Jenkins conveys its story and character through multiple media

Jenkins explains The
Matrix franchise as an example. “In The
Matrix franchise, key bits of information are conveyed through three live
action films, a series of animated shorts, two collections of comic book
stories, and several video games. There is no one single source or ur-text
where one can turn to gain all of the information needed to comprehend the
Matrix universe” (Jenkins). Jenkins also claims that transmedia storytelling
develops the economics of media consolidation or synergy. “A media conglomerate
has an incentive to spread its brand or expand its franchises across as many
different media platforms as possible” (Jenkins).

 

Marvel might fully satisfy the criteria of transmedia
storytelling claimed by Jenkins. As with The
Matrix franchise, The Marvel Cinematic Universe conveys its story and character
through multiple media platform, such as films, TV programs such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013-), Agent Carter (2015-2016), and Daredevil (2015-), Comic books such as Captain America: First Vengeance (2011),
The Avengers: Black Widow Strikes
(2012), Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic – Dangerous
Prey
(2014) and Ant-Man: Scott Lang. Small
Time (2015) and
Videogames such as Marvel: Future Fight.
All works in each platform enlarge on the films’ story in the same universe and
continuity as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For instance, in MCU’s “Phase
One”, Samuel L. Jackson as S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury and Clark Gregg as
Agent Coulson appear in almost all “Phase One” films, providing character
continuity leading up to The Avengers.
In addition, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., TV series featured
Phil Coulson appeared Nick Fury in its several episodes. They appeared not only
films but also TV programs and tie-in comics. In addition to these, Marvel’s
short films engage audience’s experience and assist the advertisement of
forthcoming new film. For Example, Team
Thor (2016) and Team Thor: Part 2 (2017)
describes Thor’s daily life in Australia while the rest of the Avengers were
battling each other in “Captain
America: Civil War”. The Hulk (Bruce Banner) also appeared in these
short films. By watching these, audiences experience what were they doing during
Captain America: Civil War. Moreover,
these films
directed by Taika Waititi helped to publicize Thor: Ragnarok directed by same
director in October 2017. Thus, The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps expanding its world in
each multiple platform. “Transmedia stories are based
not on individual characters or specific plots but rather complex fictional
worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories”
(Jenkins). Furthermore, According to Burke, after a series of Thor screenings, 81% of audience
surveyed felt compelled to watch further films that were produced as part of
the Marvel Cinematic Universe based on the quality of one nodal point in the
larger story (qtd in Brundige, 19). Therefore, by developing its huge universe,
the non-fan audiences might try to seek a continuous Cinematic Universe
storyline and fans of The Marvel Cinematic Universe are drawn to cover the
world narrative. In addition, it might help to grow consumer consumption of the
original comic book. Consequently, The Marvel Cinematic Universe generate
synergy by transmedia storytelling, and the synergy fosters audience
engagement.

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“A transmedia text does not simply disperse
information: it provides a set of roles and goals which readers can assume as
they enact aspects of the story through their everyday life” (Jenkins). The
licensed business which Marvel has been running after bankruptcy contribute
considerably to practice of transmedia storytelling. Various kinds of toys such
as action figure, Thor’s hammer (Mjöllnir), Captain America’s shield and Iron
Man’s mask might encourage children to immerse themselves in The Marvel
Cinematic Universe. The greetings with superheroes such as Captain America,
Thor and Spider-Man in Disneyland might expand children’s imagination. Children
role play with these toys and create own stories in The Marvel Cinematic
Universe in their daily life. Hence, Merchandising might help greatly to
generate new audience. Fans also consume merchandising and give responses to
products. Diverse events and activities allow studio to try to communicate with
fans. Comic-con such as San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC), which is a
multi-genre entertainment and comic convention founded in 1970 might be a
suitable place to communicate producers and consumers. It is convenient for
film studios to present their projects based on comic books. Fans attend film
studio’s panels to share the experience each other. Marvel has been presenting
its film project since film studio presented its first film, Iron Man (2008),
and giving fans memorable experiences by revealing exclusive footages.