While the MCU is all about the superhero genre, there are few masked crime fighters in their films. Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel are going to change that.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is practically synonymous with the superhero genre, and yet, looking at their impressive stable of characters, something crucial is missing: real superheroes. While the protagonists of the MCU’s greatest movies can fight for the fate of the galaxy, defeat terrorists threatening the integrity of civilization, and protect the world from its greatest threats, there are very few that fill the trope. of masked crime fighter patrolling the streets for the safety of normal people.
While there have been a few in MCU history, and even more beyond the big screen, this may be the new direction the MCU will change the most with upcoming projects like Ms. Marvel and Moon knight.
After more than a decade of blockbuster movies, the MCU has more heroes than ever before, and yet very few of those heroes really fit the prototype ideal of what a superhero is. There are powers, costumes, and brave personalities galore, but more often than not, the protagonists presented by the MCU aren’t crime fighters with a secret identity who roam the streets to protect the cities they inhabit. . Even looking at Phase One, the heroes that defined the Marvel mold were Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. And none of these heroes fit the mold of a masked crime fighter. Indeed, you couldn’t even tell that they had secret identities, and the adventures they experienced early in the MCU were massive battles against overpowering threats.
Still, with the teased looks at heroes like Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel, that seems to be changing. Glimpses of the two heroes have shown the iconic imagery of masked figures looming above the cities they seek to protect, and the awe they inspire is much more akin to the classic super-ideal. hero the MCU has never achieved before. Indeed, the only notable exception from the main MCU feature films so far was Spider-Man, and even then his activities as a street hero were largely relegated to Spider-Man: Homecoming and quickly sidelined in favor of larger-than-life sci-fi threats.
For a while it’s Marvel Television shows like Netflix’s daredevil or ABC Agents of SHIELD which approached the smaller-scale dramas apparently under the guidance of the Asgardian gods and super-agents traveling the world. With the canonicity of those installments hanging in the air, the MCU was left with the absence of a significant part of its world, a part that even Disney + additions have not resolved. Loki, WandaVision and What if…? all were occupied by reality-distorting threats on a dizzying scale beyond common assaults or gang violence. Same Falcon and the Winter Soldier worried about international terrorists, asking the heroes of Marvel an important question: Who takes care of the little guy?
That’s exactly the question the MCU seems determined to answer, as a new stable of heroes step forward to fill a void that has loomed in the world for too long. Ms. Marvel plays a classic teenage superhero, with the added bonus of being something of a superhero nerd herself. While calling herself Captain Marvel, the young Kamala Khan operates on a scale much more relevant than the stellar adventures of her idol. Likewise, the mentally unstable Moon Knight is often seen as Marvel’s answer to Batman, as he uses his world-class talents and depth of resources to avenge urban crimes in the dead of night.
Indeed, Batman can easily be seen as the main influencing force behind the established cliché of the masked vigilante. The MCU has had a dozen different Supermen, but Moon Knight could be its first Batman. In many ways, the shift in focus to the streets should be refreshing as a result of projects like Shang-Chi and Eternals who once again focused on the fate of the whole world.
Even the next one Hawk Eye The series shows that Disney + MCU projects aren’t entirely focused on the massive scale of movies, and that just might be a promising direction for the franchise. As the stakes get higher with each MCU movie, focusing on smaller-scale heroes can provide more relevant human-scale issues for a larger audience.
To see how Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel put superheroes back into the MCU, both series will air in 2022 on Disney +.
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