Jonah Traub, Co-Editor In Chief
In July of 2019, Marvel Studios released “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” the company’s swan song to the Infinity Saga – the three-phased storyline that spans the first 23 films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) – which had propelled them into the limelight and helped forge the now-wildly popular MCU. During the Infinity Saga’s run, Marvel Studios attempted to reach a global audience with a unique blend of jaw-dropping action, hard-hitting emotional beats and thoroughly-planned out storylines that spanned across multiple movies (and in some cases, multiple franchises). Box office numbers alone show that Marvel has certainly been successful in expanding its audience over the course of the Infinity Saga’s duration, with the first entry of the saga, 2008’s “Iron Man,” earning about $585 million at box offices worldwide, while 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame” set a then-record by pulling in a little under $860 million domestically and $2.8 billion worldwide. This massive growth in popularity, which was aided by Walt Disney Studios’ continued desire to take over the world and their resulting $4 billion acquisition of Marvel Studios back in 2009, has worked to transform Marvel’s fanbase, opening it up to more than just the comic book readers that had gotten invested in the lives of Marvel’s characters before they graced the silver screen.
While this growth in Marvel’s audience has certainly changed many aspects of Marvel Studios as a company, the single most important development to come from the company’s increased prominence can be seen in the Marvel fan community. Thanks to the increased number of Marvel fans, Marvel’s presence on message boards like Reddit and Quora has increased drastically, allowing those talented and passionate wordsmiths within the community to express their opinions and engage in intense conflicts and feuds with other users both in and outside the fandom. With thousands of fans on these sites at all times, involved individuals are able to free themselves from the unimportant distractions of work and school, and instead argue for the integrity and honor of their favorite superheroes and superhero franchises, all from the comfort of home.
When on these message boards, fans can…
Logically debate some of the more important questions that the movies pose:
Fight the real enemy:
Propose well-thought-out theories:
And even assess the validity of someone’s right to be a fan:
As the members of the ever-increasing Marvel community continue to flock over to these message boards in droves, the list of things they can do on these platforms grows. The number of Marvel fans continues to swell thanks to the arrival of hit shows like “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” on Disney+. This exponential growth of the community and the subsequent great migration to the message boards seems to have no end in sight. In order to learn how this growth plays out and to observe what the ‘endgame’ for these message boards will be once the Marvel community is in full control, the rest of society will just have to ride out this fourth phase of the MCU and simply wait and see.
Design by: Matt McBride