Marvel and the Quantum Catch-All

It’s fair to assume at this point that most of us have loved at least one or two releases from the MCU. With such a strong start and an unprecedented shared story, there’s a lot to love, and that held on a major scale until the release of Avengers: Endgame. At this point, however, the first major story arc has wound down, and viewers are finding it hard to reclaim the excitement they once had for the series. Illustrated recently by the poor reviews for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, cracks are starting to show, and the quantum part of this equation is a perfect illustration of how.

What is Meant by Quantum?

This might seem a silly question to ask in the context of entertainment media, but the word quantum has some interesting implications. In real science, something quantum is the smallest discrete unit of a phenomenon, that is, the tiniest part of something that exists on its own. In light, this would be a photon, for example, but it’s not the real scientific explanation of the word that the entertainment world is interested in.

Quantum in entertainment is more a catch-all for a piece of media that involves high-tech and atomic-level inspiration, and it’s found everywhere. In the video game Quantum Break, the term refers to a science experiment that went wrong, allowing the main character the ability to manipulate time. This game was well-received and employed interesting mechanics that elevated it above many more standard third-person shooters.

Time was again employed in the television series Quantum Leap, where the eponymous project afforded the protagonist the ability to disappear and reappear in a different era, in a different body. Again, the concept was used as a suitably misunderstood topic on which to base an adventurous idea, and in this instance, given the show’s reboot and legacy, it succeeded.

In the landscape of online casino gaming, live roulette online Quantum Roulette is a kind of sci-fi take on the game. This combines a kind of James Bondian high-tech professionalism with a popular and simple basis that everyone understands. Slot game inspiration like this is streamlined enough to work, and the same can be said for quantum takes in many other types of media. The problem is that, in the case of the Marvel movies, this concept is taken a few steps too far.

An Idea Overextended

In the Marvel movies, the concept of quantum is basically interchangeable with science magic. It can mean small things, it can mean science things, and anything within that spectrum can be hand-waved away through techno-lingo that would make even a diehard Star Trek fan blush. Marvel movies are built on decades of comic book legacy, but there’s a limit to what people will take.

Beginning from a series that initially took itself slightly more seriously, viewers have had to adjust to a continual raising of the stakes and increasingly fantastical scientific and magical concepts. Suspension of disbelief can only carry us so far, and with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, that line in the sand is being pushed. 

All Marvel Cinematic Universe Teaser Pos” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by AntMan3001

With the biggest heroes who launched the MCU dead, out of commission, or struggling with recent entries, Marvel has to reexamine how it wants to proceed. So far, it’s announced a slowing of pace to focus more on quality than quantity, but whether this approach can address the challenges of fewer flagship names and more out-there concepts remains to be seen.

We’ve seen threats to earth, the galaxy, the universe, the multiverse, and the timelines, so where could Marvel possibly go next without turning in a caricature of itself? Time till will, and for now, at least, we’ll still be tuning in for now.

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