How our favourite Superheroes are finally representing the society we live in
After a year of the pandemic, the first quarter of 2021 is not only reflective but also proved to be a step towards the ‘new normal.’ The globe as a civilization is still taking baby steps in the process of reopening and closing economies to curb the spread of the virus. From our normal lives to economic structures everything has taken a toll. And so did our Superheroes. But not anymore! At the start of the year, we got Marvel Studios’ WandaVision that not only kick-started MCU Phase 4 but also became our first flavour of superhero offering in over a year from any major studio. Then came the joy from Warner Bros called Zack Snyder’s Justice League that made fans very HAPPY! And now we have Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier which is hitting the right notes. Superheroes this year are representing everything we are living with.
Wanda, Vision and all our grief
Released on January 15, Marvel Studios’ WandaVision was as confusing as the year gone by. After Spider-Man: Far From Home that followed the Avengers: Infinity War in 2019, fans met Marvel’s unusual couple Wanda and Vision! To be frank, it was nothing like MCU we love, the sitcom setting, the thrilling yet confusing plots, Evan Peter’s presence and let’s not forget the ‘Mephisto’ sightings everything was vastly different from what we were used to seeing. And honestly, Marvel took the best risk by overhauling their entire universe!
Watch: WandaVision | Official Trailer | Disney+
Fans were already fatigued by the lack of superhero content, WandaVision just intrigued them further. Expectancy of Multiverse, X-Men, Magneto even Doctor Strange – really charged up the audience week by week but none of it come to fruition, yet! The show writers affirmed that not all fan theories came true by the finale and also that not all of them can. So let’s say there’s still hope for the Mephisto rooters.
That WandaVision finale though touched us in the most unexpected ways. In many ways, Wanda’s grief was our own. Our Superheroes reflected the pain and fear we felt due to the pandemic. The series touched the part of us that was still in sorrow for what we have endured collectively in the past year not only the constant fear of death but also losing the people we love.
“We were very clear that the big bad is grief” show creator Jac Schaeffer told Mashable. The entire series is based on Wanda’s coping mechanism. The sitcom styling is not only intriguing but is also a clever move on the studio’s part to acquaint us with the look and feel of the impending Multiverse. In the end, Wanda makes peace with letting go of her kids and Vision and the series leaves us with only one thought. ‘What’s grief if not love persevering?’
Of Hope: Zack Snyder’s Justice League
As the fans were recovering from the nine-episode run of Wanda’s grief Zack Snyder’s Justice League was ready to make them very HAPPY! The four-hour-long movie hit HBO Max on March 18 and rocketed the viewership sky high. No doubt the decision to greenlight the release of The Snyder Cut worked really well in positioning WB’s streaming service.
#ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement has changed Hollywood’s history. It’s the first win for both fans and the director whose vision was compromised by corporate meddling. The man, the movement and the movie all were worth it! Justice was done to each hero and villain. The character arcs brought out, some added back in, the seamless plot points and amazing cliffhanger ending. Snyder did make sure there’s always hope for another chapter!
And like that wasn’t it, they had Joker in the movie. Jared Leto’s Joker got redemption and how! For Snyder, it was important for fans to see Joker and Batman together. The director thought it would have been ‘uncool’ for fans to come this far and not see Batfleck and Joker interacting.
After watching the Snyder Cut, this writer just can not help but wonder, what a satisfactory world it would have been for a fan if the director’s vision could have been realised!
Imagine on one hand you have Zack Snyder’s interpretation of DC’s Olympian gods and meta-humans – a rogue superman, a half-dead /half-baked Justice League and Flash’s Time Travel. On the other hand, we’d have Marvel’s Inifinity Saga which is now expanding into the Multiverse. Though #RestoreTheSnyderVerse is a conversation for another time Snyder manages to give us hope. And that’s what we need in these pandemic ridden times [along with our superheroes ofcourse!].
Hard-Hitting Realities of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier
MCU’s Falcon and The Winter Soldier dropped on Disney+ just a day after ZSJL. The show was highly anticipated and rightly so. In just 3 episode it has called out America’s racist past and is reflecting its harsh present. Most importantly the series has created a dialogue for the Black community.
While we thought Anthony Mackie has the huge responsibility of being MCU’s first Black Captain America we met Isaiah Bradley in Episode 2. In the same episode, we see some police officer’s asking Sam for his ID till he realises he’s an Avenger. Hard. Spot on. And it hurt. The writer’s room of the Falcon and Winter Soldier deserves a bow.
The six-episodes long series is now in its mid of storytelling. Thanks to the long format that streaming services allow we are in for more ‘inner reflections’ and ‘difficult conversations’ in days to come. While none of these productions thought their themes will resonate so well in a post-pandemic world, we can certainly say, our superheroes finally represent the society we live in. And the year is just starting!