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An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia

Exhibit 80: Marveling Over Superhero Meltdowns

The Media Research Center shows it can hurl as much abuse at Marvel as it does at DC when their superheroes fail to comply with right-wing heteronormative narratives.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 12/30/2021

The Media Research Center takes no sides on the superhero universe debate -- it hates that Marvel doesn't adhere to its preferred right-wing narratives as much as it does when the DC universe fails to comply.

For instance, the MRC was not a fan of the film "Black Panther" when it came out. When the film's trailer was released in 2017, Corinne Weaver complained that star Chadwick Boseman -- whom Weaver somehow identified as "Marshall Boseman" -- said that then-President Trump was "giving voice to white supremacy, he has made it OK for white supremacy to exist because he hasn’t said that it’s wrong." Weaver didn't rebut Boseman, so we can assume that she agrees with his argument and is just mad he said it.

Gabriel Hays damned "Black Panther" with faint praise, calling it "merely a decent superhero movie, not exactly the standard the Oscars usually goes for," sneering that it was being "held as revolutionary filmmaking by Hollywood’s PC police for an apparent mystical celebration of African American culture."

Hays dedicated another post to dismissing the film as "typical Hollywood – filled with violence, including 163 shootings, while Marvel stars call for gun control." Hays did not document where his "163 shootings" stat came from, nor did he indicate he counted them himself.

(Strangely, a couple weeks later, the MRC was all giddy about the remake of the film "Death Wish," with Scott Whitlock gushing over how "liberal film critics hate" the film. Whitlock did not count the number of shootings in the film like Hays apparently did for "Black Panther," though one would have to assume that a film based on a violent revenge fantasy has dozens upon dozens of them. But as long a movie sufficiently pisses off liberals, it can have as much violence as possible, according to the MRC.

In 2019, the MRC spent a lot of time throwing hate at the new superhero movie "Captain Marvel," fretting that the film may too politically correct for its right-wing sensibilities. Gabriel Hays cited an interview with star Brie Larson to claim the film examined "intersectional feminism" and was going to "flow down the PC sewer" with its "female-centric gaze." Hays went on to tout the "strong pre-release boycott of this film due to Larson’s PC pulpit."

A few days later, biased reviewer Christian Toto trashed "Captain Marvel" in a post that started off not by examining the film itself but by attacking Larson for having "railed against too many white male reporters, trumpeted the film’s feminist agenda and dictated which under-represented writers could pen her glossy magazine profiles." It wasn't not until the sixth paragraph that Toto finally got around to addressing the actual film, sniffing that it "suffers from anemic characters, lame comic relief and, worst of all, a talented actress who’s all wrong to play a superheroine."

But the MRC's narrative must be served, and he bashes one character for being "always around the corner, telling Vers she’s too hysterical to make an impact. How did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez not score a cameo?" He concludes by huffing that the film "cares far more about lecturing audiences than entertaining them."

Hays returned to spend a post being triggered that the film was promoted on the Twitter account of the late Stan Lee:

If your feminist superhero movie is losing in the court of public opinion and millions of dollars are on the line, how far would you go to save face? Well if you’re Marvel, I guess you might drag up the ghost of Stan Lee to do some last minute PR. An effective tactic? Er, maybe ... ? Creepy and ghoulishly opportunistic? You betcha.

There’s plenty of buzz surrounding Marvel’s latest blockbuster film Captain Marvel, but it’s due less to excitement about the movie itself and more to the political comments made by the film’s creators and its star Brie Larson, who say it could be the “biggest feminist movie of all time." Needless to say, superhero fans are tired of hearing about how this movie appropriately tackles “intersectional feminism” and other progressive tropes, so many have taken online to push for a boycott.

Of course that means it’s time for Marvel to start overcompensating. Besides continuing to push a “woke” political agenda that many mainstream critics have been eating up (pre-release reviews are oh so positive at the moment), the company employed a social media seance and now Twitter users have to endure the horror of the deceased Stan Lee tweeting at them to go see a crappy girl power movie.

