Tuesday, May 8, 2012

US: The Awesome Politics of "the Avengers"

Photo Credit: Marvel
The Awesome Politics of "the Avengers" by Julianne Escobedo Shepherd
The latest superhero flick foregrounds clean energy and other progressive politics.

Joss Whedon, writer and director of this weekend’s blockbuster film The Avengers, has slyly inserted politics into the film, the latest in the Marvel comics superhero franchise, stacked it with some of Hollywood’s most progressive stars (including anti-fracking advocate Mark Ruffalo and activist/liberal Scarlett Johansson) and kept what’s probably going to be one of the year’s biggest film on topics consistent with progressive politics—without being heavy-handed about it.

Here’s how it happens: the United States has discovered a “cosmic cube” called the Tesseract that leaders believe can be harnessed to create an unlimited source of clean, sustainable energy. Gleaming electrified blue and the size of a bread basket, the cube is still being tested in a Tesla Coil-like device, when it’s used as an outer-space portal by Loki (the demi-god!) to descend to earth and begin enacting his master plan to enslave us all and “free us from freedom” because, as he says, “it’s human nature to be subjugated.”

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