OPINION | Marvel movies need to focus more on individual stories rather than a greater arc 

Marvel movies are a quintessential part of any moviegoer’s watch list. One of my favorite things about Marvel movies, like “Iron Man,” “Doctor Strange,” and even the first “Ant Man” was that you could watch the movie having absolutely no idea who the character was beforehand, and at the end of the movie, you would have a newfound appreciation for the character and their story.  

However, with the release of the newest Marvel movies, such as “Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantiumania,” audiences have been seeing more and more how Marvel sacrifices the individual stories of their movies to serve the greater arc. This is not only disheartening for someone who appreciates many Marvel movies, but it’s becoming boring as well. 

According to an article by Vocal Media, this decline in the quality of Marvel’s films can be attributed both to audience fatigue as well as a decline in creativity. The fast pace of movie releases hasn’t been beneficial either: “The MCU has been churning out movies at a rapid pace, with up to three releases per year. This constant stream of content can be difficult to maintain, and as a result, the quality of the films may suffer.” 

Because Marvel is consolidating its focus into the greater story arc of its whole universe, many of the plots of their movies become formulaic as well. Vocal Media continues, “Many of the recent films follow a similar plot structure and tone, which can make them feel repetitive and predictable.”  

The soul of each movie used to be the central characters, but by now, their quirks and traits have been nearly forgotten. Remember in the first “Ant Man” where Scott Lang was known for being an escape artist who could break any lock? Yeah, Marvel doesn’t either. 

While focusing on a larger arc might work for some productions, such as Masterpiece’s “Downton Abbey,” larger storylines aren’t always the best choice, especially when a franchise had started out focusing on the complexity of individual character growth.  

Take the underdog of the “Star Trek” spinoffs, “Star Trek: Enterprise,” for example. The series’ first seasons started focusing on each episode’s stories and character interactions rather than a larger story. This had been the formula for many of the previous “Star Trek” episodes, save for a few two-part or three-part episodes. 

In season four of “Star Trek: Enterprise,” however, the writers attempted to sacrifice each episode’s story in order to serve a longer running plot thread , weakening the overall plot. While other factors may have also contributed to its failure, the series was not renewed for a fifth season. 

The same seems to be happening to Marvel. Familiar characters’ personalities are being forgotten, and new ones like Kang the Conqueror are forced into the story wherever the writers wish.  

Nothing about the film industry is cheap, and it pains me to see millions of dollars spent on a forgettable story. So, Marvel, bring back the fun, one-off characters who got to bask in the limelight for a whole movie. Bring back Marvel movies that focus on individual stories rather than the whole cinematic universe.  

Photo from worldofreel.com.