The Marvel Universe Is Reaching For The Stars – Forbes

ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 15: Producer Kevin Feige, the hand that guides Marvel’s cinematic universe. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

In his latest interview with CinemaBlend, Marvel’s Kevin Feige stated that the next few Marvel movies will be “as much [in space] as they are on Earth.”  

It’s been confirmed that elements of the Planet Hulk storyline are being adapted for Thor: Ragnarok, and that the Guardians of the Galaxy will make an appearance in Avengers: Infinity War. Both bold, ambitious choices that prove the MCU is happy to fully embrace the peculiarity and complexity of Marvel’s lore.

With each phase of their plan, Marvel has been experimenting with boundaries. Before Marvel reacquired the rights to Spider-Man, Phase One tested the waters with “B-list” heroes – Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man. All were vaguely known to the general public but didn’t inspire much excitement beyond the realm of comic-book aficionados. The climax of Phase One, The Avengers, proved that the public did indeed love these characters, as Marvel had laid the necessary groundwork into making us care about them.

Phase Two played with guest appearances as the characters casually popped into one another’s films, and steadily built toward the upcoming Infinity War. The studio also introduced some of its lesser-known and seemingly unpalatable characters, like the patently ridiculous Ant-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy. With Guardians, the bland, murky Marvel universe embraced a gaudy and glittery visual, similar to what the original Thor pioneered. It also introduced a universe teeming with colorful alien life that surrounds, and in a way, contrasts with, the reasonably grounded, superhero-dense Earth that we’re familiar with.

Melding these two very different realities together presents interesting challenges and opportunities. Tony Stark’s worldly struggles don’t seem to exist in a psychedelic space opera, and yet, that is the universe in which he inhabits. But this rich, over-saturated universe offers the opportunity for the more fantastical of Marvel’s characters, such as Hulk, Thor, and Doctor Strange, to be as weird as they were designed to be. All three of these characters routinely undergo adventures in the comics akin to the backstory behind a heavy metal album cover. Iron Man, Captain America, Falcon, and the other “cyborg” characters can stay and take care of Earth’s problems, with their comparatively primitive Earth technology.  

The Marvel universe is expanding quickly, and now consists of a curious fusion between science fiction, fantasy and space opera. To the average comic book fan this is nothing new, but to the average cinemagoer, the only real comparison is Star Wars.

Star Wars boasts a rather unique blend of fantasy and sci-fi, ancient mysticism and laser swords. But Star Wars doesn’t have to worry about small-scale television drama.

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