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MCU: Phases? What Phases???


Rhom
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That's harsh. It's not like it's conscious. It's more of an unconscious bias thing, IMO.

Unfortunately, if you're talking about superheroes online, you can't help but run into this phenomenon where people talk about how 'iconic' certain superheroes are and how they're better than the modern versions in some way they can't properly or consistently articulate. And it has to do, IMO, with the origins of the genre and what superheroes represent in a culture where traditionally white men have been the chosen paragons in almost all walks of life. It's something we all were brought up inside. The difference is whether we acknowledge it and come to grips with it, or whether we get annoyed and take it personally and refuse to even look at the subject too closely for whatever reason.

I was largely teasing earlier, but yeah, it does seem like we have an instance of that on this thread.

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36 minutes ago, mormont said:

That's harsh. It's not like it's conscious. It's more of an unconscious bias thing, IMO.

Unfortunately, if you're talking about superheroes online, you can't help but run into this phenomenon where people talk about how 'iconic' certain superheroes are and how they're better than the modern versions in some way they can't properly or consistently articulate. And it has to do, IMO, with the origins of the genre and what superheroes represent in a culture where traditionally white men have been the chosen paragons in almost all walks of life. It's something we all were brought up inside. The difference is whether we acknowledge it and come to grips with it, or whether we get annoyed and take it personally and refuse to even look at the subject too closely for whatever reason.

I was largely teasing earlier, but yeah, it does seem like we have an instance of that on this thread.

Thing is, I think you genuinely believe this bollocks, you've repeated it one too many times for it to just be a joke. 

There are plenty of reasons why someone like Steve Rogers Captain America or Tony Stark as Iron Man or Bruce Banner Hulk are seen as more 'iconic' than other characters and none of them have to do with their race or sex. 

For instance, why are there so many stories about the Hulk going back through the decades, why has he proven so popular in the comics at numerous periods? It's not because Bruce Banner is white, there are a lot of very white, very unpopular comic characters that fell by the wayside. The Hulk is popular I would suggest because his character inhabits a relatable archetype and his story is easy to grasp, taps into something we all understand. The Hulk is quite often a story about someone trying to control the darker elements of their personality, being consumed by rage, a Jekyll and Hyde tale. He's also a massive green dude who smashes stuff and is pure anger. Thats pretty memorable. There is something so primal about the concept of Hulk that you see multiple different versions, with Hulk done numerous different ways, but always the idea is clear, whether its normal Hulk, Grey Hulk, Red Hulk, Immortal Hulk, World War Hulk.. the list goes on. 

Steve Rogers Cap has had ups and downs in the comic but the essential story of this incarnation of cap is pretty interesting, a WW2 hero, fish out of water, weakling turned super soldier, representing so called American values, he's a goody two shoes.. and hes covered in the American flag. He's pretty memorable and his story is quite compelling. Whatever you say about Sam Wilson's version of Cap, it simply doesn't have that backstory or those archetypical elements. If you want to tell me what makes Sam Wilson's character as compelling as Steve Rogers, and the best you can come up with is.. he's black, then you can see why there might be an issue.

And then Tony Stark, the iron man character has been around for decades and there are a lot of stories about Tony Stark and he is at his best when he's a conflicted, self destructive genius playboy. Sure RDJ added a lot of his own personality to the role but that character was already there for him to play. Iron Man isn't that interesting, though the suit is iconic and pretty recognisable (and I think that also plays a massive part), but Tony Stark was why the character was compelling. 

Essentially Marvel have thousands of characters on it's books, most of whom are white men due to the nature of comic book history, but it isn't being white and male that is making certain characters popular, otherwise we would see no difference in popularity between Iron man and .. i dunno.. Frog Man. Some characters have stood the test of time and have kept rising to the top because there is something inherently interesting about their character, that numerous writers are drawn to.

Why is Batman done over and over and over again? It's not cos he's a white man. It's because Batman is a character that people are drawn to. He's cool, he has an understandable backstory and motivation, he's flawed, but the character is also flexible enough to be done any number of ways and still be recognisable and interesting. 

So please, stop with this silliness. You are a smart guy, you should be doing better.

Edited by Heartofice
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Also worth remembering the point of comparison with Phase 1 would be just before Avengers; at that point First Avenger and Thor didn’t create any major waves, RDJ was acknowledged as great as Tony Stark but Iron Man 1 or 2 were hardly threatening Dark Knight as the dominant superhero film of the age. Everyone was still confused as to why they’d remade Hulk so soon.

