Marvel and the return to moralistic storytelling

Why is it that Marvel and other action-based franchises such as DC tend to ascribe at least one distinct social cause to each film? Is it a return to the overly simplistic style of prescriptive storytelling that was popularised in fairytales? Films such as Captain Marvel or series like the Falcon and the Winter soldier directly focus on social issues that are in current discourse (broadly feminism and anti-war sentiments). Though there seems to be more focus upon grey areas between the black and white, good guy bad guy format that originated in the comic series there is still very little complexity given to such large issues. Is it important for films such as Black Panther, which has had a great impact on the Black Lives Matter movement and provided much needed diversity in representation, to be released? Or are they simplifying complex issues, fitting them into a three act structure that has the potential for sequels, to market them to a specific demographic? Though both sides can easily be argued, it remains important to consider how prescriptive binary morality of good and bad can affect social movements, especially when displayed in films that have an immense global reach.

  • This topic has a lot to cover, but it is interesting to think about. – Cetrias 5 months ago
  • I think the more pressing issue with marvel is their handling of villains. Due to their need for the heroes to always be perceived as upstandingly moral, villains who would otherwise champion the various social causes Marvel uses are written to be inexplicably monsterous. It sends the message that its more damaging to be passionate about a cause that affects you than maintaining the system that causes suffering. The Flag smashers from The Falcon series were a great example of this, along with the new captain being a viable candidate for representing everything they were justifiably against. – SunnyAgo 1 month ago

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