Time for another entry in the often wilfully misunderstood 10 Things I Hate About… series, in which I borrow the central conceit of a seventeen-year-old teen rom com starring Cobra Commander and the Joker to play devil’s advocate in the court of public opinion.
This time, I’m looking at the Marvel Cinematic Universe, currently the world’s biggest movie franchise without lightsabers. Now, if you’re a longstanding comic book fan, you’ve probably suffered with gritted teeth through Hollywood’s previous attempts to bring superheroes to the cinema.
Back in the eighties, the mainstream media saw superheroes on the big screen as just a collection of cliches: it was all onomatopoeic sound effects and underwear worn on the outside. Batman and Superman graduated to crossover stardom decades ago, but the rest - especially the Marvel boys and girls - seemed condemned to their four-colour ghetto.
Today, second-string Marvel hero Iron Man (or rather, Tony Stark) is a household name, and faintly ridiculous boy scout Captain America is the hero of a blockbuster trilogy. Today, Norse nuisance Loki is a sex symbol, and an Ant-Man movie made a cool half a billion dollars in theatres. Ant-Man.
Today, thirteen movies and ten billion dollars later, the MCU is a franchise up there with Star Wars, McDonalds and Adele - but it’s not all raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. These are a few of my least favourite things about Kevin Feige’s box office behemoth: the 10 Things I Hate About The Marvel Cinematic Universe.