With Thor, the MCU took a step into fantasy but failed to fully commit

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We’re watching the Marvel movies in order for a series of regular features. Check out our previous pieces on Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2, and look forward to Captain America: The First Avenger getting the spotlight next weekend. 

First and foremost, the MCU is a superhero movie franchise. As the cinematic universe grew, so did the nature of their films. Every movie taps into a specific genre mixed with superheroic flair. In the early years, the MCU’s debut headliners (Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk) were very much in the vein of heavy science fiction. It’s only in 2011 that Marvel made its biggest departure from the formula with Thor, dipping into the fantasy genre while trying to make audiences believe that a god can exist in the same world as heroes. 

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