Fun is fun; I can’t resist an occasional curious click. But the queasy part is how this effectively turns everyone into a publicist for the next corporate venture, their excitement bottled and rebranded as “organic growth.” Such unpaid labor is historically consistent. These companies insist they’re treating important cultural legacies with respect, but they’re monetizing characters and stories taken from creators who signed iffy contracts regarding ownership, and have likely never seen any profits now that their inventions bring in millions of dollars. They partner with the military; they collaborate with Donald Trump. Superheroes espouse the worth of truth, justice, and the American way, only they mostly benefit the forces who’d oppose Captain America.
YOU’RE NOT A FAN OF THE AVENGERS. YOU’RE THEIR PUBLICIST.
lately i've been on a big 1970s-80s Marvel Comics kick; reading the Epic Collections of Black Panther, Moon Knight, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, etc. back when the company seemed to let the artists and writers really plum the infinite interiors of their imaginations, refurbishing the Marvel Universe with endless possibilities.
then i watch the movies, and i see nothing but focus group micro-managing from an endless ream of meddlesome producers, script doctors, and pushy talent agents.
there's more life and passion in one panel of Steve Englehart / Frank Brunner's run on Doctor Strange than in the entire 2 hr 45 minute run time of the overproduced Infinity War movie, and it's becoming increasingly troublesome to witness the flippancy (if not outright malice) toward those who remain in the corner of the creators (and in many instances toward the creators themselves) who initially breathed life into these universes that are now being sold as Disney attractions for babies, moms, and disinterested tweens who are ever getting closer to the realization that they've been had... that these aren't mythologies anymore, just derivative interlocking brands that are ultimately tethered to the toxic mechanics of extreme capitalism.