Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is

In less than two weeks, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy will hit American theaters.*

In case you are unaware, Guardians of the Galaxy is a space opera starring a team of prisoners who band together to save the universe. This team consists of a human, two humanoid aliens, a talking tree, and a machine gun wielding raccoon.

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Gamora, Peter Quill, Rocket, Drax, and Groot

I’ve found that people generally have one of three reactions when it comes to hearing about this movie:

(1) Extreme excitement. These are the people like me who love cosmic Marvel and are excited to see some of our favorite characters (*cough*Rocket Raccoon*cough*) come to the big screen.

(2) Trust in Marvel. These are the people who are skeptical about the movie but are going to go see it anyway, because with Marvel Studios’s current track record of awesomeness they will pretty much see anything they produce.

(3) Complete Disbelief. These are the people who hear the idea of a talking tree and a gun-toting raccoon and think that executives at Marvel have gone completely off their rocker. These people have no intention of seeing this movie.

Needless to say, this movie is a bit of a risk for Marvel. Will people accept Rocket Raccoon as a compelling character? Will they understand Groot even though he can only say three words? Can the average superhero movie watcher handle a movie where Earth is only ever mentioned but not actually a place that is visited?

Marvel doesn’t know. Honestly, I don’t know what the outcome of this movie is going to be. I suspect it’s going to be amazing, but I don’t know if the box office will reflect that, because I don’t know if the average person is willing to take a chance on it.

People complain all the time about how formulaic fiction has gotten. They complain about how Hollywood only produces sequels anymore or how Hollywood won’t make movies with female action leads. They complain about these things and then they only see sequels, they only see movies led by men, and they only buy formulaic fiction.

Money talks. Ultimately money is all that matters in a capitalistic society. YA fiction will continue to be dominated by heterosexual romance until people start putting their money where their mouth is and buying books like Malindo Lo’s Adaptation. Action movies will continue to star men unless we all start buying tickets to movies like Lucy or The Heat. Women, PoC, or non-heteronormative couples will continue to be ignored and sidelined until we start actually paying for stories that focus on these characters.

And it’s happening. Slowly yet surely it’s happening. This week Ms. Marvel, a comic book starring a Muslim teenage girl in New Jersey, reached it’s sixth printing–something that rarely ever happens. The Hunger Games and Frozen are teaching Hollywood that women are a force to be reckoned with, both on and off the screen. But we can’t stop there. We can’t relent. Don’t just talk about how interesting having a female Thor or a black Captain America would be. Buy the comics.**

This is why I’m going to see Guardians of the Galaxy, and regardless of how good it is, I’m going to see it multiple times. Because as a cosmic Marvel fan, I want to do everything I can to say to Marvel Studios, “I want to see more of this. And please for the love of Loki give me a Nova movie.” And the only real way I have to tell Marvel that is with my money.

Let’s not just be talkers. Let’s put our money where our mouth is and actually support the kinds of stories we want to see.

Are there any books, movies, or comics that you love, which feature minority groups, and you wished got more support?

*No one here should be shocked that I’m talking about a Marvel movie in a post. What can I say? Everything in life relates to Marvel.
**I am very aware of the Remender problem, and personally I’m torn as to whether or not to pick up the first Sam Wilson as Captain America comic. I want to support Sam as Cap but I don’t want to support Remender. Alas. It’s a dilemma.

4 thoughts on “Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is

  1. You know I love marvel, but count me as one of those skeptics. I love space, I love superheroes, I love underdogs, my concern is the sarcasm (and I even love sarcasm)! I’m wondering if it will play to an advantage or not. If it will be the good kind of sarcasm or the horribly bad cheesy kind. Based on the trailers it’s leaning toward the cheese side, but you obviously can’t just a book by it’s cover and you can’t always judge a movie by it’s trailer. The audience sees what the promoters what you to see.

    But I agree people are complaining about things getting formulaic and this is definitely a bit outside the box, so I give Marvel a lot of credit for trying something different. Hopefully it wont blow up in their face! But even if it does, we still have the avengers.

    And for the love of all things where’s my female superhero movie!!!!

    1. I think the trailers are barely even giving us the tip of the iceberg of what this movie is going to be like, so yeah we’ll just have to wait and see. My fear is if this movie does poorly, Marvel is going to back off from exploring the crazier sides of their universe, and that means no Nova movie and (God forbid) no Captain Marvel movie.

      Cuz let me tell you, when it comes to a female superhero you want to see on the big screen: it’s CAPTAIN MARVEL. (Formerly known as Ms. Marvel, real name: Carol Danvers. Google her, she’s amazing.)

      But honestly, I’ll be truly shocked and disappointed if they don’t announce a female led superhero at SDCC this year. Marvel just released their movie dates for the next five years (seriously til 2019) and if Black Widow or Captain Marvel isn’t on the horizon, I’m going to be extremely disappointed in them.

  2. Shauna Granger says:

    I was just talking about female Thor to Brian the other day. I think it’s great they’re trying this, but I have to say giving the new character Thor’s name is strange to me! It’s his name, not his title, like God of Thunder. Why does the chick gotta give up her name? Is it because people might not read it if it isn’t “Thor.” That’s my guess. Brian told me that Skif got her own spin-off book a couple of years ago but it never got much traction. I don’t know if it was because of a female lead, or because the cover didn’t make it super clear who the character was. Oh well, I hope it does well.

    I’m personally really looking forward to GofG. Strong actors with interesting characters. And good grief I canNOT wait for Lucy. That looks fantastic.

    1. Actually when it comes to comic book Thor, it’s not quite as clear cut as “it’s his name, not a title.” With movie Thor it’s very clear that Thor is his name. But in the comics, there have been story-arcs on both sides of the fence. Because the Aesir are in many ways more than people. They’re not just aliens, they’re legit gods. And if you look back at the very early days of Thor, when Thor was actually a guy named Donald Blake, this kind of makes sense.

      The problem with comic books of course is that there is so much contradicting continuity, so you can find story arcs that present Thor as more like a title (or at least an ideal that someone becomes) or you can find story arcs where he is very definitely a named person.

      So I’m interested to see how they spin this entire thing when presenting the new Thor.

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