It wasn’t until Phase 2 that things really started to snowball. So there’s definitely time. I just think they really need a benchmark team-up for a phase to work toward, phases 4 and 5 are the only two that don’t end with Avengers films. So Phase 4 has felt directionless so far. We’ve encountered the multiverse, and we’ve all assumed it’d have lasting effects on the MCU, but it hasn’t really. Both NWH and MoM were fairly self contained, and resolved themselves neatly enough. 

Hopefully The Marvels starts to pull on the thread of these Nega Band things / the Ten Rings and something starts to materialise there, and Quantumania starts to tie up Loki and the Multiverse a bit more. Then we can see a roadmap to where this is all going.

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1 hour ago, Heartofice said:

Thing is, I think you genuinely believe this bollocks, you've repeated it one too many times for it to just be a joke. 

Yes, i believe in unconscious bias, and I understand that you don't. That was my point. I can give you a list of scholarly articles discussing these points, but I've no reason to believe you'd read those with an open mind.

The rest of your post is attacking straw men. Nobody said that there aren't good comics stories about Iron Man, and as a huge fan of the character for the last forty years I completely understand what it is about the Hulk that makes him a rich and enduring storytelling vehicle. That's not the issue.

The issue is whether the phase 4 characters are or can be on that level, something you insist is self-evidently not the case, to the point of contemptuously dismissing the opinions of numerous people explaining that they disagree. That isn't a reasoned discussion, it's a knee-jerk reaction: one occasioned, I'm suggesting, by unconscious bias reflecting the model in popular culture of what an 'iconic' superhero is, how they look, how they behave, what attributes they do and don't have, and so on. 

It's a complex question, not a simple one. I appreciate that not everyone is comfortable with complexity. 

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6 minutes ago, mormont said:

Yes, i believe in unconscious bias, and I understand that you don't. That was my point. I can give you a list of scholarly articles discussing these points, but I've no reason to believe you'd read those with an open mind.

 

Hahah, oh save me your patronising silliness about unconscious bias. Come on.

Wasn't it you who was reducing my opinions down to unconscious bias? I mean what other reason could someone have for thinking some characters are more iconic and enduring than others.. other than some unconscious urge to be a white supremacist? 

Except then I gave a ton of reasons why some characters stand up better than others, which have nothing to do with their race or sex. So what is your answer to that? You have simply ignored it, because you know I am correct, and want to just come out on top as usual. Fine, you do you.
 

11 minutes ago, mormont said:

The issue is whether the phase 4 characters are or can be on that level, something you insist is self-evidently not the case, to the point of contemptuously dismissing the opinions of numerous people explaining that they disagree. That isn't a reasoned discussion, it's a knee-jerk reaction: one occasioned, I'm suggesting, by unconscious bias reflecting the model in popular culture of what an 'iconic' superhero is, how they look, how they behave, what attributes they do and don't have, and so on. 

I've just given you a bunch of examples of why some characters are more iconic than others, attributes such as recognisability, powerful relatable backstories, clear identifiable motivations and personalities with both positive and negative characteristics as well as the ability for writers to tell a variety of stories and go in different directions while staying true to the essence of the character. Plus more surface level stuff like cool powers, awesome aesthetics, the ability to be badass and inspiring. 

Thats the reason why Batman endures, why there are so many Batman stories, movies, comic books and cartoons. It isn't anything to do with unconscious bias at all, its nonsensical to suggest its even a factor. 
 

19 minutes ago, mormont said:

It's a complex question, not a simple one. I appreciate that not everyone is comfortable with complexity. 

If it's so complex why are you trying to give simple answers?

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56 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Wasn't it you who was reducing my opinions down to unconscious bias? I mean what other reason could someone have for thinking some characters are more iconic and enduring than others.. other than some unconscious urge to be a white supremacist? 

In fact I specifically said that it wasn't fair to say this was to do with an urge to be white supremacist. That's not what unconscious bias is about. I also noted that it was a mistake to take suggestions of unconscious bias personally. unconscious bias is to do with the inescapability of context, the society we all live in, the society these stories were and are written in. That society privileges and treats as the default white cis straight males.

We can see this in relation to superhero stories specifically. Look at the three iconic Marvel teams and their origins back in the '60s. FF: Reed is the scientist, Ben is the surly but good hearted bruiser, Johnny is the hotheaded kid, Sue is the girl. Avengers: Tony is the unruly genius, Thor the anachronistic powerhouse, Cap the noble man out of time, Hank the guy with a point to prove, Jan is the girl. X-Men: Iceman is the (ironically) hotheaded kid, Hank the loquacious brain, Scott the conflicted leader, Warren the playboy, Jean is the girl. 

