After 15 years and a vast archive of movies and shows, there are plenty of things that should never be said to an MCU fan. It’s no secret that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the more impressive undertakings in the world of filmmaking with its interconnected narrative spanning over 40 projects since 2008. While it’s not without its criticisms and shortcomings, there are some easy ways to annoy an MCU fan by bringing up some of the oldest arguments, questions, and negative opinions.
Having concluded the Infinity Saga in 2019, the MCU is currently in the middle of its Multiverse Saga which will culminate with two new Avengers films in 2026 and 2027 (Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars). In that time, there are a series of common complaints and criticisms that will likely get a Marvel fan to grit their teeth and roll their eyes. Here are 10 of the biggest things that should never be said to an MCU fan (unless you’re trying to get them to Hulk out).
10 The Stan Lee Cameos Ruin Immersion
One common criticism is that the Infinity Saga’s ongoing cameos from Stan Lee in various roles ruin the immersion of the interconnected universe and its continuity. Although the cameos admittedly disrupt the immersion to a degree, it’s well worth it for the biggest MCU fans. The meta-ness and small amount of immersion-ruining are all part of the overall MCU’s charm. Likewise, the cameos are now sorely missed by many, as the late Stan Lee’s final cameo occurs during the events of Avengers: Endgame.
9 Comic Book Movies Are For Kids
While it’s somewhat died down over time, there’s been a predominant perception in the mainstream that comic book movies are just for younger demographics. While that’s certainly true for some movies, many are absolutely not appropriate for children catering instead to older audiences. Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool franchise is a prime example as well as Marvel’s Defenders shows which originally aired on Netflix. Comic book universes such as the MCU as well as Warner Bros.’ DC Universe have quite an archive of characters, some of which are only meant for more mature eyes.
8 Thanos’ Plan Doesn’t Really Make Sense
A big MCU criticism is that Thanos’ initial plan in the Infinity Saga doesn’t make sense, beginning with giving Loki the Mind Stone to claim the Space Stone as well as hiring Ronan to get the Power Stone as seen in Guardians of the Galaxy. In truth, the more bizarre elements of Thanos’ plan are indicative of Marvel Studios’ impressive ability to react and be flexible with their narratives for the sake of the overarching plot. It’s a big reason why the interconnected universe concept has worked as well as it has over the years. Furthermore, a greater suspension of disbelief comes with territory when watching comic book movies.
7 The DCEU Is Better Than The MCU
A great way to annoy an MCU fan is to make the argument that the DCEU’s movies and its connected universe is somehow better than Marvel Studios’. There’s no denying that there are individual DCEU films that are just as good as individual Marvel films (if not better). However, it’s hard to successfully argue that the DCEU is the better universe overall when looking at success rates. In their respective totalities, the DCEU has made many more mistakes with fewer successes both critically and commercially, hence the fact that their entire universe will soon be rebooted in 2025 beginning with James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy.
6 Smart Hulk is Better Than The OG Hulk
Following the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk merged into one being commonly known as Smart Hulk or Professor Hulk. This has largely been seen by many MCU fans as a mistake considering how underpowered and out of character Banner’s become now that he’s merged with his greener half. As such, to claim that Smart Hulk is somehow better than the classic and more powerful version would likely draw plenty of raised eyebrows from MCU fans.
5 There’s Too Many Jokes In The MCU
Color and comedy in the MCU have always been defining traits of the MCU. This is especially true compared to the darker and more serious DCEU. As such, an MCU fan would likely roll their eyes at the opinion that there’s too much humor and jokes. However, many MCU fans would likely agree that Thor: Love and Thunder notably wasted its more serious themes by having way too many jokes and gags per minute. That said, although more balance should be had in some places like the latest Thor movie, it’s unlikely that anyone would say that the movies and shows should have their humor wiped out completely.
4 The MCU Should Have Stopped After Endgame
Following a notable slump seen in recent projects, there’s been a growing opinion that the MCU should have stopped following the culminating events of Avengers: Endgame and its massive success. However, many hardcore MCU fans would argue that the best is still to come. Additionally, many of the best MCU projects have come after Endgame including Spider-Man: No Way Home, WandaVision, Loki, Moon Knight, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and more.
3 Agents of SHIELD Isn’t MCU Canon
There’s a classic argument that ABC’s Agents of SHIELD is no longer part of the established MCU canon. Major tie-in episodes connected to movies such as Captain America: Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World, and even Avengers: Infinity War. However, the movies themselves never referenced the events of the beloved show such as Agent Coulson’s resurrection nor his team’s secret role in the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
As a result, the debate about the show’s canonicity has raged, especially with later seasons referencing the events of the movies less and less. However, there are next to no MCU canon contradictions in the show itself, so there shouldn’t be an issue continuity-wise if the show was indeed confirmed to be canonical. Ultimately, the majority of MCU fans are hoping that the debate around SHIELD’s canon status will be put to rest with the official new MCU timeline guide.
2 MCU Movies Aren’t Real Cinema
Filmmaker Martin Scorsese has notably shared his belief that Marvel films aren’t “real cinema“. He’s instead compared them to amusement park rides providing the same kind of thrill and excitement while not actually carrying the substance of all a movie can provide. However, most MCU fans would strongly disagree, especially when considering the fact that there are so many different kinds of MCU movies and shows to be enjoyed and experienced belonging to a variety of different sub-genres. Several MCU movies are full of heart and explore genuine struggles, featuring groundbreaking performances the likes of which of more than worthy of being considered “cinema”.
1 The MCU Is Too Big And Confusing
Another classic mainstream criticism is that the MCU has become far too big and confusing to actually be enjoyable. However, many MCU fans would argue that this is what makes the interconnected universe so entraining and unique. MCU movies and shows can be enjoyed both individually or together as part of a greater narrative tapestry, a rare cinematic legacy that is now 15 years old. Not every single person has to enjoy the totality of the MCU or the biggest crossovers, though that’s certainly an option to get the most out of what the MCU has to offer.
Key Release Dates
Captain America: Brave New World
Marvel’s Fantastic Four
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty
Avengers: Secret Wars
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