Why the Marvel film race is driving me nuts

I used to love spagbol. Coming home from school there was always this nervous anticipation as to, what will I devour today and I was usually confronted with meals that had a distinct lacking of both spag and bol.

But now I’m in college, cruising the aisles of Tesco proper gangsta style, and I can eat pretty much whatever I desire and ironically – yet maybe predictably – my diet has narrowed. My beloved spagbol is easy to make, risk free and purchasable anywhere.

I’ve never been as sickened as I am with anything right now than I am with spagbol.

And it’s the same with my love of comic book films – I’ve loved them since I was a child, but I am getting sick of them fairly quickly.

Marvel’s Cinematic Universe brought us us 11 films since 2008, and it has accelerated at an alarming pace, planning to bring us 11 more in the next five years.

Releasing 22 films in the space of 10 years is shocking. Even Star Wars‘ meager 6 films is too daunting a task for a lot of people to undertake – for a long time that was the case with me.

But in comparison, Marvel’s rate of release is Industrial.

This film franchise will render any future fans of comic book films nerds – it will be an arduous journey to wade through them all, treasure trove though they may be – and be a deterrent as opposed to an open armed welcome in.

Lets use an example. Say some kid, lets call him ‘little Timmy’. No, he is not a mascot for a 1950’s cigarette ad campaign before your imaginations decide to run wild and free. Timmy was born in 2007, he’ll be 12, at the pomp of his comic book worshiping age in 2019(the release year for The Avengers: Infinity War 2 and Inhumans).

How can he enjoy Infinity Wars if he didn’t perchance see the prior 20 films?

Will Timmy be able to convince his parents to buy him a huge (and Disney DVD priced) box-set to get them? Will he want to, considering his brain hasn’t known a time without the great attention-span vanquisher Facebook?

To Disney and Marvel, I direct the words of every cynical rural Irishman: Ah here now.

I suppose in a way they are returning the comic books back to the people who are the most passionate about them – the comic book collectors. These films will soon be the dusty archives of an acne-addled (and money saturated) teen in the roaring twenties.

And if they make a butt-load of money in the process then we’re all happy, aren’t we?

But look at it this way – Marvel have 3 different ‘universes’ in 3 different studios. Disney, of course are the most prolific having the Cinematic Universe, Fox have X-Men and Fantastic Four and Columbia/Sony are straddling the line between their own stuff and co-opting with Disney.

Look at the unmitigated disaster that Spiderman is set to turn out to be – There’ll be 3 different versions of it in a decade – that is confusing for a ‘noob’ to get without being shot down by obsessives and laughed at in their snobbery, as it is with comic books now.

Its easy to get now, as we’re seeing these flicks coming out in their correct chronology. But it will be impossible to pass this film franchise, impressive though it be, onto the next generation of film viewers.

For it to work it needs to be constructed oh-so-delicately, with only scant need to reference the plots of the prior films – But it’s never that easy.

It’s even hard not to zone out from film news now; Everything is a casting announcement for Antman that turns out to be a dud, or a groundless Spiderman speculation, or, I don’t know, Hugh Jackman osteoporosis fears, whatever it is.

My eyes and ears have been turned off to it at this stage, I can’t see the wood for the trees, or the treeman for the manwood or whatever the hell they decide to feed us next. It’s a PR paradox, a lesson in how too much can be counterproductive.

I love how their underling Pixar pointed it out in their classic animated superhero flick The Incredibles:

“If everyone is super, then no-one is.” – Syndome/Buddy Pine

I’ve since stopped eating spaghetti bolognaise and moved across to a new discipline – noodles and stir frys. Thrilling stuff as you may imagine, but only until the novelty wears off.

Who knows, maybe I’ll return to my beloved spagbol with renewed vigor some day.


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