The MCU is lauded by many as the shining example of a comic book universe brought to the silver screen, but have you heard what comic book fans hate about Marvel movies? Comic book loyalists can be a tough crowd to please; not even the best entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are safe from the criticism of die hard fans. After all, some comic book storylines are just too out-there to bring to the big screen (Captain America was basically a Nazi in 2017, for example), which is why there are such crazy fan theories about Marvel comics floating around the internet.
To be fair, there are some legitimate complaints about Marvel films, often related to diversity or lack thereof, and the messed up timeline of the MCU. That's not to suggest, of course, that fanboys getting angry about costume colors are illegitimate, but perhaps that stuff is a bit more trivial. Here's what haters say about the MCU, and you have to admit, they can make some pretty solid points.
The Mandarin Was All Kinds Of Wrong
When fans saw Ben Kingsley playing the Mandarin in the first Iron Man 3 trailer, they were a little confused, but perhaps willing to give it a try. Then the movie came out, and many people felt cheated. It turns out Ben Kingsley wasn't the Mandarin at all, but rather an actor named Trevor Slattery playing a character. That most certainly is not the Mandarin fans knew from the comics.
"[Director Shane] Black (and Marvel) also sufficiently wiped their ass with decades of Iron Man history, reducing Shell Head’s lone significant adversary to a punchline," wrote Sean O'Connell of Cinema Blend.
Jim Littler of ComicBookMovie similarly (but more diplomatically) told Yahoo! Movies, “The comic-book purists, the ones who know the comic books, they did not like the Mandarin twist mainly because that’s Iron Man’s biggest villain.”
The Warriors Three Were Cut Down With Little To No Fanfare
Thor: Ragnarok was one of the best entries in the MCU (evidenced by a 92% Rotten Tomatoes score), but that doesn't mean comic fans didn't take issue with the film. Some fans were simply outraged at how the Warriors Three were killed off in almost an instant. While Hogun (Tadanobu Asano) got to have a slightly more heroic downfall, Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) and Fandral (Zachary Levi) were pretty much slaughtered the second they popped on screen.
Even though two of the actors had changed since the first Thor, this still felt like somewhat of an unceremonious end for these characters, not to mention Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander), who didn't even get to appear in the movie. At least she avoided an anticlimactic death.
It's Taken Way Too Long To Get A Female-Led Film
Ike Perlmutter was the CEO of Marvel Entertainment until 2015, when Kevin Feige moved up to president of Marvel Studios (Perlmutter was pushed to oversee Marvel's TV side of operations). One potential reason for this shift were the leaked emails revealing Perlmutter was opposed to producing a superhero movie with a female lead, due to the failures of Elektra, Catwoman, and Supergirl.
The first solo female movie of the MCU will be Captain Marvel... after 20 other films without a female lead (although, 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp has a female co-lead, so that's something). Fans have been clamoring for a Black Widow solo movie for years, and there's a slight possibility they'll get it, as a writer was hired in January 2018 for such a project. But it's taken over a decade of MCU installments to get to this point, and people have noticed.
Marvel Made A Tibetan Monk A White Lady In 'Doctor Strange'
In Marvel's most public case of whitewashing, they cast Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, a Tibetan monk and sorcerer who trained Doctor Strange in the mystic arts in the source material. Marvel defended the move, saying the original design of the character was thought to be "outdated and racist," which is certainly true; Doctor Strange was created in 1963, and the Ancient One was a miasma of "Eastern" stereotypes. That said, some feel they overcorrected by giving the role to a white person.
As Variety reported, Media Action Network for Asian Americans president Rob Chan said,
“Given the dearth of Asian roles, there was no reason a monk in Nepal could not be Asian. Had [writer/director Scott] Derrickson cast an Asian as the revered leader who guides the main character to become a better human being and to develop his sorcery powers, it would’ve given a big boost to that actor’s career. While actresses deserve the kinds of bold roles usually reserved for men, white actresses are seen onscreen more than Asians of any gender. And Tilda Swinton can afford to turn down roles.”