This Year’s Biggest Superhero Movies Are All About America’s Descent into Fascism

A few days ago, many people were shocked—shocked!—at a pair of new studies that found that many Americans have authoritarian tendencies. They want a strong leader, who can sort out “those” people. This went against everything we had lazily chosen to believe about America! But it’s also pretty apparent if you pay any…

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Deadpool: A Superhero Movie for People Who Are Sick Of Superhero Movies

When Deadpool shoots, he kills, and when he pokes at the conventions of the superhero movie genre, he twists his katana. Tim Miller’s Deadpool is a satirical exercise in excess along the lines of Paul Verhoeven’s original Robocop—it is gratuitously violent, profane, and self-aware. And like Robocop, Deadpool manages…

Netflix's Jessica Jones Is a Complex Portrait of a Woman Undone

Jessica Jones, the second of Netflix’s original series drawn from Marvel comics, is the smartest entry into television’s already crowded cast of superheroes. Created by Melissa Rosenberg, best known for writing the Twilight movies, and starring the sardonic Krysten Ritter, the show is a slow unravelling of a familiar…

Supergirl Is Straight-Up a Show about Women Tearing Each Other Down

When Supergirl isn’t about competing with the absentee Superman (whose dreamlike cameos represent a vision of heroism that is so iconic, it can only be seen via abstraction, or synecdoche), it seems to be a show about women who show affection by criticizing and belittling each other. And weirdly, the show makes this…

How To Make Black Widow Truly Awesome, According To Richard K. Morgan

Black Widow’s rise to badassery arguably began in 2004, when Richard K. Morgan wrote a miniseries that revamped her backstory and gave her a much stronger inner life. And now that we’re all talking about Black Widow in the wake of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Morgan has some thoughts about how to achieve her full…

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