Culture has always been the reflex of society and its problems. Whether it is a war, a revolution, or even a protest, we find ourselves looking for portrayals of the real world in movies, TV series, or even books.
Since 2009, when Walt Disney bought Marvel Entertainment and created the beloved Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), a total of 23 movies have been made with several fights against unreal bad guys. But after the assassination of both Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in May 2020, and the explosion of the Coronavirus Pandemic in every single corner of the world, fictional thriving countries, life outside Earth, and wars against aliens weren’t important anymore. We needed a way to speak up and show what was and still is happening around the globe.
Marvel spoke. In a six-episode series regarding the future of Captain America, we were able to see a reality slightly similar to ours.
- Global Chaos
After the Infinity War, when Thanos randomly erased half of the population of the universe, many people lost their loved ones. With all the chaos regarding the Blip, the remaining people got together to cope with their losses and to move on with their lives in a less populated world. They were united. Prejudice and discrimination weren’t their biggest problem.
Five years later, after a fair share of time travel, the Avengers succeeded in undoing what the big purple villain did. In theory, undoing the Blip was a magnificent thing, but, in reality, it was something much harder and more complicated. A five-year-old world where borders and patriotism had given way to solidarity and altruism was now crushed by a series of struggles regarding the return of the victims. Problems like lack of healthcare, medicine, vaccines, food, and housing were back. A council, better known as the Global Repatriation Council (GRC), was created to get things back to “normal”. However, it was clear that the GRC cared more about the blipped than the people who survived and moved on with their lives. Seen that before?
The Coronavirus Pandemic got us by surprise and, in the beginning, almost all the establishments had to close their doors for an indefinite period of time. Some of them were able to migrate to the digital grounds and thrive, but, as expected, not everyone had the same luck. Many people lost their jobs, stores were closed for good, and a wave of financial problems was emerging while the virus was spreading quickly and the healthcare system was collapsing. After more than one year, our world still faces the consequences of the virus without almost any solidarity.
Even though the situation is not the same, both worlds are struggling with a major crisis. It seems that politics and prejudice are more important than a deadly virus or global harmony.
In History classes, we’ve always learned about the role that black people played in our racist society. Taken away from their native countries to be sold and become slaves, they were always seen as inferior and less deserving than white people just because of their color. For centuries, they fought for respect, equality, and basic human rights.
After several years of protests and fights against racial segregation, their position in society had improved. Nevertheless, prejudice won’t disappear overnight, making awareness and goodwill the keys to a future where color doesn’t make you more or less human.
But, we are still far from this wonderful reality. Many black people around our world are being treated badly and even killed because they “seem suspicious”. Sadly, our beloved Sam Wilson was treated like that right after discovering a black man was used as a guinea pig for the super-soldier serum back in the ’40s. While arguing in the street with his partner and friend Bucky Barnes, a cop car showed up and approached them. At first, the police officers were hostile towards Sam, as if he was being a threat. But, ironically, Bucky was the one to get arrested.
Throughout the entire series, we can see Sam’s internal struggles regarding taking on Captain America’s shield and legacy. He was the obvious choice, but was it worth it? The history of the United States with black people didn’t make his choice easier.
In the end, regardless of the prejudice that he could suffer, Sam Wilson stepped up. He did what had to be done without the fear of getting judged or hated for not being a white man with blue eyes, and we should do the same!
- Mental Health
Trauma, fear, and loss, alongside other emotions, have the ability to mess with our minds. Even though therapy can still be seen as a thing for crazy people, it has proven to be one of the best ways to overcome our problems and struggles.
Bucky Barnes had a turbulent life. He went from a Sergeant in World War II to the Winter Soldier, a killing machine who only obeyed orders. With the help of the Wakandans, he was able to free himself from the trigger words that controlled his mind, but he did not forget what he was ordered to do.
In the first episode of the series, we can see and understand what he is feeling: guilt. He blames himself for all the deaths and has nightmares about them.
After a few sessions of therapy and some wise talks with Sam, we were able to see Bucky emerging from the depths of despair and being able to understand that it wasn’t and will never be his fault. The guilt fades away, giving space for a normal and cool guy from New York with a metal arm.
It seems like our world is not that different from theirs after all, right? But don’t forget, we are our own heroes. We always need to fight for what we believe in and always hope for a better, more united world.
The article above was edited by Anna Bastos.
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