Hindsight is 20/20, and we now know that James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a tremendous success, both financially and creatively. It expanded the scope of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which had ventured to Asgard but really was able to explore an important cosmic side that, up until then, hadn’t been tapped by storytellers. This set the idea of Thanos into further play (though the Mad Titan was hinted at in the end credits of The Avengers). But it also was a vote of confidence in the Marvel way of telling stories, likely giving the studio the spine to make movies based on smaller (no pun intended) heroes like Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther. After all, if it worked for the Guardians, why can’t it work for these guys?

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