Why the Marvel Cinematic Universe will suffer a heat death

Clayton J. Hester
2 min readJan 11, 2022
Photo by Marjan Blan | @marjanblan on Unsplash

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a phenomenon — spawning 27 films as of Jan. 2022.

The films have made $25 billion overall.

Needless to say, this colossal body of work is not going anywhere.

Nor does it seem as though it could.

With the massive Snappening crisis that closed off the original set of heroes of the MCU, the world saw its many, many corners brought together.

How does the MCU outdo itself?

Well on the one hand its went to a smaller scale — Disney+ has opened up the TV realm to its numerous powerhouse franchises.

Naturally, there’s gonna be a good amount of central control and consistency despite the many writers and directors at play in this universe.

One has to wonder though: how many is too many cooks in the kitchen?

Will the MCU stay coherent?

And does there come a point, as we reach new heights and new stakes and new drama, when do we start jumping sharks?

I would contend a good metaphor for what will eventually happen to the MCU is “heat death.”

The momentum has continuously built in the MCU, and new lanes for storytelling will continuously build. The snowball keeps getting bigger. Or, to keep from mixing metaphors, the universe continues to expand in various directions.

Entropy increases. Directions clash.

The risks get even bigger.

Before, we had half of the population erased. It seems the MCU’s next crisis will involve the entire multiverse. It makes you wonder — where do you go from there?

My prediction is that the MCU will go the way of Doctor Who. That is to say, it will become a damn mess, difficult for outsiders to break into and terribly incoherent.

Will there ever be a true “series finale” to the MCU? One would hope. But how do you let a massively lucrative franchise… just end?

I mean, it’d be hard for anyone to do.

It is possible though that they could attempt to reformat the MCU.

Clayton J. Hester

Country boy. Explorer of the creative process & life, the arts, storytelling, innovation and history of ideas. Omnia in gloriam Dei facite — claytonjhester.com