The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a staple of pop culture ever since its debut in 2008. While it started with Iron Man, the MCU went on to introduce the Guardians of the Galaxy, the pursuit of the Infinity Stones, and the legal work of Jennifer Walters. But how do all of these movies and television shows affect the comics side of everything?
After all, the comics are the very things that make what Marvel Studios does possible. Without the hundreds of characters and stories told first on paper, the company wouldn’t have anything to adapt in the first place.
But, given the incredible popularity of the MCU, there surely must be some sort of interaction between both worlds, especially since Marvel Studios has admitted to planning their stories out as far as 2030 and beyond.
So how does Marvel Comics keep up?
How Marvel Comics Keeps up with Marvel Studios
At New York Comic-Con, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski and Executive Editor Nick Lowe commented on their publishing side's relation to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and if they ever get pressure from the MCU in regard to continuity.
In response to the fan-asked question, Cebulski noted how it is the publisher's goal to tell stories that are "10 years ahead" of what audiences are seeing now on the big and small screen.
Lowe elaborated that this approach allows the comics to develop narratives other mediums like movies and television can draw on in the future.
He continued, saying how "[they] always look at Marvel as a body and Marvel Comics as the heart pumping blood to everywhere else."
The Relationship Between Comics, Movies, and Shows
For some, this answer may be particularly interesting. As the MCU started becoming increasingly popular, the comics started to imitate their look and feel quite often—something countless fans have tried calling attention to.
Some believe it’s a bad habit, that the comics should live on their own. Others find those MCU similarities are familiar enough to help introduce them to the often intimidating continuity of the publishing side of Marvel.
Another connection between the two is how sudden focus on a returning or new character in the comics is often a telltale sign that it’ll play into a future MCU project. This habit isn’t all too surprising, given how Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has not only full say at Marvel Studios, but plenty of power with publishing, as well.
Even with all of that, however, the mindset of planting seeds for the MCU to use is extremely relevant. Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel was only created in 2014, and yet she now has a Disney+ series to her name—not to mention that she’s easily a fan favorite.
Sam Wilson taking over as Captain America and Jane Foster becoming Thor were both story points that happened in the comics not long after, and yet they’ve already been touched upon in the MCU. There’s also a really good chance a majority of the upcoming Avengers: Secret Wars movie will pull from Jonathan Hickman’s 2015 version of the story.
So, be sure to keep an eye on current comic happenings, as they might be the perfect sign of things to come. Maybe fans should start bracing themselves now for a King in Black event.