For the first time since 2009, Marvel hasn’t released a film this year due to the delays from the COVID-19 pandemic. This can cause problems for Marvel’s transition after the events of Avengers: Endgame. In Endgame, many characters died or retired from their posts as an Avenger. This leaves hole to fill for who will be the next generation of leaders in the Marvel franchise. Thanks to the deep backstory and immense potential, the next era of the franchise will be better than the previous.
The first decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced a diverse set of characters each with their own storylines. Iron Man introduced Tony Stark, who served as the founder and tech guru for many Avengers operations. He has a long story arc that develops over the course of many films. He changes from a cold hearted eccentric billionaire to using his money and tech to try to provide world peace. He then becomes convinced superheros and the avengers need a governing body through the UN but a fight ensues because other avengers disagree. At the end of his story arc before he dies he realizes the world will always need avengers willing to step up to fight for what's right and protect earth. Every marvel character has detailed stories like this with long character arcs over many films. This allows for many plots and sub plots to be fleshed out for endless films in the future.
Each movie is produced with great care and attention to detail with the overall narrative in mind. This makes crossovers seamless and enjoyable. Take Bruce Banner’s story as a case study. It starts out as a science experiment gone wrong that makes him a monster, called Hulk, that feeds on rage. Over time we learn more of Hulk and the relationship between him and Bruce. His character arc ends in him combining aspects of Hulk and Bruce to become smart Hulk. The thing is, besides the 2008 film, he’s never had a standalone movie. Almost all of Bruce Banner and Hulk’s stories are told throughout bits and pieces of other movies. The same goes for another fan favorite, Loki. He never had a standalone movie but arguably had the most character development of anybody in the MCU. He went from a loyal brother of Thor who fought with him, to craving world domination and hating his father. His plans are foiled and over time after subsequent events his relationship with Thor slowly recovers. This is all possible because the narrative and storyline Marvel is trying to create isn't restricted to one movie. There is a grand plan that glues all the standalone movies together to tell one over all story.Most movie franchises only think one movie ahead and that's why sequels and trequels plummet in quality and merit the old adage that “nothing beats the originals.” This aspect allowed Marvel to create a great foundation by developing stories and characters in each other's own movies. That means the next group of characters already have been introduced and the next era doesn’t seem like a reboot or continuation.
This solid foundation allows new installments in the franchise to spend less time introducing context. Viewers already know the history and characters without need for reintroduction. This adds to the riches of the story and expends how much time can be spent on other aspects of the films. This can allow for longer action scenes, deeper subplots, a more dynamic villain, time to set up future films, more comedic bits or longer and more meaningful dialogue. This allows for Marvel to dive right into future films with a headstart which will improve other aspects of the movie. This is unique to any movie franchise but what truly makes this unique to marvel is that producers plan the story years in advance so every film fits perfectly into some ultra mega big narrative. That’s why the story has been so compact and collected for an eye popping 23 movies.