Arguing against Captain America is always wrong

At a certain point during the critics’ screening of “Avengers: Age of Ultron”—I believe it was when Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) decided that it was more important to grab three people out of a collapsing tenement than focus on the world-ending event only he had the technical know-how to stop—I wrote “Oh, [expletive deleted] the civilians, get on with it” in my notebook.

In the Washington Post, Sonny Bunch argues Man of Steel had a more realistic, mature view of superheroics than Avengers: Age of Ultron with its focus on protecting civilians.

Steven Attewell disagrees:

And I think this gets to what I find so frustrating about Bunch’s implied argument that “gritty and realistic” is a better way for superhero movies to go. Yes, it’s probably true that Man of Steel is a more realistic depiction of urban combat than Age of Ultron – but superhero movies, should be better than just depicting reality, because they’re superhero movies and not military action movies. What makes a superhero different from a private detective or a gunslinger or a war hero is that they’re allowed to be larger-than-life both in terms of their abilities, but also in terms of their moral characters, and of embodying certain ideals.


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