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Marvel is pumping the breaks on its onslaught of content (Phew! that’s a good thing)

The MCU is taking it’s time rolling out Phase 5 and yes, everybody will benefit.


There is a saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder. When I say that, I’m not talking about the Canva templates set to beach pictures about dating – I mean in terms of content. Since 2020, it seems like we have been drowning in a constant barrage of it. One can attribute that to just the voracious nature of the consumer to go on to the next thing and companies ready to feed that appetite. Can you tell me how many projects you watch or miss on Netflix every week? Well, no, and neither can I. But anticipation and patience can co-exist in a world that wants to move on quickly to the next thing.

If you take time to build on something, people will reward you. Or you can go the other way and give out so much content the cup overflows, and people collectively shout, “WHEN!” This is precisely the dilemma the Marvel Cinematic Universe is dealing will and why it seems to be slowing down the content conveyor belt, so to speak. In Phase Four alone, which started in 2021, we got 18 projects across the big screen and Disney+. That is considering Disney released 23 films/projects from 2008-2019 (yes, that’s not including the Marvel One-Shots, Agents of Shield, The Inhumans, yadda, yadda yadda).

That is a lot of stuff for fans to digest within two years. You want the opening Marvel Fanfare that spawns excitement to turn into a chorus of “oh brother,” where people only watch these projects out of a sense of obligation. MCU projects should have a specialness that an audience can anticipate over time. Do you remember the start of the Avengers initiative and the gradual movement of having characters like Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America all in the same film? It took about four years to happen, and when it did, it paid off. How about the slow burn of Thanos being placed into this universe, showing up here and there. That eventually acclimated in Infinity War and Endgame – which paid off.

Infinity War didn’t even happen until 2018. I know there is an added pressure of starting a streaming service and adding content to it (cause, you know, we love to see those subscriber numbers go up). In all honest, other than the brilliance of 2021’s WandaVision, tell me a specific thing about all the other Marvel Disney + shows. It’s unfortunate they all melt together somehow. With Falcon and The Winter Soldier, you had themes of patriotism and who gets to carry that mantle regarding race and the societal consequences of the blip. Moon Knight tackled mental illness as well as accurate depictions of Egypt. Ms. Marvel spoke to Pakistani culture along with a stylish coming-of-age story.

Now imagine if these projects were more spaced out where people could adequately take them in and when Marvel could assess which ones needed to break out of this six-episode cadence they had going on. The quality suffers when you crank these stories out rapidly – then we all become Lucy in that chocolate factory episode. After a while, you could almost pinpoint the second specific resolutions that would wrap up.

And this problem is not just limited to our beloved MCU – it’s throughout all places in media. Things are the equivalent of going to a buffet, selecting your pieces of food, sitting down, and just having someone give you five more plates of that food even before you take a bite of what you’ve chosen. Then there is a collective bewilderment when people check on the thing they’ve liked. It feels like taking your time is a lost art, but this Marvel slowdown is hopefully showing that they are putting the art first and gratification second. You get rewarded when you don’t treat storytelling like a random slot machine that you hope hits the jackpot after the 20th pull of the lever. Let us miss you, Marvel. We’ll stick around.