Why the Marvel Cinematic Universe feels empty

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  • Published on Oct 15, 2018
  • What makes a fictional universe good? In this requested episode of Overrated, Vox’s Phil Edwards explores the past and present of fictional universes to try to figure it out.
    Subscribe to our channel! goo.gl/0bsAjO
    Want to read more? Check out Sean Howe’s book about Marvel: www.amazon.com/Marvel-Comics-Untold-Sean-Howe/dp/0061992119

    And explore Tommy’s Universe:
    thetommywestphall.wordpress.com/the-master-list/

    Fictional universes and crossovers have been around long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Green Hornet radio show had a crossover with the Lone Ranger that kicked off the trend. In comics, the Marvel Universe started long before Stan Lee was at the helm.

    But these crossovers have a problem: They can privilege business relationships ahead of storytelling immersion and really interesting universes. As the Tommy Westphall Universe shows, crossovers often become a map of business decisions rather than of integrated fictional stories, and that leads to worse stories.

    This problem plagues the MCU as well. When Marvel engineers crossovers, they aren’t thinking about a universe transformed by superheroes - they just want more quips, explosions, and cash. Or at least that’s Edwards’s argument - do you think the MCU works?
    Overrated is a series that takes a look at the things we all know - the books, the trends, and the ideas that have become iconic - and answers the question: “Why is this so famous"?
    Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out www.vox.com.
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Comments • 22 485

  • Vox
    Vox  3 months ago +889

    You know that one font every comic book uses? Phil Edwards explains where it came from, and how it became so enduring: bit.ly/2EoOE6a

    • Devansh Jangid
      Devansh Jangid 4 hours ago +1

      +Sasuke They're trying to distract us! 🤣😂 That's such a cheap tactic

    • Intergalactic Studios
      Intergalactic Studios 3 days ago

      usclip.net/video/niT5wCh5v7U/video.html this is why i clicked dislike

    • Tizian K.
      Tizian K. 4 days ago

      Vox shut up and make actual points and not retarded clickbait.

    • Iman Ansori
      Iman Ansori 7 days ago

      Vox need clear their minds.. MCU is so good.. It's not just about crossover, it's about an idea to bring together superhero to give us philosophy, inheritance, inspiration, motivation, extraordinary story architecture, and many other great things.

    • Gaudium Felidae
      Gaudium Felidae 9 days ago

      Didnt expectedbthis to be so boring

  • Dimitris Polimeros
    Dimitris Polimeros 5 hours ago

    Listen (im referring to anyone who reads the comments or MCU sceptics) if you want to learn why the MCU is not as great as everyone says it is, just watch E;R's review of Deadpool part 1 and 2. He analyses the movie itself but he also expresses his opinion on the entire MCU (it's world-building, power level variability etc.). I personally don't agree with some of his arguments, but it's still much better than Vox's video.

  • Shock Puls
    Shock Puls 14 hours ago

    Who told you this was a good idea?

  • Jason W
    Jason W 18 hours ago

    Did this guy even watch any of the movies? It sounds like he’s just heard all of the complaints of the MCU and put them into a poorly researched video.

  • Iron Flash711
    Iron Flash711 20 hours ago

    Its called same marvel universe they all share a universe and it's not the disney cinmatic universe so no star wars

  • ewan hennessy
    ewan hennessy 21 hour ago

    Finally, someone who gets it.

  • Rory Wicks
    Rory Wicks 22 hours ago

    VOX, this is one of the poorest attempts at making really good points on how the MCU can improve. And some if not most of the criticisms made by Phil are that "empty". Please go back to the drawing board for this one.

  • Jensen Raylight
    Jensen Raylight Day ago

    nah, you can't convince me to hate marvel just with "why MCU feels empty",
    and i still wondering, which part in the video that explains the emptiness of MCU
    i don't think MCU are overrated, they deserve it
    it's their hard work, and people get entertained with it

  • Super_ Sanne
    Super_ Sanne 2 days ago

    Lol i just use these video's as background noise 😂

  • 09hk98
    09hk98 2 days ago

    Where are all the DC fans?

