By: Frank Hyden
Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are rumored to have parts in the Spider-Man 3 movie. Doctor Strange is also supposed to be in there so if Maguire and Garfield are in there, he’ll have something to do with it. I hate all this multiverse crap. The only thing I hate worse than multiverses is time travel. I will say that having different actors playing the role makes it a bit more intriguing, though. One of the reasons I hate multiverses is they often are used to remove the death of a major character. Like what they did with Laurel on Arrow. When Earth-1 Laurel was killed, they in essence replaced her with Laurel from Earth-2. She had a completely different personality but also kind of wanted to be like Earth-1 Laurel. It’s complicated but they basically just used this as a story arc for Katie Cassidy, the actress. I get that, and that’s cool, but you diminish the specter of death when you do this kind of stuff. That’s what I don’t like, using death as a story device.
One of the absolute worst things in comic books is when they kill a character off, only for them to return shortly thereafter. That’s Saturday morning cartoon levels of bullshit there. Name a character and odds are they’ve died and been brought back somehow, and it’s always so stupid. Hell, Marvel has made the X-Men essentially immortal on Genosha as their minds are psychically downloaded to new bodies that have been grown for them. It’s just so stupid, because death means nothing.
Anyway, back to Spider-Man 3. I understand the movies are in a different spot because you have actors who might not want to play the same role repeatedly, though I would love to do that myself if I were an actor but everyone is different. So they have to figure out ways to recast roles or come up with story reasons as to why someone else is playing basically the same character. One of the biggest draws of the Marvel movies is that they’re in a connected universe. It adds appeal to all their movies, I mean they’ve done Ant-Man movies for crying out loud. And yeah, Paul Rudd is great and very likeable but those movies made more money than they would have otherwise because of the shared universe. A multiverse can add to that because of the different ways each Earth could turn out, but it also detracts because it introduces massive power creep. Suddenly, Earth-1 being threatened by some evil villain isn’t quite as bad when you can call in heroes from the other Earths. You can deal with that by coming up with reasons why the other badasses can’t show up but usually what happens is that they just don’t address it. Or they go with some cop-out like “They were off-planet.” or something. We saw that at the end of Avengers Infinity War when they tried to shoehorn in some reason as to why Nick Fury wouldn’t have called in Captain Marvel before in Avengers 1 or 2.
The solo movies are already hurt by the disparate power levels of all the other heroes. None of the solo movies should deal with saving the world anyway, they should be more localized, like saving their city or area or state. But even then you’re left wondering why Spider-Man doesn’t call in some backup, or Captain America, Thor, etc. Why didn’t they try to get help from the others? It’s one of the problems you have to deal with when you’re doing a shared universe and usually it leads to fans just going with it and not questioning. But you can’t do that too much, or else people start getting frustrated. So multiple Earths means multiple more badasses to contend with, which means the villains have to be even stronger. Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet was unbelievably powerful. But imagine if he had to contend with the heroes from multiple Earths?
If I had more faith in Marvel to not cheese it up, I might be more okay with multiverses. However, the thing I would most dread seeing them do is to kill Earth-1 Daredevil at the end of a n Avengers-style team-up where he sacrifices himself to save the world only to replace him in the next movie (or even a few movies down the road in a solo movie or something) with the Earth-4 Daredevil, both being played by Charlie Cox. Now, to be clear, I loved Charlie Cox as Daredevil, he was incredible. But that storyline would be insulting and frustrating. It would render his sacrifice moot, as for all intents and purposes, it would be the same character. That’s lazy writing, and it’s manipulative. You should never try to manipulate the viewers. That never goes well. That’s my biggest worry about Marvel using multiverses, it’s too easy to use that to try to manipulate the viewers. I once heard a wise man say, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I think multiverses might be too great a power for this to end well.
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