Have we lost that loving feeling for the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Or Can we not see the universe through a female perspective? The recent reaction to the MCU kind of shows that as an audience, that over half of us cannot relate to the universe that we all once loved, but why is that?
I know it’s been a minute since we wrote something here and thank you for being here to read this. This topic is important to us because 1) We love seeing new characters being introduced to the MCU. 2) We love seeing representation in our media and 3) Nora finally can relate to some of the superheroes outside of Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn.
While rewatching the first two phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we rarely see a strong female presence. Yes, we had Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger but we wouldn’t see the character return until Avengers Endgame. (I know she got her own show, that lasted two seasons but sadly it’s rarely talked about) Pepper Potts unfortunately will always be linked to Tony Stark and it took a few films until Natasha Romanoff was not objectified and became a total badass.
Now we have a MCU that is loaded with amazing female characters and a bias is starting to be shown. There has been a positive reaction from critics and hatred from certain aspects of the fan base. It all started with Captain Marvel, a lot of hate was aimed towards the film and main actors. I’ll admit I’m not a fan of the film due to the storyline and lack of credible villain. The positives of the film was Brie Larson and introducing me to a character I knew little about. Fast forward to Black Widow in 2021, a fun film that was definitely entertaining but was told through a female perspective. We were introduced to a great character in Yelena Belova, yet fans felt the film was unnecessary.
Now, let’s be honest with ourselves for a quick second, are any of these films necessary?
Disney plus brought us Wandavision, Loki, Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and currently She-Hulk. Episodic stories to view weekly, yet even more criticism formed and we started to hear the term “M-she-U”. Hawkeye, Ms.Marvel, and She-Hulk have all done a tremendous job of establishing strong, powerful female characters with comedic undertones. So why the hate? I’ll never understand honestly, maybe we are scared of our idols becoming women, maybe we are scared for our male superheroes to be vulnerable.
Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk do not deserve the hate they have received. In my opinion they are two of the best efforts from the MCU for episodic storytelling. It was recently reported that She-Hulk is scoring lower than Inhumans for audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is ridiculous. Think some of us forgot that She-Hulk is a sitcom and we need to lower our expectations. Most sitcoms lack direction and tell a story for laughs. Also just because one may be a male and cannot relate to the life of a female, does not mean the show is instantly bad. The story of Jennifer Walters being a petite lawyer that can turn into a Hulk is something that most of us cannot relate to to begin with. For example in the first episode, Jennifer tells her cousin Bruce that she has to restrain her anger everyday because as a female she feels different stressors than a man. This scene was criticized yet when talking about to it Nora, she related the most to this scene and instantly felt emotionally attached to what Jennifer had said.
So while some are complaining about the direction of the MCU, others are feeling seen. Think about that, if you aren’t quite liking this Phase of the MCU and then reflect on what that truly means.