We’ve heard one reason or another why Marvel’s film heroes aren’t likely to cross paths with The Defenders, but one recurring oddity is the absence of any Avengers tower from the Manhattan skyline. Marvel brass now explain we should envision New York City in a “less specific” way, so as to avoid overthinking shared continuity.

Depending on your knowledge of Manhattan geography, you may have noticed that Marvel’s TV shows typically omit the Avengers Tower first established in the 2012 film, and subsequently featured in Age of Ultron and Spider-Man: Homecoming. The fictional tower occupies the same space as New York’s MetLife Building, just behind Grand Central Station, yet all shots of the skyline from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist leave MetLife where it is.

It’s a curious oversight, considering street corner key art from the four Defenders series actually does incorporate Avengers Tower, so Inverse took the question to Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb. As you might expect, he didn’t have much in the way of a specific reason:

I think it’s much more that we look at it from the point of view of “where are we?” and having to establish that along the way. In many ways, being less specific helps the audience understand that this could be on any street corner. Where we’re sitting right now, I can see the Empire State Building, but if we were sitting 30 blocks that way, I wouldn’t be able to see the Empire State Building. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It just means that we can’t see it from where we are.

The reality is that editors and cinematographers need to do their part building scenes, without worrying whether any digital alteration to the background pulls focus from their actors. Not to mention, a key plot point of Spider-Man: Homecoming saw Tony moving the Avengers out of said tower anyway, so future Marvel TV series won’t need to consider the building’s absence at all.

We’ll see if Punisher, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or any upcoming Marvel series make stronger ties to the films, but is this Avengers mystery finally disassembled?

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