After the new ‘Dr. Weird’ movie, it’s time for an intervention with the Marvel Cinematic Universe

This essay includes spoilers for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” »

Last weekend I saw “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” as you would expect, Marvel Studios, even though its title sounded like something HP Lovecraft would write and Omicron’s sequel plays all over the place .

It was my first movie in a theater since November, and I went there for the same reason most of us do: to see Professor Charles Xavier, founder of the X-Men, finally appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. .

And then you literally murdered him.

This is how, Marvel, you introduced mutants, the most interesting, varied and socially relevant characters in all of superhero comics, to the MCU: you brought their founder, whose message of peaceful coexistence is often compared to that of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. and broke his neck right in front of us. Not only that, you got him killed by Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, who in the comics was responsible for the total decimation of mutants and mutant storylines for over a decade.

That’s how, Marvel, you introduced mutants, the most interesting, varied, and socially relevant characters in all of superhero comics, to the MCU.

How dare you, sir. If I had a glove, I’d throw it down, and it would be guns at dawn.

Thing is, the murder of Professor X and the other Illuminati doesn’t even make sense. These are seven characters who defeated Thanos by themselves. They had their universe’s existence threatened by another universe’s incursion.enjoy the next 10 years of stories, MCU fans!and survived. But supposedly they can’t handle a mad magician?

And God, how sad to describe Wanda Maximoff like that. You’ve spent an entire season on TV and so many movies building this compelling portrait of a woman who’s been through a lot and grown through it all. Then, overnight, she completely lost her mind.

Worse, it’s not even Wanda herself choosing those things; it’s that evil Scarlet Witch thing you came up with to own it. Even as you made her more powerful than ever, you also completely stripped the character of her agency. No wonder actress Elizabeth Olson is portrayed hiding in a bunker waiting for the thing to end. You’ve taken the strongest female character in the MCU and also possibly its best actress and reduced her to the dreadful stereotype of the hysterical woman. To quote the prophet Chandler Bing, could you be more afraid of strong women?

You’ve taken the MCU’s strongest female character — and possibly its best actress, too — and reduced her to the dreadful stereotype of the hysterical woman.

That’s why you had to execute Professor X and his teammates in front of us. The film’s co-writer, Michael Waldron, admitted it: While writing the script, he told io9, he realized, “Man, my second act is kind of boring right now. moment, I’m just going to write in all this crazy s—. Well, mission accomplished, Michael.

“Multiverse” America Chavez is launching, the Latina teen jumping universe with two moms, and she’s wonderful in every way. That scene where she and Doctor Strange fall between realities is super trippy; I would like an entire movie about the Marvel universe where everything is just paint (from #MPU), please and thank you. But all around her is more tired than Pizza Poppa salesman Bruce Campbell after three weeks of having to tackle. Wanda is trapped in the belt you forced to wear, and the only thing that unfortunately seems to be true in all MCU releases is that Doctor Strange is an absolute pill. It’s like they took Tony Stark and surgically removed every trace of charisma. Strange is a humorless know-it-all with a terrible accent, nobody talks in New York that way, nobodywho insists on maintaining a truly terrible dye job. Seriously, if you can do magic, why do you keep dyeing your hair? And why in such a weird and scary way?

Ultimately, the only true statement in “Multiverse” is the Illuminati’s claim that in every universe, Doctor Strange turns out to be the Destroyer of Worlds. And the thing it kills is my interest.

As Michael Waldron was writing the script, he told io9, he realized, “Man, my second act is kinda boring right now, I’m just gonna write in all this crazy stuff—.” Well, mission accomplished.

Wonder, I know you appreciate a reaction like this. You asked sweet octogenarian Sir Patrick Stewart, who has spent the many months of confinement reading us all of Shakespeare’s sonnets on Twitter, to deliver one of the most realistic versions of a head snap I have ever views. You also imploded Black Bolt’s head, the very weekend that Bolt actor Anson Mount’s big new Star Trek show “Strange New Worlds” debuted, and you cut Peggy Carter. in two…with his own shield-—precisely so that people will talk about the movie for weeks and months after it ended, remembering it as iconic despite the fact that it was actually boring.

You even featured Reed Richards, leader of the Fantastic Four, and cast John Krasinksi, who the internet has been seeing in jostling for the role. In the small amount of time you gave him, he delivered a more thoughtful and interesting portrayal of this character than we’ve seen on screen or in the comics. Instead of another know-it-all white male straight Marvel, you gave us a guy whose job seems to have left him touched with wonder and extremely kind. You gave us this character, and you had Wanda skin it into strips like string cheese.

I’m sure you think you’re doing what makes you punk and edgy. You took all the toys you know the fans want and then smashed them in front of us. You also wiped out a more diverse group of heroes than the Avengers teams that only consist of at least twice as many people. Take this, wake up snowflakes! But you don’t have to live with the consequences, because hey, it’s a multiverse. There are plenty of other Charles Xaviers out there, right?

In all of pop culture, there is no more diverse group of heroes than the X-Men, nor any set of characters whose stories speak more to the struggles for justice we face in our society today.

But your story universe is meant to embrace hope where there is no hope. In all the films you emphasize the humanity of putting your characters at the center of their stories. And now you’re turning horrific acts of violence into fanboy Easter eggs and outrage machines? What are you, Facebook?

At some point in the not-too-distant future, you’re going to present the X-Men universe properly. And you may think you’ll be able to chew their IP like grasshoppers at an all-you-can-eat buffet. But Mutants have survived far worse than your desperate need to keep making billion dollar movies. They survived “90s comics, where everything was huge guns and ridiculous bodies.” They survived Marvel Comics CEO Ike Perlmutter insisting in the 2000s that his editors literally didn’t do anything with X-Men characters for years, because 20th Century Fox owned the rights to the characters in the movies. You saw “X-Men: Apocalypse” they survived that.

You may have made Charles Xavier your idiot; besides, it’s probably the last time that Patrick Stewart will play this role, and you had him out like that. Thank you so much.

But the rest of this franchise won’t go down so easily. And you shouldn’t want them. You shouldn’t want to use mutant characters just to prop up some weak character or tired franchise. In all of pop culture, there is no more diverse group of heroes than the X-Men, nor any set of characters whose stories speak more to the struggles for justice we face in our society. today. They are tales of children facing chilling acts of prejudice, who respond with courage and generosity. These are stories of embracing your differences rather than hiding them, of learning that it’s precisely the things that make you different that make you special and strong. X-Men books show us where fear takes us as a society, and celebrate the ability of our communities who find themselves to overcome, save and renew. These are the famous Marvel kind of ideas.

Or at least they are in a universe.

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