5 Biggest Writing Challenges for Marvel after the Infinity Saga

July 11, 2020 at 5:06 pm (Reviews, TV/movie review, With a list)

5. Will people get sick of superheroes?

It has been mentioned elsewhere that the MCU uses a lot of fancy imagery to try to hide the fact that most battles ultimately still come down to punching. The thing about punching is that it’s fun and cathartic and satisfying to watch (punching Nazis especially so) because it’s so simple. I’ve become aware of the inclination towards violent climaxes in my own writing, because the great thing about fiction is that it’s so much simpler than real life—especially when it’s violent. But I’ve been trying to improve my own writing (by which I mean thinking more about non-violent solutions) and it’s possible that the rest of the world will ask more than escapism from its fiction at some point. Maybe even me, as an audience member. Maybe.

4. So much backstory.

Marvel tends to handle this by having everyone forgive everyone and just move on as if nothing happened. Which is actually really sweet in some ways, and it fundamentally works. Each movie just needs to take a few seconds to establish who is good (in this movie) and who is bad (in this movie), and then it can get into the story.

3. Marvel is too powerful (especially Scarlet Witch and Captain Marvel).

It was extremely noticeable in Endgame that Captain Marvel had to be busy “elsewhere in the universe” or all Earth’s problems would be fixed too quickly. This is going to continue to take some tricky writing.

How would I write a story in which one character could fly through space and destroy rockets in seconds, and another character is a regular human? Well, mostly I would try to avoid the situation altogether, because it’s not easy to balance stuff like that. The main strategy Marvel will likely use is to separate people into teams a lot.

 

2. Where to go after Thanos?

How can you up the stakes after “half the universe”? And how do you make it not be boring if you keep nearly destroying the universe?

Ugh, I just read on twitter that Marvel may bring Thanos back. I really hope that’s not true. He was a mediocre villain, and he’s had all the screen time he’s worth. Plus they already did bring him back, in Endgame, and it’ll ruin the satisfaction of Endgame if it isn’t the final end of Thanos.

Spider-Man: Homecoming brilliantly pulled us WAY back to just one baddie (and a highly local one at that). More of that, please. Because when it’s our local bodega getting trashed, that means a lot more than an entire galaxy blown up somewhere else.

But of course the biggest writing challenge going forward is . . .

 

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1. So. Many. Characters.

It was amazing when they managed to balance six heroes and one main villain way back in Marvel’s Avengers. Let’s consider the fates and futures of all those from the poster above (coloured side first):

Iron Man – dead

Captain America – retired and old; possible cameos

Black Widow – dead but has a movie coming out (set in her past)

Thor – hanging out with the Guardians of the Galaxy; part of their group now I reckon

Professor Hulk – withered arm; possible cameos

Hawkeye – fine but maybe in prison/retired; possible cameos

Captain Marvel – too powerful so they’ll be keeping her mainly in space having her own adventures

Ant-Man – fine; probably getting a third movie and generally being in tentpole movies

Nebula – reformed; probably joining the Guardians of the Galaxy crowd

Okoye – fine; will be in any Black Panther or Wakanda movie

War Machine – fine except for magically-fine (or are they?) legs; possible cameos

Pepper/Rescue – Gwyneth Paltrow is sick of acting so I don’t reckon we’ll see her (or Morgan) again

Rocket – part of Guardians of the Galaxy

King Valkyrie – I hope we’ll see her get a lesbian romance but she may fade out of the main storylines due to Thor being off world

Wong – sidekick to Dr Strange; in danger of death due to being a sidekick of colour

Happy – likely to appear in Spider-Man movies

Now for the black and white side:

King T’Challa – at least two more Black Panther movies; a central character going forwards

Star-Lord – Main character of Guardians of the Galaxy crowd; may have a romance with past Gamora; another movie coming

Gamora- dead, but now there’s past Gamora. As a love interest, she’ll stick around near Star-Lord and probably not die since she did that already

Dr Strange – two more movies so I guess he’s a central character going forwards

Spider-Man- another movie’s coming and he’s wildly popular; he’ll be a central character going forwards; possibly part of a younger generation of heroes. It’ll get tricky in 5-10 years when he’s not a kid any more

Scarlet Witch – shunted out of the main action since she’s too powerful; see her on TV

Vision – dead but past version will be on TV with Scarlet Witch

Fury – still around but mostly as a mentor figure

Loki- dead but past Loki has a TV show

Princess Shuri – attached to anything Black Panther/Wakanda

Groot- with the Guardians

Wasp – with the Ant-Man movies; in danger of death due to being a female sidekick

Falcon/Captain America- he’s Captain America now and I hope we see a lot of him. Definitely in TV

Bucky/ex-Winter Soldier- on TV with Captain America #2 and likely to stay on the small screen

Mantis -Guardians

Drax – Guardians


That’s all the main heroes, so going forward we have:

TV crowd: Scarlet Witch & Vision; Loki; Falcon & Winter Soldier

I reckon they’ll try to keep the TV heroes away from major roles in the movies from now on. Ditto original-and-tired/wounded/old heroes Hawkeye, Captain America, and Hulk.

Guardians crowd: Star-Lord, past Gamora, Nebula, Groot, Rocket, Drax, Mantis, and now Thor (probably temporarily since we’ve already seen so much of him).

Other major heroes: King T’Challa (+ Okoye, Shuri, and hopefully Nakia), Ant-Man (+ the Wasp, and possibly Cassie), Spider-Man (+ Happy), Dr Strange (+ Wong), Captain Marvel (+ hopefully Monica Rambeau and/or Lieutenant Trouble who’s grown up by now).

That’s “only” six, so long as we count groups as one person. Keeping them balanced will be super easy—barely an inconvenience.

Plus of course there are heroes we haven’t met yet—most notably, The Eternals, Shang-Chi, and a rebooted Blade (plus a bunch of Spider-Man stuff).

I have ONE list left to write: the list of what I’m most looking forward to from Marvel in the near future.

1 Comment

  1. Summary of a Saga | crazy talk said,

    […] Biggest Writing Challenges for Marvel going forward […]

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