One girl on each team, whose main personality trait was to be the girl. Notoriously, Stan wrote them all as virtually interchangeable, though later writers have done reparative work. No non-white or non-straight or non-cis people, because in the '60s that wouldn't have flown even if Stan had wanted to write it. When Stan and Jack did introduce black characters, their main character trait was being black. 

And all of that was a reflection of the context that Stan and Jack were raised and worked in. We've made some progress since then, but it remains the case that our main exemplars of what an 'iconic' superhero is are all white guys and that is because of societal bias. And because they are all white guys, that can't help but influence our perception of what an 'iconic' character is or looks like. All we can do is recognise that and take it into account. 

If we refuse to do so, then we're going to be unconsciously reflecting societal biases in our own judgements. 
 

Quote

I've just given you a bunch of examples of why some characters are more iconic than others, attributes such as recognisability, powerful relatable backstories, clear identifiable motivations and personalities with both positive and negative characteristics as well as the ability for writers to tell a variety of stories and go in different directions while staying true to the essence of the character. Plus more surface level stuff like cool powers, awesome aesthetics, the ability to be badass and inspiring.

Again, nobody's saying those characters don't have those things: they're saying that the phase 4 characters also have those things.  
 

Quote

If it's so complex why are you trying to give simple answers?

A simple answer would be a line or two, not the paragraphs I've just written. But yes, even the longer answers I've given here are necessarily something of a simplification because this is a message board. I don't have the time to write a critical essay about it. 

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1 hour ago, mormont said:

In fact I specifically said that it wasn't fair to say this was to do with an urge to be white supremacist. That's not what unconscious bias is about.

What you were suggesting was the I was subconsciously a white supremacist, that is how you wrote it. Maybe you intended something different but that is certainly how it came across, which is why I might get a little riled. 

As for your next point, yes I understand that the majority of super hero characters are white and male because that is the history of comics. However, your suggestion that someone has a preference for certain superheroes due to their race or gender is simply tantamount to calling them a racist. As I said there are numerous, identifiable characteristics when it comes to superheroes that means some have endured and become popular and some disappear from consciousness. In a world of mostly white male superheroes, why are we mostly only interested in about 1% of them. What is iconic about a character doesn't come down to their skin colour, because otherwise all white superheroes would be iconic. 

And there are complex and interesting non white or female superhero characters, there are a lot of them. I might think Black Panther is a shitty movie, but the character itself has a lot going for it, as demonstrated in the far superior version displayed in Civil War. The X-Men has a huge assortment of fantastic female characters, many of whom led the team, like Storm. In early comics Jean Grey was little more than 'the girl', but that hasn't been true since the 80s. 
 

1 hour ago, mormont said:

Again, nobody's saying those characters don't have those things: they're saying that the phase 4 characters also have those things.  

I'd argue that characters introduced in Phase 4 don't really have those things. If I had to create a checklist of all the qualities I listed above, I don't think someone like Shang Chi scores especially highly. I couldn't tell you what his personality is right now, his powers deeply uninspiring, his costume is a low rent Star Trek knock off, the interesting bits of his backstory don't even involve him but his parents. In fact his movie was better when supporting characters were propping it up. So far Shang Chi isn't ticking many boxes.

Or Eternals, ok it's an ensemble movie, but they spent so little time with each character it's almost impossible to say anything about any of them. It's really only Kingo that actually managed to stand out, but instead we got more of Emma Chan and Richard Madden (and I know it's not about actors but both are pretty wooden). Anyway, the problems with the Eternals movie are well documented, I don't need to go over them. But none of the characters in Eternals would score highly on an iconic checklist either.

Then who else are we talking about? Black Widows sister? Black Widow was barely iconic as it is, I think we established this, her and Hawkeye were always seen as kind of jokes in the Avengers, but there is even less to go on when you just have the sister of a side character. 

If you can show me a character introduced in phase 4 and tell me how you can define their characteristics as 'iconic' then I'm all ears.

 

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51 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

What you were suggesting was the I was subconsciously a white supremacist, that is how you wrote it. Maybe you intended something different but that is certainly how it came across, which is why I might get a little riled. 

As for your next point, yes I understand that the majority of super hero characters are white and male because that is the history of comics. However, your suggestion that someone has a preference for certain superheroes due to their race or gender is simply tantamount to calling them a racist.

