A random thought came across my mind today as I re-watched footage of the violence that occurred in Berkeley just the other day. In the footage, I saw hordes of young college aged students, all which donned black attire and borderline riot gear and were actively committing violence and causing chaos in their city. These foolish kids ran around, screaming things like, “Death to Racists!” and “Impeach Trump!”, and I realized for the first time that in their heads, they really do think that they’re the heroes of the world, standing up for some imaginary little guy. I pondered for a long time, wondering what would not only radicalize such a large group of young, foolish kids, but also what would cause them to all go through the same lengths to fight for “social justice” and to “stand up against hate”. I then saw a trailer for Netflix’s new series, The Defenders, and suddenly it all made sense. We live in an age where an entire generation of youth have had constant Disney blockbuster reminders that injustice needs to be solved with violent action. If you think that these scores of superhero films are merely popcorn trash, and not social cues and norm setters, then you obviously don’t understand the power the media has over the general populace.
Since comics came about in American culture, the characters in the stories have always stood for societal problems that were prevalent at the time. The best example of this is in Superman, who represents the assimilating immigrant, somebody who brings the unique powers and abilities of their homeland with them to New York, yet sheds their foreign name and past life in order to become a fully converted American citizen, fighting for good and telling the truth. Different comic characters have existed to portray different social matters, for example Professor X and Magneto from the X-Men franchise are allegories for Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X respectively. The fact of the matter is that comics have never been considered a popular medium, especially not for adults. Comic culture was something that only children proudly took part in, and although a few campy novelties like the Adam West Batman show existed, it wasn’t until the post-Star Wars era that comic books became more normalized through large budget films. Even then, comics and their shops have always been refuges for the socially awkward and underdeveloped to congregate and enjoy low-brow, heavy handed media, it’s never been setting the tone for popular culture.
In the last few years though, we’ve seen a massive shift. Shows like The Big Bang Theory, and successful comic adaptations like Iron Man and The Avengers, have totally redefined the pop culture landscape, turning every retail store these days into something resembling a Hot Topic. People have to recognize how strange this is, where the art forms that led American culture of old were original Hollywood films, novels, and network television series, instead, we have entire generations these days raised on lowbrow comics, video games, and YouTube. The barrier for content to be considered good has gone down, and no matter how much money goes into a film like Doctor Strange, or a series like Iron Fist, it doesn’t change how mediocre and strange the source material was. This leaves us in a situation where the material is either faithful and dreadfully boring, like in the case of Ant Man, or updated, but soaked in social justice, like Luke Cage. Take into consideration that while young Americans would watch content with clever writing in the past, like SNL or Seinfeld, young generations these days watch morally dubious shows like Shameless and Glee, and religiously stay tuned to the yearly cycles of Star Wars and Marvel films.
While having your kid emulate Tony Stark might not seem harmful to you, the second you start checking out the larger cast of Marvel characters, the more it’s clear how much social engineering goes into this content. The fact that now of all times, Luke Cage gets popular, a story about a black gang member who gets arrested and acquires bulletproof skin and super strength, all while fighting off corrupt cops and forcing people to pay him for his services, comes out now of all times, is incredibly reflective and emblematic of why the young Left is the way it is. While I’m not saying that Disney and Marvel are to blame for all the insanity in the world today, I challenge you to look at the entirety of Antifa, a group of young kids modifying their bodies and outfits and fighting against perceived evils, and not admit that Marvel had a hand in poisoning our cultural well.