If you’re a Marvel Cinematic Universe fan that’s been anywhere near a computer in the last half a decade, then you’ll be aware that a lot of people don’t like Captain Marvel.
Brie Larson’s feature-length debut as Carol Danvers was subjected to a relentless trolling campaign both on social media and YouTube ahead of its release, which ended up reaping huge dividends when the movie wound up earning over $1.1 billion at the box office to still rank as one of the MCU’s highest-grossing origin stories and solo films.
Despite a warm reception from critics, though, the downvoting has continued long after the fact, to the extent Captain Marvel currently ranks as the third lowest-rated Marvel Studios project ever on Rotten Tomatoes via a 45 percent score, with only Inhumans and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law faring worse.
Larson is still dealing with her online detractors to this day, which leads us nicely to a nonsensical question being posed to the Marvel maniacs of Reddit, questioning whether or not Captain Marvel would have done so well had it been released before Iron Man, in what appears to be a cynically transparent method of igniting debate.
The short answer is no, it would not. Only two of the MCU’s first 12 installments cracked a billion worldwide, and they were both Avengers crossovers. In fact, the top-earning title standalone feature across Phases One and Two was Guardians of the Galaxy, with a $773 million haul.
Iron Man didn’t just launch the biggest franchise the business has ever seen, it also changed cinema forever, and some reasonable responses in the comments have outlined that there’s a strong chance not even an assemblage of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes would have launched the ambitious superhero saga in the same fashion given the groundwork it laid and how it eased audiences into a world where superpowered individuals and costumed crimefighters were par for the course.
History will remember the blockbuster business as being pre and post-Iron Man, and there’s a reason why Captain Marvel didn’t come along until the MCU was 21 entries deep, no matter how you feel about it.