The topic of fan service in superhero films is a difficult one to navigate. When people criticize franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe for plot-irrelevant moments or plot-hole-inducing easter eggs that serve only to please their most dedicated supporters, they assume that these moments are a bad thing. For many, it’s quite the contrary - some fans appreciate being catered to every now and then.
The aforementioned folks at Marvel Studios have consistently gone out of their way to deliver what they know their diehard fans want the most, cramming Avengers: Endgame full of deep-cut comic book references and peppering the entire franchise with copious shirtless scenes. Few walk out of a Marvel movie unsatisfied, and the unabashed fan service probably has something to do with that - which is why we keep asking for more!
- 51933 VOTES
Edwin Jarvis Joins Howard Stark
Those who only follow the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and not the pages of Marvel Comics, think that J.A.R.V.I.S. is nothing more than Tony Stark’s first artificial intelligence program - but dedicated readers know that Jarvis was a man before he was a machine. Edwin Jarvis is the long-time faithful butler of both the Stark family and the Avengers, and more or less the Alfred Pennyworth of the Marvel Universe - and nearly as beloved.
ABC’s Agent Carter, set in the '50s, adds the real-life Jarvis to the mix as an associate of Howard Stark and Peggy Carter. Since Marvel Television properties are only tangentially related to the MCU, this didn’t represent enough of an homage to the original Jarvis for some fans - which is why it’s so pleasant to see Jarvis pop up again in Avengers: Endgame when Tony Stark meets his father back in 1970.Is this satisfying fan service?
- 61592 VOTES
Spider-Man Rises From The Rubble
There are many who consider the most important moment in Spider-Man’s published history - the moment in which he truly becomes the central figure of Marvel Comics - to be in 1965’s The Amazing Spider-Man #33 when Peter Parker lifts an impossible amount of rubble off himself through sheer force of will. With Aunt May in mortal peril, Spidey refuses to give up, proving himself the sort of hero that anyone could be inspired by.
It’s no surprise that Marvel Studios makes a very similar scene pivotal to Spider-Man’s solo MCU debut. It might be a bit odd that the Vulture collapses a building on Spidey’s head and then just flies away without checking to see if the deed is done, but it allows for that iconic “Come on, Spider-Man!” scene to unfold - and to redefine Peter Parker’s story for a brand new generation as it does so.Is this satisfying fan service?
- 71715 VOTES
Ant-Man Takes A Ride On Hawkeye’s Arrow
The image of Ant-Man riding Hawkeye’s arrow is an iconic one in the annals of Marvel Comics, even though it just comes from the eye-catching cover to Avengers #223. Still, it’s one that Marvel Studios can’t help but recreate when Scott Lang and Clint Barton find themselves on the same side in Captain America: Civil War.
On the whole, the idea of firing a tiny man on a projectile at Iron Man is a ridiculous one - even if it actually works out pretty well for Ant-Man and Hawkeye in the actual film. That’s a pretty clear indication that this moment is included just to please the fans, and that’s a mission it certainly accomplishes.Is this satisfying fan service?
- 81450 VOTES
Bruce Banner And Tony Stark Are Science Bros
Following a few humorous interactions between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner in Avengers, fans all over the internet dubbed the duo “Science Bros” - despite the fact that the two have rarely, if ever, been close in the comic books. That no doubt inspired Marvel Studios to make their bromance the center of a throwaway post-credits scene in Iron Man 3.
The film’s final moments reveal that Stark’s overarching narration is actually being delivered to Banner the entire time in a sort of impromptu therapy session. The revelation doesn’t really add anything to the plot other than context, but it does allow fans to see the “Science Bros” actually hanging out on screen - and that’s all they ever wanted out of the relationship, anyway.Is this satisfying fan service?