Could Barbie Join The MCU - Her Brief Marvel Comics History, Explained

Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" is taking the world by storm, and it looks set to become one of this year's biggest movies. The existential take on Barbie lore is also refreshingly weird, with the film exploring variant versions of the main characters, including John Cena's Merman Ken. These concepts are typically associated with superhero movies, which begs the question, will Barbie ever join the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Marvel and Barbie do have a history, after all. Between 1991 and 1996, Marvel Comics released two series dedicated to Barbara Millicent Roberts: "Barbie" and "Barbie Fashion." These comics are slice-of-life affairs about the titular character and her friends embarking on adventures while teaching wholesome morals to younger readers. In some ways, they're comparable to the squeaky-clean era of Archie Comics, which told stories about teenagers just being young, moralistic, and carefree.

The "Barbie" comics don't boast any Thanos-like supervillains who want to destroy humanity, but the characters do come up against some rich industrialists, creepy magicians, burglars, and other somewhat down-to-earth foes. Still, the baddies are pretty inoffensive in these tales. Elsewhere, the adventures entail missions like saving animals from ponds and going on sailing trips on Barbie's dream boat. Meanwhile, the issues' front covers boast phrases like "Poodle Pandemonium" and "Dancing Dilemma."

Sadly, Barbie never crossed paths with the Avengers, etc. That said, it isn't uncommon for Marvel Comics to license the comics rights to established pop culture dynasties and keep them separate from superheroes and original creations. Barbie's Marvel era was also short-lived in the grand scheme of things, but that doesn't mean that she can't join the MCU. Unfortunately, it probably isn't going to happen anytime soon due to silly rights agreements between Mattel Films and non-Disney entities.

Why Barbie won't join the MCU for a while yet

When it comes to Hollywood, the old adage "never say never" carries some weight. Anything is possible when there's money on the table. However, it seems unlikely that the "Barbie" and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises will merge any time soon.

Basically, Warner Bros. Pictures currently owns the distribution rights to "Barbie" and the MCU is controlled by Disney. As such, Barbie won't be able to join the Marvel family unless an agreement takes place that allows all the relevant parties to work together. Sure, there will come a day when Mattel Films will be able to collaborate with other studios regarding the "Barbie" franchise, but it's working with David Zaslav's conglomerate for now. Theoretically, Barbie could potentially join the DC Cinematic Universe, and it's the type of wacky idea that might actually appeal to James Gunn's sensibilities.

Of course, Disney and Marvel Studios do have a history of making the seemingly impossible happen. Once upon a time, the "Spider-Man" franchise seemed destined to remain in the clutches of Sony Pictures, but all parties have been able to work together and make Peter Parker a centerpiece of the MCU. So, in regard to Barbie, never say never, but don't hold your breath either. At the same time, maybe it's best to leave Marvel and Barbie's collaborative efforts in the pages of the comics, as these stories don't need to involve superheroes to be great.

Barbie comics mined excitement from everyday scenarios

Barbie has been a pop culture institution since 1959, so seeing Greta Gerwig's film bring some fresh ideas to the table is interesting. Introducing bizarre concepts to the franchise is a good thing, and it wouldn't be difficult for Marvel to explain that the world she, Ken, and Skipper inhabit is part of some corner of the Multiverse. Barbie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be interesting, but she doesn't need to mingle with superheroes to be super.

The beauty of Marvel's "Barbie" comics is that the title character is portrayed as an aspirational heroine whose victories are of the everyday variety. For example, "Barbie" #3 sees her enter a figure skating competition only to compete against jealous opponents who steal her footwear. That doesn't stop Barbie from overcoming the odds, though, as she creates some modified skates and delivers a flawless performance. Elsewhere, "Barbie Fashion" #18 tells a simple story about the titular character helping her friend overcome her fear of the dentist. These are just a couple of examples of the wholesome tales that define Barbie's Marvel Comics era.

Barbie is no stranger to globe-trotting adventures in the Marvel comics, but she also finds magic in everyday mundanity. Sometimes, those adventures are just as exciting as superheroic crusades through the cosmos.