The One-Sided Nature of Marvel Studios’ “It’s All Connected”

nickfury-imAnyone who knows me can tell you that I’m a big fan of the MCU that Marvel Studios started back in 2008 with Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk.  I love the interconnected nature of the movies, and how they reinforced the notion that these were characters whose actions would affect the plots and developments of others that came along.  It was a brilliant way to conceptualize and bring together a movie franchise, and it was so uniquely a Marvel opportunity, that I knew their film The Avengers was going to be a huge hit, even as far back as Iron Man, when it was only being hinted at.

making_mine_marvel_5With the ever-present phrase “It’s all connected” a seeming mantra of the entire universe, it seemed a no-brainer that there would be plenty of connections, however tenuous, between the films and the shows that emerged on ABC and Netflix.  And as far as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been concerned, they’ve made plenty of references to the films to show they’re connected, from having some of their stars (Thor‘s Jamie Alexander, The Avengers‘ Cobie Smulders and Samuel L. Jackson, and Captain America: The First Avenger‘s Haley Atwell jump quickest to mind) appear on the show, to having episodes and plot arcs made in direct response to the events of the films.  Netflix shows Daredevil and Jessica Jones have made small, oblique, blink-and-you’ll-miss-them references to the films, but thus far have mostly kept to themselves in terms of really connecting to anything else.

Where there has been the least amount of connection in terms of acknowledging properties outside its own wheelhouse, however, has been with the films.  And that is a major, ongoing source of disappointment for me.

Now, I realize that making movies is way different from making television shows, and I know it’s unlikely, and maybe even impossible, to really work the characters, plots, and developments of television into a film in any substantial or meaningful way.  Movies are planned out years in advance, whereas television can turn on a proportional dime as needed.  I get it–we probably won’t see any television characters in the films anytime soon, if ever.

But I think it’s criminal at this point that the word “Inhuman,” as used in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has yet to even be uttered on screen in any of the MCU films.  I find the studio’s indefinite suspension of the previously planned Inhumans movie to be off-putting and disingenuous in light of it’s mantra.

As best I can tell, the only reference I’ve seen from the films to anything not originated in the films has been the Theta Protocol, which even then involves the Helicarrier that was first seen in The Avengers.  Even then, also, I’m not sure the name itself is even mentioned in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

In any case, my point in all of this is that, as the originating medium of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the films should be doing more to cross connect to the other content that’s out there.  And again, I realize we may not ever see Daisy Johnson or Mike Peterson or Melinda May, or even (though I really hope I’m wrong here) Matt Murdock or Jessica Jones or Luke Cage in the films.

I still think, however, that including a throwaway line about the Inhumans emergence or the chaos going down in Hell’s Kitchen would be something manageable.

before-daredevil-has-the-punisher-already-appeared-in-the-mcu-just-bear-with-me-steve-653803Come on, Marvel Studios.  Would it really be that hard for you to do that little?


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