The Marvel Cinematic Universe is at its lowest point it’s ever been. From the controversial decision to wait out Jonathan Mayors’ domestic-violence trial before removing him as Kang the Conqueror to the jumbled mess that’s been their multiverse saga (with a pretty bad flop in The Marvels to boot), Marvel is struggling to reach the highs of the Infinity War saga. The post-Endgame era has seen a drop in audience excitement due to the certain creative decision that led to the misguided strategy of letting TV series lead the way in building continuity, giving audiences a lot of what felt like homework to keep up with the latest phases.

Marvel needs a hit to right the ship. It needs it like the Chiefs needed a Patrick Mahomes touchdown pass in overtime to win the Super Bowl. As the first trailer for Deadpool & Wolverine that dropped during the game seemed to suggest, it looks like the studio is hoping Deadpool becomes their own Patrick Mahomes. A championship run is the expectation.

Like the Kansas City quarterback, Deadpool enters the game with two massive wins under his belt while eyeing a third one with Deadpool & Wolverine. He’s insanely popular already and has a dedicated fanbase that doesn’t entirely live off having to watch every single superhero movie and show known to man. Despite being closely linked to the X-Men in the films, Deadpool has enjoyed a fairly self-contained arc that’s not dragged down by heavy continuity. All you really need to watch is Deadpool 1 and 2 and you’re ready to go. Given the hype surrounding the character, bringing in Wolverine for this third part essentially doubles the guarantee of success for Disney (especially as his inclusion signals the coming of the mutants).

And yet, the trailer raises a few red flags that hint at Deadpool potentially becoming a victim of the MCU’s multiversal missteps.

Early on, it’s revealed that TVA agents are responsible for pushing Deadpool into the multiverse and starting his journey into the main continuity. So right off the bat, Loki becomes required viewing for anyone hoping to make sense of all this. It goes against the idea presented in another scene where Deadpool calls himself the “Marvel Jesus,” the savior of the MCU. So, expect some having to do some homework viewing to fully enjoy DP3.

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There’s an obvious recognition of the state of the studio and its recent misfires, but then the path chosen to attempt to fix this already burdens audiences with having to catch up on what came before. The previous Deadpool movies didn’t do that. In fact, the first two are among some of the most accessible comic book movies out there, and that’s despite having easter eggs for fans of both the comics and the movies based on them. There’s a nice balance struck.

Also, the inclusion of the TVA begs the question of Kang’s role in this, something I doubt Marvel wants to revisit after dropping Majors. There are rumors floating around about Doctor Doom coming to replace Kang as the big bad, ushering in an entire new phase focused on Secret Wars. But that remains to be seen.

All that said, if anyone can save the MCU from itself, it’s Deadpool. There’s no doubt about that. Much like how Mahomes becomes a threat when the team’s down stepping into the final stretches of the game, Deadpool can put the movie-verse on its back and restore confidence in the brand. He might just be the quarterback the studio needs right now, maybe even this phase’s Iron Man depending on where the chips fall once part 3 releases. Marvel needs the Merc with a Mouth to dispel the fatigue and start the comeback rush that’ll make believers out of audiences once more. A touchdown pass might not win it all for Marvel right now, but it will keep them alive.