While Hays and Toto rooted for the film to be a bomb, they were surely disappointed that non-triggered fans didn't agree; "Captain Marvel" grossed a massive $153 million on its opening weekend.

Still, the MRC didn't back off. A March 15 item by Clay Waters bashed the New York Times for reporting on how the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes revamped its scoring system to discount pre-release attacks by trolls doing the same thing that Hays did by whining about the film being too PC. "The article was an amusing example of how avidly the ostensibly anti-capitalist left will defend a multi-billion dollar capitalist enterprise (Marvel Studios and its ongoing myriad-film superhero saga) when the right ('troll') enemies are lined up on the other side," Waters huffed.

In March 2020, Hays took Marvel's bait and went on an extended freakout over Marvel introducing a superhero who's nonbinary:

Marvel’s most recent comic book isn’t even about superheros this time around. It’s progressive propaganda with a crime-fighting veneer. That’s it.

Even with two years of Marvel discussing token gay characters, or its parent company Disney trying to weave in a subtle lesbian kiss here or there, we were still surprised to learn that the superhero company decided that a “non binary” character named “Snowflake” or “Safespace” would be a cool new edition to the universe inhabited by Captain America.

Nerd culture outlet Bounding Into Comics reported that Marvel repurposed an older Marvel crime fighting team, “The Warriors,” into the “New Warriors.” Creator Daniel Kibblesmith’s description of this reboot destroyed any illusion that these folks were tough heros.

Kibblesmith, who has also written comic books for beloved Marvel characters like Loki and Black Panther, lovingly described his project as a “story of teenage rebels. A lot of the [superhero] names are about teens fighting against labels that are put on them.” Rebelling against labels in 2020? This is going to be weird.

Of course, this means we are getting characters like “Snowflake” and “Safespace,” who are twins.


He then described “Snowflake” who in addition to being poorly named, is “nonbinary and goes by they/them.” The writer added, “Snowflake has the power to generate individual crystallized snowflake-shaped shurikens. The connotations of the word snowflake in our culture right now are something fragile. And this is a character who is turning it into something sharp.”

We’ve come a long way from Peter Parker’s teenage angst, haven’t we?

Hays further whined that "Today’s hero template can’t just include fighting skills and the desire to help the average citizen, it needs woke activism," finally sneering: "Kibblesmith added, 'I wanted to have teen characters who felt as ‘now’ as the New Warriors did in 1990. The New Warriors have been zeitgeist characters from the beginning.' Well, today it seems that 'now' feeling also comes with side effects of nausea and weeping for the culture."

No, Gabe, that's just your reflexive -- and all too predictable -- right-wing hate taking over.

Talking about race

The failure of Marvel superheroes to conform to right-wing heteronormative stereotypes continued to be a steady source of content for the MRC. Veronica Hays whined on March 17 that a "transsexual woman" artist helped make Captain America non-heteronormative:

Someone switched out the super soldier serum. Captain America is now gay. Our beloved champion is now a social justice warrior, taking on the form of a gay teen with tattoos, multiple piercings, and an edgy, shaved haircut. Make sure you refer to him with the correct pronouns, or else..


Naturally, the press and creators must make a big fuss over this new gay character. “Marvel Comics is proud to honor Pride Month with the rise of this new LGBTQ+ hero." It is clear that the heads at Marvel entertain politically correct motives as we’ve seen before, and oftentimes at the cost of quality storytelling. This stunning and brave addition to Marvel’s universe will most likely appeal to a very limited target audience, but when sales reflect that, Marvel will be able to blame U.S. homophobia. Will they face the reprisal of the “go woke, go broke” phenomenon? Time will tell.

The MRC then shifted its focus to being angry about superheroes talking race on a related show. On March 29, Lindsay Kornick ranted about "the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) decline into wokeness" because the Disney+ show "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" included racial themes as a central storyline, huffing, "Disney+ and Marvel might have to focus on actual heroics if they want their superhero shows to succeed." Kornick returned on April 8 to promote an anonymous YouTube video citing unverified streaming data to claim that "massive number[s]" of people stopped watching the aforementioned episode when that storyline became prominent. (We thought the MRC hated anonymous sources.) Kornick then put her own spin on this: "Of course, Overlord DVD’s personal take on the matter is subjective, though, if this discovery is in fact true, it is a moment of revelation for The House of Mouse. Americans are tired of the “wokeism” of mainstream media and the entertainment establishment."

Kornick was back on April 18 to attack yet another episode of the show:

Marvel’s latest series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has proved to be the polarizing propaganda the media hoped it would be. Now on its penultimate episode, the Disney+ series is stepping things up by asserting that nothing's changed in 500 years and no black man should want to be Captain America.


The show once again seems determined to act like America was, is, and always will be racist in some way, even if we’re nowhere near as discriminatory as we were in the 1940s and '50s.

In fact, Isaiah, a black man, is the only person who declares that a black man won’t and shouldn’t be Captain America. No one in conservative media is claiming Sam can’t be the next Captain America. No one else in the series says Sam can’t be the next Captain America. All that’s there is the assumption that racist America wouldn’t want a black superhero, despite Black Panther being a huge success. This series itself is far more racist than anything it purports America to be.

This whole point becomes moot since Sam indeed chooses to take up the shield and presumably will become the next Captain America. All that means is that this scene was just lip service to a bunch of social justice warriors who likely never cared about Captain America in the first place. Let’s hope the finale isn't worse than this.

Kornick seems to have forgotten that her employer trashed "Black Panther," which indicated that the MRC didn't particularly want a black superhero -- at least until he became so popular that Kornick feels she had to retcon things.

On April 23, Kornick predictably complained about the show's finale:

Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has been a mixed bag of action sequences and blatant political messages. The Disney+ series ended things with a bang by making one last racial jab at audiences and Captain America fans.

Sam: I’m a Black man carrying the stars and stripes — what don’t I understand? Every time I pick this thing up, I know there are millions of people who are going to hate me for it. Even now, here, I feel it. The stares, the judgment, and there’s nothing I can do to change it. Yet I’m still here. No super serum. No blonde hair or blue eyes. The only power I have is that I believe we can do better.
Again, I’m going to need actual sources of these millions of people who supposedly hate the idea of a black Captain America. The Americans in this show don’t hate him since dozens cheer as Sam rescues a van full of hostages and proudly call him Captain America. Real-life Americans clearly don’t hate him if Disney and Marvel were willing to spend millions to give him his own show about becoming Captain America. In fact, millions of people seemed excited at the idea since it was first introduced at the end of Avengers: Endgame.

Instead, those fans and several others are thrown under the bus for social justice posturing. Even worse, they’re thrown under the bus for posturing and terrorist sympathy. America is definitely ready for a black Captain America, but millions of Americans will definitely not tolerate being lectured by these twisted priorities. The future of Marvel is looking pretty bleak.

If Kornick and the MRC really have no problem with a black superhero, why have they spent so much time and space complaining that it's being talked about?

When Captain America said some non-jingoistic things about the American dream in a new comic series, Abigail Streetman was there to smear him as a commie in a July 6 post:

The Marvel Commies have struck again. This time they’re attempting to indoctrinate the readers of “The United States of Captain America” by telling them that the American Dream “isn’t real.” In the first issue of the comic written by Christopher Cantwell, the patriotically dressed Avenger promotes an anti-American view of our country on the weekend of Independence Day.

The left-wing propaganda packed comic book was released on June 30. Marvel’s website then published an article promoting the new comic on July 3 titled “Spend the Fourth with these Captain America Reads.” They described the series as a celebration of “the character’s incredible legacy.”

