Visiting and Revisiting the MCU – In Organic Order
Parents walk a fine line when it comes to sharing their interests with their children. Try too hard and what you think of as the coolest thing in the world, they think of as for old people. Try too young, they might not understand the deeper layers that you appreciate about it. The ideal time to introduce your interests to your kids is when they show an interest in them on their own.
For me, that time is now!
As I mentioned recently, I’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy the majority of Marvel Cinematic Universe offerings. My older daughter, who always enjoyed action-adventure stories set in a fantasy genre, never much cared for super hero media. She didn’t really have a P.J. Masks phase, even as she watched similar shows like Paw Patrol. Now seven, she’s asking to watch more Marvel content. So what happened?
Sometimes when my kids “five more minutes?” me before bedtime, I acquiesce with a Disney+ short. They’re quick, fun, and some are extremely creative. One night a few months ago, when I launched Disney+ to do just that, my daughter’s eyes opened wide. “What’s that?”
It was a coming soon banner for She-Hulk: Attorney At Law. So, for that night’s short, we watched the She-Hulk trailer. Something about it spoke to her soul. Maybe it was the character design. Maybe it was the female empowerment. Maybe it was general awareness of the Hulk but not knowing there was a girl Hulk. I know she definitely thought She-Hulk carrying an adult man out of the room was hilarious.
Leading up to the release, she asked about it frequently. Since episode 1, we’ve watched every She-Hulk the day it released. Between Thursdays, she asks if there’s a new She-Hulk. And when she couldn’t wait for more She-Hulk, she asked if we could watch The Hulk.
First Steps Into The MCU
So we watched The Incredible Hulk. It took some explaining, since the Hulk in that movie is a ball of rage played by a different actor, almost unrecognizable next to She-Hulk Hulk. So I answered her questions, and then suggested we watch the rest of the series in order. After watching Iron Man, she wanted to watch Iron Man 2. The post credit scene features Mjolnir in the desert, so I figured we’d watch Thor next.
She wanted to watch Black Panther.
The Disney+ cross sell strategy that got her excited about She-Hulk also derailed my plans for watching the MCU with her in release order. But, plans are not a train. Railed or derailed, we can still go forward.
Going Forward, And Backward, And Back And Forth…
So we’ll be watching the MCU movies in basically whatever order she wants. I’ll weigh in if I think a movie really benefits from another movie’s setup (I’m definitely saving Infinite War and Endgame until she’s properly primed and ready for them), but otherwise she’s in charge.
While the lawful alignment of my brain wants order, the nostalgic part of my brain cherished discovering media organically. My first exposure to Star Trek TOS was Star Trek 6. My first Mega Man was Mega Man 2. I read comics from the back issue bins, buying based on characters and covers that interested me. If I didn’t get to discover my hobbies at my own pace and keyed to my likes, would I have even stuck with these hobbies?
I plan on posting updates on how our MCU rewatch is going, movie by movie. What I thought about revisiting familiar movies, some for the first time. How she took to them. And what direction we go next.
The frequency and staying power of this blog series depends on how often we watch MCU content, but with four films already watched, there’s at least a month of weekly Visiting and Revisiting the MCU installments to start us off.
Ryan Costello is the lead writer at Laughing Dragon Studios, currently writing Looking For Group, and developing projects for the entertainment company. He contributes blogs content to LICD.com and LFG.co