It’s a good time to be a comic book fan. With apps bringing new books to your digital devices every week and movie studios clamoring to put new comics and superheroes on the big screen, this once dubious hobby has turned into the hottest movement in entertainment. And in the world of comic books, no company is more successful right now than Marvel.

Sure DC raked in billions of dollars and critical acclaim with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movies, but the company has been slow to launch another franchise since. And while Image Comics has the most critically-acclaimed comics on the shelf and The Walking Dead to its credit, it hasn’t gotten anything else into the mainstream recently.

Marvel, on the other hand, is the golden goose. When the studio began producing its own cinematic universe in 2008 with Iron Man, it reached heights that were previously thought to be impossible. After nine movies set in this universe, the House of Ideas has become a juggernaut at the box office and within the geek community. But monetary success doesn’t make you bulletproof, and along the way, Marvel’s output has become uneven.

With a billion-dollar business to take care of, the studio is under pressure to keep the assembly line humming, while putting out four-quadrant movies designed to please everyone. Unfortunately, with so many projects in production, a few haven’t met expectations. While none of these films have rivaled Green Lantern in the land of superhero infamy, Marvel has left a lot of potential on the table. Sometimes just being “entertaining” or “fun” isn’t enough. Fans have come to expect more from these classic, timeless characters.

So before you check out Captain America: The Winter Soldier this weekend, take a look at Five Ways Marvel Can Improve its Cinematic Universe. Remember, we critique because we care.

Written by Jason Serafino (@Serafinoj1)

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