Marvel’s Heroes Are More Diverse. Its Films Are Still Stubbornly American

Marvel’s Heroes Are More Diverse. Its Films Are Still Stubbornly American
Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Ruffalo pose for photographers during the Russian premiere of “The Avengers” in Moscow, Russia, April 17, 2012 (AP photo by Misha Japaridze).

The year was 2012. Marvel Studios was on top of the world—literally. The movie “The Avengers” was dominating virtually every market in every region. In just a few short years, the movie studio had created a cultural behemoth that for the rest of the decade would become, outside of sports, perhaps the closest the planet has ever come, or will ever come, to a worldwide shared viewing experience.

It is easy to see why: “The Avengers” was monstrous in ambition, budget and spectacle. It was dramatic, funny, exciting and engrossing.

It was also exceptionally American—in representation, culture and perspective.

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