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Why the Marvel Cinematic Universe feels empty

The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t a very good cinematic universe.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is huge. But is it good?
Phil Edwards is a senior producer for the Vox video team.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe dominates our pop culture and the box office — but is it really a coherent cinematic universe?

This episode of Vox’s Overrated series details the history of crossovers, from radio serials to the $200 million movies of today. And it brings up questions about what kind of crossovers — and movie universes — are truly satisfying, and which ones are just about a cash grab.

Agree or disagree, there’s been a lot of interesting writing about fictional universes. The Tommy Westphall Universe imagines an empire built from cheesy TV crossovers, while Sean Howe’s book about Marvel Comics chronicles the behind-the-scenes tumult involved in creating the first shared superhero universes.

So is the Marvel Cinematic Universe overrated? Watch the above video to see where you stand on this branch of superhero cosmology.