Marvel Cinematic Universe
Marvel Cinematic Universe (short: MCU) is the shared universe that is the setting of the superhero films independently produced by Marvel Studios. It is divided into "phases", with Phase Three set to conclude with Spider-Man: Far From Home in July 2019. The first 22 films in the franchise, up to and including Avengers: Endgame, are collectively known as the "Infinity Saga".
The Marvel Cinematic Universe also has a number of tie-in television series. At first, these mainly centred on characters who had minor roles in the MCU movies or who didn't appear in the movies at all, such as Agent Phil Coulson, Peggy Carter, Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, etc. The plot of each series either took place around the movies (such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter) or barely interacted with the movieverse (such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, etc. However, Disney - which acquired Marvel in 2009 - announced that it would be premiering several Marvel TV series with the launch of its new streaming service, Disney+, that starred principal characters and actors from the movies - including Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Paul Bettany (Vision) and Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff).
- See also: List of Marvel Universes
Fanfiction set in this movieverse focuses on the characters that appear in the movies, often using additional background information from the comics and Norse Mythology. Stories may include characters from other Marvel Comics-related films, such as Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and The X-Men. These kinds of character crossovers are (for the time being) non-canonical and unofficial as far as the movies are concerned; different film studios own the movie rights to the various characters. Sony owns rights to Spider-Man, Disney (previously Paramount Pictures) owns rights to The Avengers, and Fox owns rights to The X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Fans ignore these limitations, supported in this by the fact that in the Marvel Comics, all the characters of the Marvel Universe interact and often appear in each others' comics.
In February 2015, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios announced a licensing deal that would allow Spider-Man to appear in the MCU, to a largely positive reception from fans. Tom Holland made his first appearance as Spider-Man in the MCU with a minor role in Captain America: Civil War, and will appear in his own film, Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017. Marvel Studios has also explored the possibility of incorporating other MCU characters into future Spider-Man films, with Robert Downey Jr. confirmed to be reprising his role as Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
In March 2019, Disney acquired a bunch of Fox television and movie assets, including Deadpool, X-Men, and Fantastic Four. Although it was rumored to happen back in 2017, with this confirmation this allows other Marvel characters to be able legally join the MCU, and not just in fandom. Its unclear if Disney/Marvel Studios will reboot X-Men and Fantastic Four teams, similar to what they did with Peter Parker/Spider-Man or let the X-Men and Deadpool franchise alone. As stated above, Fantastic Four and The X-Men have appeared in various fanworks dealing with the MCU, and depending on the author/artist the characters are influenced by their comicsverse, cartoonverse, or movieverse. Both teams have been apart of The Avengers in comics for many years, the merger and any potential movies spawned by it could increase the amount of X-Men and F4 joining the MCU. Starting in or around 2016, Deadpool was also frequently added to MCU works due to his popularity.
Fanvids and fanart such as picspams also take a similar approach for the MCU fandom, adding additional characters from the other Marvel films such as X-Men Movieverse, Spider-Man/The Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four.
- See The Avengers Movieverse, Iron Man Movieverse, Captain America Movieverse, Thor Movieverse, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Captain Marvel for more details about the fandom specific to each sub-series.
The most popular pairings tend be slash, but there is some change and flexibility in the pairings over time as the universe expands and different characters interact with each other and new characters are introduced, see List of MCU Relationship Names which has a listing for over a hundred pairings and their ship names. The most popular slash pairings as of 2021 are:
- Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers
- Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
- Loki/Tony Stark
- Clint Barton/Phil Coulson
There is also a strong het following, usually around canonical pairings, such as Pepper Potts/Tony Stark and Peggy Carter/Steve Rogers, or pairings that had close canonical friendships, the most popular being Clint Barton/Natasha Romanova and Steve Rogers/Natasha Romanova.
Femslash is considerably smaller than the slash and het fandoms, but it is still fairly large overall compared to other large western media fandoms. There is also a community of femslash fans that encourage the creation of fanworks through challenges and exchanges. The most popular femslash pairings tend to be in the television fandoms, with Peggy Carter/Angie Martinelli and Jemma Simmons/Skye being the most popular. On the movie side of the fandom Natasha Romanov tends to be the character most prevalent in femslash, with Maria Hill/Natasha Romanov, Natasha Romanov/Wanda Maximoff and Pepper Potts/Natasha Romanov being her most popular pairings.
- For a full listing of Fanlore articles on Marvel challenges see Category:Marvel Challenges
The Marvel fan community always encouraged the creation of fanworks through challenges, but the number and variety of challenges exploded after the introduction of the MCU, and has consistently expanded over the years, some examples being:
- See also Category:Marvel Fanfiction
- The Responsible Science Series by lettered
- Exclusive by copperbadge
- because I love you baby that's no lie by TardisIsTheOnlyWayToTravel (2014). One of the most popular f/f works in the fandom. (Story now deleted - link via webarchive.org)
- Nobody's heroes by boleyn13 (2016). A post-CACW Team Iron Man salt fic.
- See also Category:Marvel Vids
- Marvel Cinematic Universe MultiFemale // One Woman Army by Cantrous
- MultiMale Marvel Cinematic Universe // Talk Dirty by Cantrous
- Marvel Cinematic Universe Miltiary Industrial Complex // Hey Ho by thuvia parth
- MCU Dance Off by lim
- Random Edit - Reed Richards and Sue Storm in Captain America: Civil War by Live Breathe Media, where Sue Storm reacts to the news about the events in Lagos.
- Marvel || We Will Rock You by Ak Editx
- Marvel Ladies || Heroes by Evelyn Jackson
- Battle royale by voordeel
- Glitter & Gold by djcprod & Grable424
General MCU Communities & Resources
- Captain America and Bucky are Just Friends (2015)
- On Shipping: What’s Disney’s, What’s Yours, and What’s Mine (2015)
- MCU Meta Directory by Domenika Marzione (domarzione)
- MCU fanwork production //Wherefore Art Thou Thor? by yourlibrarian (2015)
- Stuck in the 70s? Pop Music in the MCU by yourlibrarian (2016)
- Marvel Metas, a Tumblr blog collecting various meta pieces about various characters
- Age of Ultron and the Impending Collapse of the MCU by froborr (2015).
- Previously titled "Avengers: Infinity War Part 2"; In July 2016, Marvel removed the film's title leaving it "Untitled" for now Wikipedia. The film name was announced in Dec 2018 with the release of the first trailer.
- Originally intended as a film, it was changed into a TV series after Agents of Shield used the Inhumans storyline.
- Marvel spinoffs: Loki, Falcon and Scarlet Witch are coming to Disney+, CNN.com. Published April 12, 2019 (Accessed May 6, 2019).
- Robert Downey Jr. Joins 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'. The Hollywood Reporter. Posted April 21, 2016. (Accessed November 21, 2016)
- Disney's Deadpool? Netflix worries? What Disney's billion dollar Fox deal means. Digital Trends. March 19, 2019.