Marvel Cinematic Universe has become so vast and magnificent that it’s tough to keep track of what’s MCU and what’s just marvel. Its not just the fact that all the characters are the same but also that there seems to be certain strata of the fandom that is only concerned with the MCU. Not so surprising since MCU is the main reason why comic book movies have seen such an uptrend in recent years. On the other hand there are fans that are comic purists are generally put off by anything MCU. So for our friends here are 10 shows and movies to watch if you’re a marvel fan but don’t like the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Spider-Man the animated series (1994-1998)
For a lot of young adults like me, our first exposure to Spider-Man was this animated series. A powerful plot, a good introduction to the entire rogues’ gallery of Spider-Man, and beautiful animation is what makes this show such a classic. It ran from 1994-1998 and covers a lot of major plotlines of Spider-Man comics, even including the man spider arc. For any Marvel fan this show is a must-watch.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
The fox X-Men film franchise received a soft reboot in 2014 with the release of Days of Future past. Although the series had sought to create a prequel with X-Men First Class, the studio ended up creating a whole new franchise to set up a perfect retcon. The future movies (Apocalypse and Dark Pheonix) have been less than pleasing, but this second movie in a soft rebooted franchise is worth a watch for any Marvel fan.
After a screen test for the Deadpool film leaked online featuring Ryan Reynolds people went crazy. The internet screamed for an entire day but later found out that the project was scrapped. Deadpool is one of those movies that was brought out of the pit of obscurity and under production after popular demand. And rightly so, because the merc with a mouth makes for a funny protagonist.
Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes (2006-2010)
Fantastic four are as iconic to Marvel Cinematic Universe fans as to a comic fan. The only problem with the characters is that all they received were less than optimal fox studios movies that failed to hit the mark. This animated iteration of the characters, however, is the true representation of the heroes more faithful to the comic source content. Definitely worth a watch.
Do you like vampires and action? Do you like gore and Ryan Reynolds? Do you want to watch Wesley snipes kick ass as a vampire hunting vampire? Then you’ve found the right movie. Blade was a comic book movie in the era when comic book movies were still considered for kids. It brought legitimate action and gore into the genre and made us realize just how the supernatural can be both scary and surreal but at the same time, is something we can conquer.
When the concept of this movie was presented to the fans many scoffed at the idea of a Spiderman(less) venom movie. But Tom Hardy proved it to all the marvel fans that you don’t need a superhero to make a comic book movie. He gave a version of venom with grit and edge and a level of emotional conflict that we had never seen on the silver screen with this particular character. The movie was a delicate balance of action and comedy, with dark overtones that worked pretty well with the fanbase.
Big Hero 6(2014)
Animated movies have always been the kind of genre that subsumed in itself all sorts of fantastical things, including the supernatural and superheroes. Big hero 6 was another crack at the superhero genre by introducing not just one but 6 completely new superheroes. The movie is light in its approach but likes to deal with heavy-handed topics like corporate greed and loss of a family member. Anyone who likes Pixar movies will definitely like this one especially since the source material is from marvel comics itself.
Men In Black (series)
Not many would have expected to see this movie in the list because not all fans know that this franchise is from the marvel comics themselves. It is nice to see Will Smith take up the role of Agent J fighting against illegal aliens. Which makes one wonder how much of immigration this entire movie. Regardless, the series is very entertaining and very funny, and very detached from the MCU.
The kingsman movies have been viral hits in recent times. They have quickly established themselves as over-the-top action-packed spy movies that we love. The series has its own style of narration and has a very appropriate world-building. I often find myself more inquisitive than anything else with these movies, you should catch them if you’re a true marvel fan.
X-Men: The Animated Series (1992-1997)
There are two gems in the Marvel roster of animated tv shows. The first is the Spiderman animated series and the second gem is this one. It is quite a faithful take on the comic source material and the series does not shy away from gore when it is needed to make a point. The X-Men have always been used to deal with heavy-handed concepts like discrimination and this series continued to remain relevant for a long time. It was also a lot of people’s first exposure to the X-Men.