While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still wildly popular among comic book movie fans, it’s clear that the franchise has taken a dip in general audience approval in the past few years. Many movie-goers are citing superhero fatigue as a primary reason for this — claiming the studio is only producing “more of the same” with each new outing. With projects like The Boys, Gen V and Invincible tackling superhero storytelling with a more visceral approach, there is a definite shift in the superhero spectrum that audiences seem to be responding positively to.
The MCU needs to begin combating the fatigue audiences have been feeling toward their more classic superhero fare in order to evolve with the genre. Despite all their recent issues, even DC films have taken a page from this playbook with James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. The MCU would benefit from producing certain films that take place under a more adult-oriented umbrella. Thankfully, it seems to already be heading in the right direction with Deadpool 3, but there is one other X-group that seems tailor-made for this purpose.
X-Statix tells the story of self-entitled super-humans who are more interested in marketing themselves as a brand as opposed to performing any actual super-heroics despite being more than capable of pulling off feats of heroism if the timing — and paycheck — is right. The early-2000s run of comics from writer Peter Milligan and artist Michael Allred is as violent as it is comical and as absurd as it is profound. While similar in concept to The Boys, the hook for X-Statix in a live-action format would be the opportunity to see this type of story told within the larger MCU. Most MCU heroes are treated earnestly and, despite the tongue-in-cheek humor found in most Marvel films, are meant to be taken seriously for the most part. However, with the aforementioned non-MCU superhero projects growing rapidly in popularity, this approach to the storytelling could be viewed as antiquated by many. It may be far more interesting to have the established MCU roster interact with the characters found in X-Statix.
X-Statix would offer the MCU the opportunity to step outside the box, creatively. Featuring characters like “Mr. Sensitive” Guy Smith, Dead Girl, U-Go Girl, Venus Dee Milo, Phat or even the team’s mascot and cameraman Doop would open up a wide range of possibilities for Kevin Feige. It would allow the long running cinematic universe to implement a more mature approach to the violence and humor that the MCU presents. The extremely bizarre powers and personalities of these characters would leave no room for the earnest take on heroes found in Phases 1-3 of the MCU and would provide fans with a true breath of fresh air within the franchise.
With Deadpool 3 already well on its way, Disney and the MCU are demonstrating that they’re willing to take a leap into the R-rated world of superheroes. It can be argued that they are only taking this risk on Deadpool 3 because of the overwhelming success that franchise saw during its time at Fox. However, if the film proves as successful as the previous two entries in the series, Disney would almost certainly be more open to the idea of a full push toward more mature superhero content.
An X-Statix film — or a show following the same structure as The Boys for Disney+ — would be the perfect companion to Deadpool 3. One notable character from the early X-Statix run, Zeitgeist, has already interacted with Deadpool in Deadpool 2 as a member of the doomed X-Force. While his fate was to be eaten alive by a wood chipper, anything could happen to bring the character back given the MCU’s reliance on the multiverse as of late. It doesn’t hurt that Zeitgeist was played by popular actor Bill Skarsgård, who would unquestionably be a welcome addition to the MCU. With all these pieces already in place and beginning to emerge on the MCU’s horizon, there’s a clear opening to take advantage of X-Statix and tap into this unrealized prospect.
A Change Within the MCU Is Necessary
With several of the MCU’s original heavy hitters like Iron Man, Captain America, Scarlet Witch and perhaps even Thor having run their course, now marks the perfect time to make this conscious shift in storytelling so that the franchise can grow with its audience. In another possible sign of this shift, Daredevil: Born Again marks the full-length return of the popular character as portrayed by Charlie Cox. With news dropping recently that production on Daredevil: Born Again has been restarted in order retool the series from the ground up, audiences are hoping that this development means that the character will be put more in-line with the original Netflix series as opposed to his off-brand — yet admittedly entertaining — appearance in She Hulk: Attorney At Law.
The reintroduction of Daredevil represents yet another chance for Disney and the MCU to move toward distinctly more adult stories with a sect of their programming. With Daredevil, Deadpool and various other 20th Century Studios franchises finally being brought into the fold, X-Statix is the perfect title to firmly establish a new direction for the MCU. There would be no mistaking the attempt at a tonal facelift for the franchise if X-Statix were to debut alongside teams like X-Men and Fantastic Four. Audiences have already proven that they’d be more than willing to follow this new direction if one were to take the successes Amazon Prime has seen with their various superhero projects and the MCU would be smart to follow suit.
While MCU’s fourth phase has been a fun interlude between the Infinity Saga and what’s to come, it’s clear that there needs to be an emphasis on fresh storytelling moving forward. It may already be well-tread ground at this point to introduce more risqué heroes and scenarios into the world of live-action superhero media, but it’d be entirely fresh for the MCU and its audience. Deadpool 3 is opening the door for these types of stories to begin trickling in, and an X-Statix project would undoubtedly help cure the fatigue fans are feeling from the most recent slate of Marvel movies.
Many movie-goers are claiming to be suffering from superhero fatigue in regards to the MCU, but one team in particular could help cure that. Read More