Marvel

It’s Time For Marvel To Pivot.

It takes an unprecedented run in the geek community to say that you have outdone Star Trek.

Since 2008 Marvel Studios and their unrivaled MCU have achieved that feat. With thirty-three movies and sixteen television shows in Marvel’s illustrious library. The MCU is arguably the most successful media franchise of all time.

Like all of the powerful dynasties throughout history though, the cracks are starting to show. The once unstoppable force that was Marvel Studios seems to be bracing for their imminent collapse.

“Disastrous” isn’t a strong enough word to describe 2023 for the MCU. Secret Invasion was an abject failure, as were Ant-Man and Wasp: Quantumania and The Marvels.

These historic lows are a punch in the mouth for a studio that up until now seemed to be bulletproof. It should go without saying that this should call for many changes in regard to the way that Marvel Studios is run.

Marvel Should Show Kevin Feige The Door

After Ike Perlmutter was shown the door halfway through phase three of the MCU, Kevin Feige was given complete creative control over the cinematic juggernaut. It hasn’t exactly gone well. The Disney Plus programing numbers are so bad, the CW probably laughs at it. After Black Panther was released to monumental success, box office numbers for MCU feature films have been erratic at best.

Frustration has set in as the standard billion dollar benchmark proved elusive last year.  Not only in the MCU, but with Disney as a whole; the company failed to release a billion dollar film for the first time since 2014. For a powerhouse like Disney, this is unacceptable

Feige also created a rift in the fanbase when he declared that there will soon be more female superheroes than male superheroes in the MCU, with Brie Larsen being the heir apparent to Robert Downey Junior as the face of the MCU franchise. This has proven to backfire as The Marvels has disappeared from theaters faster than a beer at a frat party.

Ever Since Ike Perlmutter’s Ouster, Projects Given The Green Light By Kevin Feige Have Been On A Steady Decline. (Photo by Chris Delmas / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Kevin Feige had his shot. His efforts received mixed results and mixed results don’t cut the mustard in the cutthroat environment that is today’s Hollywood. The MCU as we know it has grown stagnant. This isn’t a big deal with no competition.

With James Gunn ready to launch the revamped DCU and fire on all cylinders, stagnancy is a liability. No shame should be attached to Feige’s departure. This is the nature of almost every business.

Coaches get fired from professional sports teams yearly. CEOs of major corporations are frequently unseated when a company decides to move in a different direction.

Feige should just recognize that his time has come and gone. He should be sent off with a handshake and a fond farewell while he passes the baton off to a new visionary.

Who Should Marvel Replace Feige With?

Should Feige actually be shown the door at Disney, my first choice would be to bring back Ike Perlmutter. With personal tension escalating between Perlmutter and Bob Iger, I may as well be asking for Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth to show up to my birthday party in April.

Disney still needs to put someone in charge of Marvel Studios who has an intimate knowledge of the source material. Marvel needs a person who is respected in the industry and has his finger on the pulse. This new studio head would need to be willing to listen to feedback from the fans and know what will get the fans coming back to the theater.

If I had a say, I would nominate Joe Queseda.

Marvel Comics Group was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy before Queseda came in and saved the publication from certain death. He gave us innovative, gritty takes on classic characters. His Marvel Knights concept earned him the position of editor in chief, where he took the wayward company and brought it back to greatness.

Joe Queseda Has The Knowledge And The Vision To Course Correct If Disney Could Convince Him To Take Charge Of The MCU.

I wrote an article about Mr. Queseda back in 2022, when he decided to step down from Marvel and move on. It is still unclear as to why Mr. Quesada left Marvel. The official story was that he left to “pursue other opportunities.” However, it has been almost two years since the man who saved Marvel left, and he hasn’t done anything of note.

I am not suggesting that he left on bad terms, or that he was forced out. Even if he was, this is Hollywood. Hollywood’s love language is money. Make Mr. Queseda an offer he can’t refuse and bring him on board to take the wheel and help the MCU reach its full potential.

Whoever Is In Charge Needs To Listen To The Fan Base.

Marvel has had this weird, contentious relationship with the fans that has taken a toll on its bottom line. In an effort to court more females to the theaters to see MCU projects, Marvel Studios has turned its back and in some cases has even go so far as to villainize the male audience.

The Marvels tanked at the box office and the studio’s first instinct was to blame misogyny and angry fanboys. Even before the movie came out, journalists were primed and ready to blame the male audience for the movie’s shortcomings. It was almost like it was by design.

In truth, men turned out to see The Marvels more than any other demographic. The audience that turned out to see the ill fated movie was overwhelmingly male. To be exact, sixty-five percent of the audience that went to see The Marvels was male. So men are still turning out to see the movies. The studio just isn’t getting the female audience that it has been courting, in the numbers that they want.

Instead Of Listening To Their Fanbase, Which is predominantly Male, Marvel Studios Has Doubled Down On Their Questionable Decision Making. They Even Released “She-Hulk”- Which The Creators Openly Admit Is A Direct Attack On The Marvel Fanbase.

Marketing research exists for a reason. There are things in entertainment that men like and there are things that women like. If the product that you are in charge of has a fan base that is decidedly male, the best thing for you to do is listen to your core demographic and put out a good story for them.

Marvel has to stop wooing and catering to a demographic that has no interest in their product. While they are chasing this white whale, they are shunning the people that actually care about what they have to offer. If this keeps going on, eventually the loyal fans that you have been ignoring will walk away too and you won’t have anybody to market to.

Final Takeaway

A healthy MCU is good for business. I don’t want to spend every week writing about how abysmal the latest project from Marvel is. I am tired of talking about Kevin Feige’s poor decision making and the latest MCU failure whether it be in the theater or on Disney Plus. Marvel needs to put the ham fisted politics on the shelf.

They need to revisit the character bibles and rediscover what it was that made millions of people fall in love with these characters and these wonderful stories. It is the job of whoever is in charge of the MCU to faithfully deliver these characters to the screen for the audience to enjoy.

It is not their job to alter the characters, write self inserts in, or update them for the dreaded “modern audience”.

I am rooting for Marvel and truly hope that they can turn things around in the coming years and get back to that glorious era that wasn’t too long ago.

“With great power comes great responsibility.” Somebody needs to remind the studio about the second part of that quote.

What do you think, GNN Fans? Sound off in the comments below and let your voices be heard!

Thank You for reading! When I am not writing I enjoy spending time with my wife Barbara, my four year old daughter Frances, and my loyal hound Marbles.  For more hot takes, follow me here and on our brand new YouTube channel.  You can also check out more of my content on my author’s page.

Stay Geeky Everybody

 

 

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