The canon and continuity of the MCU isn’t as stable as everyone thinks – Black Widow even contradicting an official prelude comic.
the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to ignore its own cannon – but with good reason. Few topics have the potential to excite and divide fans than the question of what should be considered “canon” in their favorite franchise. This is because “canon” is essentially a shorthand for “feeling that something matters”. In a shared universe like the MCU, when something is ignored or rewritten, it can easily feel like a lightness.
The MCU has always done a pretty decent job of making sure everything feels interconnected, but every now and then there are continuity issues, especially with linking media like the comics. official Marvel Prelude. Speaking on Twitter, James Gunn declared a draw for guardians of the galaxy non-canon when he wrote the sequel, as it contained an origin story for Gamora that conflicted with the one he wanted to write. And Black Widow contradicts the Avengers: Infinity War Prelude when he reinstated Steve Rogers’ jailbreak from Captain America: Civil War. Why are there issues like this?
Marvel’s shared universe model creates huge storytelling opportunities, but unfortunately, it can also prove restrictive for writers and directors. This is particularly the case with linked mediums; some try to flesh out the characters by presenting origin stories (for example, preludes for Doctor strange did a terrific job with Kaecilius), while others exploit the shortcomings of the narrative to tell their stories. No writer or director can reasonably expect them to know the full range of related content, from comics to textbooks, and it wouldn’t be fair if their storytelling opportunities were limited based on the connections a tiny minority of viewers are aware.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the comics and books don’t matter, as Marvel Studios will certainly be working closely with their writers and artists during production. So the Avengers: Infinity War Prelude reflected the accumulation of Avengers: Infinity War, and all revelations will have been taken into account in the marketing campaign. The best approach would be to view these comics as some sort of second tier canon, part of the overall lore unless and until they are contradicted by Marvel movies and Disney + TV shows. This is similar to Lucasfilm’s treatment of the old Star wars Expanded universe, where books, comics, and games were considered cannons until George Lucas contradicted them, when they were fired.
Of course, even the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have perfect continuity on its own. guardians of the galaxy revealed that Gamora was the last of his race, the Zehoberi people, but Avengers: Infinity War traced Gamora’s backstory to reveal that half of her race had survived. In these cases, the imperatives of storytelling had changed; Marvel had settled on their portrayal of Thanos, coming up with the idea that he was dedicated to the idea of balance rather than the bride of death, and their previous stories had to be reconnected as a result. Marvel has a reputation for long-term planning, but in reality they’re a lot more flexible than most think, meaning returns are inevitable. But it is in fact a force of the MCU rather than a limitation, because it gives writers and directors a lot more freedom. Maybe sometimes those details don’t really matter after all.
More: All 13 Marvel TV Shows Released After Black Widow
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release Date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: 05 November 2021
- Spider-Man: No Path Home (2021)Release Date: December 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release Date: March 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: 06 May 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever / Black Panther 2 (2022)Release Date: 08 Jul 2022
- Wonders / Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release Date: November 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release Date: February 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: 05 May 2023
Marvel confirms Captain America switched sides in Vietnam
About the Author