The MCU is a well-oiled, almost flawless machine that keeps churning out billion-dollar franchises. That said, it wasn’t always the case. Marvel swung and missed quite a few times before 2008’s Iron Man.
1. The Amazing Spider-Man (1977)
From the costume to the plot to whatever the graphics guys did in the 70s, everything about this show was absolutely ridiculous. This Marvel production with CBS was telling the story of some Guru who got people to kill themselves. And you thought Indian soaps were weird.
2. Dr. Strange (1978)
This is a very very weird movie to explain. And to be fair, that’s because the directors and producers and writers didn’t bother explaining it either. Strange wears a lot of gold chains in the film while fighting evil monsters and simultaneously showing off his balloon animal tricks on the streets of New York.
3. Captain America and Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979)
I have watched these masterpieces and trust me, death didn’t come soon enough. Steve Rogers’ character is a marine who makes a living by being a travelling illustrator. I mean, if Captain America has a side hustle, you gotta ask yourself, is the system really working? Not just that, the plot is also super ridiculous and let’s not even get into the acting aspect of it.
4. The Incredible Hulk Returns (1988)
This Hulk and Thor team-up isn’t as good as you would imagine. I mean, it’s a pretty funny movie. I mean, it’s hilarious. But honest to God, I don’t think comedy was what they were going for here.
5. Captain America (1990)
This 1990 classic is crappier than its predecessor. They have the Red Skull as a young prodigy kidnapped by a fascist government and turned into the bad guy. Steve Rogers is worse, believe it or not. And he has rubber ears and they are more prominent than you think.
6. Dr. Mordrid (1992)
Well, it’s technically not a Marvel movie. It started that way and was intended to be a Dr. Strange movie but by the time the creators made this film, their license with Marvel had expired and we were left with Dr. Mordrid.
7. Fantastic Four (1994)
FYI, the movie was technically never released but it became a cult favourite (so bad that’s good) due to DVD bootlegs all over the United States. The movie was completed in 21 days so that the creator could try and retain the rights to these characters. Well, the 21 days part clearly shows.
8. Generation X (1996)
The only thing this feature-length pilot gets right is the Hatlet Castle, the building that is used in all X-Men movies and to this day remains the location for Xavier’s school for mutants.
9. Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD (1998)
Before Samuel L. Jackson immortalised the character, the role was briefly played by David Hasselhoff of Baywatch. There is nothing more to discuss here. If you think it’s just weird to look at now, trust me, people in 1998 also had the same feelings about this. It sucked.
Well, now you know the Marvel Cinematic Universe wasn’t always as awesome as it is today.