I say that because -- as I often say -- I usually don't expend much (if any) thought on rights wherein I've no dog in the fight ... and I've long, long, long, long, long said that I'm no Marvel fan. (No, I'm not a hater, either.) For those who've missed my background, I largely grew up reading the wide, wide world of the DC Universe, and I really only occasionally crossed over into Marvel territory, so I just don't have much investment there. Yeah, I'd pick up the random book here and there -- not usually the big event-type stuff but stories that looked interesting -- but I rarely (if ever) went back. It was a one-on-one-off experience with me mostly, so I just little attachment and/or engagement with Marvel's stable of properties.
That said, I've dropped plenty of hints before that I do find a good handful of their flicks very fun; since I've never been all that moved by their various heroes and heroines, I just haven't followed the films closely enough to speak with any degree of intelligence on them. Also, I do tend to prefer stand-alone experiences; while I'm all for building a vast tapestry upon which any number of players can join in at any time, I'm just no big fan of having to see the last four or five films or shows in order for me to be up on what's happening: that kind of investment will always bite you in the butt if you're not paying attention, and it ends up just leaving casual followers lost in translation. So ... again ... while I'm not a fan, the Marvel Saga isn't something I loathe, either. It's just one more avenue to be entertained, so I avoid grandstanding and/or making speeches about something I really know little about.
And, still, I get asked to sound off on the films from fans. (No, no, no: I'm not angry. I rarely get angry -- especially with readers -- but I just want everyone to know I don't consider myself an expert on All Things Marvel ... so please keep that in mind if I drag anything you like in the mud, albeit briefly.)
For all intents and purposes, I think it's safe to conclude that Marvel has jumped aboard the whole 'representation' bandwagon. Such politicking rears its head from time-to-time -- even, back in the day, George Lucas is on record of creating Lando Calrissian because he'd heard one too many times that there were no black mainstays in the Outer Rim -- and ... well, what can I say? It happens! That doesn't necessarily make it right or wrong, mind you: it just is what it is. Who am I to cast judgment on what story a creator wants to tell? I'm essentially just like all of you -- I'm a viewer, I'm a consumer, I'm a fan (or not) -- but when it appears that something has been added and/or changed solely in response to some political outcry ... yeah, I'm offended as much as anyone. (Again, keeping in mind that Marvel doesn't mean all that much to me, this offense is trivial.)
What that means, however, may not be what you think it means.
As an example, let me put it this way: if Marvel wants to destroy their entire line-up with race and/or gender swaps, why should I lose any sleep over it?
I know, I know, I know. How dare you? Don't you consider yourself a genre historian? How can this not disgust and/or enrage you? Well, it's because I'm old, so get off my lawn. Folks, ask you parents or grandparents: we've all seen this sh#t before. This is nothing new. Some opportunists come along, and instead of creating their own Intellectual Property it's much easy to take a shot at success by coopting something that someone else has already established. Ilk of this sort have absolutely no problem picking up heroes you've long worshipped and reshaped them into crusaders for whatever lunacy is the current political economy. You say you want to stop Global Warming? Bingo! We'll recharge Thor to make him combat carbon emissions. You say you want to limit the consumption of beef? Voila! We'll empower Hawkeye in the never-ending campaign to turn every last man, woman, and child into vegans. You say there aren't enough crosswalks? Bam! Daredevil's new mission-on-the-street is the civic engineering, and he won't rest until every corner across America has a stoplight!
No, it needn't make any sense because making sense isn't what's on the friggin' agenda, folks. It's all about pushing culture in a direction in traditionally hasn't bent, and people like this has been engaging in action like this since the dawn of man. It's just, sadly, how some of us are wired. Rather than seek out and explore success with legitimate independence, they'll pilfer every conceivable hero in order to profit intellectually from the truly hard work done by authentic trailblazers ... all the while patting themselves on the backs for their own "creativity." As I said: they're opportunists, and that's what opportunists do.
And -- definitively -- I encourage all of you not to lose any sleep over this.
How exactly does that moral code work?
As I've often said when any feature doesn't gross the big bucks right out of the gate, it's worth exercising a bit of patience to see whether or not said feature might develop legs. (This one certainly had plenty of vulva, after all.) Sometimes, a flick's opening is light but over a few weeks it actually turns into a modest money winner; and -- despite the early trend looking otherwise -- the same could happen for The Marvels. In fact, one could argue that all of the controvery both the Mouse House and its hoard evil minions might be trying to accomplish is to ratchet up interest by making folks want to see this out of spite even. "What? This one's performing as the worst in the Marvel's history? Then ... we gotta go see it!" Maybe some new adverts might even take that approach if for no other reason than they're already out (allegedly) a half-billion dollars on production and marketing costs ... so what's a few more million really hurt?
Should the failure of a female-centric superhero film be christened as the end of all that is good and fair and righteous in the universe?
Well ... correct me if I'm wrong, but when right-minded folks -- the type who are generally pushing for a bit more wholesome entertainment -- are decrying the level of violence in motion pictures, aren't they told to just shut up? Aren't their concerns about a general loss of morality on the screen tempered with that tired old phrase: "Relax, it's only a movie!" Why don't the concerns from the left side of the aisle warrant such casual flippancy in response? Why should anyone be expected to explain just why he didn't want to burn his hard-earned cash by talking the family out to the cineplex to be preached to for $100 a visit? Huh? Why is it that their concerns deserve more time, effort, and exposure than do someone else's? What? Because they're the Harvey Weinstein class, and their grievances need to be aired?
Sorry for the language, gentle readers, but f#ck that.
These are the folks actually destroying our culture, folks. These are the folks who want you to feel guilty about driving a gas-powered vehicle, about eating a decent burger, and even over passing wind because you're destroying the planet. Don't listen to what they say. Don't even give an ear to what they preach. Don't give them the time of day. Don't spend a dime on their activist cinema if you don't want to, and use your money for that which both moves and motivates you.
These ladies aren't to blame for breaking the glass ceiling of failure, but, yeah, it's likely something that'll attach to their resumes for some time. If you think Hollywood isn't going to take care of them regardless of the box office take, then I've a few bridges I'd like to sell you. They'll do just fine ... though I'm guessing that The Marvels II might have some hill to climb before getting its green light.
And I'm perfectly okay with that.