How Marvel has Changed the Superhero Genre
Marvel has become the best and most widely known producer of superhero films. The films, which comprise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), are based off the many comic books produced by Marvel Studios. They have since become an unstoppable force in the film industry, with no other films studios even coming to close generating as much buzz as Marvel films. Marvel characters are such an integral part of our popular culture, and with a finely tuned company, the sky is the limit for the new and exciting stories we can expect from them.
Before 2008, Marvel had only released a handful of films, including Blade and X-Men, both of which went on to become very successful films. Kevin Feige, an executive for Marvel Studios, had the idea to create a shared universe for Marvel characters similar to how Stan Lee had created the comic books. This idea came in the form of the MCU, and Marvel Studios began to producing their own films, while allowing countless characters to appear in films as individuals or all together, just like The Avengers.
This idea kicked off with Iron Man, which was one of the top-grossing films of 2008, raking in more than half a billion dollars. Iron Man was followed by The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers. These films are considered to be Phase 1 in the MCU plan. Marvel Studios would then introduce some of the most popular superhero characters to the big screen, while incorporating other characters into each storyline. This is the reason why The Avengers film was so ahead of its time. It subtly planted the seeds for potential stories for future movies, while also allowing the superheroes to appear alongside each other – something no other film studio had done.
Currently, the MCU is in Phase Three, with Avengers: Infinity War – Part I, coming on April 27. This will be Marvel Studios biggest undertaking ever, with over 30 confirmed characters appearing on screen. In addition, there have been numerous Marvel TV shows released over the years such as the highly rated show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. released in 2013. There are now seven Marvel shows on Netflix alone, along with network shows like Inhumans and Agent Carter. The sheer amount of content they are capable of pumping out is nowhere near matched by anyone else.
With the hype behind Avengers: Infinity War – Part I, the unstoppable force Marvel Studios is quite clear. Since the start of the MCU, Marvel Studios has generated over $12 billion in revenue, and that number will continue to rise with the planned release of many other films and TV shows later this year. Some may think that the MCU is becoming overly saturated, but in the end, they have completely changed the game when it comes to producing superhero films and TV shows.