Ten years, ten long crazy years since the debut of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now for the ten year anniversary what else can I do but recount all of the main MCU movies and see if they still stack up in the lead up to Avengers Infinity War. So for now let us begin, the March to Infinity. Lao Tzu once said that "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" so where else to start our journey then from the beginning. This particular journey begins with four men, Avi Arad, David Maisel, Isaac Perlmutter and Ron Perelman.
Please note that I may be inaccurate in this recount of events mostly due to it just pertaining to the origins of the MCU but if you want more detailed information please watch SFDebris' "Rise and fall of the Comic Empire" series through the link here.
Also be sure to check out his reviews of Madoka Magica including every episode and the movie Rebellion on his website (Shameless plug) which explains why I don't think Rebellion is the worst part of the Madoka franchise and why Homura, while justified was still wrong and will most likely be the main antagonist when Concept finally shows up. Back on topic, to keep a long story short due to several creative and editorial conflicts resulting in several of Marvels top talent jumping ship to form Image comics in the late 80's and early 90's Marvel was in serious financial trouble and eventually bought by Perelman. Perelman was not a comic book fan and only saw Marvel as a new cash cow to drain milk from its teat. Such decisions by Perelman included raising comic prices, putting more emphasis on gimmicks, hollow foil covers and basically making comics more to attract collectors and "hardcore" fans and not the casual readers who were the lifeblood of the industry since the 60's, thus creating the speculator boom of the early 90's that nearly killed the comic book industry.
|Basically Marvel was bought out by a less funny and less successful version of Big T Larrity.|
All of this eventually lead to Marvel declaring bankruptcy in 1996. This is where Avi Arad and Isaac Perlmutter enter our story. After Perlman had Marvel declare bankruptcy he began deals with Arad and Perlmutter to incorporate ToyBiz into the Marvel umbrella as sole toy manufacture and distributer for Marvel. Eventually this resulted in Arad and Perlmutter managing to get Perlman and most his supporting CEO's out of Marvel so those two were in complete control of the dying comic company. Arad and Perlmutter proceeded with a new plan to turn their characters into movies and while Blade, X-Men, Ghost Rider and the Sam Reimi Spider-Man movies were major successes, because their movie rights were owned by different companies Marvel barely saw a dime to recoup their costs. But the major thing to take away from these was that those movies proved that the properties could be profitable.
Then comes along David Maisel with a radical and dangerous proposal, why not cut out the middle man, produce the movies under your own studio and not only that make it into one single universe just like the comics they were based off of? Now not only would this finally give Marvel their own studio with full creative control but that also meant maximum profit after barely seeing a dime from the properties that were owned by Fox and Sony. So with the plan in motion they waited for several of the movie rights of some of their famous characters that were sold off by Perelman to revert back to them. And after a dangerous gambit with Merrill Lynch and distribution with Paramount the first Iron Man movie went into production. If this didn't work and make the profit they were hoping for then Marvel would lose all the character movie rights to Merrill Lynch and they'd be doomed.
We all know the results, Iron Man was a major critical and financial success and with that the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase one went full steam ahead, creating the MCU we know today and Marvel pulling itself out of the gutter. Eventually being purchased by the Mouse Empire for 4.3 Billion dollars in 2009 thus as far as I know saving the company. So that's the abridged version of the events that lead to the MCU, If I was wrong about any of that please let me know in the comments. Next time we start on the good stuff with a guy that everyone is supposed to hate that started a movie experience that most of us still love as we begin the march to infinity.
Sources for clarification
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