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YMMV / Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Works set in the MCU with their own YMMV pages:

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    Phase One 

    Phase Two 

    Phase Three 

    Phase Four 

    Phase Five 

    TV Series & Shorts 

The MCU as a whole:

The following have their own pages:

Other examples:

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  • Actor Shipping: Happens a fair bit, as with any fandom this massive. One example is the pairing of Elizabeth Olsen and Sebastian Stan (Olstan), which almost seems more popular than shipping their fictional counterparts (Winterwitch).
  • Adaptation Displacement: In two ways:
    • Marvel Comics itself is still widely known and influential thanks to its eight-decade-long history, and the movies have been a Gateway Series to reading their books, to an extent. But the MCU films are even better-known and earn way more than the comics do.
    • Since the MCU is now a Long Runner franchise spanning over a decade, some of its elements have become so well-known and entrenched in the minds of its fans that it may overshadow their comic counterparts, even influencing them. For instance:
      • The Infinity Stones have become so central to the MCU's Myth Arc that it's likely that only Marvel Comics fans who knew of them before the movies may still refer to them as Infinity Gems.
      • Similarly, James Rhodes' nickname in the comics was Jim, not Rhodey (as reflected by the 90s Iron Man: The Animated Series), until the latter carried over from the movies, so only older fans are likely to still call him Jim at this point.
      • Tony Stark's snarky personality in the movies has become his default one in other adaptations ever since and has carried over to the comics as well.
      • A much bigger change than Iron Man is Doctor Strange having a snarky personality. In the comics, he's traditionally tended toward dignity and stoicism. Now the comic writers are starting to depict him more like his movie counterpart, and for long-time readers, it feels... strange.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • Thanos' story in Phase 1 and Phase 2 consists of him sending flunkies to bring him Infinity Stones, which ultimately causes him to lose one of the Infinity Stones he already had, along with those he nearly gained. He also does not get a lot of characterization with his few appearances in these parts, coming across as a Generic Doomsday Villain. This was rectified in Phase 3, in which he takes a hands-on approach to the situation and his motivations are explained. Related to this trope, Thanos' surprise appearance at the end of The Avengers was mind-blowing to comic book fans and intriguing to general audiences. By the time he shows up again in the post-credits scene for Age of Ultron, viewers are more likely to roll their eyes.
    • Phase 4 has been hit with this. After the release of the middling Thor: Love and Thunder and She-Hulk, quite a few people began to complain about how aimless and meandering Phase 4 of the MCU was starting to feel, with no clear plot emerging beyond some extremely vague multiverse stuff after nearly 70 hours of total runtime between the movies and shows that have made up Phase 4 so far. Perhaps as a reaction to this fatigue, Marvel Studios would announce their Phase 5 and 6 slate to establish where the current Story Arc is heading, with Kang being set to be the new main villain.
  • Archive Panic: As of 2023, there are 33 movies currently released, each about two hours. On top of that there are seven seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., three of Runaways (2017), two of Agent Carter and Cloak & Dagger (2018), and one of Inhumans, plus all the Netflix series that nearly work in a continuity of their own, and all the Disney+ series. Not helping is that Phase 4 is reliant on plot points that are established in the television series, which has led to complaints from audiences that watching the series now feels like homework.
  • Audience-Coloring Adaptation: A complaint from the more hardcore comic book readers was that the success of the MCU is causing narrative and appearance shifts to the source material so that it could cash in on the success of the MCU. Not only that, the Fantastic Four and X-Men were often put aside in Crisis Crossovers post-2012 due to not being part of it.
  • Award Snub:
    • Despite most of the franchise being extremely well-received by critics and fans, they don't do so well with the Academy Awards. Only one MCU film has gotten a Best Picture nomination, Black Panther, and it didn't win. While Black Panther had seven nominations and won three (Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design), most other MCU films get one or two nominations (if any), usually for Best Visual Effects, and none of them have won. The Academy announced they were considering a new award in 2018, "Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film", which earned them scorn for being perceived as a consolation prize to acknowledge the MCU without letting it have Best Picture, especially since 2018 was the year of Black Panther. That award wasn't actually created, largely due to the backlash.
    • This got especially heated in 2022 when both Spider-Man: No Way Home and Avengers: Endgame lost to Zack Snyder's Justice League for a newly-established Oscar category (without an award) where audiences could vote for whichever film having a moment they found "Most Cheer-Worthy". Diehard Marvel fans immediately accused DC fans of cheating the voting system, since it was conducted via Twitter (the Academy, meanwhile, found no cheating). Given that there were two Marvel contenders against one DC, it can be assumed either Marvel film would have been a shoe-in if the vote hadn't been split. The category wasn't renewed in 2023, for understandable reasons.

  • Broken Base:
    • While the conflict itself was primarily limited to Captain America: Civil War itself, the film nevertheless divided the fandom between those who side more with Captain America and those who side more with Iron Man, with the two characters' appearances in future films as well as from those who sided with them being used as ammunition for continued debate. Many people who sided with one character still refuse to forgive the other and will subsequently subject their later actions to Ron the Death Eater as a result in fanworks and otherwise.
    • The long-standing debate on whether or not the shows produced by Marvel TV should be considered canonical to the movies or not. The majority of the shows have their fans, with Inhumans being the only real exception, but the decreasing amount of synergy with the films over time led some fans to question if Jeph Loeb's repeated claims that "It's all connected!" actually held water or not. note  A common defense at the time was that, since the shows covered different portions of the Marvel Universe than the movies, massive crossovers weren't needed, even though they could happen eventually. While fans were thrown a bone with Avengers: Endgame featuring a cameo from James D'Arcy as Edwin Jarvis, others were quick to point out that this is the only direct reference to the shows across 22 movies, and it was with the sole Marvel TV project that Kevin Feige produced. Things were further thrown into question with the last few seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which used a much different form of time travel than what was established in Endgame, while the sixth season had an unavoidably massive Continuity Snarl that ignored the ending of Avengers: Infinity War (in spite of the last few episodes of the fifth season explicitly referencing Thanos's invasion). With Feige taking over for Loeb in 2019, and promoting the Disney+ series as being equally important to the films of the series (while not doing the same for any of the previous shows), it seems entirely possible that most of Marvel TV's output will fall under Canon Discontinuity in favor of establishing new takes on the characters that the shows adapted — but since Feige has yet to retract his past direct statements that the old shows do inhabit the same continuity as the film's, that hasn't stopped fans from arguing that the shows are still canon. The fact that the ABC and Hulu series were classified as Marvel Legacy in Disney+, WandaVision disregarded the Darkhold's appearances in Agents of SHIELD and Runaways (2017) with a completely different design and function, and Loki (2021) insisted that Coulson really died in The Avengers (2012) put more wood in the fire, and both of those instances have been Hand Waved by those shows' respective producers.
    • After previous films were criticized for having uninteresting villains, more recent stories have tried to give the villains more depth, portraying them as well-intentioned but overzealous in addressing real-world problems, such as Killmonger, Thanos, and Karli Morgenthau. While many fans saw this as a positive change that made the villains more complex, the MCU's increasing reliance on this has come under criticism, with this video noting that it sends a troubling message that characters who advocate for social justice or want to change the status quo are portrayed as evil, while the heroes merely want to uphold the existing order, rather than using their powers and resources to improve society. The writing for the villains has also been criticized, as the villains often make better points than the heroes, but rather than actually address their arguments, the writers simply pull a Debate and Switch by giving them gratuitous Kick the Dog moments to hammer it in that they shouldn't be rooted for.
    • Marvel's decision to not recast T'Challa after Chadwick Boseman's death has been met with a lot of controversy amongst the fandom. Some fans believe that it's only right to do so, as Boseman's performance would be a massive Tough Act to Follow and that trying to replace him would be an insult to the man’s legacy. Others argue that not recasting T'Challa is an insult to the man's legacy and that killing off the character permanently would severely cripple the Black Panther franchise down the road (as evidenced by Marvel scrapping the character’s spinoff plans for Star-Lord T'Challa to have his own adventures). Further inflaming debate, Marvel appeared to attempt to make Shuri the new face of the Black Panther franchise, only for Shuri's actress, Letitia Wright, to start promoting anti-vax conspiracy theories during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Subsequently, fans who previously supported writing out T'Challa and even Boseman's family have called to recast the role with a new actor.
      • This decision became even more controversial when Marvel chose to do the opposite with Thaddeus Ross' character following the death of William Hurt. Supporters of this decision find the recast understandable, as Ross was never a main character and, at best, a tertiary character in the overall franchise. Others, however, find recasting Ross to be disrespectful and/or hypocritical of Marvel, as it insinuates that they see the lives of some actors as more valuable than others.
    • Since the start of Phase 4 the MCU's continued focus on comedy has become quite divisive. Supporters feel the comedic bent of the films gives the MCU a flavor that makes it stand out from the typical Science-Fiction fare and makes the characters more relatable by having them react to situations the way a normal person would. Detractors however, feel the MCU's focus on comedy has become a crutch for the writers, causing several characters to feel homogenous, making it hard to take the stakes of any story seriously due to the characters' lack of worry or dread. This camp also notes that with how many film franchises follow the MCU's example, this focus on comedy is, at best, no longer a unique selling point, and at worst, detrimental to cinema as a whole.

