ByLuke Taylor, writer at
I like movies. Superhero ones and many others. I write about them.
Luke Taylor

This may be a bit late on the reaction front, seeing as the MCU Phase III slate was all announced last November, but after talking with an important person in my life, I have come to realize that superhero films are really needing a change. At first, I was worried that the "formula" that is used by Marvel Studios for their films has been growing stale, but I am beginning to zero in on the true issue. Since the release of Iron Man in 2008, we have had an impressive array of Marvel films interwoven by use of the "Avengers" idea, and, more recently, Thanos and the Infinity Stones. But there is a crucial flaw to be found in most, if not all, of these 12 (thus far) films: they have, quite literally, ALL had a straight, white, male protagonist.

Representation of different genders and races in Hollywood is something that has only found a strong voice within the past decade or so. As such, the industry is still in transition over to showing a larger world for the consideration of audiences. But it seems that Marvel Studios is struggling greatly on this front. Aside from Peggy Carter, who has been given her own ABC television series at this point, non-SWM (that's straight-white-male) characters have all been placed on the sidelines. This could be perceived as absurd, as the MCU has been a large draw for audiences the world over. But with the solid formula that they have and the now-colossally-high production values (not to mention casting), Marvel Studios has been releasing near-undeniable entertainment. However, there is a fatigue growing in the system that I just have to face, and that fatigue is the gross overabundance of SWM protagonists. Now, change is coming, as evidenced by the announcement of Black Panther and Captain Marvel for 2017 and 2018, respectively, but is it really a move for better representation? My hope is that the studio is moving forward with this idea in its heart, but as of right now it's difficult to be hopeful for something beyond mere appeasement. C'mon, Marvel, DC is just starting their Cinematic Universe and Wonder Woman is one of the first planned releases! Fox has plenty of women and non-white characters in their X-Men and Fantastic Four series! What's the hold-up?


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