  • Lionsgate Black Label
    Lionsgate Black Label 2 days ago +1

    Report this for "Hateful and Abusive Content". CALLING ALL MARVEL FANS!!

  • FutureScarletSpider
    FutureScarletSpider 2 days ago

    Likes are Dc fans

  • Erlendor
    Erlendor 2 days ago

    When I hear Tommy Westfall, I, for some reason, think Tommy Weasau. I almost expect an "Oh hi Mark!" to appear in the video

  • NoAudioBro
    NoAudioBro 2 days ago

    The only mistake was this video

  • Noah Pfister
    Noah Pfister 3 days ago

    Hey, Vox, how bout you make a movie of your own? Then we’ll pointlessly criticize it for 10 minutes.

  • Riley Griffin
    Riley Griffin 3 days ago

    Update: I had to stop watching when he said no one would care about a Star Wars avengers crossover👋🏻👋🏻

  • Riley Griffin
    Riley Griffin 3 days ago

    What kinda crack is this channel on😂😂 “if you added aquaman to an avengers poster or Hawkeye to a justice league poster no one would care”💀💀

  • Vincent Karnik
    Vincent Karnik 3 days ago

    Everyone go watch Captain Midnight’s video on this it actually tells the truth about the MCU not that it’s empty but how it’s not and how Vox are retarded and shouldn’t ever take a shot at the mcu ever again

  • Jem Midgley
    Jem Midgley 3 days ago

    Much like your writers forgot to do their research, I think your editors forgot to colour grade the footage.

  • Han Shot First
    Han Shot First 3 days ago

    "Wroonngggoooo"
    -The Grinch

  • Han Shot First
    Han Shot First 3 days ago

    "Not only are you wrong, but you're stupid, and you're ugly, just like ya mum."
    -The cat in the hat

  • Nick Reineck
    Nick Reineck 4 days ago

    This video sounds like it was made by people who only watched the trailers to some of the MCU movies. And even then, not all the way through.
    Not liking the MCU is an opinion you're allowed to have, it's ok. Flaunting your massive superiority complex with one of the worst researched video "essays" I've ever seen, is not.

  • Bastardson OfJefferson

    Vox video essays are overrated. Release the NerdWriter!

  • Ben Phillips
    Ben Phillips 4 days ago

    I assume you're familiar with it, yes? Yeah, this ain't that, chief.

  • MrVideoKid: Extra Channel

    Why this Vox Video feels empty

  • Lord Snoke
    Lord Snoke 5 days ago +1

    Borring a few minutes of nothing and then he starts to talk about the topic. I only came here from sin sin video. And the MCU is great and thanos is awesome dislike.

  • SuccessNet
    SuccessNet 5 days ago

    This just gave me stage 5 cancer. Thanks VOX.

  • Corine Volkerink
    Corine Volkerink 6 days ago

    This video is a mess lol. what's ur point?

  • Julio Lenin
    Julio Lenin 6 days ago

    Well, with all your amazing content there should be at least a sloppy one that clearly doesn't know what it's talking about.

  • Rug Rats
    Rug Rats 6 days ago

    Uh vox, wyd

  • Suq Madiq
    Suq Madiq 6 days ago +1

    This video is the reason why I UNsubscribed from Vox

  • Suq Madiq
    Suq Madiq 6 days ago +1

    Your arguments are illogical and poorly researched. I’m honestly not trying to be mean but you’re just not smart enough to get it

  • Steven Smith
    Steven Smith 7 days ago

    Overrated!!!! You high?

