Say what you like about Marvel Studios, but the enormous, era-defining impact the company has had on the moviemaking world cannot be denied. Famously — or infamously, depending on your point of view — the rise of the MCU is what kickstarted the craze for cinematic universes that we’ve had to endure over the past decade plus change. And yet the generally agreed declining quality of the MCU in recent years is leading to the argument that the Marvel Cinematic Universe… Well, isn’t.
As one impassioned, and disappointed, Redditor shared on the r/MarvelStudios sub, “I think it’s time to be realistic and realize the MCU isn’t a Cinematic universe anymore, it’s a brand.” The fan goes on to discuss their view that what made the Infinity Saga a cinematic universe was that it was all truly interconnected, but the Multiverse Saga is proving to be a misnomer as most of the releases in Phases Four and Five so far have had “nothing to do with the multiverse.”
Interestingly, few in the comments disagreed with the OP’s point and admitted that, yes, the MCU is more of a brand than a cinematic universe these days. What not everyone can agree on, however, is if that’s actually a problem or not. “I agree it definitely isn’t a cinematic universe anymore, hasn’t been for quite some time now,” said one, while another thinks this worrying is blown way out of proportion: “It’s both. Y’all act like it’s the end of days.” Some, meanwhile, have had their eyes open since day one. “It always has been,” one commented.
It certainly is easy to argue that the MCU is a brand, as the snowballing popularity the franchise earned as it grew and grew is very much a case of successful brand recognition. But is Marvel resting on its laurels a bit at this point and is less worried about tying it all together than simply releasing new content under the MCU umbrella? It’s hard to say from this vantage point of the middle of the Multiverse Saga. The full picture will only become clear once Avengers: Secret Wars finally arrives in 2027.