- A reboot of the Marvel Cinematic Universe could solve ongoing problems by introducing new characters and revisiting missed opportunities.
- Retrofitting the X-Men’s origins and retconning Spider-Man’s Avengers-heavy introduction are easily solvable issues in a reboot.
- A reboot could simplify the complex narrative of the MCU, bring in younger actors, establish new central heroes, and address diversity concerns.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe could well be heading toward a reboot, and it might actually solve many of the franchise’s ongoing problems. The movies of the MCU have created a rich narrative tapestry that makes up one of cinema’s most successful franchises. Though Marvel’s success with the MCU has been unrivaled, the franchise is beset by a number of issues as it exists in its current form. Many criticisms have been leveled at the franchise, often citing ongoing or mounting issues within the shared universe and its many individual stories.
With the MCU potentially heading toward a soft reboot in Avengers: Secret Wars, there is a chance that upcoming Marvel movies will fix the franchise’s problems by starting over. By using the context of the Multiverse, Marvel has a seemingly infinite number of ways in which it could reboot aspects of the franchise, introducing new or existing characters in imaginative ways to suit the wider narrative. Doing so offers up many opportunities to right some of the franchise’s mistakes and ongoing issues, whether by revisiting missed opportunities or retconning problematic moments. Here are 10 major problems that could easily be solved by an MCU reboot.
10 The X-Men’s Origins Need To Be Retrofitted
After years of rights issues, mutants are finally confirmed to exist in the franchise, but actually introducing the X-Men into the MCU could prove difficult. As it stands, the origin story of the iconic team would need to be retrofitted to better fit within the existing MCU, but this is one problem that would be easily solved by a reboot. By bringing the franchise into a new continuity, there would be greater freedom in introducing the X-Men, affording the MCU’s iteration of the mutant heroes a much wider narrative scope in the process.
9 Spider-Man’s Avengers-Heavy Introduction Could Be Retconned
Spider-Man is arguably Marvel’s most beloved superhero, but his MCU story hasn’t always done him justice. First introduced in Captain America: Civil War to help quell Avenger in-fighting, Spider-Man went on to become something of a protégé for the MCU’s Tony Stark. Having the character’s origins be so heavily linked with another hero subtly undermined Spider-Man’s MCU story, but this is something that a reboot could retcon. Though little else about the MCU’s Spider-Man needs changing, revising his status as a second-generation Avenger would resolve the biggest issues with the franchise’s wall-crawler.
8 The MCU Is Oversaturated With Heroes
After Phase 4 introduced multiple MCU TV shows alongside its movies, the franchise has continued to expand at a remarkable rate. However, with such a vast number of heroes now existing under one large shared universe, the MCU is simply inundated with characters. In many respects, this presents an issue, as too many heroes ultimately lower the overall stakes and take the franchise’s focus away from specific character arcs. A reboot could fix this by culling those numbers somewhat, allowing more exploration of specific heroes and teams within a new continuity.
7 Too Many Projects With Low Interest
Though it once seemed that the superhero genre was practically infallible, the MCU has seemingly provided too much of a good thing. With so many projects on the horizon, anticipation for specific TV shows and movies has dwindled, with multiple upcoming MCU entries simply not causing excitement even for long-time MCU fans. A reboot would solve this problem in multiple ways: it would revitalize interest in the franchise while also dropping those heroes whose projects failed to stir up enough interest, allowing the MCU to move forward more carefully in a new timeline.
6 A Reboot Could Bring In Younger Actors
Logistically, one of the MCU’s biggest and most unavoidable problems is simply that its actors age as the franchise progresses. As such, many MCU actors are getting older, and the action-heavy nature of the franchise makes this especially challenging. However, a reboot offers an opportunity to recast various roles, bringing in younger variants of established MCU characters to increase the franchise’s longevity. Though many actors in the MCU seem irreplaceable, it may be better to see their roles recast rather than retired altogether, allowing iconic characters to carry the franchise into the future even after their initial actors have left the MCU behind.
5 The MCU Cut Its Avengers Ties Far Too Soon
The Infinity Saga saw four separate Avengers movies released, chronicling the origins of Marvel’s iconic team as well as their efforts to stop villains such as Ultron and Thanos. However, their MCU arc seemingly ended in Endgame, especially as the franchise has now grown too much to include all its heroes in a single roster. However, a reboot solves this problem – it could introduce a different set of Avengers in a new timeline, allowing the MCU to once again explore the source material without the need to keep continuity with the stories of its many retired or deceased Avengers.
4 A New MCU Continuity Could Better Embrace Diversity
One of the most consistent criticisms of the MCU is the franchise’s lack of diversity. The franchise’s track record with BIPOC heroes is far from outstanding, and even Marvel’s female characters are also significantly underrepresented. A rebooted MCU could address these issues from the very start, introducing a more diverse team of heroes that ensures a greater percentage of the audience feels represented. A clean slate would also allow this to feel organic rather than a delayed response to years of criticism.
3 The MCU Needs To Establish New Central Heroes
Since the events of Avengers: Endgame saw Steve Rogers retire and Tony Stark die, the MCU has felt distinctly directionless. Perhaps the biggest contributor to this is the fact that there are no clear successors to Iron Man or Captain America’s original place as the franchise’s main heroes. A reboot would resolve this in any number of ways: Stark or Rogers could be reintroduced, or new heroes could step up to shape the new continuity in the same way Iron Man and Captain America did before them. Starting a reboot with new central characters would be a simple and effective way of resolving one of the MCU’s biggest post-Endgame problems.
2 The MCU’s Complex Narrative Could Be Simplified By A Reboot
With each new release, the order of the MCU’s timeline becomes increasingly complex, and the context required for each new story to make sense grows. Though the interconnected nature of the MCU’s stories is one of the franchise’s greatest assets, it’s also becoming increasingly problematic. A reboot is the simplest solution to the issue, as it would negate much of the need to rewatch earlier MCU projects, drawing a line under the existing canon and simply starting anew in a soft reboot facilitated by Secret Wars‘ conclusion of the Multiverse arc.
1 The MCU Has Retired Multiple Characters Who Fans Still Want
Though the MCU has offered many heroes memorable and touching endings, the problem remains that there are many characters retired from the franchise who have more stories to tell. Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are the most obvious examples, but Hank Pym has also been sidelined and prematurely retired offscreen, and multiple villains were killed long before fulfilling their potential. A reboot could bring back any number of these characters for new stories in a new continuity, making it a simple solution to one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s biggest problems.