- Avengers: Secret Wars could reboot the MCU, providing a fresh start and allowing for new stories with neglected characters.
- The Flash’s attempt to reset the DC Universe led to more confusion and didn’t solve the issues the franchise was facing.
- A soft-reboot in Avengers: Secret Wars can establish a new timeline for Phase 7 and beyond, learning from The Flash’s mistakes and providing a clearer and more coherent storyline.
Where The Flash failed to live up to a DC Universe promise, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Secret Wars could actually succeed. Avengers: Secret Wars is currently set to bring both the MCU’s Phase 6 and the Multiverse Saga to a close when it releases in 2027, and recent speculation suggests the upcoming film will have a much larger role to play in the future of Marvel Studios’ franchise. These new theories suggest that Avengers: Secret Wars could follow in the footsteps of DC Studios’ The Flash, though the MCU crossover event could do a much better job at delivering a universe-changing reset than the DC Universe’s 2023 attempt.
Recent speculation has suggested that Avengers: Secret Wars could reboot the MCU, allowing new stories to be told with neglected or ignored characters from Marvel Comics taking the forefront in the wake of the Multiverse Saga’s conclusion. While this could mean that established characters may be rewritten, including the likes of Tony Stark’s Iron Man, Steve Rogers’ Captain America, and Natasha Romanoff’s Black Widow, it’s likely that Marvel Studios will want to embrace their past when setting up their future. 2023’s The Flash saw DC Studios attempt a reset of the DC Universe, leaving behind the DCEU for Gunn and Safran’s new DC Universe, but Marvel Studios can do better.
The Flash Made The DCU More Confusing
Based on 2011’s Flashpoint event from DC Comics, 2023’s The Flash was expected to reset DC’s live-action franchise, allowing Gunn and Safran to move on from the DCEU and produce their fresh DC Universe, starting with 2025’s Superman: Legacy. Flashpoint did just this in DC Comics, as Barry Allen traveled back in time and altered DC’s continuity forever, and while DC Studios tried to replicate it, this “reset” only led to more confusion. The DCEU has come under a lot of scrutiny over the years, but its recent projects have seen disappointing box office totals and poor critical receptions, and The Flash’s reset did nothing to assuage these issues.
The Flash was followed by Blue Beetle, which delivered a standalone story, meaning it’s unclear whether it exists in the old DCEU or the new DC Universe. This is set to lead into the release of December’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, featuring Jason Momoa as the titular oceanic superhero, which will confuse the live-action franchise even further. DC Studios’ franchise reboot has been very messy, to say the least, and it doesn’t seem like any real answers will be provided until Gunn’s new DC Universe begins to unfold. A reboot of the MCU in Avengers: Secret Wars can deliver a much stronger, clearer, and more coherent storyline.
Avengers: Secret Wars Can Clean Up The MCU
Although purely speculative, with nothing yet being confirmed by Marvel Studios, Avengers: Secret Wars could provide a clear, though probably soft, reboot of the MCU, much like Marvel Comics Secret Wars event did in 2015. The comic storyline featured the destruction of the multiverse and the creation of a new continuity, allowing characters from other realities to reside in the primary Marvel Universe from then on. By doing this in the MCU’s Phase 6, Avengers: Secret Wars can trim the roster of live-action heroes, potentially bidding farewell to some of the franchise’s original stars while merging timelines and clearing up recent MCU confusion.
A reboot of the MCU in Avengers: Secret Wars likely won’t be a complete re-doing of previous storylines, but the franchise will likely remember what happened before while allowing new stories to be told. This could provide the perfect opportunity for Marvel Studios to develop storylines involving mutants, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and new Avengers teams, without so much focus on the franchises’ old heroes. In recent years, Marvel Studios has come under scrutiny for not developing the connections between projects properly, so a soft-reboot of the franchise in Avengers: Secret Wars can help to solve this issue, establishing a new, clearer, and more simple timeline.
Why A Secret Wars Reboot Makes More Sense Than The Flash’s Would Have
Even though Marvel Studios may have seen extra criticism in recent years, particularly as “superhero fatigue” has become a problem for many, the franchise is still incredibly popular, profitable, and expanding very well. This likely means that a soft-reboot in Avengers: Secret Wars wouldn’t rewrite the entire MCU but establish a new timeline for Phase 7 and beyond. This is a concept that DC Studios attempted to develop in The Flash, allowing some characters and stories to continue on in the new DC Universe while other elements would be changed completely. However, this didn’t work as well as hoped, and only led to more confusion surrounding the franchise.
James Gunn and Peter Safran’s new plans for the DC Universe seem wildly different from what came before in the DCEU, meaning a harder reboot would have worked better, rewriting everything that came before and allowing a new franchise to grow. Being tied to what came before will not benefit DC Studios, particularly after the poor reception of DC’s live-action projects in 2023. Marvel Studios can learn from The Flash’s mistakes if they develop their own reboot for Avengers: Secret Wars and perhaps set the tone for superhero franchises going forward, as several more reboots could occur in the future of both the MCU and the DC Universe.
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