To be clear, holding racial implicit (or unconscious) bias is very different than being a white supremacist - subconsciously or otherwise.  The now-25 years of research on the former demonstrating many respondents/subjects tend to hold racial stereotypes, and even racial resentment, is NOT tantamount to calling those people racists.  That's a fundamental misunderstanding of the literature.

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11 hours ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

Actually, they are based on the version of the team that appeared in the 2000's in the Annihilation event, and was a cult hit, though not one that sold well.

Ironically, the movie didn't include Adam Warlock, who was by far the biggest name in the team at the time of the release.

Fully aware of that but that’s not the classic GotG. It does, however, help to make my point that they are bringing in characters from all across the history of Marvel, which completely makes sense to me. 

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HoI: you complained about my first post, so I felt that providing a more substantive response was a fair response to that. However, your reply above shows no evidence of engaging with or even understanding my previous points in any really important respect. At some point, the responsibility is on all of us to do the work of educating ourselves, so I won't carry the discussion further. I'll merely repeat that many, many people hold a different view than you do on the phase 4 characters and on many of the other points made, and their views are valid. 

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Shang Chi has a 98% audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, for what's that worth.  Claiming he's lesser than those that were from phase 1 is not many people's personal opinion.  2% at best.  It was my favorite from Phase 4, as Black Panther was my favorite non-Avengers movie from phase 3.

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4 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Hahah, oh save me your patronising silliness about unconscious bias. Come on.

Wasn't it you who was reducing my opinions down to unconscious bias? I mean what other reason could someone have for thinking some characters are more iconic and enduring than others.. other than some unconscious urge to be a white supremacist? 

Except then I gave a ton of reasons why some characters stand up better than others, which have nothing to do with their race or sex. So what is your answer to that? You have simply ignored it, because you know I am correct, and want to just come out on top as usual. Fine, you do you.
 

I've just given you a bunch of examples of why some characters are more iconic than others, attributes such as recognisability, powerful relatable backstories, clear identifiable motivations and personalities with both positive and negative characteristics as well as the ability for writers to tell a variety of stories and go in different directions while staying true to the essence of the character. Plus more surface level stuff like cool powers, awesome aesthetics, the ability to be badass and inspiring. 

Thats the reason why Batman endures, why there are so many Batman stories, movies, comic books and cartoons. It isn't anything to do with unconscious bias at all, its nonsensical to suggest its even a factor. 
 

If it's so complex why are you trying to give simple answers?

They’re more iconic because they’re the oldest and both companies have the most invested in them.  They’ve also spent a great deal of effort over the years trying new things with each and every one of them and have slowly evolved them over the years with some changes for good and some for bad. 
 

Like Mormont, my love of these characters goes back a long time (closer to 50 years than 40). During that time, I’ve seen a lot of changes (Steve Rogers as Nomad, The Captain, super soldier serum gone bad, force field shield, alcoholic Tony, Rhodes as Iron Man, freaking extremis…) some stays, some goes. Some of the stuff that goes is actually better but the reversion happens for a few reasons - the new creator wants to write the version that they grew up reading or simply sales - fans don’t much like change. 
 

That suggests that maybe your (and mine in many cases) iconic is actually a stagnant well of ideas. 

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9 minutes ago, hauberk said:

They’re more iconic because they’re the oldest and both companies have the most invested in them.  They’ve also spent a great deal of effort over the years trying new things with each and every one of them and have slowly evolved them over the years with some changes for good and some for bad. 
 

Sure, but why those characters and not others? Why are there certain characters that keep Marvel and DC keep going back to when they have a vast roster to choose from? My suggestion is that there is something inherent in the concept behind those characters that attracts people. Why is Batman done and redone by so many writers? Why is Wolverine the X-Man that keeps being so popular. These characters just have qualities that make them more interesting than others. I don't think I'm saying anything uncontroversial or enlightening.

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15 minutes ago, hauberk said:

They’re more iconic because they’re the oldest and both companies have the most invested in them.  They’ve also spent a great deal of effort over the years trying new things with each and every one of them and have slowly evolved them over the years with some changes for good and some for bad. 

Like Mormont, my love of these characters goes back a long time (closer to 50 years than 40). During that time, I’ve seen a lot of changes (Steve Rogers as Nomad, The Captain, super soldier serum gone bad, force field shield, alcoholic Tony, Rhodes as Iron Man, freaking extremis…) some stays, some goes. Some of the stuff that goes is actually better but the reversion happens for a few reasons - the new creator wants to write the version that they grew up reading or simply sales - fans don’t much like change. 

