans have received six major installments of the MCU so far, all belonging to what Marvel refers to as ‘Phase Four.’ Three of these have been streaming series’ that have impacted the overarching story of the MCU, one is a spin-off series and the remaining two installments are films.
Marvel has progressed its larger cinematic universe through several phases which have been divided by the release of a larger ‘Avengers’ crossover film. Marvel is currently at its fourth phase of content, with ‘Phase Three’ having been wrapped up by ‘Avengers Endgame’ in 2019.
Eternals marks the third Marvel film that will be released this year and with the release of a Hawkeye series later in November, a new Spider-Man in December and a potential Mrs. Marvel series in December, this means fans will have had 10 pieces of Marvel content by the end of this year. To contrast with previous years; Marvel’s phases one and two had just 12 films between them and stretched from 2008 to 2015. Marvel’s ‘Phase Three’ had 11 films, released over the course of three years.
The new series have been released in such a fashion this year that fans have not had to wait long for new content. 2021 began with the release of “Wandavision” in January, which ended in March two weeks prior to the release of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” would end in April and it would not be until June when “Loki” was released. July saw the release of “Black Widow,” August contained Marvel’s ‘What If…?’ and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” was released in September. May is the only month this year which has seen no MCU content.
This massive amount of content that Marvel has released in just this year alone raises a question, can you have too much Marvel?
“They’ve done a really great job with story lines and adding depth to characters to make each one interesting in their own way,’’ senior Anna Lyons said. “I feel like they’ve made them unique enough to capture their audiences well.”
Critics of Marvel can point to how with every show or movie having an impact on the greater MCU, missing anything can quickly result in a fan ending up lost. Further, there may be a superhero genre fatigue as more and more content gets pushed out. Even in The Southern, a reader can expect Marvel to make the entertainment section regularly, with four of the last seven issues having a Marvel article or brief.
“I will say that the Loki show was disappointing and didn’t have the plot that I was hoping for,” Lyons said. “I felt like they could have done a lot with his character that they didn’t do.”
Fans of Marvel meanwhile are now spoiled for choice on what they want to watch because many of these productions have taken on multiple different genres. “WandaVision” was a combination of sitcom and thriller, “Black Widow” was a spy thriller, and ‘What If…?’ being an anthology series.
“I feel like from what I’ve seen all of the content that they’ve put out so far is pretty amazing,” Lyons said.