As an angsty teen (weren’t we all?) I used poetry as a way to work through and express the confusion, sorrow, and joy that flowed through my adolescent years.
In my twenties, I used writing to find my way out of the forest of grief that the loss of my first husband landed me in.
These days, all the ebb and flow of life finds its way into my writing. Poetry is still my go-to for personal emotion, but I’ve turned to novels and short stories for the majority of my art and self-expression.
Whether the emotion is sorrow or anger, love or sheer joy, it comes out in my writing. Often it is a process, where the emotion is transformed into a character’s reaction to a situation that is nothing like the one I experienced in real life. Whatever the situation, the feelings it engenders tend to be universal.
Everyone experiences loss, betrayal, ambition, in some form. Everyone needs love, security, happiness, in some measure. Tapping into these experiences and desires creates a universal language everyone can relate to and understand.
The need to communicate those needs is just as universal. For me, writing is the form that communication takes, and emotion is the fuel.
I recently went to see Captain Marvel™ at my local movie theater and was favorably inclined. The acting was good, the action swift and I thought the plot-line held together well while answering a few questions for me. (Most notably, where was Carol Danvers during the whole Thanos debacle in Infinity War?)
Others were not as happy with any of the above.
The objections come in multiple flavors from arguably valid down to outright misogynistic. I’m going to pass on answering the misogyny in this post because others have already taken care of it quite well. But there were a couple of objections in a particular post I read that I’d like to discuss.
One: They replaced an awesome, powerful character with a weak Kree scientist.
I’ll grant you that Captain Mar-Vell was originally envisioned as a nega band wielding male character, and certainly engaged in more physical battles than than the current incarnation. But beyond that there are number of similarities.
Most notably: both the original character and the new movie’s character adopt the persona of a scientist. And neither is weak.
The main complication for both of them is comprised of the realization that the society they serve is unethical. To do the honorable thing, both must turn against a corrupted governmental structure. The original character does so with fists and brawn on behalf of humans, while the new iteration uses science and innovation on behalf of the embattled Skrull.
Both take the incredibly difficult path of fighting against ingrained loyalties against their own interests in order to do what is right. That takes immense strength no matter how you do it, the coolness of nega bands notwithstanding.
Two: The new iteration disrespects the lore.
Plots are twisted all the time, and the movie certainly takes some major departures from the original comic, from the gender of Mar-Vell to the true nature of the combatants in the Kree-Skrull war. The point is, none of this is a new phenomenon.
Look at Spiderman.
Peter Parker has at least two origin stories, one that includes Mary Jane and another that ropes in Tony Stark. And I have no idea how Into the Spiderverse fits in. (Haven’t seen it yet.)
Now maybe the changes were made a while back or maybe it was done more recently to accommodate additional movie plot twists. I’ll leave that to actual aficionados of the genre to determine.
All I’m saying is, the new Captain Marvel isn’t the first time Marvel themselves have tweaked a storyline to suit later innovations, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last.
And I don’t mind.
Art, including literature, is a reflection of the society in which it is produced. The original Captain Marvel comics were written and illustrated in the late 1960s, some say as a commentary on the activities of HUAC and Senator McCarthy. At the time, freedom of speech was in jeopardy. Some would say this hasn’t changed. Added to that are the recently revivified issues of feminism and social justice.
The world is undergoing an enormous plot twist. Is it such a surprise to see art undergo a corresponding change?