Disney’s TV version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe underwhelms
By Kent R. Kroeger (September 1, 2022)
This essay is not a TV or movie review. Personally, I enjoyed the first episode of Disney’s She-Hulk TV series and I’ve been a fan of the She-Hulk character since her Marvel Comics debut in 1980. Instead, this essay is about an objective popularity measure of not just She-Hulk, but all of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) TV shows.
I was a comic book fan from the moment I could read (Mad magazine and the original Peanuts paperbacks were most important in that regard). And as I’ve grown older, I’ve met more than a few people (mostly men) with a similar story.
Apart from Mad magazine and Peanuts, my favorite comic book series was Marvel Comics’ The Fantastic Four, featuring Mister Fantastic (He could stretch! It seems like a dumb superpower now, but for a 10-year-old, it was awesome), the Invisible Woman, the Thing, and the Human Torch. From there I would branch into other comic book heroes — X-Men, The Hulk, Daredevil, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man and Captain Marvel.
So when the movie version of The Fantastic Four became a reality 17 years ago, I was ecstatic. And though that ensemble was ultimately abandoned (For the love of God, Why?!), the launch of the Iron Man movie series two years later was more than enough to keep me engaged in the first three phases of the MCU movie franchise, culminating in Avengers: Endgame.
Following Endgame, I was satisfied. I didn’t need anymore Marvel superhero movies. But Marvel’s owner, The Walt Disney Company, for obvious monetary reasons, thought otherwise.
Marvel’s creative custodian, Kevin Feige, has ushered in “The Multiverse Saga.” In contrast to the first three Marvel phases, the Multiverse phase includes both movie and TV projects.
I’m not going to address the movie component of the Multiverse — Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder) — as their collective impact on my memory has been minimal. In fact, I have a hard time remembering anything from those six movies except for the joint appearance of the original Spider-Men (Tobey Maguire, Andrew…