The Marvel Cinematic Universe has continued to grow exponentially since its rollout in 2008, spreading to include such formats as short films and, most recently, webisodes. But it’s within the medium of television that the shared universe has really started to take off, with Agents of SHIELD over on ABC leading the charge and no fewer than six series currently unfolding on Netflix. As part of this ever-more-important initiative, Marvel has continued to announce high-profile new shows, including Runaways for Hulu and the X-Men-related Legion for FX.
With these new properties continuing to crop up, however, an important question has arisen from the fanbase: will these new, seemingly disparate entities be part of the MCU, or will they remain independent stories with no overarching connections?
“Obviously, this show is a dramatic departure from [Marvel’s] other shows. They’re controlling a roll-out of a series of characters on Netflix that are interconnected, so there’s a game-plan there for all of those pieces. This is a satellite that they didn’t generate and wasn’t trying to fit in, and was something the network wanted.”
This is actually a very revealing answer. The project didn’t originate with the head of Marvel TV, Jeph Loeb (who is an active participant in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe television chapters), but it was something that he agreed to provide feedback on and a certain level of collaboration with. Given Marvel and Fox’s historically frosty relationship, it surprised many to learn of multiple new X-Men-attached shows entering production, but the tidbit that FX itself proposed at least part of this deal is the missing puzzle piece. Halwey’s answer also seems to reinforce what Loeb himself recently said – just worded a little more plainly.
This is both an invigorating and dispiriting piece of news. On the one hand, without having to worry about the larger continuity of the MCU, it frees Legion’s writing staff up tremendously. With SHIELD, Agent Carter, the also-newly-announced Inhumans, and all of the various Netflix properties, the small screen is suddenly running the danger of becoming overpopulated with interconnected Marvel projects. Even the biggest of Marvel fans have to worry about finding enough time in the day to follow their favorite meta-franchise across all of these different properties, making their media consumption, essentially, into something of a part-time job.
On the other hand, however, there is a certain level of narrative certitude that comes with being part of a whole that is already so well-established and -defined. This is, after all, a driving force behind Agents of SHIELD’s continued creativity, and the opportunity to help further flesh out all the nooks and crannies of such a vast playground must be alluring, to creators as well as fans. And let’s not forget about the guaranteed ratings that come with being an extension of the MCU, which helps to keep the Netflix shows going strong but which wasn’t enough, unfortunately, to save Carter from an early demise. All of which is to say: the jury’s still out on whether this will prove to be a boon or a hindrance for Legion, and it’ll continue to be out for quite some time to come.
Source: Entertainment Weekly