At the end of the day, people enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or any big name franchise for that matter, almost entirely for the purposes of entertainment and escapism. While there’s no harm in casting an eye towards real world issues and incorporating them into the storylines, the MCU has largely shied away from hot button topics, at least until The Falcon and the Winter Soldier came along.
Almost inevitably, there’s been a vocal minority that aren’t happy about a comic book buddy adventure shining a light on race relations in America, but it’s not as if these aren’t things people have to deal with on an almost daily basis. Star Anthony Mackie thinks Marvel is aiming even higher, though, after revealing that he believes the shared mythology will change the way society looks at itself, with the actor saying:
“It’s been an emotional experience, especially in the time in which we live in now. For Marvel to give me the opportunity as a black man, from the south, to become Captain America, I think, says a lot, not only about the work that I’ve put in to get to this point that they would would entrust me with that. But with the way that they’re hoping to change the way society looks at itself. “
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We’re still talking about superheroes wearing costumes to fly around and beat up the bad guys, but as the biggest and most popular game in town, the MCU has the largest platform on which to shine a light on the sort of issues Mackie was talking about. Tessa Thompson has already claimed that the future of the series will have a substantially increased focus on diversity and representation, and that’s been made clear by a lot of major casting choices announced for both the big screen and Disney Plus.
It would be ambitious and more than a little foolish to expect the MCU to lead the charge when it comes to causing widespread societal change, and there will always be those who decry any sort of sociopolitical element being made part of the narrative, but The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was definitely a solid enough start in terms of folding serious thematic weight into the fabric of the mythology.
Source: Bounding Into Comics