  • Chief
    Chief 7 days ago +1

    I’m sad because I actually was hoping this video would objectively and accurately criticize the mcu in a climate where people are sort of afraid to but you didn’t present a good case for the argument at all whatsoever. Guess I should’ve known this would be clickbait when he said it wasn’t clickbait 😑

  • Matthew Lakes
    Matthew Lakes 7 days ago

    OF COURSE THE UNIVERSE IS STILL GOING u just backed up my comment vox:" it's gonna get at least 20 more more movies" so THAT MEANS THE UNIVERSE IS STILL GOING

  • Amal Roy
    Amal Roy 7 days ago

    The like and dislike ratio is proof enough😒

  • Under Galaxy
    Under Galaxy 7 days ago

    I have an idea. Explain why you think the mcu isn't cohesive. You are just showing us why cinematic universes don't work as a whole, not what fails in this one. And if you ask me, you can just WATCH the movies and understand the plot.

  • Volt 56 the second time

    **snap**

  • Dumisani Tsotetsi
    Dumisani Tsotetsi 8 days ago

    06:00 is the premise for this whole video. He is job hunting.

  • Joseph A. H.
    Joseph A. H. 8 days ago +2

    *looks at like/dislike ratio*
    To feel so desperately that you're right, yet to fail nonetheless.

  • Bugsy !
    Bugsy ! 8 days ago +1

    Personally I think the MCU is overrated, but this video is just bad.

  • ilovepizza001
    ilovepizza001 8 days ago +1

    The MCU is the reason why Spider-Man and Wolverine aren't the only Marvel superheroes that are mainstream. It helped Marvel for the better.

  • maxmetalknight
    maxmetalknight 9 days ago

    Even if MCU is not developed enough, it's definitely more developed than other attempts of launching cinematic universe by other companies. Especially X-Men, who basically had to retcon everything by introducing timeline changes.

  • John Hammenjr
    John Hammenjr 9 days ago

    you are an absolute disgrace! this was nonsense and honestly feels like pandering to a certain type of audience which is most likely mentally deficient. If this isnt trolling or clickbait then you should really reevaluate so many things in your life because you have no business reviewing anything in the world of art or pop culture.

  • RyGuyBoi
    RyGuyBoi 9 days ago

    It is painfully obvious you have no enjoyment in your life.

  • Matthew Morcos
    Matthew Morcos 9 days ago +1

    Who’s here just to dislike from SinsSins

  • Samantha Shugars
    Samantha Shugars 9 days ago

    The actual real universe is still in development too

  • Samantha Shugars
    Samantha Shugars 9 days ago

    Clearly written by a non-comics fan haha I love this stuff and it’s exciting even when it’s only done passingly well and marvel does it WAY better than any other modern franchise

  • Jericho Jack
    Jericho Jack 9 days ago

    I get what you were trying to go for but..this ain't it chief. This ain't it.

  • Chalago STR
    Chalago STR 10 days ago

    This video sucks... That's all I am gonna say.

  • systematic101
    systematic101 10 days ago

    in order for vox to make those claims they must have not watched the movies or read the comics. Pimps response makes sense. he doesn't get a long with Stark anyway. The core of Civil War was exactly about the damages super power beings cause. That's what created the accords.

  • Billy Bergmann
    Billy Bergmann 10 days ago

    Nice attempt. But this didn’t work at all.

  • Article 69
    Article 69 10 days ago

    I dont think he understands that they are all from the same property and universe hence why he talked about star wars cross overs

    😂😂I think he actually might think marvel is just a movie studio not a comic and the characters are picked from random comics and shows

  • Kami Tora
    Kami Tora 10 days ago

    Yikes. Those dislikes :D

  • Scrongul
    Scrongul 11 days ago

    First you said dumb and stupid bs about peweiepie, now you’re saying dumb and stupid bs about the mcu.

  • Rudy Rampage
    Rudy Rampage 11 days ago +1

    So true when thanos killed half the avengers in avengers 3 I felt nothing. Because I know they are going bring them back to life in avengers 4. However I can see captain or iron man dying in avengers 4. Those are the only two interesting characters in the mcu.

  • thu Le
    thu Le 11 days ago +1

    GO TO GULAG, NOW!

