Having A Long-Term Plan
You know what happens when you don’t have a long-term plan? You end up with a disorganized, years in the making mess like The Justice League. You know what happens when you sit down and plan out a direct path? You build and build to something as wonderful and full of life as The Avengers. Over the past few years or so, rather than scrambling, Marvel has executed a multi-part plan that has used its movies to generate excitement for future movies.

The powerbrokers have planned out individual films years in advance, and they’ve remained in constant contact with their collaborators to include as many unifying strings as possible. Consequently, when viewers step into the Marvel Universe at the movies, they’re viewing a world that feels fully fleshed out and full of possibilities. Individual directors aren’t rewriting rules or stepping on each other’s toes because they’ve all taken enough meetings and collaborated enough to feel on the same page. Synergy is a wonderful thing.

Balancing Comic Book Fans And The General Public
Marvel cares about comic book fans. It cares enough to hire directors that really love the source material, and it cares enough to make sure little details are inserted that only true fans can appreciate. Then again, Marvel also cares about reaching out to the general public and attracting people who have never stepped foot in a comic book store. It wants nothing more than for thirteen-year-old cheerleaders to leave with smiles on their faces alongside twenty-nine-year-old hyper-nerds. Sometimes that involves pissing off comic book fans a little bit and sometimes that involves exploring ideas that might not necessarily be as geared toward everyone.

You can’t please everyone all the time, but Marvel has done an incredible job of pleasing most people most of the time. By sometimes following the spirit of a comic book character pretty slavishly and sometimes taking a sharp left-hand turn to offer genuine surprises, the studio has found the balance between fresh and familiar, and there’s no reason to think that’ll change at any point moving forward.

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