  • Can't Un-Hear It: Given how the MCU is more or less the Marvel Universe brought to life, there are many, many, many instances where the actors' voices can be heard when reading the comics:
  • Character Perception Evolution:
    • Trevor Slattery was initially reviled by fans, due to being the subject of the infamous reveal that he wasn't actually The Mandarin, but rather a boorish, hedonistic actor who was hired by the Big Bad to pretend to be him as a smokescreen for his plans. With time settling in after the reveal however, people have begun to look at Trevor more fondly, with a few fans noting how the twist playing into the then-current American fears of Islamophobia actually made a lot of sense from a storytelling perspective, and that Trevor himself was actually quite charming and comedic with the foreknowledge of who he actually is. It's telling that when the character finally returned to the franchise in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, his presence was much more warmly received than before.
    • Thor's more comedic characterization starting with Thor: Ragnarok was originally embraced by fans, due to Thor's previous appearances having him act as a boring straight man to the Avengers' snarky and jokey chemistry, making him feel relatively flat by comparison. As such, giving Thor some more lighthearted and funny moments was a nice change of pace, and also made sense given all his time spent with the Avengers at the time. By the time of Thor: Love and Thunder however, Thor's goofy personality had become exaggerated and had long overstayed its welcome, to the point where the Guardians of the Galaxy were now more serious characters than he was. As such, many people now think that making Thor more comedic ultimately changed the character for the worse, given his inability to take anything seriously for more than a second. As such, even his showing in Ragnarok has now gained more critical viewings, with people saying that it undermined his serious moments in the movie at best and made him an Unintentionally Unsympathetic Jerkass at worst.
  • The Chris Carter Effect: A complaint of the Multiverse Saga is that, unlike the Infinity Saga where nearly every movie tied into either the Avengers team or the Infinity Stones, the new saga is going off in a million different directions with no real promise that Sequel Hooks would be followed up on any time soon. Just limiting ourselves to new characters introduced or teased at the last minute in Phase Four works; we have White Vision, Eros, Black Knight, Venom, Jake Lockley, Clea, Hercules, and Skaar.
  • Commitment Anxiety: There's a growing sentiment in the MCU's viewership since Phase 4 that having to follow the Disney+ series to catch up on plot points followed upon in the films feels like homework or chores.
  • Continuity Lockout: As the number of films increases, making any given film comprehensible to a new viewer becomes more difficult, and more prior knowledge is expected. In Civil War, Hawkeye and Ant-Man show up midway through with little-to-no introduction and audiences are expected to already know who they are. By Infinity War, the sheer number of named characters involved results in the creators spending no time whatsoever explaining to newcomers who these characters are or why they are important.
    • This was also the general explanation for why none of the characters from the pre-Disney+ TV shows (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil (2015), Jessica Jones (2015), Luke Cage (2016) and Iron Fist (2017)) appear in the movies, even the ones involving Crisis Crossovers. The movies generally have a wider audience than the TV shows (and are released in certain countries where the shows don't even air), and the creators don't want to have to spend time explaining who the hell these people are for the benefit of audience members who might not be familiar with them. Endgame and Phase Four later broke this rule, though; with Edwin Jarvis from Agent Carter making a cameo in Endgame and Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk from Daredevil later appearing with little buildup (in fact, No Way Home uses the lack of explanation as a joke).
    • Exaggerated in Phase Four, which expects the audience to be familiar with not just the MCU backlog but whole other film continuities. Spider-Man: No Way Home involves characters from the Spider-Man Trilogy and The Amazing Spider-Man Series (plus a cameo from Sony's Spider-Man Universe that might prove to be important later on); while WandaVision exploits the fact that one of its characters is recognizable as the version of Quicksilver from the X-Men Film Series (though that one turns out to be a Red Herring Casting Gag, and X-Men actually isn't connected).
  • Creator Worship:
    • Kevin Feige gets a lot of this from fans, some arguing that he's doing a better job with these characters than the comic writers themselves are.
    • Joss Whedon, already a widely-celebrated nerd icon for his work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, was heavily praised for his work on the first Avengers film and helping to cement the MCU's success. However, this worship was ultimately short-lived. The mixed reception to Age of Ultron was the first hit to his reputation, and the numerous allegations that emerged following his abusive behaviour on the set of Justice League only caused the fandom to reject him altogether.
    • The Russo Brothers, for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and their involvement in Phase 3.
    • James Gunn got a lot of praise from fans after his Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) elevated the Guardians from Z-listers to A-listers on par with the likes of Iron Man and Captain American. Gunn became so beloved that his firing in 2018 lead to a public campaign that successfully lead to him getting rehired.
    • Black Panther directer Ryan Coogler gets a huge amount of pre-emptive worship for his genuine talent and his casting choices.
    • Taika Waititi gets highly praised for the pepped-up Thor: Ragnarok, which is generally considered to be the best Thor movie (as well as being called one of the best MCU movies in general). Though like with Joss Whedon, Waititi's follow-up did diminish fans' perception of him.
  • Diagnosed by the Audience:
    • Aside from her already deep-seated psychiatric issues leading to unhealthy coping mechanisms, something is clearly not right with Wanda after she loses her husband and imaginary children. Her obsession with bringing her sons back into existence points to Replacement Child Syndrome, which can happen to mothers after they lose their child.
    • Setting aside his people's inability to grasp metaphors, it's implied that Drax is strange, even by his own species' standards, so it's possible he has some kind of alien neurodivergence — he's very socially awkward, blunt, and quick to speak his mind to an unintentionally offensive degree, has emotional dispositions that run from stoic to energetic, incredibly fixated on a specific goal, selfish in a non-malicious way, and incredibly caring who constantly tries to make up for his mistakes. He also processes emotions like sadness more internally than externally, best shown when Mantis touches his arm when he's thinking about his daughter, and she bursts into tears, despite him being completely stoic. Plenty of filmgoers and critics cite him as a positive depiction of autism in popular media.
  • Ending Fatigue: Barring Daredevil Season 1, every season of the franchise's Netflix shows has been accused of not having enough story to fill their thirteen episodes, resulting in a good first half followed by the second half dragging as the characters run around not accomplishing much until the running time is filled. The news that The Defenders would be only eight episodes was met with a lot of relief, though there are still those arguing that with its having to juggle four heroes and all their supporting casts, a larger episode count would be far more reasonable.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Clark Gregg himself endorses the theory that Coulson is actually his character FBI Special Agent Michael Casper from The West Wing, having taken a new identity upon being recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • A popular, half-joking theory is that Stan Lee's recurring cameos are actually the MCU version of Uatu the Watcher, taking a human form/avatar to observe the events of the films. Part of this eventually became Ascended Fanon with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, where he informs the Watchers, although the big guy himself is portrayed by Jeffrey Wright.

