On Thursday, Disney unveiled new details about its upcoming streaming service now known as Disney+. Unsurprisingly, those details included Disney’s plans to lean heavily on Star Wars and Marvel along with tapping its “Vault” for a veritable smorgasbord of content. If there’s one media company who can go head-to-head with Netflix, it’s the ever-expanding Disney who, at the very least, will get to experience yet another opportunity to hilariously steamroll Warner Bros./DC Comics in another arena.
But I’m not here to talk about that pissing contest. I’m here to talk about the very real possibility that Disney is cannibalizing its ridiculously profitable Marvel Cinematic Universe just to make a splash in the streaming wars, which was my immediate reaction to the news that Tom Hiddleston will star in the new Loki series. Disney might as well have fired a banner in the sky that reads, “Literally nothing that happened in Infinity War matters, but you suckers will still buy tickets to the sequel anyway. Haha!” (For the record, I am exactly one of those suckers. See you there!)
SPOILERS FOR ‘AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR’ BELOW
As the credits rolled on Infinity War, it was practically a given that the characters who got Thanos-fisted into dust were going to be just fine. Shit, Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy already had sequels on the books, and word of Black Panther 2 wasn’t far behind. However, there was a hanging question mark over the characters who died “Pre-Snapture,” but it’s becoming increasingly clear that even those deaths were nothing but hollow narrative choices to give the illusion of serious stakes.
Case in point: Subscribe to Disney+ for the latest adventures of Loki who is totally still alive, btw!
Granted, there’s a compelling theory floating around that Loki is disguised as the Hulk for the majority of Infinity War, but Disney could’ve at least waited until Avengers 4 hit theaters to make it abundantly clear that almost every single death was horseshit. Instead, Disney rang that bell six months in advance just so it could make waves about its new streaming service. Because, again, it’s not like fans won’t show up in droves to have their bladders exploded while witnessing almost everything that happened in Infinity War get reversed.
And that’s not speculating. Besides having inevitable sequels already on the roster, Disney is barely even hiding the lack of permanent ramifications from Infinity War just so it can take a swing at Netflix. Because on top of Loki, Disney+ is already boasting a Scarlet Witch series that will almost definitely include Vision, so there are another two deaths that meant absolutely jackshit. To a lesser extent, there’s also a Winter Soldier and Falcon buddy cop series that telegraphs the fact that neither one of those characters are replacing Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers as Captain America. Which makes it sound a hell of a lot like Evans’ exit from the MCU isn’t with a dramatic death, or possibly even an exit at all.
At the end of the day, these are just superhero movies, and to Marvel’s credit, it has pulled off the almost impossible task of building a film franchise that unfolds just like the comics. Unfortunately, that also includes the dreaded crossover event where “nothing will ever be the same again,” but it almost always is because superhero deaths are never permanent. Will that even matter to film audiences? We’ll find out after they sit through a three-hour movie that completely reverses the previous three-hour movie that was supposed to be a groundbreaking event full of dire consequences. Instead, an aggressive entry into the crowded streaming market is making it almost laughably clear that the events of Infinity War meant jack squat because Disney wants to keep milking its biggest film franchise until its udders turn to dust.
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