There is a sense of fatigue that comes over you when you hear the news about the downloadable content or season pass for a game before the game is even out.
There have been times we learn that a game that hasn't been released will come with an invitation for a beta for another game that was only recently announced, so that an upcoming game only serves to make you excited about another game in the future while the first game is already trying to sell you future updates.
Marvel has more or less vomited a steaming pile of great news into the laps of comic book fans everywhere, and it's very strange to know exactly where I'll be on May 5, 2017. It's even weirder to think about how old your kids will be when you all go to see the last scheduled Avengers movies.
It's like Marvel put down flags all over the next five years or so, locking fans of geek culture such as myself in certain places at certain times. It's one thing to know this level of planning goes on behind the scenes; the level of coordination needed to make just one of these films is amazing, much less this many. But it's another to have a schedule this thick laid in front of you.
I'm talking about Marvel just because I prefer their characters to DC, but make no mistake: DC has a schedule that's just as insane. You'll need a whiteboard, or a properly maintained chart, to keep track of any of it.
That's the problem with sharing so much of the master plan so early. It's absolutely great to hear that characters like Black Panther will make it to the big screen, and a two-part Avengers movie is wonderful news, and a movie based on the Inhumans is making me want to get back into comics to see if I should be excited about Inhumans.
This all happened when I was on my lunch break, by the way, so I returned to my desk to try to make heads or tails out of all the announcements and now I'm a little too overloaded to even pretend to be excited. We're seeing billions of dollars of budget that could turn into tens of billions of dollars in revenue, and that's just box office. It's planning and investment on a scale Hollywood has never seen.
It's hard to wrap your head around the scale of these announcements.
Trying to figure out where Marvel is taking the story has been part of the fun, and watching other studios trying to emulate this approach has also been interesting. The hype cycle of getting excited for a movie, seeing the movie, catching the inside jokes, thinking about the post-credit scene, and then looking forward to the next one is part of the enjoyment. It was manageable. I felt like we were all around the same water cooler with this stuff.
It's the cinematic equivalent of getting all the news of E3 in a 45 minute period.
Nearly everyone working at Polygon has been talking about characters, storylines and comic book arcs. There's no single conversation to follow; it's all over the place. The water cooler has exploded.
What used to feel like a fun series of films that all linked together has been shown to be giant cogs in the massive, grinding machinery of Disney, and dropping movie reveal after movie reveal with release date after release date has sucked at least some of the fun out of the announcements. It's the cinematic equivalent of getting all the news of E3 in a 45-minute period.
I'll be the first to admit that this is the best problem to complain about, and Marvel has yet to drop the ball when it comes to managing the complexities of all these moving parts. It's great that so many heroes will get their due, although of course Hulk is still left out in the cold, but it's hard to find a good place to grab onto in order to enjoy the wave instead of it sweeping you away. Following the movies, or at least the news about the movies, has become as complex as some of the goofier storylines in the comics.
Then again, they made a talking raccoon and a walking tree work. Maybe shotgunning news of every movie and major arc at the audience is the right thing to do and I'm just overwhelmed by the whole thing. It's like opening up the icebox and seeing 90 things to choose from, and walking away still hungry.
I mean, seriously, not a single stand alone Hulk movie?