The news that the next "phase" of Marvel movies will focus on internal strife among its heroes (with Tony Stark reportedly battling Steve Rogers in Captain America 3) is a logical solution for the hyper-franchise's biggest problem to date. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been printing money for six years now and shows no sign of abating, but after ten films it's only been able to cook up one truly compelling villain: Thor's wicked step-brother Loki. Marvel Comics realized decades ago that it would be compelling to have its own heroes fight each other. The Marvel movies have gotten there even faster, partly by necessity.
Now, Marvel Studios is doing just fine. Its release slate is set through 2019, and producer Kevin Feige told Bloomberg Businessweek that he's mapped out movies through 2028. Marvel’s wildest venture yet, this summer's Guardians of the Galaxy, is the highest-grossing film of the year despite being based on less well-established source material. But if you'd asked a hundred exiting audience members, Family Feud-style, who their favorite Guardians character was, I doubt one of them would have spoken up for its villain, Ronan the Accuser (played by Lee Pace).
Part of the problem is that initial Marvel movies have so much setup to do. Iron Man is introducing us to Tony Stark and essaying his arc from heartless industrialist to world-saving hero. His confrontation with turncoat businessman Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) is just a punctuating moment in that arc, and hardly its most memorable. Captain America: The First Avenger had an MVP villain actor in Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull, but he's an afterthought in a film that's much more about Cap's character development, going from propaganda tool to war hero to man out of time frozen beneath the ice. Guardians of the Galaxy has a colorful ensemble and a previously unknown cosmic setting to fill us in on, so Ronan particularly sticks out for his uselessness, motivated by a fanatic hatred the audience barely understands and the story doesn't have time to explain.