Alex, who hadn’t seen any Marvel films before the onset of lockdown, has now made his way through the first 14 of the franchise, while Sonia is a seasoned and long-time fan of the MCU.
Marvel Comics began as ‘Timely Comics’ in 1939. To date, they have created hundreds of iconic characters, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Black Panther. Fast forward to the late 90s and early 2000s, when there were several successful superhero outings in film, including Blade, Spider-Man and X-Men. However, it wasn’t until Iron Man in 2008 that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was born. The MCU is an interconnected, 23 film series which currently has at least 14 more projects in various stages of development.
When 'Avengers Endgame' became the most successful film of all time last year, I realised I was out of touch
Alex reflects on why it was finally time for him to enter the MCU:
Historically, the ‘most successful film of all time’ title has been held by movies that, as well as attracting audiences in their millions, have become key landmarks in cinema history, such as The Godfather (1972), Jaws (1975) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).
When Avengers Endgame (2019) became the most successful film of all time last year, I realised I was out of touch – not only had I not seen it, but I had also not seen any of the other Marvel superhero movies, six of which are among top 20 most successful films of all time. My love of world and independent cinema had put the Marvel films in my blind spot, and I needed to see what I had been missing.
Lockdown is the perfect time for binge-watching, so I bought all the films on Blu-ray, whacked Iron Man (2008) into the player and started to work through them chronologically.
Sonia explores her long-standing love of the MCU:
My love of the MCU is intense. How intense? Let’s just say if I was faced with either never seeing another Marvel film again or replacing every meal with a stick of celery and a flavourless dip, you can definitely start handing me those sticks. What exactly do I find so utterly compelling? Well, each film is different, but beyond the surface of the lovable characters, (usually) well-crafted scripts and expertly choreographed action there is something universally comforting and wonderfully escapist about seeing someone develop abilities which help them to overcome their problems. From Steve Rogers finally being championed for his good heart instead of his stature, to Tony Stark confronting his own arrogance to become a better person. In the MCU, Super-human powers are frequently the catalyst for positive change that we all secretly long for. I for one have been hoping a spider would bite me for years.