Video Essay School: Vox vs MCU

Image source: Vox, "Why the Marvel Cinematic Universe feels empty"

Even video essay hit-makers sometimes miss: a look (read: rant) at how Vox got it wrong this time.

On this site, the video essays from Vox are generally celebrated as outstanding, whether for their subjects, their style, or both. Which makes the ways their video essay ‘Why the Marvel Cinematic Universe feels empty‘ falls short so surprising – and so disappointing.

First the video, then the response:

I would have preferred my response to be measured, ideally with a proper entry on this site – but clearly, when first watching the video, I was in keyboard warrior / soapbox mode…

Further Viewing

Speaking of a more measured response: Captain Midnight attempts to speak to each of the scattered assertions made in the Vox video, from the “disingenuous” to the “really misleading”. At one point, he observes that, for a critique of the Marvel shared universe concept, Vox’s video “erases the authorship” of creators such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko by failing to even mention them, thereby conveniently avoiding the related, more nuanced discussion about authorial vs commercial intent. Captain Midnight also makes an important distinction between the types of crossover events in popular culture – shoehorned-in versus core-to-the-concept – which the Vox video attempts (incorrectly) to paint as equivalent (and therefore equally forced, and equally cynical) in both intent and execution: