Is the MCU finally becoming newbie-friendly?

Jasmine Valentine
Marvel's Avengers

The MCU has been caught up in its own lore for years, but if it thinks bringing back its TV division will be newbie-friendly, it’s kidding itself. 

If you are a Marvel dunce, like me, there’s a good chance that you’ve been put off getting stuck into any superhero TV shows, let alone all the Marvel movies, and it’s only going to get worse. With the introduction of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, the MCU is no longer one sacred timeline but a mishmash of different universes and timelines. 

It’s exhausting to even think about, let alone watch. Since 2008’s Iron Man, Marvel’s lore has only grown more and more complex, making it a struggle for even the most dedicated of fans to follow. So if everything MCU-related is so intertwined, then how can casual viewers even possibly dip in and out?

This is a problem Marvel bosses have caught onto, and — hooray — they’re finally determined to do something about it. With three key TV titles set to hit screens in 2025, the master plan is bringing back the studio’s TV division, so unexpected hits like WandaVision and Loki don’t have to exist under the same bubble. Still, from a noob’s perspective, this shift is only scratching the surface of the MCU’s accessibility problems. 

The MCU is kidding itself if it thinks returning division will fix all

Avengers Endgame poster.

In the words of Marvel Studios Head of TV, Streaming, and Animation Brad Winderbaum, “On the heels of Avengers: Endgame, I think there was, maybe, a little bit of an obligation to watch absolutely everything in order to watch anything.”

He goes on to suggest that the new changes try to tell the audience, “You can jump in anywhere. They’re interconnected, but they’re not. You don’t have to watch A to enjoy B. You can follow your bliss. You can follow your own preferences and find the thing you want within the tapestry of Marvel.”

However, none of this optimistic thinking works when the majority of your content already exists within an impenetrable framework. Whacking a few new TV shows as a cherry on top of an interconnected cake feels like a surface-level apology from the studio bigwigs. Of course, fans are grateful for standalone shows, but newbies are still missing out on a world they don’t really understand. 

If the MCU really wanted to make fans feel like they could watch willy-nilly, they’d unpick the issues from the ground up. There’s certainly a place for satisfying and complex lore, but splitting stories across TV, movies, and now different timelines and universes means our favorite superheroes’ lives have become very confusing. 

Just like a series of Marvel comics might be issued in numerical order, an MCU film or show should clearly tell you exactly when and where it fits into the bigger picture — though Disney Plus does offer this, although not for non-MCU Marvel movies — rather than leave viewers scrambling to guess.

This feeling of keeping your head above water has only doubled down in recent years, with Marvel relying heavily on gimmicks and cameos to get them through a wave of disappointing releases. From this, the so-called “Marvel fatigue” was born, with the studio churning out sub-par hits at a rate that would make Quicksilver flinch. Even for characters with far-fetched abilities, it’s all got a bit too sensationalized. 

If hardcore fans are finding it hard to be inspired to keep watching, the casual viewer stands no chance. Sure, things are looking up thanks to Deadpool & Wolverine and the likes of upcoming TV shows Agatha All Along, Daredevil: Born Again, and Ironheart on the way. However, for the MCU to regain its former glory, only a completely fresh start can change that.  

For more superhero content, you can check out the new Spider-Man 4 news, read all about the upcoming The Fantastic Four movie, and keep updated with any Avengers 5 changes.

Find even more amazing new movies and TV shows streaming this month, or dive into all the new true crime documentaries around right now. If that’s not enough, find out what’s in store this year for K-dramas coming to Netflix.