'Guardians of the Galaxy 3' Shows How Marvel Can Break Free From Its Most Tired Tropes

"Where are the Avengers?" It's a sentiment that's been repeated here and there since the eponymous supergroup first appeared on the big screen. 

That was over a decade ago, in 2012, and it established a precedent that has painted following Marvel films into an awkward corner.

Every time something significant happens in Marvel's Cinematic Universe, someone has to wonder where the Avengers are, what they're doing,

and why they aren't assembling for the newest Earth crisis. I don't blame them. I'd be asking the same questions if I lived in a world that was constantly on the verge of collapse.

But there's too much going on in the MCU for the Avengers to always come running. They can't be everywhere at the same time,

yet the crises keep coming, forcing even "minor" heroes to level up and avert yet another calamity. With The Avengers, the MCU hit new heights,

accidentally forcing every film to meet (or surpass) the spectacle of Joss Whedon's 2012 feature. The days of personal showdowns between one superhero and his very nasty,

equally powerful antagonist are long gone. A dramatic third act — complete with an Avengers-level threat and an army of CGI monsters — is now standard fare in nearly every entry of the franchise.

UFC 288 in New Jersey: Belal Muhammad defeats Gilbert Burns.