The success story of the Marvel cinematic universe and its impact on culture (part 1)
On Monday, April 29, in Russia started rolling the final picture in the current phase of the marvel cinematic universe- “Avengers: Final” (Avengers: Endgame). Marvel together with Disney went to this 11 years, released 22 films and quite seriously changed the attitude of the community to comics — both classic print and their film adaptations.
I will talk about the American comic book industry, as Marvel is, in General, one of the American companies represented in this market. More recently, the love of these picture books among teenagers and young people was often considered something shameful. Some argued that comic book lovers were hiding from the harsh unfriendly world in a world not real, hiding from the pale reality in acid colors. Comic books were the marker is not very adapted in the society of the individual (although this want to argue, citing attendance figures of various comic-laws: there are the crowds going, oops).Before the marvel cinematic universe (MCU) at the hearing of the inhabitants were, perhaps, only Batman, Superman, spider-Man, the Hulk and the x-Men team. The names of other superheroes could be heard only in the circle of those who read the comics. I distinctly remember how in words, training italics, clumsily deduced the phrase “Peter Parker-spider” twenty-thirty times on the page, and many other marvel characters did not hear for a long time.
In an effort to stay afloat, Marvel in the early noughties sold the rights to the film adaptation of spider-Man Sony, and the X — Men-Fox. Sam Raimi’s” spider “— the first two films, at least — still looks interesting, and “X-Men” brought superhero teams to the big screens. But something was missing. And near the end of zero Marvel realized what-wholeness.At such large editions as DC and Marvel, characters of different lines often intersect with each other because exist in one General universe. They can fight each other, just drink coffee or oppose a common enemy. Such crossovers, creating a complete world around the characters, and different printed comics from kinokontrol. Marvel decided to change this, transferring to the screens is not the story of a particular character, but the history of the whole universe, in which these characters are several.
You can argue: here, there were “x-Men”, there are several characters, and even a lot of movies came out! Yes, but these films fit into the classic Hollywood of those years linear system of sequels, prequels, other sequels and backstories with rare spin-offs. Marvel also proposed the development of several parallel stories, which tied together the ultimate crossover “the Avengers” in 2012.Start MCU put the picture “Iron man”, the success of which even the creators themselves were not one hundred percent sure. Character was quite not on hearing, in films and serials not emerged, outside the US about offense hardly who heard, and in cinemas rattled dismal “Dark knight” Nolan’s, markedly otlichavshiysya on character from movie, so venture was risky. But at the time of the release of “Iron man,” Marvel and Disney already knew that one film — and one character — is not limited.
Not only that, Iron man as a character is not particularly well-known, so also to play him put a man with not the best reputation-Robert Downey Jr., and in the Director’s chair put Jon Favreau, who is an experienced Director is difficult to call. However, this tandem ensured the film’s success. The script included many moments with improvisation, which added to the action of liveliness and humanity and helped the audience to feel quite controversial Tony stark. And the charisma of Downey Jr., who perfectly fit into the image of a genius, billionaire, playboy and philanthropist, won many.In isolation from Marvel, “Iron man” is a good action movie with a bright, ambiguous character, changing in the process of the picture, with not the most cardboard villain, with juicy action and with the amazing idea that even a person without superpowers, born on planet Earth, not bitten by anyone and not irradiated, can become a hero. I, however, still took out the idea that the best superpower is an engineering education, multiplied by a mountain of money — and, apparently, not only me: “Iron man” managed to make science and engineering cool and draw the attention of many teenagers to the exact Sciences. But it was Tony stark’s humanity, his, you might say, ordinariness, that allowed people to love him.
The success of this picture, the first in the MCU, slightly overshadowed the failure of “the Incredible Hulk” with Edward Norton, released just a couple of weeks later. This movie among all released by Marvel, still remains the least profitable. But the machine for the production of superhero video content has already been launched and the plan continued to implement. Released the second “Iron man” and a couple of solo films – “Thor” and ” Captain America: the first avenger.” All these pictures were riddled with references to each other, full of Easter eggs for fans and hinted at something more — the very crossover that comics are famous for.In 2012, “the Avengers” came out, in which six very different superheroes came together to fight back against a common enemy. This film connected all the previously presented characters together, definitively defined them into one universe and allowed them to interact together. Joss Whedon created from “the Avengers” perfect entertaining picture, filled with action, jokes, references to the original comics, human relationships and strategically hung on the walls of guns.
