Posted by Nodima, Fri Jul-16-21 12:50 AM
Like, in some ways it's a pretty cynical move from Marvel. They're looking at all the re-cast superheroes and villains across time (I actually think Toby Maguire as Spider-Man is still the lock on the door even if Spider-Verse proved to be the key) and realizing that they've built the sort of beast that, even if it falters from it's phase 3 height, is basically an impenetrable fortress at this point. Marvel doesn't need to tell a decade-long story anymore (though it will) and it doesn't need central characters anymore (though it will have them), instead it has the constumes and the action and the "who knows who and who is where" question looming over everything now. They can tell just about any story they want and put any sort of actor in those suits, just like in the comics, but for now they've managed to maintain that everything is related to the core story they'd been telling for 15 years now.
The ending of this Loki series gives them an out for everything, from Steve and Tony dying to having to remember how they wrapped up the Hulk storyline or where they left Wanda in that cabin. Thanos can even come back as the villain for a movie if Brolin is available and they get desperate for a compelling performance. Everything is on the table now and anecdotally it seems like one 20 minute performance, essentially entirely table setting and monologue, from Jonathan Majors sold it to all but the most casual surface level MCU watcher.
From a corporate stance you could call it safe, I guess, but from a storytelling stance Marvel is really asking theater audiences to fully give themselves over to the machine in a way that really only comic book and maybe video game people are used to. And the consensus seems to be that the answer to that ask is "yes please!"
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