Billy Ray Cyrus Comic Book

Will the Nightwing movie in the works make reference to the character’s past? Did you know Billy Ray Cyrus was once given his own comic book? Is Marvel Comics finally done with the evil Captain America? Will Justice League have any post-credits scenes? Did you know Marvel once wanted Liam Hemsworth to play Thor more than Chris Hemsworth? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

Justice League International Omnibus

Will there be another musical crossover on the Arrowverse this season? What kind of video game will The Avengers Project be? Why does Channing Tatum love Gambit so much? Why did Jennifer Lawrence decide to come back for X-Men: Dark Phoenix? What is Taika Waititi doing hanging around with Shark Smurf? Which comic book movie is the most anticipated movie of fall 2017? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

Leonardo DiCaprio as The Joker

Want to see what Leonardo DiCaprio could look like as The Joker? Did you buy those false rumors about John Cena being a frontrunner for Shazam? How much did Inhumans make on IMAX screens this past weekend? Which of this summer’s comic book movies is now in the Top 20 highest grossing movies of all time? Why did Tim Curry lose the role of The Joker on Batman: The Animated Series? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

Hitman's Bodyguard - Deadpool Poster

What’s going on with Captain America in Secret Empire now and what’s coming in Marvel Legacy? What’s Slash doing on the set of Deadpool 2? How is Aquaman like an underwater version of Star Wars? Will Superman get his black suit in Justice League? Is Cat Grant the new White House press secretary on Supergirl? How much will Inhumans make at the box office this weekend? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

The Punisher #218 - War Machine Armor

How does Yondu‘s death in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 impact Sean Gunn‘s character Kraglin? Will we see the members of The Defenders cross over into each others’ shows more often now? How would you like to eat a bucket of popcorn out of Hulk‘s fist? Want to see a bunch of Marvel movies in theaters again starting this weekend? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

Captain America Civil War VFX - Morning Watch

(The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.)

In this edition, we have an extensive Captain America: Civil War visual effects breakdown revealing all the impressive post-production work on display, which includes most of Iron Man‘s suit. Plus, we have a video essay looking at how the scene transitions in The Matrix enhance the movie, and another about the intricate details of costume design that you may not have noticed. Read More »

Thor Ragnarok - Taika Waititi and Chris Hemsworth

Could Steppenwolf have a new secret origin in Justice League? Do you know who is voicing Uncle Ben in Disney XD’s Spider-Man animated series? Why doesn’t Luc Besson enjoy superhero movies, specifically Captain America? Why did director Doug Liman really leave Justice League Dark? What will Deadpool and Cable‘s relationship be like in Deadpool 2? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

Thor Ragnarok

Want to see a deleted scene from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? How buff is Evangeline Lilly looking for Ant-Man and the Wasp? When is Agents of SHIELD coming back to ABC for the next season? How was Tony Stark‘s “Underoos!” line in Captain America: Civil War translated around the world? Which DC Comics superhero is getting a new roller coaster in Texas? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

The Flash - Batman - Red Death

Want to see how Medusa‘s hair on Inhumans looks when it’s in motion? Why does Batman have The Flash‘s powers in a new DC Comics story arc? Did you know Emily VanCamp almost appeared as Agent 13 on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD? Why doesn’t Spider-Man: Homecoming ever reference Uncle Ben by name? What’s Hayley Atwell doing at Marvel’s offices this week? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

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fragile masculinity of the mcu

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, and opinionated about something that makes us very happy…or fills us with indescribable rage. In this edition: a dissection of the fragile masculinity of Marvel movies, the overlooked homoeroticism of superhero stories, and how everyone can do better.)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whether you realize it or not, it’s considered one of the biggest pop culture institutions defining modern American manhood. Heroes like Captain America, the Falcon, Iron Man, War Machine, Hawkeye, and Thor are considered red-blooded, hypermasculine American men (despite Thor’s role as a Norse god), and even outer space heroes like Star-Lord and lower-rung Avengers like Ant-Man evoke the ideals of fanboy manhood through snarkiness and Teflon attitude.

But all of this is really just a façade for a bubbling societal fear. These characters are archetypes for the fragile masculinity that affects too many men in America. That fear of not being “masculine” enough leads to misogyny, self-loathing, fear of homosexuality, and, at its most extreme, the deaths of gay and trans people (usually trans women).

I can already feel you getting overwhelmed, so let me scale this discussion back a bit to look at the small picture: Marvel and Disney. How does Marvel and Disney’s beloved MCU perpetuate this idea of fragile masculinity? How does it affect their audience? And, most importantly, what can they do to stop the cycle? Take a journey with me as I pick apart the MCU, its men, and why Marvel and Disney shouldn’t be afraid to show them as the vulnerable, soft-hearted human beings they actually are.

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