To a general, non-comic-book-reading audience, Captain America was pretty much unknown to anyone under 30 at the time (at least), Iron Man was ultra-obscure, and Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye might as well have been brand new characters. From that first collection of films, only Hulk was well-known from a prior film and numerous animated and video game appearances. Hulk, like Spider-Man, transcended the Marvel brand.

Of that first batch of films, Iron Man was solid, Incredible Hulk forgettable, Captain America was decent but Thor was only okay, and Iron Man 2 is pretty poor. Of the immediate post-Avengers films, Thor 2 was weak and Iron Man 3 also poor. In fact, I remember a lot of discussion of how mediocre the MCU had been and how the first Avengers film and Iron Man had done a lot of heavy lifting. It was really Winter Soldier and GotG (starring extremely obscure Marvel characters) which I think turned that conversation around and made people expect a much more consistent, decent level of quality (and the Age of Ultron backlash showed what happened what that failed to materialise).

So I don't think the early success of the MCU had anything to do with the characters being iconic, because they really were not outside of a cult audience. Compared to Superman, Batman, Spider-Man etc, they were very much unknowns aside from Hulk (and it's notable his first solo film was also not great, and they had to recast), and relatively lower-level hitters from a comics perspective like Daredevil, Ghost Rider and Blade were better-known simply because they'd had successful (ish) movies in the recent (ish) past.. It had to do with I think Marvel just having faith in their product and keeping going through a fairly low level of success until Avengers hit.

With the Phase 4 characters, they are obviously going further down the well and tapping ever-more obscure characters, but to be honest to the general audience who didn't know who the hell Clint Barton was in 2012, there's probably not a lot of difference with Shang-Chi or the Eternals or whatever. I do think there's been a big difference with Ms. Marvel, whose initial comics run was critically highly-acclaimed and very successful, and whose character has been seen as iconic if in a different way to some of the others and to a newer and younger audience. 

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2 hours ago, Heartofice said:

What you were suggesting was the I was subconsciously a white supremacist, that is how you wrote it. Maybe you intended something different but that is certainly how it came across, which is why I might get a little riled. 

As for your next point, yes I understand that the majority of super hero characters are white and male because that is the history of comics. However, your suggestion that someone has a preference for certain superheroes due to their race or gender is simply tantamount to calling them a racist. As I said there are numerous, identifiable characteristics when it comes to superheroes that means some have endured and become popular and some disappear from consciousness. In a world of mostly white male superheroes, why are we mostly only interested in about 1% of them. What is iconic about a character doesn't come down to their skin colour, because otherwise all white superheroes would be iconic. 

And there are complex and interesting non white or female superhero characters, there are a lot of them. I might think Black Panther is a shitty movie, but the character itself has a lot going for it, as demonstrated in the far superior version displayed in Civil War. The X-Men has a huge assortment of fantastic female characters, many of whom led the team, like Storm. In early comics Jean Grey was little more than 'the girl', but that hasn't been true since the 80s. 
 

I'd argue that characters introduced in Phase 4 don't really have those things. If I had to create a checklist of all the qualities I listed above, I don't think someone like Shang Chi scores especially highly. I couldn't tell you what his personality is right now, his powers deeply uninspiring, his costume is a low rent Star Trek knock off, the interesting bits of his backstory don't even involve him but his parents. In fact his movie was better when supporting characters were propping it up. So far Shang Chi isn't ticking many boxes.

Or Eternals, ok it's an ensemble movie, but they spent so little time with each character it's almost impossible to say anything about any of them. It's really only Kingo that actually managed to stand out, but instead we got more of Emma Chan and Richard Madden (and I know it's not about actors but both are pretty wooden). Anyway, the problems with the Eternals movie are well documented, I don't need to go over them. But none of the characters in Eternals would score highly on an iconic checklist either.

Then who else are we talking about? Black Widows sister? Black Widow was barely iconic as it is, I think we established this, her and Hawkeye were always seen as kind of jokes in the Avengers, but there is even less to go on when you just have the sister of a side character. 

If you can show me a character introduced in phase 4 and tell me how you can define their characteristics as 'iconic' then I'm all ears.