  • Aqila Rindipati
    Aqila Rindipati 11 days ago

    Woww, i cant believe someone made a 10 minute long video full of crappy bullshit

  • Chupacadabra
    Chupacadabra 11 days ago

    6:15-6:30 Suuuure...it's not like characters from different movies in the MCU have interacted with each other, resulting in multiple plots, characters that are grounded in reality as much as they do things that wouldn't be the norm in the real world that were created by an interwoven universe that goes beyond a few easter eggs and created several story telling possibilities yet to come that don't need all the developement in the world along with style changing with Deadpool and the GTOG movies in order to make the universe feel grounded and not as bare bones as a business strategy to sell action figures......right?



    blae

  • Simon Blomberg
    Simon Blomberg 12 days ago +1

    At multiple points in this video all i thought was "sooooo....????". What point are they trying to make? What is the conclusion going to be? But the answer never came. You would just jump to the next "criticism" without really making one at all. By the time you started about merchandise all i thought was "This video is poorly constructed and confusing", which is a shame. Especially because you are trying to criticise something that many people not only poured a lot of work and dedication into, but also something many people really enjoy and like a lot. Maybe you had good points in mind, maybe there was a genuine intention to point out actual flaws in the mcu, but if that is the case than they were completely lost through the messy construction of this video essay.

  • ________ ________
    ________ ________ 12 days ago +1

    "If you have an idea that you genuinely think is good, don't let some idiot steal it from you." - Stan Lee

  • madhu sai
    madhu sai 12 days ago

    Whoh, incoming thrashers

  • no
    no 12 days ago

    So you're saying the X-Men films make more sense? Try looking at the timeline for both franchises

  • Luke Roy
    Luke Roy 12 days ago +1

    My sister who was born two months ago could make better arguments

  • AlexValdez 34
    AlexValdez 34 12 days ago

    Screw u

  • Wesley Geyer
    Wesley Geyer 13 days ago

    This is like when that dude from The Verge tried to build a PC when he had no idea how to build a PC...

  • Richard Roberson
    Richard Roberson 13 days ago

    You are a f****ing idiot, you say there is now meaning to the easter eggs and crossovers, but that is what makes everything so connected, who the f**** cares if there is a little messed up continuity. They do what they can.

  • Jon McIntire
    Jon McIntire 13 days ago

    Yes, yes, and yes. I’m in total agreement with every observation made in this video.

  • PotPlant7
    PotPlant7 13 days ago

    Who knew you could get stage 4 cancer from a USclip video

  • DeadEyeDon
    DeadEyeDon 14 days ago +1

    Vox, please don't ever try to do something that requires brain power again.

  • Hellefleur
    Hellefleur 15 days ago

    Video starts at 9:38

  • Chattyword 11037
    Chattyword 11037 15 days ago

    Butt-hurt marvel fans, can’t take criticism, even though it literally took almost 20 movies to get to infinity war which was just a “shock factor” make you feel like you actually cared about these characters for the last 15 years.

  • Ice Wolf
    Ice Wolf 15 days ago

    So much clickbait

  • Chef Niyi
    Chef Niyi 15 days ago

    Who said that???

  • Pixel Donkey
    Pixel Donkey 15 days ago

    How does this relate to marvel
    Vox: ( throws logic )

  • Pixel Donkey
    Pixel Donkey 15 days ago +1

    Got more dislikes than likes

  • Triforce Obtained
    Triforce Obtained 15 days ago

    Making this video must have been like walking into a fire.

  • Patrick Bateman
    Patrick Bateman 16 days ago

    S O Y B O Y

  • Sad Jewish Boii
    Sad Jewish Boii 16 days ago

    Sorry but you don’t know what your talking about

  • TFG_ 85
    TFG_ 85 16 days ago

    Anything just to squeeze more of that marvel money

  • Ebonyleopard
    Ebonyleopard 16 days ago

    This video. Not great. Don't take the host of it as an expert or well the material he's talking about. At all.

