10 Steps to Achieving the Marvel Formula, According to Reddit – NBCNEWS

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Thor: Love and Thunder is in theaters now and fans are eagerly queuing up to see another new movie from the MCU. Many people have pointed out that all Marvel movies follow a formula that leads to their box office success, but if it were that easy to figure out, other companies would be just as prosperous in their movie releases.

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There are many theories as to what makes up the famous “Marvel formula,” and while the MCU movies aren’t always the same, they share similarities that fans and viewers have been able to spot. It’s true that most MCU features simply follow the well-known “Hero’s Journey” story that has been around since ancient times, but according to Redditors, these are the crucial steps to achieving the Marvel formula.


Introduce a hero

Tony Stark Steve Rogers Iron Man Captain America Ultron Argument

According to SiBea13 there are two options: introduce a hero who is “witty, selfish and above all arrogant” so “their arc is that they achieve humility” or a hero who is “kind, selfless and above all naive” who fights because it is “the right thing to do” and therefore “their arc is the realization that the world is more complicated than they realize.”

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While there may be exceptions, most MCU heroes can be categorized into these two personalities. The first hero perfectly describes Iron Man, Doctor Strange and Thor, while the second describes Captain America, Spider-Man or Sam Wilson among others. Therefore, in order to achieve the formula, the main character should not stray too far from these descriptions.

Introduce a villain who is an evil version of the hero

Wanda Maximoff and Agatha Harkness in WandaVision

Next, if Convenient-day-734 explained, a villain who is the “dark reflection of the main character” should be introduced early on. The Redditor added: “This applies more to origin stories, but is quite effective, it reflects the hero’s internal struggles,” which is quite accurate.

The public saw it with Obadahia Stane or Ivan Vanko in Iron ManAgatha Harkness in WandaVision, and Red Skull in Captain America: the first avenger. There are other examples in the best MCU villains that prove that Marvel knows that everyone’s worst enemy is themselves. When characters are confronted with a darker version of their persona, they are obliged to grow and understand themselves better, which is usually captivating for the audience.

Add a romance

Spider-Man hugs MJ.

The public is a fan of love, so there must be a romantic interest in the hero who, according to Tuft64, should be “cliche” and part of the “plot”. To become one of the best MCU romances, the relationship should not be cast aside, but also have a story of its own that usually gets caught up in the villain conflict.

When the hero and his romantic interest fall in love, they must overcome a major obstacle that prevents them from being together, and when they finally do, they will experience something else that will leave them forever, or at least for a while. separate from each other. Only in the rarest of cases, when certain captains can go back in time, or a skilled archer somehow has his family untouched, can heroes be happy with their loved ones, get married and start a family.

Let someone the hero loves die

Yondu Holds Quill's Face in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.2

redditor Ocksalis pointed out how the “father figure dies” in most movies, but it’s not necessarily a father figure, but a person loved by the main superhero. Parents, uncles, aunts, brothers, partners and mentors will do the trick and make the heroes feel personally involved in a cause.

The deaths of the saddest MCU characters also cause them to reveal or learn something about themselves. It provokes a personal struggle that proves that heroes have tragic lives full of pain and sacrifice. Usually, deaths are also growth tools to fuel their mission as superheroes, or just add the emotional drama that every audience member loves.

Don’t forget humor

Thor Love And Thunder Zeus Scene Thor Naked Back Tattoo

User awesomeness0232 suggested a formula for Marvel’s humor. He explained, “there’s a big action scene where the protagonists fight the villain or fight each other,” adding that “there’s a point in the fight where everyone stops and someone says something that’s totally inappropriate for the moment.” That, of course, is considered funny.

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In the early Marvel movies, humor wasn’t such a big thing, but lately it’s been a distinctive trademark of all movies to add some jokes, inappropriate comments, or show moments when superheroes are clumsy and not as perfect as they seem. were once portrayed in battle. Most of all, the MCU these days likes to break the tension of a scene with a silly comment from one of the characters.

Make the villain more powerful than the hero

MCU Thanos and Hela.

To achieve Marvel’s formula, heroes must not be able to defeat the villain in their first encounter, but must be weaker than them. This has defined the best phase four antagonists so far, and as a deleted Redditor pointed out that this imbalance of power between them causes “fights to ensue” and “the protagonist is faced with insurmountable opportunities”.

Despite the enemy being significantly stronger than the hero, or the minimum chance of winning, the superhero will try to fight. This perfectly describes battles against Thanos, Hela or the Scarlet Witch, to name a few, in which the main character’s powers are surpassed in the beginning.

Action packed climax

In most cases, the climax should be full of explosions, buildings falling apart, civilians panicking and screaming, or multiple smaller enemies getting killed. This may vary from film to film, but as stated by Cafeteria is a “big bombastic third act that is usually a massive action sequence with something huge at stake and usually something explosive in the mix.”

This is when the production costs shine the most and prove just how much money the film was worth. Tension depends on whether the superheroes will make it out alive or whether they will be able to defeat the villain who is overwhelmingly stronger than them.

Last Minute Victory

Iron Man catches Infinity Gauntlet in Avengers Endgame

The battle against the villain continues, and it seems that a victory is impossible until an unexpected solution comes, only “to win at the last minute in this epic battle,” according to Redditor. jolocuswhich describes pretty much every MCU movie or series.

The movie wouldn’t be as exciting if it was clear that the audience’s favorite superheroes were winning from the start. The climactic development should be intriguing and have everyone on the edge of their seats wondering how the superheroes will survive such a brutal contest, which will be solved in five seconds with an impromptu plan.


redditor Roller_Ball explained: “Main characters are killed. Oh wait, no, they’re really alive.” The MCU likes to play with the hearts of fans, always presenting a scenario where a major hero or villain seemed to have died, or did, and somehow came back to life.

Death is not taken so seriously and there are always doubts about whether a deceased character will come back later. While it’s kind of a tradition for Marvel Studios to bring their characters back to life, or have them pass out so everyone thinks they’re dead, the scenes where a hero’s life is lost continue to move audiences.

Post credit scene

patrick stewart professor x xharles xavier the wolverine 2013 post credits scene

Bea13 called the last iconic detail of every Marvel movie, the “Postcredits scene”. This became a trademark and MCU movies don’t really belong to the company without it.

The after-credits scenes always seem to give fans exciting news about the franchise’s upcoming movie or other films from the company. It’s a beloved tradition to sit in the theater seat, wait for the credits to end and watch a short clip with intriguing clues about the Marvel universe.

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