  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Hardcore fans get very irritated when people mistake a superhero film as part of the MCU just because it stars a Marvel character. No, the X-Men Film Series and Spider-Man Trilogy are not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as they are in different continuities and were made by Fox and Sony, respectively. Venom (2018) actively attempted to fool audiences into thinking this, to the ire of MCU fans, which Sony continued to do with the first trailer for Morbius (2022). Though this has started to annoy them less after Spider-Man: No Way Home had an Intra-Franchise Crossover with the Spider-Man Trilogy, The Amazing Spider-Man Series and Sony's Spider-Man Universe, while Patrick Stewart reprised his role as Charles Xavier in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Meanwhile there is a growing expectation that non-MCU continuities will continue to crossover as part of the Multiverse Saga.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • With the DC Extended Universe (and previous DC films like the The Dark Knight Trilogy), continuing the Marvel Comics/DC Comics rivalry. The two franchises started out initially as different as night and day (unlike, however, the Marvel and DC comics themselves, which are much the same in tone).
    • With Marvel movies not made by Marvel Studios, such as Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man Series and Fox's X-Men Film Series. A lot of MCU fans wish these franchises would revert to Marvel, and films made after Iron Man, like The Amazing Spider-Man and X-Men: First Class are often dismissed as cash grabs made to keep the rights from Marvel Studios. Conversely, some argue that Fox's movies work better than Marvel's in-house movies (a phenomenon referred to as "Foxholm Syndrome" by MCU fans). For a while, the Fox-Marvel and MCU rivalry also extended to Fox's attempt to reboot the Fantastic Fournote  but after the reboot in question was critically panned, many Fox-Marvel fans found themselves agreeing with MCU Fans that the Four would fair better in Marvel's hands.
      • Some fans hold particular venom for the eponymous film, deriding it as Sony's attempt to ride the coattails of the MCU by making their own comic cinematic universe. The trailer for Sony's Morbius (2022) blatantly attempting to convince people it was set in the MCU resulted in many calling out Sony for the obvious marketing deception, even if some seemed to buy it in some way.
    • With the Arrowverse, though this is mostly restricted to the MCU TV shows such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Netflix MCU, but nonetheless still keeps the Marvel/DC rivalry burning strong. This is especially the case with Arrow which has a similar Darker and Edgier feel to most of the Netflix shows. Made worse when the Marvel TV shows were canceled to avoid competition for Disney+ shows.
    • With any fandoms for arthouse studios like Creator/A24 and so-called "high-brow" films, particuarly those directed by Martin Scorsese or any other director with a critical opinion of the MCU. This is due to, in Scorsese's case at least, vitriol directed towards the entire concept of the MCU and superhero movies in general as a front for Hollywood executives to fully dominate the film industry with soulless cash grabs directed purely by film studios at the expense of creator independence or actual quality. While somewhat restrained when Scorese made his initial comments, this has heated up in Phase 4 with defenders of Scorsese's viewpoints claiming that the weaker reception of MCU related media from Phase 4 as well as recent events placing Hollywood executives in greater scrutiny (namely the causes of the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes) proves Scorsese right. On the other hand, fans of the MCU argue that many of Scorsese's arguments that Superhero movies were just "theme park attractions" devoid of any emption ignores supposedly emotionally charged moments in the MCU, they also accuse Scorsese fans of downplaying the impact of the MCU along with arguably blockbuster and franchise films in general while painting a extremely overhyped and rose-tinted image of the historical legacy of arthouse and indie films.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: While the TV and streaming shows are officially stated to be 100% connected to the movies, a segment of fans would just rather take most or all of them as "non-canonical unless noted otherwise" - not necessarily because the shows are bad (rather, in general, the shows are well-received, though Iron Fist and Inhumans infamously broke the "Fresh" or higher Rotten Tomatoes streak the franchise had enjoyed), but because the movies barely acknowledge anything from the shows, although the shows reference the movies. A larger group generally views them as an Expanded Universe; canon to the movies and expanding on the world and lore, but non-essential within the overall story.
    • In general, the TV Shows are produced by different verticals than the MCU proper. Kevin Feige from Phase 3 onward negotiated MCU being directly under Disney rather than Marvel Entertainment, who cover most of the TV shows. The only exception is Agent Carter which was more tightly linked to the MCU and fittingly is the first one to cross-over, with the original Jarvis from Agent Carter appearing in Avengers: Endgame. The logistics of TV and movie production make it hard to coordinate storylines due to the demands of marketing and promotion (i.e. protecting spoilers) and the creative instincts of filmmakers (notably the HYDRA reveal from The Winter Soldier was decided by the Russos, as a bold status-quo shift that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had to incorporate, having never been conceived to go in that direction from the start).
    • While the Netflix shows like Daredevil are mostly acclaimed, a segment of fans take their canon status into question as a result of their cancellation and imminent removal from Netflix just as Disney launched its own streaming service, which will produce its own MCU shows with the movie characters. The darker and more violent nature of these Netflix shows in contrast to even the darkest parts of the movies have also made some fans mentally file them as either "non-canonical unless noted otherwise" or "canonical, but mostly by virtue of not being contradicted". Most fans of these Netflix shows agree that they work better as Expanded Universe self-contained works, seeing it as a respite from the interconnected nature of the MCU which later came under fire for the way everything either ties into the Avengers or Tony Stark's corner, and the street-level nature of these shows have more credibility with as few references to the wider-verse as possible.
    • This actually ended up getting canonically enforced with Season 6 of Agents, as no one from the film side of the franchise bothered to inform the show's crew that Endgame was going to move the series five years into the future, resulting in the season supposedly being set in the middle of the five years the population was halved but making absolutely no reference to it, creating a Continuity Snarl where you have to just either treat season six of the show as a full-fledged Alternate Continuity or do some very careful Fanon explaining of offscreen events if you want to keep watching without your head exploding.
    • There are some who believe the franchise should've stopped after Avengers: Endgame, and will treat anything that came after as if it doesn't exist. Some more forgiving fans will cite Spider-Man: No Way Home and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as good epilogues, but otherwise ignore the rest of the post-Endgame MCU
  • Franchise Original Sin: Has its own page.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • MCU fans get along famously with fans of Legendary Pictures's MonsterVerse. It helps that both franchises share a number of actors such as Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen for Godzilla (2014) and Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson for Kong: Skull Island, and also that the Monsterverse movies aren't direct genre competitors to Marvel's work, unlike the DCEU. Plus, Marvel produced a Godzilla comic book line in the 80's, so some Marvel fans consider Godzilla an honorary Marvel character. So much so that both fandoms would like to see a crossover with The Avengers fighting Godzilla or other famous Kaiju.
    • MCU fans have a much healthier relationship with fans of Deadpool than the other Marvel movies made by FOX, mostly due to how a comics-faithful, R-rated Deadpool movie would be incompatible with the (relatively) family-friendly MCU films. It doesn't hurt that Deadpool made a couple of friendly nods towards the MCU itself, has been praised by a number of the MCU's actors and directors, and even got approval and help from Kevin Feige himself. It got to the point that when Disney purchased Fox and reacquired the X-Men movie rights, Reynolds was announced to be staying in the role of Deadpool in the MCU, a decision that was universally celebrated by fans.
    • When it comes to Venom (2018) and its shared universe, while there are plenty of MCU fans who loathe it with a passion, there are also plenty who like it well-enough; some even think it and the rest of Sony's prospective Shared Universe of Spider-Man characters should tacitly become part of the MCU in the future. It also helps that its success indicates Sony doesn't actually need to have Spider-Man in their Marvel movies to make money, and they'll be more inclined to let the MCU keep him. After the Morbius trailer was released and, coupled with comments from Feige and Sony, hinted the MCU's version of Spider-man might become "common ground" between the two franchises, some MCU fans are actually excited at the prospect of Spider-Man developing his own expanded corner in the larger franchise.
    • Hugh Jackman as Wolverine has earned the respect of pretty much everyone, MCU fandom included, in spite of never wearing a comics-accurate costume. Praise for his swan song in the role cemented this. There are fan calls to recast him in the MCU now that Disney has bought FOX's film assets. This eventually ended up happening when Jackman was announced to be portraying Wolverine in Deadpool & Wolverine.
    • Lots of MCU fans also love Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse for its unique animation style and cast of fan-favorite Spider-Men such as Spider-Ham, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, and of course Miles Morales — even in spite of widespread disdain for Sony due to their handling of the Spider-Man franchise.
    • In spite of the rivalry with the DCEU, there are fans who like both film series. Black Panther and Aquaman fans get along largely because their films are the first installments in both franchises to have non-white leads and directors, adding much-needed diversity to the superhero genre. Likewise, Captain Marvel fans have a cordial relationship with Wonder Woman fans largely thanks to their fanbases uniting against their Girl-Show Ghetto detractors as well as the two movies' cast members and crew supporting one another (Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins expressed excitement about the MCU's superheroine movie and Captain Marvel star Brie Larson admitted to being a big Wonder Woman fangirl growing up).
    • Despite going even darker than its predecessor, Marvel fans are pretty open to The Batman (2022).
    • As of Phase 4, there appears to be a significant overlap of Marvel and Rick and Morty fans, thanks to several alumni of the latter show ended up getting involved with the MCU. Series creator Dan Harmon ended up doing some script rewrites for Doctor Strange, with Michael Waldron writing that movie's sequel, the first season of Loki and is set to write Avengers: Secret Wars. Fellow R&M writer Jeff Loveness also went on to pen the scripts for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, while Jessica Gao ended up becoming the head writer for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
    • Fans of Star Wars also tend to get along with MCU fans, in part due to sharing many creatives like Oscar Isaac, Samuel L. Jackson, Jon Favreau and Natalie Portman. It also helps that both are owned by Disney and many Marvel properties have given shoutouts to Star Wars.

