The message of acceptance has permeated the new MCU Disney Plus shows. But is this the new face of Marvel Studios?
With every show in this latest phase of the MCU, there have been emotional, personal obstacles that have challenged our heroes in a way that we haven’t been able to see in the past phases; thanks to the extended storytelling in the Disney+ series. But each series is following a specific theme that is not only fun to watch. But powerful to follow in our actual everyday lives. And that’s the theme of acceptance.
WandaVision was all about a woman who had to reconcile with the tragedy of losing Vision. In her denial, she created a reality in which Vision was alive, married to her, and they were raising a magical family in a cute suburban town. Of course, it was all a lie. And it took a fellow witch to make her see that she was hurting people.
During the finale, we see Wanda finally comprehend the truth. That she has lost everyone she loved and can do nothing about it. It is then that she embraces her destiny as the Scarlet Witch. She lets Vision and her two sons go, and ultimately becomes one of the most powerful people in the MCU. Emerging from the bubble of her own fantasy, she became a stronger woman and was able to accept the loss of those closest to her.
THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER
As obvious from the title of the show, this show deals with two characters having to accept different things. For Sam Wilson, he was given the responsibility of taking up the mantle of Captain America. But it was his trepidation of America’s response for a Black man to don the suit and shield that made him rethink Steve Rogers’ proposition. For five episodes, Sam had to come to terms with what it would mean to be an African-American Captain America and how that would affect the world.
It isn’t until the finale that we see Sam Wilson transform into Captain America and become the role model/hero he was always meant to be. And he accepts this responsibility with fortitude and grace. For Bucky, it’s a different storyline entirely. For the first time in his life (besides when he was a brainwashed HYDRA assassin) he doesn’t have Steve Rogers anymore. He’s alone. And now he has to reconcile with the atrocities he committed as the Winter Soldier.
It’s not easy for Bucky and it’s very hard for him to trust and get close to the people around him. Hence his tense “friendship” with Sam Wilson for several episodes. It isn’t until Episode 5, “Truth” that he finally trusts Sam enough to talk to him about his problems. This mainly stems from his unwillingness to let his best friend Rogers go. But when he finally does he can face the other demons getting in his way.
By the end of the series, Bucky has fully accepted his past, present, and future and embraces his newfound friendship with Sam and his family wholeheartedly.
Even though Loki has not concluded yet I am already beginning to see a powerful thread for the character. One that we haven’t quite seen before. And that storyline is Loki finally loving himself and not being alone. As made evident in the series’ fourth episode, “The Nexus Event.”
At the beginning of the series, we see Loki beat down mentally as he is told that his entire existence is to achieve the betterment of others. To make matters worse, he watches his life story and finds out that just when it seems like he’s finally becoming a good guy he gets choked by Thanos and killed. It’s hard to watch but Loki is a survivor. He goes on, hatching a plan to overthrow the Time Keepers. But it is upon meeting his female variant self, Sylvie, that he begins to feel a sense of genuine love for her (platonic or romantic, I’m not quite sure). An emotion that has been absent in his storyline so far.
This series seems to be giving Loki a chance for self-love and self-acceptance. And in doing this he will become more powerful for it alongside what appears to be a fantastic Loki squad. And it is this level of profound storytelling that makes the MCU such a blast to watch. Because past the cool action scenes are an attention to detail and a soul to these stories that make them worth getting invested in. And like Star Wars, it’s always nice to watch a story that’ll teach you a few lessons along the way.
Loki is streaming exclusively on Disney Plus NOW!
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Annlyel James is a Senior Correspondent of The Future of the Force. She is passionate about Star Wars and Marvel but loves a wide variety of movie genres. Aside from her role with Future of the Force she also writes for her blog: annlyelonline. Follow her on Twitter where she channels the Force frequently!