It is no secret that Marvel’s Phase 4 hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. Outside of the Spider-Man movies, which remained fun, and Hawkeye on Disney+, the offerings have been pretty weak. Eternals was just a pile of nothing, Thor: Love And Thunder proved the humor of Ragnarök had outstayed it’s welcome, Wakanda Forever is sliding fast after the big opening.

Werewolf By Night was a bright spot, but that is simply a one-off special. She-Hulk: Attorney At Law is widely accepted as the worst thing Marvel have done, ever, and that includes the late 1990s and early 2000s when they sold everything and other studios produced absolute crap with their name on it.


The whole thing has felt like a placeholder as they marshal the pieces again, post Endgame, and get some focus back.

The problem with the Marvel model, when the quality dips like this, is that there is just too much of it. Fatigue sets in when the standard isn’t there but it still keeps getting shovelled into your eyeballs.

A study conducted by platform Fandom has found even big Marvel fans now feel the same way. 36% of Marvel fans are “feeling fatigued” over the constant content across the channels.

The study surveyed 5,000 entertainment and gaming fans between 13-54 years old along and took “proprietary insights” from 300 million monthly users of their platform. The study throws up some interesting reading, and some findings that were completely obvious.

As reported in Variety, Marvel fans are more likely to watch any Marvel project. This is in comparison to fans of DC. Those fans are more likely to consume film and TV about a specific superhero, rather than the feeling the need to consume everything DC.

This is not entirely surprising. DC has had much bigger quality issues in their superhero universe, and it has deliberately been less connected, so there is less requirement to catch it all. DC movies are also less frequent. As a result only 20% of DC fans said they are “fatigued”. This is not quite the flex many DC fans think it is.

DC fans were also found to be 20% more likely than Marvel fans to buy tie-in products.

Like all of these studies, they like to make themselves seem clever by putting everyone into little boxes. Here they used four, as is traditional:

The Advocates are the core fan base who believe the IP is part of their identity – as the study puts it “part of who they are”.

The Intentionalists are the largest segment. They are more discerning. They look to strong reviews to help them decide but also consider themes, marketing, casting & choice of filmmaker to hold influence.

The Culturists are “heavily influenced by the buzz” around releases and watch a movie to be a part of the larger cultural conversation.

The Flirts are the casuals who are likely to watch, but only when they have the time.

I would never has classed myself as an advocate, but one thing is for sure. Phase 4 has simply made me into a flirt. Or in the case of She Hulk: Attorney At Law, a ghost.

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