Welcome to another Mighty Marvel Monday!
Today is a very important day for me, because it’s Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and my team, the Chicago Blackhawks, have a chance to win the cup while playing at home in Chicago for the first time since 1938.
It’s a big day.
Chicago is special, since it and its suburbs actually exist in the Marvel universe. Last year, the Chicago-Sun Times noted five characters who call (or have called) Chicago sweet home:
Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat; X-Men), Hank McCoy (Beast; X-Men), Johnny Blaze (Ghost Rider), Adam Brashear (Blue Marvel) and Maria Hill (Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.), four of which have appeared in the MCU. Three guesses which hero is African-American. The first two guesses don’t count.
The Chicago Blackhawks also have a Swedish defenseman named Niklas Hjalmarsson, nicknamed “Hammer,” who is pretty much the embodiment of Mjölnir.
…but enough about Marvel and Chicago. (For the record, a search for Tampa Bay and Marvel produces zero hits.)
In other Marvel news, I have an update on the Black Widow toy situation, a of couple MCU casting updates to share, some speculation about why Marvel is foregoing SDCC.
We reported on the #WeWantWidow campaign, which is awesome and sad if only because it is necessary.
MCU Casting Blunders: The Sequel
So, there were two important casting announcements this week. It was announced that Jon Berthal would be playing The Punisher in the next season of Daredevil, which, fine. Another white guy for another (mostly) white show, and not one I’m particularly invested in.
The other casting decision, however, is cause for concern. Chiwetel Ejiofor has been cast as Baron Mordo in the upcoming Doctor Strange. Let me say first that we absolutely need actors of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s caliber in the MCU. Let me also say that we absolutely need to continue to reimagine traditionally white characters as people of color.
That being said, the casting of Ejiofor as Baron Mordo has what TV Tropes calls unfortunate implications. When you cast a POC as the villain of your film when your hero is white (and they do not get much whiter than Benedict Cumberbatch, let’s be real), you set up a visual embodiment of black vs. white morality, continue associations that black (the color, and by visual extension, any person who is not white) is evil. Many people have written about why these visual and narrative associations are a problem, and hopefully every read reading this knows better than to doubt that self-image is affected by the media.
As a bonus unfortunate implication, Baron Mordo is also a magician, which puts a not-so-good twist on another trope. I don’t know. Maybe I’m being too critical about a role about which we know next to nothing.
No Marvel Queue for Hall H?
In other sad news, it appears that the rumors that Marvel would not be making an appearance at San Diego Comic Con are true, despite the fact that Ant-Man is going to be released the week after and it would be the perfect time to hold some early showings. How much faith does Marvel have in Ant-Man? Apparently none.
Since this will be my first time covering SDCC for WWAC, I’m a little disappointed, but I’m still holding out hope that there will be a significant TV presence, possibly in Ballroom 20, where Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter were last year. (Please, SDCC gods, grant me an interview Hayley Atwell.)
Not only did Chris Evans, Captain America, turn 34 this past week, he shares his birthday with three MCU co-stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Stellan Skarsgård, and Kat Dennings.
One last thing before I go and prepare myself mentally for a night of hockey.
I am an enormous fan of coloring books for grown-ups as I have zero artistic talent, and Marvel has just made me ridiculously happy with the announcement of three coloring books that will come out between now and April, including one for Skottie Young’s Little Marvel universe.
I would not at all object if Marvel wanted to send me one. For free. Please?
Have a Marvel-ous week, everyone! And let’s go Hawks!