After they all went as on the thumb. There were sequels of films of characters-one more “Iron man”, one more “Thor”, one more “Captain America”, expanding the universe, deepening characters of existing characters and introducing in it new. And on this Foundation of successful movies came out completely experimental picture — “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “ant-Man”.Comedy kosmoopera, in which one of the main characters are a talking raccoon and a tree, previously would have attracted the attention of only those who read about them the original comics. Now, however, these characters, traveling in a team of slightly less strange creatures, were gladly watched by those who had previously watched previously released Marvel movies. People were drawn not only to the unusual characters, but also to the comics themselves, and the love for them ceased to be stigmatized. Comics have become a full-fledged part of modern popular culture, not the lot of nerds. And the popularity of comics has grown not only in the homeland of films, in the United States, but also in the world.
Experimentalism “Custody” lies not only in the set of heroes, but in the type of a picture. This is not just a boevichok-the action in it is transferred to space. It has a wonderful soundtrack of the hits of the last century, perfectly blends into the unfolding circus on the screen. It traces the idea inherent in the “Avengers” of “team perforce” – a group of people United by a common goal and forced to work together to achieve it. And the experiment was a success. The leader of this motley team was Chris Pratt, previously known for Comedy roles and brought this right share of idiocy and Comedy to the image of the Star Lord.”Ant-man” also flirts with genres: it can already be called a crime Comedy, because the center of the whole story becomes a very thoughtful theft. Yes, this theft is carried out by a man who can shrink to subatomic size thanks to an amazing costume. But Hey, there’s even a battle scene with the main villain on the train there, like in adult action movies! So the canons are observed. Turned inside out, mocked, seasoned with the ordinariness and bad luck of Paul Rudd’s character, but observed.
The culmination of this phase was another crossover – “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, which added drama to the franchise. If before most films were entertainment gum, then in “Ultron” (and before him-even in the third “Iron man”) touched on quite heavy themes of loss, destruction, life with his past and the inevitability of the future. The film was too serious in contrast to most previously released pictures, but in terms of plot gave the franchise a huge boost.In the third phase, which started in 2016 and ended this Monday, the lines of already famous characters continued to catch up with the drama and seriousness, but launched several important projects. Important both in terms of the franchise itself and in terms of their impact on the culture. For example, Marvel and Disney managed to negotiate with Sony and partially regain spider-Man — the most, perhaps, known until recently, the marvel character. His appearance was expected by many, because the story of a friendly neighbor is just close to many.
He was created in comics as a role model, trying to explain to young people that everyone can make this world a better place. Peter Parker’s life outside of costume is very ordinary. He is not chasing fame, for the recognition of the whole world — but he wants this world, or even just his district, to help. And such a bright character in this universe is simply necessary. And by the way, if at first half of the world box office films MCU did the United States with Canada, by the time of the release of “spider-Man” already two-thirds of fees generated by other countries.Except Peter in this phase debuted T’challa, king hidden from world African state Wakanda, and his solo the film contributed simply invaluable us, residents Russia, contribution in Afro-American (and not only American) culture. Most superheroes — classic, at least-are white men, and the appearance of an entire film from a black Director with an almost entirely black cast and skillfully woven into the plot of traditional African scenery and cultural characteristics is very important in the modern world.
This, however, the cultural influence of the “Black Panther” is not limited. After the release of the film, they say, a lot of girls wanted to become as cool as Princess Shuri Wakanda, and begin to study robotics, physics and other technical disciplines. Approximately the same effect, only among boys, was achieved by the release of “spider-Man”.Most recently released “Captain marvel” is also important from the point of view of culture, because the character turned out not to be a classic version of a superhero girl in tight spandex with correctly positioned cutouts, but a mischievous and practical girl who can not and does not want to give up. And it was the first Marvel movie dedicated to a superheroine. For all time of existence of the company.