  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • MCU movies are massively popular in Asian countries and were once incredibly big with China in particular, to the point that the studio has at times made changes to several movies purportedly for the benefit of Chinese audiences (including shooting extra scenes in the case of Iron Man 3, albeit to mixed opinions). After the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home however, the Chinese government began banning MCU films from being officially shown in the country due to many of them going against their regulations for foreign blockbusters.
      • The Captain America trilogy as a whole is extremely popular in China and other Asian or otherwise Sinophone audiences familiar with Chinese media tropes due to a good amount of Values Resonance. The films depict Steve Rogers as a chivalrous hero whose personal moral code motivates him to rebel against corrupt authorities at the expense of testing his loyalties to his friends, making him an archetypical example of a "侠 (Xiá)" or Chinese folk heronote , on top of the films being filled to the brim with many other tropes commonly seen in Wuxia genre fiction. Out of them, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was surprisingly popular in the country in particular partially because it showed that loving one's country isn't the same as loving one's government. Films with this theme are rare in China due to government censorship.
      • Ant-Man (and its 2018 sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp) are both moderately successful in their home country, but massively popular in Asian countries (but once again, China in particular). The Ant-Man films are so liked there that there is now an Ant-Man and The Wasp attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland. It's the second Marvel themed attraction at the resort and will eventually be part of a Marvel-themed land set to open in 2023.
      • Reportedly, this got turned on its head when Chinese audiences were furious when it was announced that the first Marvel movie with an Asian lead would be a Shang-Chi film, because he was originally written as the son of Fu Manchu (even though Marvel has long since retconned out the connection). China loves the MCU so much that having the first Chinese Marvel movie character be based on a character that started out as a Yellow Peril stereotype was seen by them as a personal betrayal. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings would be the first MCU film to not be released in China, which would end up extending to the rest of Marvel's Phase 4 films as a whole, due to China cracking down on foreign blockbusters being released in the country.
    • In a non-Chinese Asian example, Doctor Strange (2016) is massively popular in India, even outgrossed the franchise's other solo films beside Captain America: Civil War due to the film's Nepalese setting and Benedict Cumberbatch's popularity in the country.
  • Genre Turning Point: The franchise as a while served as the major turning point in not only the superhero genre but for blockbuster films in general:
  • Growing the Beard:
    • While all the early movies were financial successes, critical reception was hit or miss outside of Iron Man and The Avengers. Things turned around big time with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which some have even compared to The Dark Knight as one of the best superhero movies of all time and a great case of Genre-Busting the superhero movie. Every MCU movie since has gotten glowing praise, with the hiccup of Age of Ultron (which got mixed reception) and to a lesser extent Captain Marvel (which got the biggest amount of negative reviews since Age of Ultron, though still skewing positive).
    • Among Captain America fans, Winter Soldier was the film that forever cemented Captain America as one of the best superheroes of the modern blockbuster era. For fans, Winter Soldier manages to bring in morally complexity, gritty realism, and visceral fighting that would define the Captain America films without undermining Cap's idealism and heroic outlook.
    • Deliberately attempted with Thor: Ragnarok. While Thor wasn't exactly hated beforehand he also didn't make the top of many fans' favorite superhero lists either, usually considered bland compared to the other Avengers or his own brother Loki. One of director Taika Waititi's stated goals was to change this by giving Thor a much more engaging character arc this time. Most would agree that he succeeded, given that it's the best received of all the Thor films. The beard continues to grow in Avengers: Infinity War, reminding viewers why Thor is known as the god of thunder in the fight against Thanos.
    • Based on both Box office and Reviews, Phase 3 is widely seen as this for the MCU as a whole. An important reason frequently cited was the restructuring at Disney that remove the infamously intrusive Creative Committee from the process. Most notably, the Phase 3's Black Panther became the first movie in the franchise to win an Oscar with 3 awards for Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score. Avengers: Endgame becoming the highest grossing movie of all timenote  cemented this status.

  • He's Just Hiding:
    • Coulson was this after his death in The Avengers. Turns out he was hiding, and it was in Tahiti. It's a magical place.
    • Janet van Dyne, after it was confirmed she was going to be a hero in the 60s who'd passed away, has been getting this. Fans were hoping that, instead of turning Hope van Dyne into an expy of her, they'll instead reveal that the real Jan is still trapped in the Microverse, like she was in the comics. This has also proven true after she was confirmed to appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
    • Red Skull. Even after Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) proved that most mortals can't survive direct contact with an Infinity Stones, fans are still convinced that he somehow survived and that old age has also been unable to kill him. They were right.
  • Hype Backlash:
    • After years of being built up as the pinnacle of live-action superhero films, this set in during Phase 2. Some viewers claim the films aren't as faithful to the comics as claimed, are too similar in plot and aesthetics, and controversial cases of Executive Meddling have taken some of the luster off the studio.
    • While few will contest most of the Oscar nominations Black Panther got (and eventually won) for technical categories like Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score, the nomination for Best Picture is seen by many fans as a blatant ploy for relevancy and attention by the Academy Awards.
    • For a more character-specific example, Tony Stark is the most prominent figure in the MCU for obvious reasons, and his portrayal in the films is widely credited with turning Iron Man into a beloved character and rescuing him from the Scrappy Heap the comics had dug him into. However, as time has went on he's become disliked by a significant portion of the fandom due to his popularity making him what they see as a Spotlight-Stealing Squad with a tendency to Kick the Dog due to his abrasive personality. Comic fans in particular dislike the way he's credited with the accomplishments of other major characters, particularly Hank Pym's creation of Ultron and replacing Uncle Ben as Peter's surrogate father. He's also received a lot of flak for the fact that in quite a few of the films, he plays parts of varying significance in creating the conflict in the first place and rarely acknowledges it or tries to change his Control Freak tendencies so it never happens again. His role in the finale of Avengers: Endgame especially angered people who felt the franchise had gone overboard with the Character Shilling, given that his death resulted in multiple elaborate scenes of the other heroes paying him their full respects, while Black Widow, who also sacrificed her life in that film, didn't get even a fraction of the same level of acknowledgement.
    • The MCU Spider-Man, particularly in his own movies. While most, if not all, praise Tom Holland himself for his acting ability and endearing off-screen presence, there's been a growing trend of people who really dislike how his film version is portrayed, which is a contributing factor to Tony Stark's own Hype Backlash given Peter is written as a fanboy of Tony. Peter suffers from a major Adaptation Personality Change, going from a somewhat nerdy, insecure Everyman who appreciated other heroes and playfully idolised Captain America, but was more the loner due to being socially awkward, to instead being a more confident nerdy teen who utterly adores other heroes, especially Iron Man, whom he sees as a surrogate father and spends more time grieving for than he's done for his Uncle Ben, who isn't even mentioned by name. Much of Peter's traditional canon personality is instead Informed Attribute, where we're merely told he's unpopular, poor, and not great with girls, despite having no shortage of friends, being well-liked by his classmates outside of Flash Thompson note , attends an expensive charter school with no indication how Aunt May pays for it, and has no trouble pursuing his love interests. However, due to the films' popularity and Tom Holland's beloved status, the films are considered and treated as the best take on Spider-Man, something that's contested by fans of the previous film franchises, the animated shows, and the comics.
    • Among comic fans, the franchise also gets this due to how the films have been seen as Adored by the Network compared to other depictions of the characters, film and otherwise, and how this has turned them into an Audience-Coloring Adaptation. The MCU has, since around Avengers, been pushed as the definitive take on the Marvel Universe, with other film franchises based on Marvel properties (such as the Sony-produced Spider-Man franchises and Fox-produced X-Men films) being seen as inferior films, even despite many of the same problems, while other versions of the Marvel Universe (such as their animated series' or video game efforts) being cancelled for not being close enough to the films, replaced with versions that act more like commercials for the films and/or kid-friendly copies of them. This got especially controversial as the comics began to rework and adapt ideas from the films, such as repackaging characters into copies of their film counterpart, some of which required undoing years worth of well-regarded Character Development. For some fans, the MCU being treated as the only important version of the Marvel universe is a major problem, especially if you're not a fan of how they've changed something in the adaptation, given that Marvel refuse to let any other version exist.
    • In the years following Endgame, a persistent current of anti-MCU sentiment has circulated on social media, primarily on Twitter and film communities like Letterboxd. This was fueled in part by the phenomenon of superhero fatigue and a growing public exhaustion with movies branded as "capeshit", but also by the public comments of "prestige" directors like Martin Scorsese (see Fandom Rivalry above) and others like Francis Ford Coppola and Jane Campion expressing their disdain for the superhero genre or frustration with the movies' market dominance. The incensed reactions of select MCU fans to said comments, often repeating the phrase "let people enjoy things" seemingly as a sort of shibboleth to shut down all criticism, has led defenders of these directors to rather unkindly stereotype all MCU fans as uncritical corporate consumers.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • Some felt that the Phase Two films were getting a bit formulaic. The exceptions that stand out are usually Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, the former of which gets major praise for strong writing and being a huge Wham Episode while the latter is appreciated for being a break from all the events happening back on Earth.
    • Some people have claimed this about the ABC shows (both spy shows with a balance of comedy and drama, focusing primarily on non-powered individuals fighting against terror groups), and the Netflix shows (which deal with a dark Anti-Hero suffering depression with tragic backstories). The similarities are limited, but some still call foul on them.
    • A few viewers feel that the franchise has become over-reliant on characters using nanotechnology to put on masks and costumes.
    • Regarding the entire franchise, its Lighter and Softer tone has come under more scrutiny as time goes on. While the "fun" atmosphere is still beloved by most viewers, there's been an increasing backlash to the "Marvel formula" among certain circles, with critics feeling that the lighthearted tone ends up undercutting any kind of drama or stakes and leaves any heavier moments as ringing hollow.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: This is a very common criticism of the MCU's Disney+ shows, especially in comparison to the previous Netflix / ABC series. While those shows were often scrutinized for their gratuitous use of Padding due to often having 13 hour-long episodes per season, the Disney+ series have only had 6 or 9 episodes thus far, and are usually between 30 and 45 minutes long, which often makes them feel compressed and underdeveloped in certain areas.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!:
  • LGBT Fanbase: While the MCU is popular with viewers of all orientations, certain characters and works in particular attract an especially strong queer following, despite having being criticised for lack of sufficient representation in that area :
    • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had some of the first canonically LGBT characters in the franchise, along with the Inhumans storyline in the later seasons having a strong Rainbow Lens in the same vein as mutants did in the comics. It got to the point that the fandom acquired its own hashtag of "#superqueeros".
    • The Captain America trilogy's massive gay/bi following (especially fans of Bara Genre works) reached mainstream levels of infamy during its time due to the films' focus on the intense and homoerotic bonds between the titular character and the men in his life, several of whom play the role of The Not-Love Interest to the point that his actual love interests seem to fall to the wayside. The films' homoeroticism played an important role in kickstarting ongoing debates regarding the MCU's (as well as Hollywood's) lack of canonical LGBT representation that continue to this day.
    • Thor: Ragnarok is famously beloved, and memetically known as a film made for bisexuals because of Valkyrie and Loki being canonically bi themselves (and Grandmaster being implied to be pansexual), Hela and Grandmaster being incredibly flamboyant antagonists, and the entire cast, regardless of gender, being ridiculously attractive. Thor also has a reputation as a lesbian ally for being hypermasculine but kind and respectful to women, while Loki's backstory as a secret Frost Giant raised to believe he was an Asgardian and who is looked down upon for embracing "feminine" skills like magic and cunning over brute strength makes him popular with trans fans, furthered when Loki (2021) describes him as genderfluid.
    • Captain Marvel (2019) is beloved among lesbian/bisexual women for similar reasons as the Captain America films and is often seen as their Distaff Counterpart due to the Les Yay-filled relationship between Carol and her best friend Maria Rambeau serving as its emotional heart, coupled with the absence of any male love interests to get in the way.
    • Wanda Maximoff came in with a LGBT fanbase from the comics stemming from both being a mutant (the X-Men themselves well-known as allegory for being LGBT) and being the mother of two of the most prominent LGBT superheroes, Billy/Wiccan and Tommy/Speed. Her insecurities about being feared and hated for reasons beyond her control before learning to embrace those aspects as one of her strengths, one of the most well-known forms of Rainbow Lens, also carried over to the films.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: A recurring element in any Marvel-based trailer is to drop hints that a major character is going to die, only to reveal that said character survives. i.e. Captain America's torn shield, Iron Man and War Machine's reactors flickering etc.

