The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is known for its rabid fanbase, and part of what keeps these hardcore devotees onside is just how well Marvel Studios manages to work fan service moments into its films.
Traditionally, the term “fan service” – which refers to creators including moments designed specifically to please fans – is often used in a derogatory sense by pop culture aficionados, and not without cause.
When done poorly, these attempts to give fans exactly what they want can come across as forced and actually harm the narrative flow of a story. However, when done right, instances of fan service can actually enhance proceedings, creating memorable scenes that work in service to the wider plot and appeal to veteran fans and newbies alike.
Granted, the MCU hasn’t always gotten it right when it comes to fan service (for instance, the inclusion of Captain America’s shield in Iron Man 2 is glaring example of the studio trying too hard). But generally speaking, the films have a strong track record of working in shout-outs to the source material that add to (rather than detract from) the audience’s viewing pleasure.
With this in mind, we’ve assembled this rundown of the 15 Best Moments Of Fan Service In The MCU.
Everyone loves a larger-than-life supervillain plot. With good reason, too – after all, our favourite action-adventure franchises couldn’t function without the outlandish schemes of a bad guy trying to take over (or destroy!) the world. Think about it: where would James Bond be without the wicked designs of a cackling mastermind to foil? And yet, for every fiendishly ingenious plan that makes you marvel at the brilliance of the mind behind it, there’s at least as many out there that make no sense whatsoever.
There’s several reasons why a supervillain’s plot can fail to add-up. Maybe it’s the case that the plot in question is poorly thought out and won’t achieve the villain’s stated goals. Perhaps it’s a scenario where that old killjoy, real-world science, makes the successful execution of a plot impossible, at least as stated. Or it could be that the plan isn’t laid-out very clearly, making it hard to follow how and why it will work.
Whatever the reason may be, the end result is a nefarious scheme that leaves fans scratching their heads and asking, “Wait, what’s going on here?” In recognition of moments such as these, here’s a rundown of 15 Supervillain Plots That Make Absolutely No Sense.
A lot has been written about what a surprise hit Guardians of the Galaxy was when it landed back in 2014, but it bears repeating: Marvel Studios really did accomplish the unthinkable in making a big budget film about an obscure superhero team – which including talking raccoons and trees, no less! – into one of the most critically and commercially successful blockbusters of that year.
Fast forward three years and the inevitable follow-up, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, has finally arrived to considerable anticipation. In promoting the film, returning director James Gunn promised fans something different, but in reality, this second go-round doesn’t really diverge too much from the formula laid down by its predecessor.
But then, when that formula produces such fun end results, does anyone really care if Vol.2 simply offers more of the same?
By now, we’ve all had a chance to see Logan, and it’s safe to say that for most fans and critics, the film serves as a great send-off for Hugh Jackman as he hangs up his claws after over decade and a half in the role.
There are several reasons for Logan’s success – including its smaller, more relatable scale and tighter focus on a small cast of characters – but without doubt a key reason why this Wolverine swansong soars is because it stands largely apart from the wider X-Men franchise.
Sure, it has links to earlier films in the series, but it also tends to gloss over (or even flat-out ignore) any aspects of the established canon that don’t fit with the story director James Mangold wants to tell, and in doing so, it reminds us that when it comes to storytelling versus continuity, the former is always more important than the latter.
Doctor Strange has barely arrived in UK cinemas – and doesn’t even open in the US until today – and already fans are speculating about what it could mean for the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Whilst Doctor Strange is, for the most part, a refreshingly standalone affair, it still contains its fair share of references to the MCU, and crucially, plants several seeds almost certain to bear fruit in the films that appear later on in the franchise.
Once again, I’m going to attempt to peer into the future – this time using the all-seeing Eye of Agamotto – to predict just how Doctor Strange will affect the MCU going forward.