“5 Things From Pre-MCU Marvel Movies That We Miss (& 5 That Should Remain Retconned)”
The work Marvel Studios has done with their cinematic universe has truly revolutionized the superhero genre. During the early 2000s especially, there were several Marvel films that failed to be as successful as the MCU is now in more ways than one.
Where those films failed (although some succeeded), these new ones have learned and matured from the experiences. Here are five things we actually miss about those pre-MCU days and five things we could probably do with leaving in the past.
10 REMAIN RETCONNED: COSTUMES
It has to be admitted, the costumes used to be absolutely terrible. Watching the brand’s famous mutants run into battle in some black leather rather than their classic gear is disappointing. Even Marvel’s first family, the Fantastic Four, could only be given some spandex.
Sure Peter Parker’s alter ego had some brilliant costumes, but the less said about the “Man Without Fear,” Daredevil, the better. Nowadays, characters like Captain America, Spider-Man and Captain Marvel all have perfect outfits that will stand the test of time.
9 MISS: CHEESINESS
The cheesiness of some of these films did bring a lot of fun though. There’s something to be said about being able to sit through one of these movies and just have a blast, without caring too much for the world of characters, but just for the crazy stuff going on.
Sure this isn’t a model that works long term, but taking the character of Elektra and giving her a strange and cheesy spin-off that has nothing to do with the character but is kind of fun is something we miss a little.
8 REMAIN RETCONNED: OUT OF PLACE SEQUENCES
All of that being said, when Elektra and Daredevil interact with one another, they certainly shouldn’t be having some sort of dance fight. The same can be said for Peter Parker, who struts his stuff through the streets of New York, complete with a new hair cut.
There are plenty of moments that just seem strange and out of place in these movies. The MCU doesn’t really have time to include scenes that make no sense because they try to pack so much into the running time. It seems these earlier films were trying to waste time.
7 MISS: SOLO FILMS
It’s quite nice to be able to watch a film that’s self-contained and completely solo, without having to worry about connections to a wider universe and cameos. It’s fun to have the huge cinematic universe now, however.
But, in the days that a franchise could focus on one character, it at least gave that character a chance to shine in their own film. We’re not saying the concept of the MCU isn’t great, but sometimes it’s even better to have a simple, solo narrative.
6 REMAIN RETCONNED: BIZARRE CASTING
The casting of some of these movies was questionable at best. We have to give it up to Chris Evans for being a great Johnny Storm, but the rest of the Fantastic Four definitely shouldn’t have been cast in their roles. The same can be said for Ben Affleck as Daredevil.
There are numerous examples of casting choices that just didn’t translate on-screen. Perhaps the star power looked great on paper, but it’s almost like these people are characterizations of the superheroes, never quite capturing the essence of the comic book version.
5 MISS: ORIGINAL CHARACTERS
One of the things that pre-MCU movies used to do is introduce completely original characters. Whereas nowadays most of the movies will try to fill out the supporting cast with recognizable names from the comics, this wasn’t the case back then.
Sometimes, completely random people could play much larger roles, or original characters would steal the show. Sure it’s fun to work out what comics character should be added to the MCU, but the original character concept is still alive and well in the TV shows.
4 REMAIN RETCONNED: LACK OF SOURCE MATERIAL CONNECTIONS
Having said all of this, it’s rare to see these earlier films remain loyal to the original source material. Often it’s like they’ve read two of the comics these characters are from and then make up the rest from there. The MCU is much more a labor of love.
Those writing on the Marvel movies now have a much better sense of the characters themselves and the stories they have featured in. That same attention to the comics wasn’t apparent back before Marvel Studios went on their historic run.
3 MISS: FRESH FEELING
Comic book movies, in general, used to be few and far between. In the 21st century, there are many comic book movies released every single year along with countless superhero dramas on television. This can make the genre feel a little old and tired.
When fans had to wait a while before they could see these superheroes in live-action, the films would feel quite fresh. In fact, some movies, such as those featuring the X-Men and Spider-Man, actually revolutionized this genre and its storytelling.
2 REMAIN RETCONNED: OVER THE TOP SEQUELS
The concept of the sequel also used to be very different. The current method is to follow up with a sequel that contains a story more powerful and personal. It’s not a case of needing to go bigger but to go better.
However, before this method of movie-making was employed, superhero sequels used to do one thing only. They just wanted to up the stakes and try to produce even more spectacle. The films that went back to basics, such as Peter’s conflict with Doc Ock, were usually the most well-received.
1 MISS: UNPREDICTABILITY
The world has seen so much from the MCU now that some of it is actually quite predictable. Based on the comics, the rumors, crazy fan theories, and trailer breakdowns, we can kind of expect what’s coming. This wasn’t the case back in the pre-MCU days.
In the early days of Marvel movies, there was a sense of unpredictability. There was doubt over what could actually happen. Moments could be shocking or surprising. These movies still move us and bring out big twists, but are they nearly as unpredictable as they once were?
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