Over the weekend, there were a bunch of okay sounding films announced at the San Diego Comic Con. Many people were flocking the mythical Hall H for a glimpse into the future of the MCU, and boy did we get more than we bargained for. Marvel Studios announced plans for films going into production right now, including a sequel to Doctor Strange, the introduction of Shang Chi and even a reboot of Blade starring Mahershala Ali. But the biggest news was the the fourth film in the Thor series, titled Thor: Love and Thunder. Despite the fact that Marvel announced an animated series based on the amazing “What If…” comic book series, all people can talk about how there will be a bi-sexual Valkyrie and a female Thor.
Yeah, so Marvel Studios must be feeling pressure from somewhere for not featuring a scene where Valkyrie aggressively makes out with another woman for ninety seconds to justify trying to monetize a sexual orientation in the lead up to Thor: Ragnarok. Seeing Natalie Portman come back to suit up as Thor seems a bit odd considering how lackluster of a character she ended up being as well as Marvel’s own attempts to sweep her under the rug in a very awkward scene in (again) Thor: Ragnarok. Personally, I don’t care about any of this. With Avengers Endgame finally making all the money in the world, the MCU seems to be swinging for the diversity and inclusivity fences as it may seem like the only land left to conquer. A move that may or may not end well for them.
A very sexist, threatening and unintentionally hilarious article from writer KT Roberts was released online two days ago through as website called The Independent. The article makes the insane argument that original characters cannot make an impact with general audiences when it comes to Marvel or DC. She talks and talks about the importance about injecting social justice commentaries in big budgeted superhero movies. She not so subtly advertises her own play and speaks about how women in the MCU have been relegated to girlfriend material as if she never heard of Black Widow being a character that exists.
She literally says: “Let’s topple every male, pale and stale superhero we can.”
If I were to say let’s replace virtually everyone that appeared in Black Panther with a white actor, I would be buried alive accusations of racism. But a woman goes online and makes a call to action to ‘step on our male predecessors‘, and it’ll probably be celebrated, her words will be cast in bronze and people who just want to see good movies will be told to sit in the corner.
I’m not here to tell people what movies you should or should not see. When I first started this website, my first article was a review of Thor: Ragnarok and was little more than five hundred words of how much I hated that movie. My opinion has changed in the years since, but I will tell you what has changed; advertising. In just a couple of years we have gone from being sold on characters that had to persevere under pressure to accepting gender, race and sexual orientation being used to sell tickets. Kevin Feige, Bob Iger, Disney and Marvel Studios don’t care about equality, diversity and inclusivity, they care about the easiest ways to get butts in seats at your local theater.
They don’t care about storytelling or characters anymore, they’ve conquered that hill. The fact that there is no Avengers movie at the end of their fourth phase of films should be kind of a hint. When people my age were kids, we didn’t care that Ripley was a woman. We didn’t care that M.A.N.T.I.S. was a black scientist. We never cared who was sleeping with who, we just wanted to be entertained. I honestly never cared about who I felt inspired by. I didn’t have to have a feminist agenda to enjoy a film like Tank Girl, or to expect diversity when I watched television. Entertainment should entertain people. If it can do that, than it doesn’t matter what it looks like. But taking care to put labels on people and stating what is and what is not for them is what a certain types of people throughout human history are known for.
And what would Captain America say about that?