Sunday, 20 October 2019

Why are Marvel Movies Popular?

In his article, “Masculinity and the Marvel movies,” Edward Feser writes:

“People will yearn in at least an inchoate way for the traditional institutions and ideals without which they cannot fulfill their nature, even when they are told they ought not to and have halfway convinced themselves that they ought not to… I would suggest that the Marvel movies have the appeal they do at least in part precisely because they both convey these traditional ideals, but do so in a way that is fantastic enough that the offense to political correctness is not blatant.  A film series whose heroes are a square patriotic soldier, the son of a heavenly Father come to earth, and a strutting capitalist alpha male sounds like something tailor-made for a Red State audience, and the last thing that would attract A-list actors and billions in investment from a major studio.  Put these characters in colorful costumes, scenarios drawn from science fiction, and a little PC window dressing (such as portraying their girlfriends as a soldier, a scientist, and a businesswoman, respectively), and suddenly even a Blue State crowd can get on board.”

However, the future of the Marvel movies enterprise is not clear, as Feser notes:

“I submit that its complex portrayal of these competing models of masculinity is part of what makes the Marvel series of movies a genuine exercise in imagination rather than fantasy, in Haldane’s sense of the terms… One wonders, however, whether this will last.  A few years ago, Marvel’s comics division notoriously reoriented their titles to reflect greater “diversity” and political correctness – an experiment that critics labeled “SJW Marvel” and that resulted in a dramatic decline in sales.  The trend has been partially reversed and did not at the time affect the movies, where much more money is at stake.  But there are signs that a milder form of the “SJW Marvel” approach will make its way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the next phase of movies.”

No comments: