Tessa Thompson has been championing greater diversity in the MCU. It will be interesting to see how the MCU’s future, which will be more diverse, will achieve the kind of representation that advocates want. My thinking is the answer is no. It cannot, the MCU is designed to balance fan and non-fan understanding. Yet, the strength of the brand means they can provide greater diversity. Captain Marvel is a clear example of this reality. It is not the best superhero film, it is good, but its connection to the MCU was crucial wedge for success. We live in a media franchise age.
This is forthcoming. It started with a simple, but good idea. We wanted to explore how the shared universe ideology behind the Marvel Studios film offered a particular template to understand the success of the films created by Marvel Studios. My argument was that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) differed from licensed Marvel properties. The surface element of those changes is clear (end credit sequences, worlding building reflected in different properties and narrative benchmarks.) The deeper implication of these changes is not as clear. The centrality of security, the dependency on identity/citizenship questions, and the nature of gender narrative within the MCU are worth discussing. Of course, having come off the creation of Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men, I turned to my colleagues to support co-editing the book. Bill Svitavsky said yes, and Daniel Fandino, who stepped in when Tom Donaldson had family concerns that got in the way, helped manage the narrative. They said yes, I pitched it to McFarland Publishers. We made the cut, despite the fact McFarland already had a book that became Marvel Comics Into Film in development. The key was the argument I made that our focus would be the Marvel Studio properties and not licensed properties. This distinction is key to our analysis, but also key to the marketplace. The MCiF book did push back our publication table and that gave us some wiggle room we needed as production ran into their predictable problems. The image below IS NOT THE COVER, but while I'm on sabbatical, I have many irons in the fire and this is a major project that is entering a critical final stage.