Marvel Studios Have Entered Their 1970s Phase

In case you hadn’t noticed, Marvel is doing pretty damn well. They’ve got the highest-grossing movie of all time, have a slew of highly anticipated TV shows on the horizon, and they even produce a series of podcasts, presumably in which Wolverine interviews mid-level celebrities and shills for dodgy mattress companies. You might wonder what’s going on over at Marvel HQ … and we’re picturing a lot of bell-bottoms and pet rocks. You see, we have a theory that Marvel Studios is living like it’s the 1970s. Confused? Sit back, put on Funkadelic’s “Hit It And Quit It,” and let us explain.

We know that, barring some kind of freaky Matrix-like revelation, we’re all living in the year 2019. But a lot of the creative decisions Marvel Studios has made recently are akin to the ones made by Marvel Comics during the ’70s. Several of the big projects they’ve recently announced have their roots in the decade, such as Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings.

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The Shang-Chi comic began as the result of ’70s TV. Marvel writers Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin were big fans of the ABC show Kung-Fu, starring David Carradine as a Shaolin monk who unfortunately was in no way Bruce Lee. According to Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, they wanted to do an adaptation of the series. But since the show was owned by Warner Bros., home of rival comics publisher DC, instead they created their own similar yet legally dissimilar enough kung fu series. And because it was the ’70s, the process for writing Shang-Chi: Master Of Kung-Fu involved routinely dropping acid and wandering around the streets of New York — which, amazingly, led to some great story ideas and not a shitload of missing writers.