Personal stakes are important for the MCU’s heroes, as showcased in The Avengers when the team only united after the death of Phil Coulson. Adding emotional depth helps ground the narrative.
Real-world settings connect with the audience and imply plausibility, making the location an important aspect. The Battle of New York’s impact in The Avengers demonstrates how a real-world setting contributes to the story’s success.
Though the landscape of the MCU has changed a great deal since Phase 1, there are actually some key lessons that its upcoming films can learn from 2012’s The Avengers. Starting with 2008’s Iron Man, the movies of the MCU were created to make up the fabric of one of cinema’s most impressive shared universes. After introducing multiple heroes in standalone movies, they banded together in The Avengers, forming a version of the iconic superhero team on the big screen in a moment that has arguably defined the MCU ever since
The film saw the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye brought together by Nick Fury in order to stop Loki from enslaving Earth. By bringing together members of the Avengers in live-action, The Avengers was a truly groundbreaking moment for superhero cinema. Even though the majority of its heroes have either died, retired, or undergone significant changes in subsequent movies, The Avengers still forms the basic template for a perfect superhero team-up movie, and upcoming MCU Avengers movies would do well to follow in its footsteps.
10 Tension Between Avengers Should Be Embraced
A key plot point throughout The Avengers is the difficulty the heroes have in teaming up. Though much of this is revealed to be the manipulations of Loki, it still created an interesting atmosphere: by highlighting the natural tension between heroes who are used to working alone, The Avengers lent a touch of realism to the chemistry of its cast. Tension helps to show that though they may be superheroes, the Avengers are also people with conflicting ideas and ideals, and that’s something that Avengers 5 could benefit greatly from.
9 Personal Stakes Are A Must
Naturally, the Avengers only band together to stop villains threatening the world or universe on a major scale, but that doesn’t negate the need for smaller stakes, too. In The Avengers, the team only forms a cohesive unit after the death of Phil Coulson, highlighting that personal stakes are just as important for the MCU’s heroes as the potential destruction or subjugation of Earth. Giving an Avengers story a more personal and emotional note for its heroes is a perfect way of grounding even the most outlandish narrative, as evidenced by the fact that it was one of The Avengers‘ most powerful moments, the inclusion of an Avengers-level threat notwithstanding.
8 Real-World Settings Work Better Than Desolate Landscapes
The conclusion of The Avengers was the Battle of New York, in which Loki led a host of Chitauri to Earth in an attempt to enslave humanity. The ramifications of the battle were felt for years after in the MCU, with stories referencing it even a full decade later. Although subsequent Avengers movies have largely moved away from having large-scale battles in real-world locations, this actually subtly hurts the overall story for the audience. Real-world locations help the audience to connect with the story and subtly imply plausibility, making the simple matter of location an important part of The Avengers‘ success.
7 Humor Needs To Be Balanced With Emotion
One of the biggest strengths of The Avengers is its delicate balance of gravity and levity. Despite it being the franchise’s most serious story at the time, it was also one of the MCU’s funniest movies, counteracting the depth of its narrative with frequent moments of comedy. This balance is something that has slipped somewhat in recent entries into the MCU, but rediscovering the formula established by the first Avengers movie would be perfect for Avengers 5.
6 Starting & Ending Specific Hero Arcs In Team-Up Movies Isn’t Necessary
The Avengers may have introduced the titular team into the MCU, but subsequent Avengers movies have either introduced new Avengers, marked endings for specific heroes’ narrative arcs, or a combination of the two. With their ranks swelling with each new entry into the MCU, Avengers 5 needs to re-establish the idea that team-up movies don’t need to be franchise-changing stories. The Avengers worked because it established a simple idea – the formation of the team – but didn’t need to introduce or kill off any major heroes in the process of its story.
5 Nick Fury Needs A Bigger Role In Avengers 5
The Avengers saw Nick Fury gather his most powerful allies and form a team of Earth’s mightiest heroes, but the character has been distinctly absent from subsequent Avengers movies. His continued role in the franchise makes him one of the best candidates to guide a new team of Avengers after the death of Iron Man and Steve Rogers’ retirement. Having Nick Fury gather the next generation of Avengers would be the most fitting way to continue the team’s story in Avengers 5, particularly as the former SHIELD director has been distinctly absent from the team’s stories since The Avengers.
4 Balancing Heroes’ Powers Is Key (But Increasingly Difficult)
In The Avengers, chemistry was key, and that incorporates the powers of its heroes. The Battle of New York remains one of the MCU’s best fight scenes for a remarkably simple reason: its heroes use their powers and abilities to truly work as a team. Having the likes of Thor and Iron Man carry flightless Avengers around the city or Stark using his suit’s technology to help Hawkeye time his attacks on the Chitauri make for incredible moments because they clearly demonstrate why the heroes are so much more powerful than the sum of their parts, making it an absolute must for Avengers 5.
The first Avengers movie featured just six heroes. With each subsequent team-up, their ranks had grown, leading to an impressive but somewhat bloated roster of heroes in the MCU. Though huge-scale battles with as many Avengers as possible make for epic scenes, it’s not entirely necessary, as proven in Phase 1 by The Avengers. Should Avengers 5 follow suit and feature a smaller roster of heroes, it would allow for each of their roles to be better defined. What’s more, it also allows each hero a reasonable amount of attention and screen time, making them integral to the story rather than glorified cameos during a battle sequence.
2 The Focus Should Stay On The Team, Not Individual Heroes
Though examining heroes as individuals makes for excellent stories, this is best achieved in solo movies. The Avengers didn’t progress the arcs of specific MCU heroes but rather the team as a whole, and that helped to keep its plot balanced and cohesive. Spending too much time focusing on the arc of one or two specific heroes can make a team-up movie feel distinctly imbalanced, so keeping the focus on their collective potential is a must for Avengers 5. Luckily, The Avengers laid the perfect template for doing just that, even if it has been all but forgotten in subsequent Avengers films.
1 Not Every Avengers Story Should Directly Adapt The Comics
Though the franchise is based on the comics, the MCU cannot use every storyline, and it doesn’t actually need to. The Avengers wasn’t a direct adaptation of a comic story but rather borrowed a handful of ideas from different Marvel stories, and its story felt original and fresh while also furthering the franchise’s overall narrative arc. Other Avengers movies have sought to focus on specific stories, and though Avengers 5 is tipped to do the same, it’s not entirely necessary. If the sequel was to borrow an idea from The Avengers, it could combine the essence of multiple comic stories while delivering new and exciting ideas into the MCU.
Key Release Dates
Captain America: Brave New World
Marvel’s Fantastic Four
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty
Avengers: Secret Wars
Avengers 5 should return to the MCU’s roots. Read More