October 13th, 2022
My favorite part about watching people complain about the current phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that they are objectively wrong.
The future belongs to those who can see it.
At the convention in Rochester over the weekend, I had no problem choosing my favorite cosplay: a little girl, painted green, wearing a full business suit like her hero, She-Hulk.
It’s just beginning.
The generation of kids born right now will be brought into a world where characters like She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel already exist on a screen, like they have they always been there, like they have always belonged.
Stories exist for two reasons: to tell us something about ourselves, and to tell us something about other people.
I am not a woman or Muslim, nor do I have superpowers, but I have empathy and a willingness to learn about other human experiences; the always-surprising thing with learning about people you know nothing about is that they are more like you than you ever thought possible.
I’ve related to Jen and Kamala in ways that transcend physical and man-made identities.
And those are only two examples from the current phase, but the ones that inspired me to write a little about their importance, which some people would try to diminish now, but will only grow with time.
These are not heroes meant to inspire sad, racist, misogynistic, white, “adult” men who scream on the internet. At this point, nothing can inspire them.
These are the heroes that are going to inspire our kids to be brave and strong, to be kind and compassionate, and these stories will be here to remind them that no matter who they are, what they look like, what faith they keep, or how they identify, their stories matter, and they can be part of a far better world.
People can say that the current phase is disorganized or lacks a plan (which is hilarious, because we’re in the middle of something, and people don’t like it when they can’t guess the ending). Anyone who watched today’s She-Hulk finale got the last laugh; the entire season was an immaculate take-down of internet culture and a truly empowering story of someone figuring out just who she is, what she needs, and who she wants to be.
Yeah, people can complain while missing the whole point.
Superheroes aren’t meant for the mundane details that cynics would have you believe.
Superheroes are made for hope, in the business of making you believe.
And this brilliant phase has exactly that if you decide to give it a chance.