The story begins with the hero going on a journey to find his stolen shield and running into everyday people or “Captains” who have been protecting their communities by taking on the identity of "Captain America." However, the story that is actually told is one of divisiveness and politically charged commentary.

What did Captain America actually say that got Streetman so riled up? Well, she chops up his words and takes them out of context for full rant value, but he said that the "white picket fence" version of the American dream is a lie because it resides outside reality for many Americans, and that his version of the American dream is centered around freedoms for all. Streetman somehow translated this into right-wing rage-speak:

The more than 5.5 million family-owned businesses in the U.S. may have something different to say about that. Releasing this kind of hateful rhetoric on the weekend of Independence Day is one of the most anti-American acts to come from the publishing company, and Marvel seems to be constantly promoting left-wing insanity.

The character continues to promote the biased viewpoint by discussing the “white picket fence” view of America and insists that this does not actually exist. According to the comic, the existing version of America is one that “doesn’t get along nicely with reality. Other cultures. Immigrants. The poor.” The Captain then says “a good dream is shared. Shared radically. Shared with everyone. When something isn’t shared, it can become the American lie.”

No, Marvel. That's called equity. That is the false utopian belief that's constantly pushed by deranged leftists. The true American dream is equality of opportunity for everyone and the promise that if you work hard you will achieve great things.

One of the characters portraying a version of "Captain America" continues to manipulate the readers even further, saying, "A while back, we told the world they could come here for a better life. But too often we turn our backs on them."

Freedom of thought is slowly being destroyed by companies like Marvel that push fallacies onto unsuspecting citizens. We now have to question comic books because the left-wing nuts can’t help but insert their radical beliefs into places where they don’t belong - like a comic book that's supposed to appeal to a mass audience.

Defund Marvel.

It seems that Streetman is making stuff up so she has something to write about. How else to explain her insisting that calls for full equality for all Americans as "left-wing insanity"?

Ranting for ranting's sake appears to be more important than making sense, apparently.

Losing it over Loki

Given the MRC's overall homophobia, it wasn't a surprise that when it was announced that the new "Loki" series would have a main character who's gender-fluid -- never mind that it fits a shape-shifting nature -- it would result in things like a June 7 post by Abigail Streetman:

In a predictable turn of events, Disney+ has released a short teaser video for the new Loki series that announced the sex of the main character as “fluid.” Marvel has consistently been outdoing itself with the woke leftist propaganda being shoved into every possible aspect of its movies. This one depicts Loki, the God of Mischief, as the protagonist who has to travel through the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in order to save the world’s timeline. It wasn't enough to just add a “gender fluid” character, they must glorify it as well.

In Norse mythology Loki is a “cunning trickster” who is seen shapeshifting from male to female forms but is referred to most often as a male (and he’s Thor’s brother in both the comic books and movies.) Still Disney saw the opportunity to push its agenda once more.

The term “gender-fluid” is best described as someone who does not believe that they have one fixed gender. Scientists have pointed towards genetic, hormonal, and environmental exposures and influences during the formative years of childhood as a likely cause of gender dysphoria. This is certainly not the case with the God of mischief, so why is Marvel forcing this and putting mental illnesses on a pedestal?

So if you're not heterosexual, you're suffering from "mental illness"? That's how much the MRC hates LGBT people.

And when this actually showed up in the show, Alexa Moutevelis was there to complain in a June 24 post:

Fresh off the announcement that Loki is gender fluid, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has now officially made the character bisexual, to the delight of LGBTQ activists in and outside the media.

Loki’s coming out of the closet came in the third episode of the eponymous Disney+ show, which was released on Wednesday and titled “Lamentis.”

In the episode, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his variant Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) are stuck on a moon that is about to be destroyed and must team up to escape. In one scene, as the two travel on a train, the conversation turns to their pasts and that’s when the big bisexual reveal occurs.

