Marvel’s been saying it for years — it’s all connected. From the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, to the rainbow bridge to Asgard, all of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes shared the same universe. So, why don’t we see more of Avengers Tower in the skyline on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, or The Defenders?
Inverse posed the question to Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb, and though he reiterated that yes — #ItsAllConnected — he said it’s been a conscious decision not to actually show many connections to the world of the Avengers in Netflix’s corner of the MCU. Like, for example, Avengers Tower, which has barely showed up over the various shows. The reason: Perspective in regards to New York streets? And to keep it less tied to real-life, specific geographic areas? Kinda?
Here’s Loeb’s take on the creative decision, after he clarified it wasn’t a budgetary thing:
“I think it’s much more that we look at it from the point of view of “where are we?” and having to establish that along the way. In many ways, being less specific helps the audience understand that this could be on any street corner. Where we’re sitting right now, I can see the Empire State Building, but if we were sitting 30 blocks that way, I wouldn’t be able to see the Empire State Building. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It just means that we can’t see it from where we are.”
Yes, that obviously makes some sense. You never want to turn your shows into easter egg factories. But still, projects like Flash and Arrow on The CW have shown the fan-friendly world-building potential of adding that connective tissue organically and using those opportunities when they present themselves.
Loeb went on to throw it back to the comics themselves, noting “it’s probably fairly rare that Thor’s going to run into Ghost Rider, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t live in the same world.” Which, yes, is true. But it’s a big leap from showing a building to having Robbie Reyes show up in Asgard to start slinging flaming chains around. Also, if we're talking comics, Luke Cage actually led the Avengers for a while, remember?
More likely? It’s at least partly due to the long-standing divide between the TV and movie arms of Marvel Studios, which are under different management and rarely if ever crossover (with only Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ever touching the MCU very much, and almost exclusively in reaction to the movies). More than any other studio, Marvel has a world of potential to create a shared universe like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The house that Iron Man built is doing a lot of great stuff, but you have to wonder what more could be gained by leaning into it where it could work.
What do you think? Does the MCU work better with some space between TV and movies, or would you like to see a bit more crossover?