If you haven’t seen “Captain America: Civil War” yet, see it. It’s great, pretty much everyone who likes superhero movies agrees.
I saw it on opening weekend, during which the film bagged around $181 million, according to the Washington Times, and I was still basking in the warm afterglow of the latest awesome installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Vanity Fair had to go and ruin it all by dragging my mind to places no Cap fan’s mind should go.
Vanity Fair’s one complaint? Cap and his friend Bucky Barnes aren’t gay.
Now, I spend a good deal of time on the Internet, much of it reading about geeky stuff like comic book superheroes, and I was completely unaware of the dark little corner where Vanity Fair apparently has been hanging out, in which Steve Rogers and James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes, aka Winter Soldier, are more like a couple of Brokeback Mountain cowboys than a couple of old war buddies.
Apparently, the same-sex crowd was encouraged in their fantasies during a promotional tour in China, when director Joe Russo said, “People can interpret the relationship however they want to interpret it. People have interpreted that relationship all kinds of ways, and it’s great to see people argue about it what that relationship means to them.”
Vanity Fair apparently took it that way, and even lamented the clearly heterosexual kiss Steve Rogers gives Agent Sharon Carter in the movie, to the very approving glances of Bucky and Sam Wilson, aka Falcon.
“Where’s the room for interpretation in that moment?” writer Joanna Robinson moans. “… The moment itself wasn’t necessary to the flow of the movie at all.”
I saw what I think was the same movie, and I thought the moment fit nicely into the story, as well as being a welcome development for the character of Steve Rogers, who has been pining for his lost love Peggy Carter (Sharon Carter’s aunt) for too many movies now.
Then Robinson just goes on a flat-out rant against all the heterosexual love interests in all the Marvel movies, concluding, “There was more juice in Bucky ogling Steve’s bulging bicep as Cap struggled to ground a helicopter using only gumption and sinew.” (The helicopter scene was impressive, but I noticed no ogling. I guess you see what you bring to it.)
Pandering to select audience segments has never been an endearing quality of comics, and so far at least, it has been thankfully absent in the Marvel movies, TV shows and Internet series. While the Marvel shared universe could benefit from more Latino or Asian lead characters, diversity has not been lacking, with a number of black and female characters playing major roles, from Peggy Carter and Black Widow to the Falcon and the soon-to-be-released Luke Cage series.
But rewriting (“retconning”) existing characters just to please the whiny LGBTQ crowd, as DC did with the original Green Lantern or Marvel did with Iceman, that’s just annoying (or as in the case of Warner Bros. adding nipples to Batman’s costume, shudder-inducing). Create a whole new character if you must, but leave the classics alone.
And keep family-friendly movies suitable for families.