CAPTAIN UN-MARVELOUS?

For a Liberty Belles article, superhero films aren’t what I normally write about, but with such similar themes — capable, sexy, Air Force, female —  it’s only too apropos to weigh in on the politically charged controversy surrounding the forthcoming, “Captain Marvel.” But, will it be a win for the MCU or their first fiasco?

 

While Captain Marvel has been around in comic book form since 1967, in those days Marvel’s marvelous militant developed by Stan Lee and Gene Colan was a male extraterrestrial called Mar-Vell. Yet, it wouldn’t be until 2012 that Carol Danvers would assume the full time rank and name of Captain Marvel.

Next month Brie Larson, will play the titular character’s alter ego Carol Danvers in Marvel’s latest theater outing. In the film, Danvers is a cocky air force pilot with a superior attitude. Upon being rescued from a memory loss causing accident, Danvers will inexorably become one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most powerful heroes.  In a roster full of Marvel films lacking in leading female roles, Carol Danvers would seem at first glance like she’s just what the flight surgeon ordered.

But there’s a catch. Brie Larson is an avowed radical feminist who’s misandry laced tweets have given pause to many fans who would have otherwise been looking forward to the film’s debut. To exacerbate the controversy, the film’s marketing has ratcheted up the radical feminism to a factor of ten to the highest power with slogans touting, “The future is female!”

On one side of the argument, the perpetual agenda fueled liberal media champions the film as an iconic step towards breaking Hillary Clinton’s glass ceiling. On the other hand, you have an alienated largely male (and increasingly worried) fan base. And it’s not because the fans fear strong females in leading roles. Far from it. Marvel fans have been clamoring for a Black Widow solo film starring Scarlett Johansson, for the better part of a decade.

Upon it’s announcement, Captain Marvel featuring Carol Danvers was met with uproarious cheers at San Diego Comic-Con. The problem is that Brie Larson — representing the Captain Marvel brand — has not been championing female equality so much as she’s been promoting radical feminism while spurning men for normal inclinations.

 

Years ago when I was a comic book pencil artist, I regularly drew strong female heroines analogously with the male characters. I didn’t mind drawing She Hulk along with Hulk. They were equals to me, even if drawing the female form is admittedly more fun. 

Now that I produce the Liberty Belles calendar featuring busty beauties in my proprietary Tac-Kinis who represent members of traditionally male dominated Special Operations career fields; one would think I’d welcome Brie Larson as Carol Danvers. The truth is I don’t. It’s not because she’s a strong kick ass female in a leading role and I’m scared of it. It’s because this particular strong kick ass female appears to be an arrogant, unrealistically self entitled brat who’s story arc doesn’t seem to include the humbling experience Thor and Iron Man had in order to obtain her power.

Instead, Captain Marvel appears to exercise her power without being worthy of it. Brie Larson makes a parallel mistake in viewing female dominion over men as preferable to male dominion. She’s the kind of woman any sane man would dump once they realized that being around her would be an absolutely miserable experience.

While I do recognize some men prefer this kind of woman, it’s an abhorrent behavioral disorder to me and I’m far from alone. For years I have railed against the unhealthy domineering behavior men direct towards women, but it is no more acceptable for women to behave likewise.

The causation of upheaval in Marvel’s fandom over this movie is a subconscious realization of obnoxious undertones. While outwardly this film appears to be progressive, it is in fact regressive by encouraging male sexism compounding the pre-existing issues of female sexism . Captain Marvel isn’t positioned to tackle the problem of sexist male behavior by showing females as equal yet different. Instead, the message appears to be that girls get to be as bad as boys, but shouldn’t then be expected to grow beyond identical flaws, because that’s sexist.

Whether this message will resonate for Marvel at the box office or not will depend on how they handled the story. Obviously Larson’s character comes across as an unrepentant arrogant little snot, but then again, so did Dr. Strange.

We’ll just have to wait and see if Marvel serves up the usual slice of humble pie to Larson for equality’s sake. If Marvel has followed their usual formulaic heroes journey with Carol Danvers, she may yet be redeemable. Either way, we will see on March 8th — or maybe we’ll just wait for it to hit Disney’s new streaming service.

 

 

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