Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

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Updated Jun 09, 2021 at 02:06PM EDT by Rose Abrams.

Added Jul 11, 2015 at 03:15PM EDT by Synge.

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graphic of the various characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe


The Marvel Cinematic Universe (abbreviated as "MCU") is a series of films produced by Marvel Studios and under the direction of The Walt Disney Company since 2012's The Avengers. The films light-hearted feel, being in contrast to DC Comic's movies such as The Dark Knight and Man of Steel, has generated an immensely large fan-base, both online as well as offline.


Plans for a shared cinema series using Marvel Comics characters were initially conceived back in 2005 by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. [1] The first film in the franchise Iron Man was released on May 2, 2008. The main film line-up has been set to continue through 2019, ending with Inhumans on July 2, 2019. With the success of The Avengers in 2012 Marvel decided to create a TV series, which eventually became Agents of Shield. [2] In 2014 he company pushed into less traditional forms of media by airiing their new series exclusively on Netflix starting with Daredevil and a plan for several series, all of which will culminate in The Defenders which does not have a release date at this time. [3]

Feature Films

Iron Man (May 2, 2008)
The Incredible Hulk (June 13, 2008)
Iron Man 2 (May 7, 2010)
Thor (May 6, 2011)
Captain America The First Avenger (July 22, 2011)
The Avengers (May 4, 2012)
Iron Man 3 (May 3, 2013)
Thor: The Dark World (November 8, 2013)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4. 2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1, 2014)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1, 2015)
Ant-Man (July 17, 2015)
Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016)
Doctor Strange (November 4, 2016)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5, 2017)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7, 2017)
Thor: Ragnarok (November 3, 2017)
Black Panther (February 16, 2018)
Avengers: Infinity War (April 27, 2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6, 2018
Captain Marvel (March 8, 2019)
Avengers: Endgame (May 3, 2019)
Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 2nd, 2019)

Television Series

Agents of Shield
Season 1 (September 24, 2013 – May 13, 2014)
Season 2 (September 23, 2014 – May 12, 2015)
Season 3 (September 29, 2015 – May 17, 2016)
Season 4 (September 20, 2016 – May 16, 2017)
Season 5 (December 1, 2017 – May 18, 2018)
Agent Carter
Season 1 (January 6, 2015 – February 24, 2015)
Season 2 (January 19, 2016 – March 1, 2016)
Season 1 (September 29, 2017 – November 10, 2017)
Season 1 (April 10, 2015)
Season 2 (March 18, 2016)
Season 3 (2018)
Jessica Jones
Season 1 (November 20, 2015)
Season 2 (March 8, 2018)
Season 3 (TBA)
Luke Cage
Season 1 (September 30, 2016)
Season 2 (June 22, 2018)
Iron Fist
Season 1 (March 17, 2017)
Season 2 (TBA)
The Defenders
Season 1 (August 18, 2017)
The Punisher
Season 1 (November 17, 2017)
Season 2 (TBA)
Season 1 (November 21, 2017 – January 9, 2018)
Season 2 (TBA)
Cloak and Dagger
Season 1 (June 7, 2018 – TBA)

Online Relevance

On Tumblr various posts can be found about the franchise tagged under both "mcu" [4] as well as "marvel cinematic universe". [5] There are also Tumblr blogs dedicated to the MCU, such as The MCU Report, [6] Daily MCU, [7] Women of MCU, [8] as well as many others. [9] [10] On Reddit the largest subreddit dedicated to the MCU has over 43,000 readers. [11]

On YouTube there are around 87,500 results for "marvel cinematic universe". [12] The most viewed video based around the MCU was uploaded by channel Inside the Magic on October 29, 2014 (shown below). As of July 2015, the video has over 5 million views.

On June 20, 2014, YouTube based entertainment company Watch Mojo uploaded a video entitled "Top 10 Marvel Cinematic Universe Easter Eggs" in which the announcer gives a run down of the company's favorite Easter eggs scattered throughout the MCU (shown below).

Kevin Feige Interview

On April 21st, 2019, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was interviewed by India's Largest Independent News Service (IANS), during which he affirmed that he supported Marvel introducing superheroes who did not have the "perfect figure," stating "Yes, I would because then maybe I can be a superhero."[22] Additionally, when asked about the upcoming MCU film Shang-Chi having the first Asian-led superhero, Feige replied:

"I think every movie that we do is a risk. We only want to do movies that people seem to think are risks. Doing the story of an Asian-American hero of Chinese heritage is something that is very intriguing to us. It will be really different and special. I hope audiences around the world respond to it in the same way they did to Steve Rogers…whether they have American flag or not."

When asked about diversity and inclusion in the films, Feige cited Captain Marvel as proof that audiences are open to diverse casts (shown below).

