The End Of A MCU Era
Ultimately, Marvel TV was merged with Marvel Studios, giving Kevin Feige complete and total creative control over the mega franchise. One of his first acts after the merger was to cancel every Marvel Cinematic Universe TV show in development, with one exception. Marvel’s Helstrom was to be the final show in the Loeb era of Marvel Cinematic Universe television…until it wasn’t.
Marvel’s Helstrom became known as just Helstrom, leaving many fans to wonder if the series was part of the MCU. Quotes from the cast and crew lead many to believe that it still was, until the week before the show’s release when showrunner Paul Zbyszewski announced that Helstrom was not officially part of the MCU. This is where things get really messy.
Despite his declaration that Helstrom was not canon, something that was almost undoubtedly mandated by Kevin Feige, the show had still been described as the final chapter in this era of Marvel Television. Elizabeth Marvel, who plays Victoria Helstrom talked about Black Panther and Daredevil as though they were connected to Helstrom.
While Alain Uy, who plays Chris Yen, referenced to Iron Fist and Agents Of Shield as “what came before us”. He could have likened it to Legion, or The Gifted, two series which stood on their own, untied to any existing continuity Shows that were also produced by Marvel Television in the same era, but he didn’t.
The Death Of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Canon
Conflicting comments from the showrunner and the actors aren’t the only issue muddying the waters either. Newspapers clippings shown in the series are all from papers which have appeared in previous MCU properties, which seems rather deliberate.
On top of that, a Roxxon building is seen in the first episode. Roxxon has appeared in MCU TV and MCU films, and has never appeared in live action in a property outside of the MCU. So if the show and the cast indicate that it is in the MCU, and it was originally created for the MCU, yet the showrunner claims it isn’t part of the MCU, who do we trust? Kevin Feige has never cleared up the issue, so we can’t look to him for answers.
Factually speaking, Marvel TV shows were officially canon in the past. With the decanonization of Helstrom and Agents Of Shield seasons 6 and 7, and the cancellation of all non-Disney+ MCU shows, it seems that is no longer the case. While I found this to be extremely frustrating at first, I’ve realized that it simply does not matter.
Even outside of the TV shows, MCU continuity has been going downhill for a while now, as certain small plot points, post-credit scenes, and timeline placements just don’t add up. How about the fact that Venom, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Deadpool look like they will tie into MCU “canon” in one way or another in the near future? How about the fact that they’ve started to recycle actors such as Gemma Chan and Mahershala Ali?
“Canon” is a fickle, inconsistent, unpredictable thing in the world of Marvel Comics. We were foolish to think that it would be any different in live-action. If Kevin Feige wants to trade out Daredevil for The Amazing Spider-man 2 in regards to the official MCU canon, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that what is “officially” canon does not matter in the slightest anymore. If a Marvel property logically takes place in the MCU, and you enjoy it, then it can and should be canon to you. In my case, that means the MCU is composed of The Infinity Saga, Venom, and all of the MCU TV shows, including Helstrom right now.
What does “canon” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe mean to YOU? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our Twitter!