Houston Matters

The Bigger Picture: ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ and the draw of MCU storytelling

Houston Matters explores what keeps audiences invested in franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Jane Foster and Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder.


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Thor returns to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor: Love and Thunder for his fourth solo outing and eighth overall appearance in the long-running franchise.

Having debuted in the first Thor film in 2011, the character is now among the old guard of the MCU. And the interconnected universe of films and TV series based on Marvel Comics shows no signs of stopping after the recently announced Phase Five and Phase Six at San Diego Comic Con.

What is it about these seemingly endless superhero flicks that keeps audiences invested even after the climactic events of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame?

In this month’s edition of The Bigger Picture, where Houston Matters examines cultural and social issues in film, we consider the draw of Marvel’s brand of storytelling.

In the audio above, producer Joshua Zinn talks with film critic Kevin Ranson and writer Brendan Stephens.