  • Memetic Badass:
    • May Parker, who is jokingly speculated by fans to be the one who beat up Thanos in Avengers 4 after learning about Peter's disintegration under the effect of the Infinity Gaunlet.
    • Why didn't Frank Castle participate in either Infinity War or Endgame? Because even Thanos knows better than to mess with him.
    • The reason fans believe War Machine won't get a movie is because he'd easily solve the conflict within 15 minutes.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Hawkeye used to be this in the franchise's early days, due to spending half of The Avengers Brainwashed and Crazy and spent the second half of the film being upstaged by his other teammates. He's managed to crawl out of this from Avengers: Age of Ultron onwards however, where he manages to accomplish some impressive feats that made up for his previous outing.
    • Quicksilver from Avengers: Age of Ultron is shown to be a tough character thanks to his Super-Speed, but his death via darting to Hawkeye and a little boy and shielding himself from a hail of gunfire courtesy of Ultron ended up turning him to a joke by some who took to comparing him to the Arrowverse's Flash and Fox's Quicksilver, who were shown to perform ludicrous feats and techniques with their Super-Speed, not to mention casually dodging or even catching bullets. It's a common joke to cite how Arrowverse's Flash and Fox's Quicksilver catch bullets in comparison to how the MCU's Quicksilver "catches" bullets. It doesn't help that the MCU's Quicksilver doesn't really do anything outlandish with his powers, especially when he was a secondary antagonist-turned supporting character in his major film feature.
    • From Avengers: Infinity War onwards the Hulk began getting this sentiment from fans. After a rather impressive bit of Character Development for them in Thor: Ragnarok, the Hulk spends much of his time refusing to emerge after being subject to a Curb-Stomp Battle from Thanos, leading many fans to believe he was being overly cowardly just to keep him out of the movie. His reappearance in Endgame as Professor Hulk has similarly not been well-received, due to him barely participating in any action scenes, and having a more light-hearted and comedic personality that constrasts with his previous Blood Knight tendencies shown previously.
    • Peter Quill also began being perceived as fans as a memetic loser from Infinity War onwards, as he's constantly getting the short end of the stick thanks to Thor, and was subject to a ridiculous amount of mockery due to his Heroic BSoD interfering with a plan set up to get the Gauntlet away from Thanos. What If also gives us an episode where T'Challa manages to accomplish far more feats and change the galaxy for the better under the Star-Lord title, which makes Quill's actions in the Sacred Timeline look even more inferior by comparison.
    • Despite being set up as the next Greater-Scope Villain of the MCU, Kang the Conqueror has been subject to much ridicule by fans. This is because despite being hyped up as an unstoppable warlord who exceeds Thanos in power, Kang and his variants have died and/or been defeated in every installment they've appeared in, some in rather humiliating ways. This has caused many people to percieve him an ineffectual Boisterous Weakling who can't survive against an army of ants, much less the Avengers themselves.
  • Mis-blamed:
    • A lot of people were mad at Marvel Studios for not announcing a Hulk movie for either Phase 2 or Phase 3. However, the character's film rights are tangled up with Universal; while Marvel Studios owns the character and can freely use him, Universal still owns the distribution rights for any solo film that the character appears in. Therefore, Marvel Studios and Universal are at an impasse with the Hulk unless a cross-studio deal is reached in time for Phase 4.
    • Thanks to his status as the "face" of Marvel Studios, Feige is frequently the biggest target for criticisms of the MCU such of the lack of diversity, but the Sony email leaks, as well as subsequent articles from sites like Bleeding Cool, revealed Perlmutter to be responsible for much of the foot-dragging in this arena.note . Fans also held Feige responsible for the Executive Meddling that led to Edgar Wright leaving Ant-Man and Joss Whedon being unsatisfied with Avengers: Age of Ultron. Again, it turned out Perlmutter was responsible.
    • Channing Dungey got a lot of hatred for, among other things nixing the Most Wanted series in its crib upon being promoted to the head of ABC. Kevin Feige later clarified that it was a mutual decision between ABC and Marvel after the series pilot ended up severely underwhelming them all. Fans also act like Dungey is a monster for canceling Agent Carter and moving Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to a later time slot (with some even waving conspiracies such as that she cancelled Agent Carter to have its star Hayley Atwell star in Conviction, a series her sister Merrin also starred in), but the fact is that S.H.I.E.L.D., despite good reviews, wasn't getting good ratings in its current time slot (and had been losing viewers for quite some time), while Agent Carter wasn't doing any better. The simple fact that S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to keep going for several more seasons, even in a truncated form, is a sign of how hard she fought for it.
    • There are a number of fans who complain about favoritism towards the movie characters as opposed to the TV ones, particularly where merchandising is concerned. While it is true that the movie heroes get way more merchandise than the TV ones, Marvel generally does not make its own toys. The vast majority of the MCU products are made by other companies that have licensed the properties from Marvel, usually meaning they are the ones deciding who gets a toy and who doesn't. Additionally, a major reason why the movies have so many toys is because a significant portion of their audience consists of children, while the TV shows (especially the Netflix ones) are generally aimed at older, more adult viewers. Compounding the issue even further is that toy companies have a noted tendency to prefer characters with distinctive, eye-catching costumes, while, with the exception of Daredevil, the TV shows usually tend to eschew traditional superhero costumes.
  • My Real Daddy:
    • While there wasn't exactly a dark, empty void where a Thor fanbase should be, the character's popularity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe skyrocketed with Thor: Ragnarok at the hands of Taika Waititi. Waititi encouraged Chris Hemsworth to improvise more, which led to a revamp of the character from a Fish out of Water Boisterous Bruiser to a lovable goofball of an Iron Woobie Guile Hero who can now match wits with Loki himself. Not only is Ragnarok the highest scored film of the Thor trilogy and more quotable than its predecessors, but Thor's characterization in it continued into Avengers: Infinity War.
    • Whilst Captain America: The First Avenger, directed by Joe Johnston, was relatively well-received, it was Joe and Anthony Russo that helped increase the character's fanbase significantly with The Winter Soldier and Civil War, both of which are considered top contenders for the best film in the MCU. Additionally, once Joss Whedon declined to direct Avengers: Infinity War after the behind-the-scenes drama on Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Russos were the frontrunners to direct Infinity War and Endgame, resulting in two Avengers movies that had more drama and depth than either the first film or the aforementioned Age of Ultron.
    • Much of how the cosmic side of the MCU worked, looked and felt can be attributed to James Gunn and his work on the Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) films after previous sneak peeks in the first two Thor films. In some cases, it's suggested that his films' Bathos-mixed irreverent humor (often scored by period-specific pop music) changed the entirety of the franchise thanks to following directors wanting to emulate him, making Gunn the Real Daddy of the MCU itself. This is evidenced by the aforementioned Taika Waititi admitting that Guardians was a major influence on Ragnarok. Furthermore, nobody in Hollywood wanted to take over the director's chair for Guardians 3 after Gunn's initial firing, as it was sacrilegious for anyone to take over the series that Gunn helped define, which subsequently lead to his rehiring, not to mention that in the meantime, he was scooped by DC to direct The Suicide Squad, the sequel/soft reboot of Suicide Squad (2016), a film that was accused of being a bungled attempt at imitating the style of Guardians.

