"Captain Marvel" has a very important message about Skrulls


The skulls were Many things in Marvel's comics over the last 60 years: imitators of superheroes, religious extremists disguised as humans, cannon fodder in many Avengers fights. In their first appearance, they were even cattle, made by Reed Richards in The four fantastics # 2. (It ended badly for them in the absurd miniseries of 1995 Skrull Kill Krew when the cow! Skulls were slaughtered and turned into hamburgers, which caused a disease similar to mad cow disease.) Skulls are imitators. Skulls are terrorists. We can not trust skulls.

(Warning: Spoilers to come!)

In Captain Marvel, the Skrulls are something else: people. They are beings whose fate and fight have been misunderstood.

This is true not only of some exceptional characters of Skrull, but also of Skrull as a species. The first two acts of the film can define them as enemies and Captain Marvel's Kree as saviors, but the third act completely reverses this dangerous assumption. Instead, he presents the Skrulls as a group of refugees traveling throughout the galaxy through the army of a fascist hegemony, a Kree empire that deprives them of their basic dignity. Captain Marvel transforms General Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) into a character to fight for, do not against, showing the universe through Skrull's eyes.

This is not entirely new. Marvel comics have already given sympathetic readers the Skrulls, but their ability to change shape, their ears and their dramatic chins have historically coded them as unreliable and extraterrestrial. They are a version of the old science-fiction film of the alien race that is infiltrating into society to replace humans. They may even dangerously be considered substitutes for immigrants or minorities; they are others. Captain Marvel question this, questioning the assumptions about who is the Good and who is the bad guy in any war story. Are we on the side of people who look like us? (Kree, even with their blue skin, always looks more human than the Skrulls.) Or are we not on the side of people who are forced to hide?

Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), at the end of Captain Marvelknow where she is. She's hidden too. On the planet Kree Hala, she had to suppress her feelings, her unique powers, even her past. After a hard landing on Earth, she slowly learns that she must also stick to it. She could not perform combat missions in the US Air Force, and if you read a strange subtext in her relationship with Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) – many are already doing it – she might also have hidden his identity at the time of Don & # 39; t Ask, do not say. Once she becomes aware of her power and the reality of the war between Kree and Skrull, she does not protect the Skrull as a member of the Air Force or the Kree Empire, but she the fact itself.

There is a precedent here. Queer coded skrulls like Jazinda's friend or She-Hulk's Effigy in Marvel: The Lost Generation have appeared in comics for years. (See also: Xavin in Runaways and Teddy Altman, the half-Skrull boyfriend, half-Kree of Scarlet Witch's son.) But these Skrulls are described as aberrant people of their kind. Similarly, Hawkeye and his friends stumbled upon an entire city of Skrull living in harmony with humans in Dungston, Iowa, Occupy the Avengersbut that was a story, not the meaning of Skrull's story.

Captain Marvel, then, is a new chapter in this story. The film not only shows the galaxy from Skrull's point of view, it asks viewers to identify with them. Like the Skrull, people are hiding to survive in an oppressive world. When they defend themselves, the oppressors call it war. Just like Telos, marginalized groups – and whoever, really – turn to other people's stories to find a way to survive and find a safe place to live.

This narrative, this crossing line of Captain Marvel is at the center of any discussion about the importance of the film. As the first independent film of Marvel superheroes to feature a female role, this is already part of the discussion about performance, and the film Skrull, as proxies of many ostracized groups, is one of them. But it's not enough to have Skrulls to identify. Movies, especially superhero movies, still need more representation of marginalized groups on screen, and need to go beyond allegories. Then, perhaps, messages like Captain MarvelThe fact that the difference of somebody is not a threat, that refugees only want asylum, will have really been heard.

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