Whedon compared the MCU to the original Marvel comics in his conversation with Den of Geek. Telling a story within a shared cinematic universe is not unlike the process of crafting a story under the guidance of a story editor, as Marvel Studios provided a set of guidelines for Whedon’s “Avengers” script: “They said, ‘Here are the things we need; here is the villain, we want this to happen; we need the conflict here; here’s the third act, it will involve the following.'” But Whedon also had to “respect” Marvel Studio’s plans for the larger universe, and that made restraint a necessity. “I’m not going to do something that’s going to make ‘Captain America 2’ impossible,” Whedon said. “I am trying to tee them up as much as I’m recovering from whatever they gave me.” Whedon continued:
“There is a little bit of ‘Right, how can I progress the characters, without solving all their problems?’ I like things where you feel the resolve is ‘We’ve made a step forward,’ not ‘We’ve completed the journey.’ That’s something with ‘Buffy’ that we were very strict about, it wasn’t ‘Well we’ve certainly cured that guy’s ills forever!’ It was like ‘Okay, we’ve saved him from the thing, and eventually maybe he’ll be able to deal with the trauma.’ It’s always a process.”
The mysterious process has always been a little frustrating for fans who want a resolution to some of the MCU’s simpler threads. It took Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) almost ten years to let go of the past — and his first love, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) — in spite of Whedon’s efforts to expedite that process. Of course, that’s the nature of the beast. With so many cooks in the kitchen, it’s more about the journey than the destination.