Marvel Plays to White Universe in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (Spoilers)

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The viability of the Marvel film world begins with the story of a man; one strong-willed and resolute in his vision, obnoxiously unshakeable in his confidence, and so driven by purpose that one wonders whether he cares about anyone beyond himself or his ambition. If you think I’m talking about Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man character, you’d be mistaken. Rather, I’m talking about the first Marvel hero to establish the notion of a blockbuster Marvel movie series. Wesley Snipes’s Blade series was a powerful proof of concept featuring an American Black hero with an undeniable urban Black story, starring one of the most prominent and unabashed Black actors of the 1990s.

This realization came to me with particular force as Marvel raked in an impressive $1.2 billion in opening weekend receipts for Avengers: Endgame, a movie that is meant to conclude a 10 year, 22…

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8 comments

  • huley.brown

    So I will not be going to the movies to see it. I will wait for it to be available via streaming. Thanks for posting what I knew to be true.

  • jmlw

    I was also deeply disappointed by this film, and its missed opportunity – avoidance? – of more centrally featuring PoC and women. Toward the end in the battle, when all the women assembled as a force I was optimistic that a woman would emerge as the hero, only to be let down (not shocked) that it was, of course, a white male who saves the day. What happens to Carol/Marvel after Thanos tosses her aside? She never appears again.

    I anticipated, as I think many did, that all the characters who’d died would have a much larger role — not merely appear on screen to confirm they’re alive again. I thought they’d all be more involved in strategy and how best to fight Thanos, I thought Shuri, Letitia Wright’s character, would be involved in developing some cool innovative, tech-ie, weapons…I wanted more ridiculous conversations between Drax and Mantis, but in the end, it was about the journey of white men to persevere — against all odds (always) — their way to victory.

    I appreciated Panther on many levels, but am grateful for the additional context you provide above. I recall noting the black on black violence. While I don’t know the history of the series (I’m a late-comer, joining as my son was drawn in) it’s becoming clear that the arc of these stories largely reflect a savior narrative, told mostly by white men about white men. Thank you for your observations.

    • ldjeter

      I agree. I really do believe this was intentional and a slap in the face towards the female characters. They made a big deal with all of them assembled with Thanos glove during the battle, but lost said glove within 5 seconds…

  • Anthony

    Omg you guys are reaching and reaching hard. You want diversity then make new characters. Most of these characters have been around and are 40 plus years old. They were around before most of you SJWs complaing even sniffed what Marvel was. Stop trying to change these beloved characters for the sake of diversity. How about make new characters and stop complaining.

    • kermitt84

      What are you talking about? This article is not about lack of character diversity. It’s about lack of character development in it’s existing diverse characters. Creating new diverse characters to watch white heroes thrive will not solve the problem.

  • ldjeter

    I agree with this article. Hopefully Marvel will honor the ending of this movie (which was underwhelming to me) and have Falcon take a crack at being Captain America. This would be a great opportunity for Mackie!

  • dsim002

    I want to add at Endgame had an uncomfortable scene where Hawkeye killing Japanese drug dealers as a grieving mechanism from the snap. First off ALL OF Avengers knows that Hawkeye killed drug-dealing gangs in Mexico and his only reasoning for it is because they survived the snap. There was no trial, nor any chance for restorative justice. Nor was it implied that they were doing continuing to do evil. We see in the fight scene, he straight up cuts a person’s arm off, mutilating his body. I don’t care how much crack that man was selling, Hawkeye is torturing him and not just him. In a scene where Rhody was looking at a picture in Black Widow’s office, she warn him not to look at the photo, which are the crime scene photos of his “trip to Mexico”. Also we’ve seen Hawkeye kill a lot of POC bodies at this 5 year point (Black Widow says it’s a massacare; around the 100’s); at what point do we start looking at him as a bigger villian than the Hawkeye’s intial targets? We also see in the scene of a Japanese man running away from Hawkeye saying “I didn’t do anything wrong.” Instead of trying to see the humanity in this person who is probably going through the same PTSD from the snap as the Avengers are, Hawkeye swiftly kills him. Later, we see that the rest of the Avenger (Black Widow specifically) was watching this whole time. Endgame does have the Avengers compliant with an white man (Hawkeye) going around other countries, killing hundreds of their natives all while declaring that they are superheros, all while appropriating their culture.

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