She concluded by whining: "LGBTQ propaganda is EVERYWHERE, it hardly needs to be further celebrated and encouraged, especially on Disney+."Only at the MRC is it "propaganda" for a character not to be heterosexual.

'Eternals' too 'woke'

The MRC's right-wing film critic, Christian Toto, has deemed himself the judge of all that is "woke" and not "woke" in filmdom -- which explains why he hates the recent Marvel movie "Eternals." It also explains why his Nov. 6 review of the film -- well, his review of defenses of the film -- began with a lengthy rehash of his ideologically motivated attack on the 2016 all-female-lead "Ghostbusters" reboot, in which he denied hating the movie because the genders of the leads were changed but, rather, because the movie purportedly used "victimization storylines ripped from today’s snowflake-encrusted headlines." Yeah, we wouldn't want a movie to have any relevance to the real world, would we?

Toto eventually gets around to attacking "Eternals" for being similarly "woke," which seems to come down to not having enough heterosexual characters, from the obtuse angle of bashing an article noting the complaint:

The new MCU film Eternals, in theaters Nov. 5, is earning tepid reviews prior to its release. Even the positive critiques are far from glowing, and the movie hovered around the “rotten” mark at before falling to 53 percent at the moment.

That’s a first for an MCU film.

Enter to the rescue.

The left-leaning outlet, citing a thinly sourced story from TheDirect, said audiences are savaging the film, sight unseen, due to its LGBTQ content. “Eternals” features an openly gay hero, played by Brian Tyree Henry, and offers a series of casting and plot choices that fall squarely in the “woke” category.

[...] is a serious news outlet. Why would it write the story in the first place? The headline itself sounds hyperbolic – ‘War erupts over new Marvel blockbuster’s gay superhero’


It’s the Ghostbusters media template, take two. Reporters view Eternals as part of the woke revolution, and they feel compelled to protect it at all costs.
And because it's "woke," Toto feels compelled to trash it. Also, The Hill isn't a "left-leaning outlet"; media observers view it as being in the middle, and it regularly publishes right-wing media critic Joe Concha.

Toto then insisted that LGBT content in movies is no longer a problem for people: "Gay and lesbian stories abound in pop culture today. They’re everywhere in an industry that once tried to hide a lesbian star’s relationship with another actress, Anne Heche. So why would the tiny LGBTQ moments in Eternals evoke such an allegedly hostile reaction?"But if LGBT content is no longer a problem, why did Toto's publisher, the MRC, publish an attack on a bisexual Superman? Toto continued: piece also notes that other MCU properties, including Avengers: Endgame and Loki, also feature LGBTQ characters. Has either one been “review bombed?” If not, why not?

Some of the early comments tied to Eternals could, in theory, reflect anger at the sexuality on display. Or, more likely, it captures an audience exhausted by woke virtue signaling in their favorite shows and movies.

So, if you redefine LGBT content as "woke," then you can justify hating said content. Got it. (Also, as noted above, the MRC trashed "Loki" for being gender-fluid, putting another hole in Toto's theory of acceptance.)

Continuing to deny the reality of people hating LGBT content in films, Toto -- who also seems unaware that the MRC has additionally lashed out at non-heterosexual characters in "Supergirl" and "Batwoman" -- continued to play dumb: "Audiences eagerly embrace actors of all races, assuming they deliver fine performances in entertaining content. If the 'review bombing' phenomenon were as real and pernicious as we’re told, we’d see it across the pop culture landscape."

By contrast, Toto was much kinder to a different Marvel film. A Dec. 18 review gave his "anti-woke" imprimatur to "Spider-Man: No Way Home" for not having "dabbled in wokeism" and for being a "course correction, a sequel that adores its audience, its lore and the ability to transport us for two-plus glorious hours." He did not mention the existence of any LGBT characters in the film, which presumably is the reason is "woke"-o-meter didn't go off.

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