When will Superhero (MCU) Fatigue Finally Kick In?

Superhero fatigue is the idea that the rave and hype around the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), amongst other franchises, like the X-Men universe is limited, and isn’t going to last forever.  This is fairly logical, in hindsight, big film universes like the MCU die out all the time, or people just become tired of them – like has recently been the case with Star Wars, to an extent. Star Wars is by no means “dead”, just a lot of people are getting tired of the series because of highly criticised movies, such as “The Last Jedi” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story”.   

Whilst Star Wars is struggling, in terms of widely perceived quality and excitement, relative to franchises like it, the MCU and all-round the superhero genre is thriving.  Don’t get me wrong, I love both franchises – I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was around 4, and I really like the MCU, so I really have no bias against either.

Murmurs of Superhero Fatigue are already being heard, but the numbers are not backing that.  Marvel’s latest big blockbuster (not including AntMan and the Wasp), Infinity War, earnt $630m on its first weekend (according to the BBC), compared to Avengers: Assemble’s relatively meer $207m (according to BoxOffice Mojo).  This is surely the sign of a franchise on the rise, which is objectively true, but I’m here to argue why people will start to get tired of the MCU post Avengers: Endgame.

1 – Contracts

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Avengers 4 will likely see the last appearances of most of the original Avengers cast, namely Captain America and Iron Man.  Whether these characters will continue to appear in cameos is unknown, but most of the actors’ contracts are expiring soon with the MCU, and it is unlikely that they will resign, at least without negotiation.  Without the likes of Iron Man and Captain America, I can’t see the franchise doing as well as it currently does. People have been connected to these characters for 10 years, and the MCU just wouldn’t be the same without them.   Though Marvel don’t lack in characters – they have the likes of Thor, Doctor Strange and Spiderman at their disposal, it is almost definitely going to be tough if they end up without some of the original Avengers cast.

That being said, there is a chance that these characters will still appear in cameos and small roles like that – my favourite idea being that Iron Man will act as Spiderman’s mentor even without the suite – but I’m not too sure.

2 – Avengers 4 Is the Climax

Avengers 4 is being marketed as the climax to 10 years worth of movies – in fact, so was Infinity War.  Obviously, the MCU isn’t going to end, I’m assuming just the arch of all the original Avengers cast. There are a lot of films to come after Avengers 4, and Marvel have been claiming that the MCU will enter “Phase 2” once Avengers 4 is over.  Despite this, Avengers 4 is going to be big, and a lot of people are already getting tired of the hype. I imagine a significant portion of viewers are only going to watch the film to see the climax to what they have been watching since 2008, when Iron Man kicked everything off.   

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Above this, the whole 10 years of films have been building to a fight with Thanos, with the character being teased right from Avengers: Assemble.  There is nothing really to build to after Avengers 4, which is at least obvious to me. I haven’t heard of a villain as hyped of Thanos, and I don’t think we will ever see anything as big as this part of the MCU, unless DC manage to pull off a miracle and make the DCEU work.    

Conclusion

I am not saying all of our favourite characters, like Iron Man and Captain America are going to be killed off in Avengers 4.  I’m also not saying that Spiderman and Black Panther are not great characters, or characters with a big enough fan base – I’m saying that the original Avengers are all so big characters that the MCU would take a hit without them.  No matter how the next film plays out, I’m sure we will never be short of superhero movies, and as a big Marvel fan myself, and even if superhero fatigue does kick in, I’m sure we still will not be without movies to enjoy featuring our favourite heros.  

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