Marvel's Return to Comic-Con is Its Last Chance Save the MCU

Where do we go after Kang?

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 11: Kevin Feige, President, Marvel Studios speaks onstage during the Walt ...
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Marvel shocked onlookers when it abstained from the San Diego Comic-Con in 2023. The studio’s absence did make some sense: the film industry was in limbo due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes that began that summer, which stalled most Marvel projects and prevented any talent from promoting their upcoming films or shows. Besides, Marvel was already pulling away from Comic-Con and turning some of its attention to Disney’s own convention, D23.

After the year Marvel’s had, though, the studio needs Comic-Con more than ever. Its cinematic universe is hanging by a thread following several critical and commercial disappointments, promising projects like Blade can’t seem to get off the ground, and perhaps most crucially, it still hasn’t dealt with the issue of Kang, which puts its upcoming slate at a major disadvantage. Marvel needs a concrete plan capable of putting fan doubts to rest. Making a big announcement at this year’s Comic-Con won’t fix all its problems overnight, but Marvel can start by tackling its biggest issue: Avengers 5.

Comic-Con is the closest thing Marvel has to a fresh slate.

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Per Deadline, Marvel is returning to Comic-Con in July. This year’s convention conveniently falls on Deadpool & Wolverine’s opening weekend, so it’s safe to expect an appearance from the stars of Marvel’s first R-rated picture. Otherwise, Marvel should take this opportunity to reset. Its last appearance at Comic-Con unveiled the Multiverse Saga, with Marvel boss Kevin Feige announcing two upcoming Avengers films. Avengers 5, then titled The Kang Dynasty, was set for 2025, followed by Avengers: Secret Wars.

Marvel was set to build the next five years of MCU films around Jonathan Majors’ Kang. It was a smart if belated move to give the franchise direction post-Thanos, but after Majors was arrested and convicted of reckless assault, Marvel’s plans were quickly dashed. Avengers 5 dropped all mention of Kang from its title, and the MCU has been scrambling to retool ever since.

Whether Marvel plans to recast the role of Kang or pivot from the villain entirely remains to be seen, and the studio’s reluctance to share its plans is turning fans off. Insiders have reported on a “quiet retooling” behind the scenes, but there’s no better time for Marvel to clarify its plans than at Comic-Con. Is Kang officially out of the picture? Will Avengers 5 become Avengers: Secret Wars - Part 1? Better yet, which of Marvel’s many scattered heroes will form the new Avengers line-up? The MCU has never felt more disorganized; if Feige has an actual game plan, he needs to share it in Hall H.

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