  • Never Live It Down: Hawkeye will forever be known by fans as the most useless superhero ever since The Avengers, which was his first major exposure to mainstream audiences. In that movie, he spends most of his screentime as the brainwashed lackey of Loki and his archery skills aren't seen as practical or impressive as those of his fellow Avengers. Not helping matters is that he was absent from more grounded installments in like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which could've shown off his fighting skills without comparisons to other superpowered heroes. His poor reputation is even referenced in the movies themselves with Black Widow joking about how he actually keeps the team together because the other Avengers all have to work hard to pretend he's useful, and Ant-Man calling him "Arrow Guy" because he didn't even bother to know his name. This partily get lampshaded in his own Disney+ series too.
  • Not-So-Cheap Imitation: X-Men (made by 20th Century Fox) and Spider-Man (made by Sony Pictures) sparked the Comic Book Movie Boom of the 2000s. However, after Marvel made their own film studio, Fox and Sony refused to sell the film rights to the X-Men and Spider-Man back to them for the longest time, leading to the Marvel Cinematic Universe being started without them. However, the Marvel Cinematic Universe ended up being a huge success, usurping the box office records set by the X-Men and Spider-Man movies.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • The Marvel Cinematic Universe wasn't the first cinematic Shared Universe. It was actually Universal Studios that invented the very concept of the cinematic universe with Universal Horror in the '40s with crossovers like Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man and House of Frankenstein, the latter of which starred Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, and the Wolf Man. Ditto for Toho Studios who started bringing Rodan and Mothra into the Showa-era Godzilla movies since the '60s.
    • This franchise wasn't the first former Viacom property to later fall under Disney’s ownership after Indiana Jones and Doug.
  • Once Original, Now Common: With how big the cinematic Shared Universe model in filmmaking is, it's easy to forget that the entire franchise was a very risky idea back in phase 1, a Crossover on this scale was seen as risky at best and downright impossible at worst, nowadays many are trying to be the MCU!
  • One-Scene Wonder: Occurs frequently—especially in the credits scenes—both with small but significant appearances by recognizable characters/actors, and with characters from the franchise making cameos in each others' works:
    • Tony Stark in the credits scene of The Incredible Hulk, talking to Secretary Ross about the team of superheroes being put together.
    • Bruce Banner returns the favor in Iron Man 3, appearing in the post-credits scene where it's revealed that Tony's narration throughout the movie was actually him telling the story to Bruce.
    • Clint Barton/Hawkeye in Thor, which was an uncredited appearance by Jeremy Renner.
    • Captain America in Thor: The Dark World. Technically just Loki shapeshifting as him, but it was still Chris Evans in the brief appearance, which is well-remembered by fans as a very humorous scene.
    • Also from Dark World, Benicio del Toro as the Collector in the credits scene, and again (in a larger role, but still only a couple of scenes) in Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • Howard the Duck is another from Guardians of the Galaxy, again in the post-credits scene. Has another in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.
    • Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver yet again in a credits scene, this time from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
    • Arnim Zola from Winter Soldier as well, as a computerized version of himself that's been preserved for decades.
    • Thanos serves as this several times, in the credits scenes of Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron and as a Two-Scene Wonder (which are relatively small scenes) in Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • Also from Age of Ultron, Ulysses Klaue, as an Early-Bird Cameo before his larger role in Black Panther.
    • Howard Stark and Peggy Carter in Ant-Man, who only appear once in the opening scene (which took place decades before the events of the movie proper). Also Falcon, whose only appearance (minus The Stinger, which is a scene directly taken from Captain America: Civil War) is in a brief battle with Ant-Man, which the latter wins.
    • Everett Ross in Civil War, who is guarding Zemo after his capture, and who later has a much larger role in Black Panther. Aunt May is another, appearing only once here before also getting more scenes in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
    • Pepper Potts near the end of Homecoming, after having not appeared since Iron Man 3 and was stated in Civil War to have broken up with Tony.
    • Doctor Strange in Thor: Ragnarok, in which he uses his powers to detain Loki while agreeing to help Thor find his father Odin.
    • Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War, after not being seen since Captain America: The First Avenger.
    • Also from Infinity War, Nick Fury and Maria Hill in The which they both disintegrate into ash as victims of Thanos's fingersnap of doom, though not before Fury sends out a distress signal that's picked up by Captain Marvel.
    • Hank Pym gets a quick appearance midway through Avengers: Endgame when Steve and Tony time-travel back to The '70s, which is made quite memorable by being a hilarious scene that once again features a digitally de-aged Michael Douglas.
    • J. Jonah Jameson in The Stinger for Spider-Man: Far From Home, not just for the character but being played by J. K. Simmons, whose performance as Jameson in the original Spider-Man film series had been on just about everyone's short list of the greatest portrayals of a comic book character ever.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Most of its fans feel that every Marvel comic book should be adapted by Marvel Studios, and based on the success of their adaptations, even critics agree that Marvel Studios understands its properties better than those who license it. The actual evidence for this is mixed especially in regards to those successful films made before the MCU:
    • While The Amazing Spider-Man Series is considered worse than almost everything the MCU has produced (especially the second film), the Spider-Man Trilogy (particularly the first two films) is considered just as good, if not better than the best the MCU has produced. Others also insist that Sony's The Spectacular Spider-Man is better than Marvel's animated takes on the character (Ultimate Spider-Man (2012), Marvel's Spider-Man), with Spectacular greatly inspiring the Race Lift of Spider-Man: Homecoming. The critical acclaim of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and its sequel, along with runaway financial success and cult appeal of Venom (2018) and that film's sequel (both of which are divisive critically but very popular among audiences) have likewise thrown a wrench into this since most critics considered Spider-Verse movies to be superior and more original than many of the MCU movies.
    • The X-Men Film Series is a mixed bag, with some poor movies, but others that are considered among the best movies based on Marvel characters, with Logan in particular considered by some the best superhero movie since The Dark Knight while Deadpool (2016) and its sequel were widely seen as movies that no other studio would do and highly admired for its fidelity to the source and style. X-Men fans point out that while they aren't a fan of Fox's devotion to Movie Superheroes Wear Black aesthetic, their movies in the last ten years or so was the one place where fans of those characters found a measure of validation whereas in the comics at the same time, the X-Men were Demoted to Extra for the sake of the Avengers, and then later saw The Inhumans try and replace them (a fact criticized by Chris Claremont, the greatest writer of the franchise) which discredited the idea that Marvel's current regime would automatically do justice to those characters among these fans. Likewise, the Quicksilver who showed up in X-Men: Days of Future Past was widely considered superior to the one in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Whedon was inspired by the divided rights issues to kill off that character since he had become expendable. With the X-Men headed for the MCU following Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox, it remains to be seen how this perception will change on all fronts, though they have announced that the MCU Deadpool will remain played by Ryan Reynolds with an R rating, a move that has been unanimously met with approval.
    • Of course, in the case of Fox's handling of the Fantastic Four there's little doubt among most that other studios haven't done that property justice with Fantastic Four (2015) (as well as that for the Tim Story adaptations) making many demand for Marvel's First Family to be put back into its parents' hands. Likewise, MCU has indeed generally produced adaptations considered better than previous attempts at the characters (such as Captain America, Hulk or Daredevil).
    • On another note, most fans consider producer Kevin Feige to be the true overall visionary of the movie franchise and generally only consider the Marvel works under his watch to be worthwhile. This also feeds in the rivalry between the Cinematic and Netflix productions which have so far never crossed over, and which the movie-side largely treats as Expanded Universe. On another note, fans feel that the Russo brothers handled Spider-Man better in terms of combat and agility in Civil War and Infinity War than Jon Watts. The Russos were the ones who introduced Spider-Man into the Cinematic Universe after all.
    • James Gunn as writer-director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 is widely seen as being mainly responsible for turning Z-List characters into overnight A-Listers. The Russo Brothers when they brought the Guardians for Infinity War openly consulted him, and even had him choose a song for the film ("Rubberband Man") and write additional dialogue to maintain character consistency. News of his firing did not go well. Disney initially stood firm in their decision, and while it was announced his script for Vol. 3 would still be used, but even that wasn't enough to stop the fans from demanding they rehire him, so they eventually brought him back outright.