"I think the success of 'Captain Marvel' thankfully proves that people do want to see that. Warner Bros. did it first and also proved it and I think 'Captain Marvel' proves that 'Wonder Woman' wasn't just lucky or just one time only. So that is going to be the way we are heading in the future."

That day, The Mary Sue[23] published an article about the interview, titled "Marvel's Kevin Feige on Shang-Chi and Body-Positive Superheroes." On April 23rd, NewsBusters[24] published an article criticizing the interview, saying "Marvel intended on slowly stepping into the identity politics playing field" with the release of Captain Marvel.

Phase 4

On July 20th, 2019, at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel officially announced five new films and five Disney+ series. These include:

*Black Widow: May 1, 2020
*The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Fall 2020 (Disney Plus)
*The Eternals: Nov. 6, 2020
*Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Feb. 12, 2021
*WandaVision: Spring 2021 (Disney Plus)
*Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: May 7, 2021
*Loki: Spring 2021 (Disney Plus)
*What If…? Summer 2021 (Disney Plus)
*Hawkeye: Fall 2021 (Disney Plus)
*Thor: Love and Thunder: Nov. 5, 2021

In addition, producer Kevin Feige announced that sequels to Black Panther_, Captain Marvel_ and Guardians of the Galaxy would also be coming in phase 4, as well as a reboot of Blade starring Mahershala Ali.


Tom Hiddleston's Loki

Tom Hiddleston's Loki refers to actor Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of the villain Loki in the films Thor, The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World. The character received In April of 2012, a Quickmeme [17] page titled "Loki" was created, which features photographs of Hiddleston that can be edited with custom captions (shown below).

meme of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki about getting fangirls

On April 4th, a Facebook [18] page titled "I Love Tom Hiddleston (Loki Page)" was launched, accumulating more than 15,000 likes in the first 16 months. On Tumblr, several Loki-related fan blogs have been launched, including "F Yeah Loki," [19] "Loki Lovers" [20] and "Loki's Monster Crotch." [21] On July 21st, 2013, Hiddleston appeared as Loki at the San Diego Comic-Con and took over comedian Chris Hardwick's panel to address the audience (shown below).

Fan Films

On April 20, 2015 YouTube channel Studio C uploaded a music video parody of Age of Ultron (shown below, left). As of July 2015, the video has over 1.7 million views. On May 13, 2015 YouTube channel Screen Team uploaded another music video parody (shown below, right). As of July 2015, the video has over 2.5 million views.

On March 25, 2015 YouTube channel The Warp Zone uploaded a video entitled "HODOR vs GROOT RAP BATTLE" in which the MCU version of Guardians of the Galaxy character Groot faces of with Game of Thrones character Hodor in a rap battle in a similar vein to ERB's Epic Rap Battles of History series (shown below). As of July 2015, the video has nearly 2 million views.

Fan Animations

On June 9, 2010 YouTube comedy channel, CollegeHumor uploaded a video entitled "Iron Man 2 Alternate Takes" (shown below, left). The video has over 6.6 million views as of July 2015. CollegeHumor later uploaded a second MCU parody titled "Too Many Avengers", uploaded on June 7, 2012 (shown below, right). As of July 2015, the video has nearly 5 million views.

On July 12, 2014 YouTuber Sky Does Minecraft uploaded a Minecraft animation parody of The Avengers (shown below). As of July 2015, the video has nearly 3 million views.


On YouTube there are several videos of YouTubers doing sketches and speed drawings of MCU characters. [13] On August 4, 2011 YouTuber Renowned Warrior uploaded a video of their speed drawing of Chris Evans' portrayal of Captain America (shown below, left). Later on May 8, 2012 YouTuber ThePortraitArt uploaded their drawing of Chris Hemsworth's portrayal of Thor (shown below, right).

On DeviantArt there are numerous pieces of fan-art uploaded under both "MCU" [14] and "Marvel Cinematic Universe", [15] as well as over 280,000 pieces of fanart under "The Avengers", many of which are depicted in their MCU incarnations. [16]


I Understood That Reference

I Understood That Reference is an expression used in online forums and comments as an acknowledgement of a pop culture reference said by another. The quote was originally said by Captain America in the 2012 Marvel superhero action film The Avengers.

Iunderstood that reference.

Captain America: Civil War 4 Pane

Captain America: Civil War 4 Pane is a series of vertical multi-pane image macros based on an exploitable photo set from the 2012 Marvel superhero film The Avengers illustrating a deadlocked conversation between two people at odds, usually over fandom rivalries.


Disintegration Effect / I Don't Feel So Good

Disintegration Effect / I Don't Feel So Good is a series of photoshopped image macros in which the subject appears to be dissolving using Photoshop’s “dispersion” technique. Following the release of Avengers: Infinity War, the meme was revived for a series of jokes about the film’s ending. In this context, it is usually paired with a line from the film “I don’t feel so good.”

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