  • Stephen Landis
    Stephen Landis 16 days ago

    So wait your example of a series that integrates crossover storylines better than the MCU is a series that required a RIDICULOUS time travel trope to revitalize its franchise, eliminating the meaning of half its films in the process if you can even buy into it at all? The major difference between XMEN and the MCU is that the MCU emphasizes character driven narratives. At the end of the day, no one really cares about the abstract fictional concept of humans vs. mutants. The conflict is just a fictional vessel to pit two characters against one another, Professor X and Magneto. What we really care about are characters like Logan, who basically carried the entire franchise and led by far the best film in it (Logan). The MCU has created a dozen Logans and counting, and now Fox is looking to emulate that success with Dark Phoenix - a character driven narrative based on the second most compelling character in the franchise (and its worth noting that her relationship with Logan, the only other compelling character, is a major part of what makes the character compelling). I also like the XMEN films, but come on, that is a ridiculously weak example to hold up.

  • Ali-a Fortnite
    Ali-a Fortnite 17 days ago

    I fell asleep when I saw the X-Men it is a good franchise but I did not get it. The MCU in the other hand makes sense . THE DC UNIVERSE IS SO EMPTY!

  • Happyface1236
    Happyface1236 17 days ago

    Do K-pop next.

  • PrehistoricBiiirds?
    PrehistoricBiiirds? 17 days ago

    I don't understand what you're trying to say, this was really disjointed...

  • Abood Ash
    Abood Ash 17 days ago

    As much as anyone would disagree, I think Vox is partially right in the video. Sometimes, these easter eggs can give people crossover hype, not telling stories. I can say that Vox is wrong about the fact that the MCU is just crossovers and that nobody wouldn't notice Aquaman in Marvel or Hawkeye in DC, but they're right about something; the MCU has problems with it's continuity and crossover hype can be a bit too much. You can dislike this comment, you can be mad at me, but I'm just saying my opinion. The MCU doesn't really feel empty, but it's flawed.

  • Leo CHEN
    Leo CHEN 17 days ago

    Honestly, this doesn't feel like a well thought out video to explain their point, but rather a video just so they could get one out. My consciousness would be eased if this video was removed and they uploaded a video that actually made sense.

  • Ian O'Padrick
    Ian O'Padrick 17 days ago

    Mork and Mindy was a spinoff of Happy Days, that wasn't a crossover

  • Riad al-Assad /MappingArm/

    Some sing wong

  • desu38
    desu38 17 days ago

    Did Vox just use the NPC meme?

  • oz pardo
    oz pardo 18 days ago

    he thinks exactly like my dad, right down to "I bet next they will put aquaman in there"

  • donovan carrasco
    donovan carrasco 18 days ago

    In the X-men universe you don’t have to pick a side it’s only the brotherhood who thinks like that everyone else wants to co-exist

  • Manash Jyoti Saikia
    Manash Jyoti Saikia 18 days ago

    Yaah you think!!! Non of this makes any snese

  • Edan Ashkenazi
    Edan Ashkenazi 18 days ago

    If you put aquaman on a marvel poster, every single fan would notice

  • Ruben Gallardo
    Ruben Gallardo 18 days ago

    It's empty because of thanos

  • B
    B 19 days ago

    I think Vox has learnt their lesson

  • Daniel Barrera
    Daniel Barrera 19 days ago +1

    Yes, even though there are TONS of connections outside of of easter eggs, lets just ignore it and pretend there are no character development.

  • Taeken, but I got no jams

    EVERYONE would be surprised if there was a Marvel-Starwars crossover, because if you haven’t noticed all the crossovers were within the MARVEL franchise. They didn’t crossover with a completely different franchise or something like that. That point was just so ridiculous a 3 year old could disprove it.

  • Dustin Parrish
    Dustin Parrish 19 days ago

    I don't get why it feels empty to you. And, yes, I watched the whole video without any distraction.

  • Alex French
    Alex French 19 days ago

    I can't believe this video is trying to compare some goofy fan theory about St. Elsewhere with a movie series that's been really carefully planned since it's inception and that's entire purpose is to have crossovers between other characters since it's... a series?