  • Platonic Writing, Romantic Reading:
    • Throughout the MCU's Captain America trilogy of films, Captain America and his childhood friend Bucky Barnes are so intensely devoted to each other that they're willing to throw everything away including their own lives and reputations just to protect each other, while Cap's relationship with his official love interest, Sharon Carter, is so conspicuously underdeveloped in comparison, that a lot of people are convinced Bucky is Captain America's real love interest. Even the films' writers fumbled mid-sentence, describing their relationship as a "love story" before quickly calling them brothers. It got to the point that in 2016 a popular hashtag called #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend was launched, in part due to how differently their relationship came off to viewers than the writers expected.
    • The Avengers with Clint and Natasha. Natasha is unendingly loyal to Clint and wants to save him from Loki so much she at one point offers to free him in exchange for freeing Clint, while he seems to know more about her than anyone else. There wasn't anything explicitly romantic about them, but they're depicted as so close that fans assumed they were each other's Implied Love Interest, resulting in them becoming the most popular Het couple in the fandom. Oddly, it's partly because Natasha never flirts with him that they seemed like they could be romantic. Until in Avengers: Age of Ultron when you find out they're Like Brother and Sister, especially when Clint's wife is introduced, which resulted in a very annoyed fandom.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
  • Seasonal Rot: While Phase Four got off to a strong start, as a whole it is considered to be weaker than those before it. Common criticisms include the basic stories becoming repetitive and lacking status quo changes (often despite promising major shake-ups), lower quality special effects, a lack of consistency in setting up the multiverse, little clear sense of plot progression (as opposed to Phase Three, where every film made a clear contribution to the overall Myth Arc), the humor relying on snark and Mood Whiplash becoming stale, and being paradoxically too long and also too short to make the most of their runtime, as well as overly continuity-heavy. Some have pointed out that at least part of this can be attributed to coming off the high of Phase Three and Marvel being unsure what could possibly live up to or surpass it.
  • Sequelitis:
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • Hawkeye and Coulson only have a single brief exchange in Thor, but they somehow spawned an enormous following with over 9000 fanfics on Archive of Our Own alone.
    • Shipping Black Widow with Maria Hill is remarkably popular despite the fact that in the three movies they've shared together, the two of them have barely spoken to each other or shared any one-on-one scenes. Natashill or Widowhill is probably the most popular ship for Black Widow among people who don't prefer Natasha with Hawkeye.
    • Scott Lang/Peter Quill is a surprisingly popular ship in Asia even though the two have never met and don't even live in the same solar system. May have to do with both actors appearing on Parks and Recreation beforehand.
    • Stephen Strange/Tony Stark quickly became a popular pairing due to their similar story arcs across their respective first films. Both actors have also played Sherlock Holmes, one of the oldest gay ship fandoms. Then they DID finally meet, and the shipping only increased.
    • There’s Stephen Strange and Everett K. Ross, due to the latter being played by Martin Freeman.
    • Peter Parker and Shuri (of the platonic and romantic varieties), thanks to both being Adorkable Teen Geniuses, aided by the likelihood that they'd run into each other during Tony's meetings with T'Challa. Or in keeping with the Ho Yay theme, Peter introducing her to Michelle.
    • Captain Marvel and Valkyrie have never met; yet, they started picking up steam after the former's movie was released, as both are strong female characters read as lesbians by a significant portion of the fandom. It's also generally agreed that Thor would be the local Shipper on Deck. The actresses are also very good friends and fully endorse the pairing.
    • Peter Parker and Harley Keener are often paired together since both are Tony's prodigies, despite the fact that they don't even appear in the same movie until Avengers: Endgame. It helps that, since they were both written to be intelligent and pair well with Tony, it's easy to assume that their personalities would mesh well with each other as well.
    • Tony Stark/Bucky Barnes is an immensely popular ship even though the two have never interacted outside of two brief meetings in Captain America: Civil War, both of which involved one trying to brutally kill the other, and even though the circumstances of the aftermath ensured that they never got a chance to see each again under better circumstances.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Phase 2 has this sentiment. Mostly because Avengers Age of Ultron which is the big team up movie and successor to the first one was considered lackluster and a letdown, and given its status as a Grand Finale to that period, it tends to determine how people feel about it. Likewise Thor: The Dark World is considered the weakest Marvel entry. Iron Man 3 is at the least considered better than Iron Man 2 and opinions about it have been more favorable in recent times, Ant-Man is either really good or So Okay, It's Average at worst, while The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy are the stand-out films for this era.
  • Star Trek Movie Curse: The Thor movies seem to have been hit with this. The first movie and Thor: Ragnarok were both beloved by audiences and critics alike, due to being fresh takes on the character and his supporting cast that hadn't been seen before. By contrast, both Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Love and Thunder were derided for being too dull and uninspiring versus overly wacky and comedic, making it hard to get invested in what's happening.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • Quite a few people have made the case that Captain America is a better Superman than the DC Extended Universe incarnation of the character, due to being idealistic and old-fashioned in a similar way to most depictions of Superman, instead of making the character more brooding and angsty in a misguided attempt at making him Darker and Edgier. This article explains it further.
    • To Ultimate Marvel. Both the MCU and Ultimate Marvel are modern takes of the classic Marvel Comics and some of the MCU's concepts were inspired of the Ultimate Marvel Universe such as a race lifted Nick Fury. However, the MCU takes their characters into a more idealistic approach rather than following the more cynical standards of Ultimate Marvel.
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: In a twist of irony considering their respective statuses in-universe, Thor Odinson has generally been overshadowed by Loki in popularity in Phases 1 and 2. While Thor does have his fans, he is regarded to be rather bland compared to his mischievous yet charismatic brother, whose journey from Fallen Hero to Card-Carrying Villain to an Anti-Hero made him a compelling character to watch. In contrast, Thor has been criticized for lacking any significant Character Development beyond his debut film, and it would only be in Phase 3 that Thor would finally strike out on his own. This trope reared its head again in Phase 4, where Loki would end up getting his own TV show that was among the more popular Marvel Disney+ projects released on the platform, while Thor: Love and Thunder had a rather mixed reception due to the film ramping up on Bathos humor and exaggerating Thor's comical traits he gained from Phase 3.
  • Sweetness Aversion: Some viewers find the MCU so light and humorous that it reduces the sense of stakes or drama, coupled with Contractual Immortality that ensures most of the big characters that are in supposed "danger" will live.

