I think it’s fair to say that Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War was not just a success but a game changer. It pretty much took over the world as it smashed box office records and showed the power of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and what an ensemble movie can achieve when done right.
Spoilers for Infinity War and other MCU movies incoming.
So with this mammoth achievement in Marvel’s rearview mirror, we all looked to what was coming next, and that was Ant-Man & The Wasp. I’ve always kind of felt that the movie that has to follow an Avengers film is sort of in a dead spot. It’s always going to feel like a massive come down from what we have just seen, and in this instance, this was undoubtedly the case! I remember when I first saw the finalised line-up for the MCU’s Phase 3, and after getting excited for all the incredible movies coming our way, I noticed the placement of Ant-Man & The Wasp and instantly felt sorry for Paul Rudd and co. Then I noticed what came after that and wondered if the debut of Captain Marvel would suffer the same fate.
The worry isn’t so much that Captain Marvel has to follow Infinity War, as that hurdle belonged to Ant-Man and Wasp, it’s more so that the movie that follows is Avengers: Endgame. It goes without saying that the hype for Endgame is through the roof given the end of Thanos’ quest to collect all the Infinity Stones. Fans are so excited to see how all of this plays out, that having to sit through two movies in-between may be seen as more as an inconvenience than anything else.
It’s clear that this effected the second instalment of Ant-Man. Everybody went into that film wanting some sort of answer or follow up to Thanos successfully wiping out half of the universe, but what we got instead was a fun, easy to digest comedy that took place before Infinity War! All they gave us was cool after credit scene where much like a lot of the MCU cast, most of the Ant-Man side characters were wiped out by Thanos’ snap. It was a great scene but was nowhere near enough to satisfy the millions of fans that were dying for answers. It’s a shame because I personally really enjoyed Ant-Man & Wasp but it feels like it will forever be lost in the shuffle. Also, I don’t think it helped that the first trailer was initially teased to be something that fits in with Infinity War along with the release date here in the UK being delayed, all added up to make this a tough one to sell but that’s a whole other story.
So will Captain Marvel suffer the same fate? Will fans have the patience to sit through one more movie before finally getting the massive pay-off to this giant story? I think the answer to all this comes down to one thing, and that is how good Captain Marvel will be. The biggest difference between this and Ant-Man, is that there seems to be more excitement surrounding Captain Marvel, mostly due to the brilliant end credit scene in Infinity War that basically teased her as the hero who will save our beloved Avengers. Straight away she’s been set up as a symbol of hope and power rather than a comedic character that we’re just checking in with.
I also can’t help but think about Black Panther when thinking about the placement of Captain Marvel. It’s easy to forget given the success of Black Panther, that a lot of fans were just looking at it as one last film to get past before we finally got to Infinity War. Especially when you remember that before that we got Thor: Ragnarok, that had an end that directly tied into the opening of Infinity War. But here we are now, in a world where Black Panther is domestically the most successful stand-alone MCU movie to date, and that was mostly due to the simple fact that Black Panther was an incredibly made origin story that took the world by storm.
So my answer is no, no I do not believe that Captain Marvel will suffer the same plight as Ant-Man & The Wasp. That is, at least if it’s a good movie. The marketing has been great for this film as well. It has been made clear to us that this is going to be an origin story set in the 90’s before we inevitably get to see our new hero in Avengers: Endgame. In my mind, the only way this can fail is if Marvel drop the ball and make a stinker of a movie, and given their track record, I am confident that next month we will all be talking about how amazing Captain Marvel is and how excited we all are to see her in Avengers: Endgame.