The MCU: Infinity Saga’s 5 Most Problematic Moments

July 10, 2020 at 11:53 pm (Reviews, TV/movie review, With a list)

You may have picked up on the fact that I’m a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But although it’s mostly great, some of it is seriously problematic.

5. The Missing

There is an increasingly-glaring lack of women, people of colour, and (most of all) gay people in the MCU so far. Even characters that are in a gay relationship in the comics (such as Ayo and Okoye) are straight in the movies. There have been many, many promises made about future diversity, and we have Captain Marvel and the cast of Black Panther now, which is a good start. Killing off both Gamora and Black Widow is…. not ideal.

4. Haweye killing people of colour

Hawkeye goes full vigilante after his family is snapped into dust by Thanos. He massacres several gangs, and it just so happens that both of the ones that are mentioned/seen in Avengers: Endgame are people of colour… perhaps because if he’d killed white people, or US citizens, there might have to be some kind of consequences. Hmm.

3. Fat Thor jokes

I don’t need to write a second time about how trauma can cause massive weight gain. Nor do I need to point out that mocking weight gain is not okay.

2. Replacing Asian characters with white people

Marvel has done this at least twice, swapping out The Mandarin and The Ancient One for white folks. Ugh. They actually went out of their way to be less diverse than the comics, which is awful.

Dishonorable Mentions:

*”You’re insane!” It’s a phrase often used in fiction, which is going to fall out of favour as it becomes offensive to speak so lightly of mental illness.

*Scarlet Witch and Vision dating. The age gap between the two actors is ew, and is one of the reasons I’m not desperate to see their TV show (having said that, I’ll still give it a shot and see if they change my mind).

*Did Captain America kiss his own niece that one time? Weird.

*Thanos ‘loves’ Gamora, which is why killing her gets him the soul stone. Yeah, that’s definitely not love.

*Black Widow dies instead of Hawkeye. Is it because he’s a man? Because he’s married? Because he has kids? It’s certainly not because he’s killed less people than her.

*Problematic romances. Both Stark and Star-Lord pressure their respective romantic options in icky ways.

But most of all. . .


1. That anti-trans joke in Iron Man.

Yeah, I know it was a long time ago and it’s a throwaway line. But that’s the thing. Comedy should punch up, not down, and no one is further down than trans women (especially trans women of colour), who are literally getting murdered because awful people think that their deaths won’t matter.

Their deaths matter, and so do their lives.

Jokes at the expense of trans people are not, have never been, and never will be okay. This is a matter of life and death.

Do better, Marvel.


  1. Overly Devoted Archivist said,

    Good lord I didn’t even know there was a trans “joke” in Iron Man, sigh.

    I HATE Gamora’s death. Hate it. I literally can’t watch it. I’m so relieved she came back to life (essentially) but I’m still mad it happened in the first place.

  2. Kay said,

    Shoutout to Dr Erik Selvig’s trauma-induced mental illness in Thor 2 being played for laughs. His anxiety and disorientation as a result of being brainwashed are a running gag.

    • Felicity Banks said,

      Yes! I wasn’t watching properly and I never did figure out (in this rewatch) why he was running around naked. Thanks for clearing that up.

  3. Summary of a Saga | crazy talk said,

    […] 5 Most Problematic Moments in the Infinity Saga […]

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