  • Theme Pairing: Wanda, Loki, and Dr. Strange are frequently shipped together due to their shared affinity for magic, even though they've otherwise never interacted with each other. The news that Wanda will be appearing in the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness adds fuel to the ScarletStrange ship.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Some people object to the race changing of Heimdall and Nick Fury. This mostly stopped when the films came out and the two became Memetic Badasses.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • A common criticism of the Thor films was that Asgard, and the rest of the Nine Realms for that matter, were never really explored to its full potential. The concept of a pantheon of extradimensional/divine beings had a lot of potential of exploring the fantasy elements of the MCU such as the existence of other pantheons much like in the comics. Instead, the first two films put more focus on the human cast. Even in Ragnarok which averts this problem, Asgard itself remained Out of Focus in favour of the subplot in Sakaar, with the destruction of Asgard and the death of most of its major characters putting an axe on any hopes of further exploring Asgard and the rest of the Nine Realms. Some fans didn’t seem to mind though since it opened up room for new possibilities with character.
    • The chasm between the films and the first several TV series, as they were managed by different studios. The series only contact with the films was through spoken references and cameos of minor film characters, and the films only recognitions of the TV series were a brief cameo of Edwin Jarvis and some extremely subtle nods in dialogue and text. That means that no actual team-ups ever took place, and that several interesting stories from the TV series never made their way into the films, and the consequences of Thanos' snap in Infinity War were not explored by any of them.
    • Anyone hoping to see a full-length adventure with Thor as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy were left disappointed after Thor: Love and Thunder had Thor almost immediately part ways with the Guardians after only a brief segment in which the Guardians weren't given much to do and Thor was shown being more of an annoyance rather than a member of the team. As it turns out, this is because neither James Gunn or Taika Waititi wanted Thor as part of the Guardians, hence why the latter had Thor so hastily exit them to undo the subplot left by Endgame.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
  • Ukefication
    • Similar to his comic book counterpart, it's fairly common to depict Steve Rogers — who in movie canon tells bullies to shut up in theaters, gets into fights all the time, talks back to Nazi super soldiers like Red Skull, risks a court martial to do the right thing, immediately assumes a word shared between his Love Interest and another guy is a dirty sexual innuendo, leads the Howling Commandos in WWII, and vows a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against those who hurt his friends — as some kind of adorable harmless, innocent, naive overgrown puppy who's ripe for the picking, regardless of who his pairing partner is. And since he's a Launcher of a Thousand Ships, this happens a lot.
    • Tony Stark frequently suffers from this, not helped by his being very much on the short side of the Slash Fic Height Rule. Fanfic that pairs him with Steve Rogers or Dr. Strange often tends to turn him from a Jerk with a Heart of Gold with guilt issues into an outright clingy Hysterical Woman. Doubly so if the fics fall into the Superfamily genre, which portrays Tony as being an outright maternal Team Mom figure to Peter Parker (sometimes literally) to complement Steve or Strange's Flanderization into a Standard '50s Father.
    • This is done constantly to Loki, with whom it is especially absurd. Far from being the superhumanly strong and superhumanly robust life-long warrior and powerful sorcerer he is in the films, he's written as fragile and passive, unable to defend himself and in constant need of protection. Going hand-in-hand with this is the extreme physical modification he undergoes: he's invariably described and illustrated as tiny and dainty in spite of the fact that he actually towers over most of the Avengers and only Thor and Hulk can take him in a fight. The popular pairing of Tony Stark/Loki nearly always makes Loki the uke and, hilariously, tends to draw Tony (5'8") as the big manly man looming over a delicate, helpless Loki (6'2"). Keep in mind that Loki in the MCU has not only given the Avengers a run for their money but also came close to killing Thor. The guy even succeeded in taking the throne of Asgard. Yet in fics relating to him you'd swear that he's some fragile piece of glass who'd shatter at the slightest physical contact.
    • Bruce Banner seems to be hit with this a lot when being paired with Tony Stark. Fanfics will treat him as an emotionally fragile, delicate man who would never hurt a fly and needs Tony as an emotional crutch. Bizarrely, these fics will also give this treatment to Hulk as well, by playing up his innocent, child-like traits.
    • Thor is also commonly a target too, being reduced into some sort of soft, cuddly Golden Retriever in need of brotherly affection from Loki, who is often dominant over him.
    • Bucky also gets hit with this pretty badly at times. While a more understandable example than most in that his canon depiction does exhibit the kind of severe Break the Cutie and subsequent emotional fragility that is typically used to justify such a characterization, fanfic tends to Flanderize him to the point of absurdity, turning him from a traumatized but still snarky and powerful super soldier to a helpless weepy kitten who can barely function without the support of his love interest.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: In the MCU, the Hulk in general and Bruce Banner are treated as Person of Mass Destruction and walking time bombs with their very arrival treated as a Godzilla Threshold. Out of universe, Mark Ruffalo's Banner/Hulk is a truly beloved character, the Breakout Character of The Avengers (getting the film's iconic Signature Scene where he smashes Loki), and the scene-stealer for Thor: Ragnarok.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?:
    • Unlike the movies, the Netflix series are not family-friendly in the slightest. They are both extremely violent and deal with very heavy themes such as moral boundaries, alcoholism, PTSD, rape, and racism. LEGO Marvel's Avengers actually left Daredevil and Jessica Jones out due to their adult content, while Disney Infinity wasn't allowed to use Daredevil or Jessica because the higher-ups didn't think either of their shows were appropriate for the game's family audience.
    • The same could be said for the Hulu series Runaways (2017). It's not quite as dark as the Netflix series (being a "mere" TV-14 LSV to their TV-MA) but it's much edgier to both the movies and the comics it was based on. It's filled with vulgar language, sexual content, references, and innuendos (including gratuitous fanservice from both the teens and the adults), rather disturbing imagery, depictions of abuse, attempted rape, and murder played for maximum shock value. Oh, and woe betide anyone who thinks the teenage protagonists will act like the squeaky clean teenagers they might be accustomed to in other media, as they act about what you'd expect from teenagers in real life.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • After the disappointing performance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Marvel had to work in order to renew faith in the film franchise with the solo Spider-Man movie, along with whatever movie the character appears in beforehand. Judging by fan reactions to his role in Civil War, they're off to an amazing start.
    • Thor: The Dark World generally got mediocre reception and earned far less money than the film that it followed (which itself was rather divisive with audiences), so Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) won back a lot of fans cynical about the franchise's continued success. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also contributed to this, as the first half of the first season was similarly divisive, while what followed on the show has solidified a fanbase for itself.
    • A lot of the casting and character announcements for the Phase 3 films have won over some fans who had grown disillusioned with the lack of diversity in the MCU.
    • Reception to the villains of the Phase 3 films generally leans positive, suggesting that Marvel Studios' efforts at an Author's Saving Throw over their reputation for weak villains have paid off.
    • After Inhumans flopped, Thor: Ragnarok was released, with the long-awaited culmination of the Ragnarok storyline, something that has generated a far more positive response than the show.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • With the sole exception of his suit in the first film, Captain America's various costumes have drawn criticism from some areas of the internet, either for being too camp and colorful, or for the cowl looking odd (The Avengers), abandoning the traditional stars and stripes (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), or for just looking ugly (Age of Ultron). Obviously, many disagree (in particular, pointing out that Cap's SHIELD-ized uniform in TWS was a subtle indicator that something was seriously wrong at the start of the film), but it's a popular sentiment.
    • Hawkeye's suit in The Avengers drew criticism for looking more like his Ultimate Marvel incarnation's uniform (which is largely considered 'pragmatic but boring'). The creators listened and in the second film he's gotten an awesome new outfit that's a mishmash of his various costumes from the comics, complete with Badass Longcoat. Then, for Captain America: Civil War, his look has been revamped to what can best be described as his classic outfit with MCU aesthetics, with the only detail missing being his mask.
    • Deathlok and Mockingbird also got criticism for their suits in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The problem with Deathlok was mainly that his cybernetics are internalized rather than on the outside like his mainstream counterpart, with the result that his armor looks cheap rather than intimidating. Mockingbird got complaints just for not initially looking like her comic self, though this was corrected by her second appearance (her hair is shown to be blonde like in the comics and her outfit is a more muted version of her normal costume with the same kind of extra armor and padding that Black Widow and Captain America had for their costumes).
    • Daredevil's costume got some wary comments though in his case it's justified; the black ninja-esque outfit is the one he starts out with before upgrading to his actual costume. Though now there are fans who complain about his red suit and wish he'd go back to his homemade black one, in large part because they feel it looks too much like Captain America and other MCU heroes.
    • The design of the later Iron Man suits are not as well liked as the earlier suits being unfavorably compared to Tony's most iconic suits the Mark 3 and Mark 7. Most of the later Iron Man suits lack the bulky, mechanical feel of the early suits and can feel overly CGI and fake. The most disliked looks are the Mark 46 and Mark 50. This is due to the Mark 46 being a Powerup Let Down meaning the Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster design to the Iron Man Armor isn't just cosmetic but a in-universe weaker suit and the Mark 50 simply looking too flowing and organic, which might be justified by the suit being nanotech but that doesn't mean the fans have to like it. The Mark 85 does fix the criticisms of the Mark 50 by being more layered and mechanical with a much more satisfying suit up.