 

Shang Chi checks whole other boxes by adding martial arts (an archetypical hero type) just like Strange added that magic archetype. It also provides an opportunity to venture to other locales and market to global audiences. I feel like your dismissal is intentionally ignoring that the movies are made to sell tickets first and foremost. Maximize butts in seats globally.   
 

your iconic characters are marketed to do the same thing - sell funny books - but on a national scale, which, as Mormont pointed out, was pretty focused on a limited demographic out of fear of what southern distributors might do. 
 

As far as Black Widow bring a joke Avenger goes, at no point did I see that being the case nor have ever heard that argument made. In fact, I’d suggest that she was one of the more serious characters. 

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2 minutes ago, Werthead said:

To a general, non-comic-book-reading audience, Captain America was pretty much unknown to anyone under 30 at the time (at least), Iron Man was ultra-obscure, and Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye might as well have been brand new characters. From that first collection of films, only Hulk was well-known from a prior film and numerous animated and video game appearances. Hulk, like Spider-Man, transcended the Marvel brand.

Of that first batch of films, Iron Man was solid, Incredible Hulk forgettable, Captain America was decent but Thor was only okay, and Iron Man 2 is pretty poor. Of the immediate post-Avengers films, Thor 2 was weak and Iron Man 3 also poor. In fact, I remember a lot of discussion of how mediocre the MCU had been and how the first Avengers film and Iron Man had done a lot of heavy lifting. It was really Winter Soldier and GotG (starring extremely obscure Marvel characters) which I think turned that conversation around and made people expect a much more consistent, decent level of quality (and the Age of Ultron backlash showed what happened what that failed to materialise).

So I don't think the early success of the MCU had anything to do with the characters being iconic, because they really were not outside of a cult audience. Compared to Superman, Batman, Spider-Man etc, they were very much unknowns aside from Hulk (and it's notable his first solo film was also not great, and they had to recast), and relatively lower-level hitters from a comics perspective like Daredevil, Ghost Rider and Blade were better-known simply because they'd had successful (ish) movies in the recent (ish) past.. It had to do with I think Marvel just having faith in their product and keeping going through a fairly low level of success until Avengers hit.

With the Phase 4 characters, they are obviously going further down the well and tapping ever-more obscure characters, but to be honest to the general audience who didn't know who the hell Clint Barton was in 2012, there's probably not a lot of difference with Shang-Chi or the Eternals or whatever. I do think there's been a big difference with Ms. Marvel, whose initial comics run was critically highly-acclaimed and very successful, and whose character has been seen as iconic if in a different way to some of the others and to a newer and younger audience. 

QFT

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Of that first batch of films, Iron Man was solid, Incredible Hulk forgettable, Captain America was decent but Thor was only okay, and Iron Man 2 is pretty poor. Of the immediate post-Avengers films, Thor 2 was weak and Iron Man 3 also poor. In fact, I remember a lot of discussion of how mediocre the MCU had been and how the first Avengers film and Iron Man had done a lot of heavy lifting. It was really Winter Soldier and GotG (starring extremely obscure Marvel characters) which I think turned that conversation around and made people expect a much more consistent, decent level of quality (and the Age of Ultron backlash showed what happened what that failed to materialise).

Yeah I think it's important to emphasize, as @DaveSumm alluded to earlier, that other than being bookended by Iron Man and Avengers, Phase 1 looked pretty troubling as well.  And it wasn't until 2014 with Winter Soldier and GotG - six years after Iron Man came out - that the MCU really found their groove.

1 hour ago, Heartofice said:

Why is Batman done and redone by so many writers? Why is Wolverine the X-Man that keeps being so popular. These characters just have qualities that make them more interesting than others. I don't think I'm saying anything uncontroversial or enlightening.

The problem is you're asserting the converse of this argument - that other, lesser "iconic" characters can't carry a franchise/be the featured players in an Avengers team up.  And that is just empirically false already when we consider the (at least BO) success of Black Panther, Guardians, and Captain Marvel.

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3 hours ago, SpaceChampion said:

Shang Chi has a 98% audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, for what's that worth.  Claiming he's lesser than those that were from phase 1 is not many people's personal opinion.  2% at best.  It was my favorite from Phase 4, as Black Panther was my favorite non-Avengers movie from phase 3.

I mean Tangerine has a 96% on RT and is possibly one of the worst films I've seen in my life. The entire thing was filmed on someones cellphone. So RT is not exactly standards I'd hold to the quality of a product.

 

On a different note, I didn't enjoy any of the Phase 1 MCU films, aside from Iron Man. Granted, at the moment, I think there are only 5 or 6 MCU films as a whole that I've enjoyed.

Edited by sifth
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