MCU increases in explosion, decreases in expression


photo illustration by Samantha Haney

Although he likes the older Marvel movies, senior Mateo LaMar doesn’t like the newer movies with different versions of the original characters. Because of the dip in film quality, LaMar prefers rewatching older movies rather than watching the newer movies.

Mateo LaMar, Staff Reporter

Since the introduction of the multiverse, alien gods and Spider-Man performing magical rituals to save his college career, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has overall flopped. MCU used to have compelling stories in which human characters struggled with balancing hero and personal life, and were challenged by villains with compelling reasoning behind their madness. Now, big bad aliens target celebrities in a battle of who can hit harder than the other. Not to mention the major increase in pointless collateral damage in which a construction company called Damage Control had to be implemented in order to clean up the destroyed buildings, wrecked streets and civilian corpses left behind from heroes’ battles. If I were living in the MCU version of New York City, I’m sure I’d be more concerned about Hulk chucking my car at a jaywalker than an actual car break-in.  

One of the most compelling factors in hero movies is the way that ordinary people watching the film can still relate and empathize with the heroes in their journeys. Such as in The Amazing Spider-Man movies, where Peter Parker juggles his responsibilities as a hero and as a student, and suffers from the guilt of both getting people involved with his hero life and shutting out the people closest to him in order to protect them. This older version of Spider-Man differs so dramatically from the newest Spider-Man, who would use magic to alter the minds of the entire world in order to go to college and put the entire universe in danger of collapse.  

He could have just stuck with the original spell to wipe everyone’s memories, but because he deemed it “too hard” for him to tell his girlfriend, best friend and aunt about his secret life, he selfishly put everyone in danger. The entire storyline of No Way Home was caused solely by Parker’s selfishness, and while he eventually settles for the original spell wiping everyone’s memories, the film never addresses how fundamentally disturbing it is that Spider-Man caused such a catastrophe and still ended up using immense magic for his own benefit. He acts as though it is the ultimate sacrifice, but in actuality, he never actually shows any remorse or faces any fitting consequences for completely altering the lives of his loved ones.

Spider-Man is just one example of the damage these heroes have subjected ordinary humans to. The Avengers series actually addresses the controversy of the superheroes in Captain America: Civil War, where Iron Man leads a team against Captain America and other heroes, arguing that heroes need more restrictions in society and to be held accountable for damages to the city and its citizens. However, Marvel then completely scraps the idea once the movie is over, and instead trades out the serious topic for magical alien gods coming down to earth and the heroes assembling the power of magic, science and throwing cars to fight back. 

The MCU seems to have thrown out its original deeper messages for more explosions, hard-to-follow fights of constantly one-upping each other and lowbrow humor. Fans must be loving the fart jokes in almost every movie. And the one-liners are somehow worse. Imagine an entire block of your city being completely destroyed, buildings floored, and your home unsalvageable, struggling to get your family out of the rubble and away to safety, and all of a sudden you hear Iron Man say, “Well that just happened.”

Unfortunately, it’s looking like Marvel will not have a comeback with new compelling storylines and characters anytime soon, even with the flow of content coming to theaters and Disney+. As upsetting as it is to see fan favorite heroes watered down, the older movies and comics remain in their former glory as far as storytelling goes.

Will I hop on my couch and watch The Amazing Spider-Man for the third time? Yes, but I can guarantee you won’t catch me in theaters on the opening night of the next Spider-Man movie that has a play on the word “home” in the title.