Doctor Orientalism: Marvel’s History of Anti-Asian Narratives

While watching Avengers: Infinity War, there was a specific moment where Doctor Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme and protector of the time stone, duplicates himself. His many arms stretch out of his body like a hypnotic spider, and he proceeds to multiply to throw Thanos off guard in the middle of a tense battle. The audience erupted in applause, but I couldn’t help but feel unnerved at the display of blatant cultural appropriation. What could have been a triumphant moment of pride for me, had Strange been played by an Asian actor, was instead one of alienation. So here I am, with the goal to talk about this issue head-on. To do so effectively, we’re going to have to go back to the beginning.

Doctor Strange’s existence in the MCU has been a problem for me ever since he was cast, as there has always been an issue with the original source material, and the on-screen interpretation of the character has not done anything to fix it. When he was introduced into the comic sphere in 1963 with Strange Tales #110, there was a mass hippie craze for any “exotic” culture. The Sorcerer Supreme’s lore and imagery were heavily inspired by Tibetan and South-East Asian Buddhist folklore and legends. Obviously, it was never thought at the time how harmful it is to take an external culture and exploit it for aesthetics, but he was actually never explicitly caucasian until he became a popular character and was implemented into other storylines.

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VIDEO: Ten Years of MARVEL, a Retrospective

After the record shattering release of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, we made a video edit to commemorate the 19 Marvel Cinematic Universe films over the past 10 years. Not all of them appear in the edit, but we wanted to tribute the characters, moments, and the emotions that make the trip to the cinema so special.

The Much Ado team will start creating even more video content in the next few months, so be on the lookout! Follow us on Twitter @muchadocinema for updates!

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ in Conversation

This past week has been an emotional rollercoaster for Marvel fans. 10 years, 19 films, and a lot of heroes have been leading us into Infinity War. Now that we’ve all seen, and grieved over the film, it’s time to talk about it. Much Ado writers talk about their favourite scenes, problems and most importantly, about Carrie Coon’s cameo, in conversation.

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Much Ado’s Top Five Films of Marvel Cinematic Universe

Ten years in the making and Infinity War is finally here! Blockbuster cinema is filled with milestones; Steven Spielberg’s Jaws invented summer blockbusters and years later MCU impacted the way we view and consume them. Previous generations remember seeing iconic shots from Terminator or Lord of the Rings films in cinemas, today’s generation will have The Avenger‘s circle shot. Whether you like MCU films or not, it would be ridiculous to deny that they’ve had huge cultural and cinematic influence for the past ten years. With Infınity War‘s arrival, it’s time to look back at past ten years and rank our top five!

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A Look Into The Okays and Not-So-Okays of Comic Book Movie Formulations in “Thor: Ragnarok”

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Rachel House as “Topaz” and Jeff Goldblum as “The Grandmaster” in Thor: Ragnarok. Photo by Jasin Boland. © Marvel Studios

No-one thinks that Thor movies are the best ones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Okay, maybe that was an exaggeration, but most people truly don’t. It is a quite widely known fact that among Marvel’s many branches of movies, TV shows and hundreds of characters, the 2011-built Asgardian universe of Thor movies is a middle tier for most of the viewers. Whether you look at them from an angle of criticism (with the former one having a 77% and the sequal having a 66% on Rotten Tomatoes, and both getting an 7 out of 10 in IMDb) or box office success, (The Dark World being tenth among Cinematic Universe with a growth of $644.6 and the original being the four-teenth with $449.3) the movies at best are mediocre stories that relied heavily on visual effects and at worst, nearly two hours long messes of unnecessary scale and so-called fun.

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