The Marvel Cinematic Universe obviously takes a huge amount of inspiration from the source material, and indeed there have been comics based on this ever-expanding world of on-screen characters.
However, there’s never been a crossover between the Earth 616 that has been created in the comics and the version of Earth in the MCU. Here are five reasons why a crossover like that should happen and five why it absolutely shouldn’t.
10 Shouldn’t: Confusing Continuity
The continuity of the MCU is already becoming a little confusing with the introduction of Disney+ shows, as well as what has already happened on Netflix, ABC, Hulu, and Freeform.
Adding another medium to this with the comics may make it even more difficult to understand what is canon and what isn’t. Right now there are even inconsistencies in the MCU comics that have been produced, so inconsistencies in a crossover of the universes is bound to happen.
9 Should: Multiverse Theory
The multiverse has been teased a few times in the MCU, although Doctor Strange may be exploring it in his own upcoming adventure. This crossover could actually massively boost this narrative.
Having these iconic iterations of the characters crossover would support the multiverse theory and do something extremely creative with it, especially if the mainline comics play into this big multiversal event.
8 Shouldn’t: Part Of The Narrative
If this is a part of the larger narrative of the MCU, anyone who doesn’t read comics might be left out. The movies manage to reach a much larger audience than the comics perhaps ever will again.
If a huge part of the story is actually missing from the screen, then it wouldn’t really make sense from a narrative perspective. A crossover like this could leave out big details in the cinematic side of the story.
7 Should: Interesting Comparisons
Bringing together the on-screen and comic versions of the characters could be a really interesting experiment over how these heroes and villains actually compare to one another.
For instance, the two Steve Rogers and Tony Starks would be almost identical, but a character like Gamora might see a lot of differences in their lives. This could provide some compelling discussions between these doppelgangers.
6 Shouldn’t: Bad Parallels
Wherever there great comparisons to be made there are also a number of bad parallels. Sometimes characters, stories, or costumes have been changed to such an extent that they are worse on screen than they are in the comics.
Inviting these kind of parallels may show a few of the flaws within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Therefore, it could be a better idea to completely keep these worlds separate.
5 Should: Cross Promotion
A benefit certainly for the Walt Disney Company is that it can provide an opportunity for a bit of cross-promotion. It could encourage mainstream movie fans to actually read some of the comics.
This would be good news for comic book fans as well since more readers means more of a budget for a wide range of different narratives and characters. It could really help the Marvel brand thrive further in the realm of comics.
4 Shouldn’t: Different Audiences
The difficulty of crossing over these two universes is that each is designed for a slightly different audience. The comics are certainly there for niche fans who have been following on for some time.
With new readers, the comics themselves will have to change in style to appeal to this larger audience that will be reading them. Creatively speaking, this could damage the identity of some of the titles in a few ways.
3 Should: New Creative Paths
A complete change in storytelling also means that there are new creative ideas being put forward. This kind of crossover could actually inspire a slight change in the MCU in the future.
It’s been slowly picking up more comic book elements, but perhaps this will move it in the direction of completely creating a universe full of heroes and villains everywhere.
2 Shouldn’t: Gimmicky
There’s a fear that an idea like this could be a little gimmicky and more for financial reasons rather than any creative motivations. It would, therefore, fall flat if it is just a cheap promotional stunt.
There needs to be some real narrative power behind this idea to make it feel more like a real part of the story of both universes rather than an excuse to only boost sales.
1 Should: A Change In Medium
A change in medium can sometimes refresh a franchise. Things can be done in comics that could never be achieved in live-action. A move into the animation world will already be giving fans a range of an alternate reality, with the What If…? Disney+ series.
A move into comics could allow characters to return that haven’t been seen in the MCU for some time. It could bring in villains that are almost un-adaptable to the big screen or even take heroes to locations that will likely never be seen on film.
Marvel comics and the MCU have remained mostly separated up until this point, but there are some reasons why that should, and shouldn't happen.