Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why do Marvel Comics’ movies and TV shows connect with audiences?” you ask? Good question. Timely too. (Besides, it beats answering the question: “With all the color-blind casting going on these days, why don’t we ever hear about white actors playing traditionally black characters?” Seriously? Color-blind casting in comic book movies and TV shows only applies to non-white actors. It doesn’t matter how big they are. Where have you been?)
In case you’ve not noticed, Marvel can do no wrong with movies and TV shows based loosely on their comic book characters. The winning streak has generally continued since this question was first received. With the new ABC midseason “bridge” show Agent Carter recently in the press, what better time to address the question than now?
While your rather reclusive writer was catching up on overdue CD reviews and was thus unable to attend the bulk of the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, other friendly members of the Fifth Estate were able to get us an answer from the award-winning writer “Jeph” Loeb the current Head of Television for Marvel.
So why do Marvel Comics movies and TV shows connect with audiences? While Loeb typically did not provide what some would call a “legitimate answer”, he did respond in more general terms. According to Lesley Goldberg our friend at The Hollywood Reporter said that he did offer “a logical and somewhat broad explanation about just why Marvel’s feature films and TV series, including Agents of SHIELD, connect so much with audiences.”
Loeb told the press: “What we try to do in all our stories is hit three basic areas. We like to have our heroes come from a place that is very empathetic, and at same [time] are very aspirational. Both the writers creating those characters and characters themselves . . . every single one of them has that unique thing that the audience wants: You like them and they also have an entry point for them.”
Another reason why Marvel productions have long been able to connect with audience is because the characters are real. They are imperfect and flawed with problems of their own. Even the millionaires like Tony Stark have issues like alcoholism and narcissism.
Still, they rise above their weaknesses which Loeb (once and still) agrees is why Marvel is “about hope.” He elaborates: “At the end . . . you have a feeling that this is going to turn out OK.”
Goldberg said that Loeb also said the final element “was Marvel’s special ‘secret sauce’ of levity and humor” concluding: “That kind of thing . . . (casts that are) able to play drama and comedy, that’s really where people respond.”
Why do Marvel Comics‘ movies and TV shows connect with audiences? Now you know.
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