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When is the last time you were truly thrilled by a Marvel project? Obviously, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame were smash hits, as was Spider-Man: No Way Home. But since then, it seems like the quality of Marvel movies and TV shows has gone downhill.. And even the biggest MCU defenders are taking note online.
In the lead-up to the Disney Plus show “Secret Invasion,” the show was pitched as a true-blue espionage thriller that would delight audiences and hopefully bring the Marvel Cinematic Universe back to the forefront of our culture… In the end, the project was maybe the biggest misfire of the entire universe to date. In fact, the show’s finale was widely reviled online and garnered just a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes. Clips of the episode went viral, with fans and critics alike noting sequences with poor CGI and some baffling plot decisions.
While executives are likely hoping the Secret Invasions finale can be quickly put behind them with more beloved projects in the near future, it may not be so simple. First of all, the ongoing writers and actors strikes make it difficult for Disney and Marvel to pivot quickly because, well, very little is being made at the moment. But more than that, the entire universe seems bogged down by an overly complicated plot and too many disparate stories and characters with no clear through-line. Movies like The Eternals, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Ant-Man: Quantumania have all received lukewarm responses at best, and many of Disney+ shows, such as Moon Knight, She-Hulk, and Ms. Marvel have failed to make much of a mark in the general consciousness at all.
For years, the MCU was the surest best in show biz. Executive producer Kevin Fiege managed to make even zany titles like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man into mainstream hits.. But the well seems to have gone a bit cold lately. The only recent Marvel hit I can think of was Guardians 3, and that came from James Gunn, who is moving to Warner Brothers to be the architect of a new era of DC movies. As that project gets underway at their rival studio, it will be interesting to see how Disney and Marvel plans to turn the tides on their own diminishing returns.