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Marvel is Terrible

Marvel is Terrible

But “Spiderman: No Way Home” Defies Norms 

By Stevan Crary 

TINGLE ALERT: The following article will have spoilers for “Spiderman: No Way Home.” So, if you like surprises, it is recommended to swing to your local theatre before giving this article a read.  

Marvel films are terrible! Before you throw your phone, laptop, or any other means of reading this article out the window and have The Collegian snapped from existence, some commending is to be given. Marvel films are often very entertaining and exceptional at getting one invested in their world. Some notable films would include “Captain America: The First Avenger,” a man who took some performance drugs to get his dream job, and “Avengers: Endgame,” a retired man who teams up with old friends to steal rocks. [1, 2] These are culturally defining films. The problem is that they sacrifice good storytelling to entertain audiences with a familiar show.  

From a business perspective, releasing a familiar movie is very smart because the audience knows that what they are paying for will be consistent with what they have paid for in the past. Disney and Sony’s studio couple have found a winning formula with the first “Iron Man.” [3] They have been running with it ever since, and the problem is that subsequent films have become predictable.  

“The Marvel films are very predictable,” said Stefan DePaula, a film and television major. He scooted to the edge of his chair and looked over the tops of his glasses, continuing, “Here’s the thing with Marvel…they still don’t know how to write an original script. They wrote Iron Man and have been copy and pasting that story for 27 films.” As such, this predictability is diminishing the impact of the story. [4] 

It is not possible to make an entirely original story, but it can feel original if it subverts the audiences’ expectations.  

An excellent example of story subversion is the new Oscar campaigned “Spiderman: No Way Home.” [5] The overall story is familiar. Another plot where Spiderman deals with high school identity crises, love, and ethics related to fighting crime. Still, it swings in new directions that the audience hasn’t experienced before in a friendly neighborhood Spiderman film.  

In “Spiderman: No Way Home”, Spiderman is tasked with capturing multi-verse villains that have fallen into his world. Photo by Marvel. 

The movie went darker, prolonging a theme that would have been made light of if it was an average Marvel submission. It explored the morals of killing for the greater good, giving the whole story a different tune. And just when the story climaxes with eye tearing trouble, he gets redeemed by multiverse help. 

This story does what most Marvel films don’t. It is more than just a funny, entertaining superhero film that lays waste to cities. It has more to offer.  

The Disney-Sony couple recipe isn’t necessarily sour, it’s delicious, but they are missing out on story opportunities that could do a lot of good by only creating one kind of film.  

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People have gotten used to seeing one kind of story and are missing out on the tremendous impact of a good story. In most cases, if the film “doesn’t look like Fast and Furious 37 or James Bond, people won’t watch it,” Stefan concluded. [6] This is a sad reality because this art can be used as conversation and means for change. Movies can only be used in this fashion by embracing the full potential of good storytelling.  

Rachel Feed, who is a Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Center of Spirituality and healing, expressed the potential of good storytelling beautifully:  

“Telling our stories is not an end in itself, but an attempt to release ourselves from them,  to evolve and grow beyond them. We tell our stories to transform ourselves; to learn  about our history and tell our experiences to transcend them; to use our stories to make a  difference in our world; to broaden our perspective to see further than normal; to act  beyond a story that may have imprisoned our enslaved us; to live more of our spiritual  and earthly potential.”  [7] 


  1. Johnston, J. (Director). (2011). Captain America: The First Avenger [Motion picture]. Marvel.  
  1. Russo, A & J. (Directors). (2019). Captain Avengers: EndGame [Motion picture]. Marvel.  
  1. Favreau, J. (Director). (2008). Iron Man [Motion picture]. Marvel.  
  1. Interview with Stefan DePaula on Jan. 5, 2022. 
  1. Watts, J. (Director). (2021). Spiderman: No Way Home [Motion picture]. Marvel.  
  1. Interview with Stefan DePaula on Jan. 5, 2022. 
  1. Freed, R. (2011, November 17). The importance of telling our stories. HuffPost. Retrieved January 11, 2022, from 

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