What made those first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe connect with people so much? Well, if you're familiar with The Neutral Ground Podcast, you might know my answer, but I have a special guest today in Dr. Michael Nichols, and we are going to geek out over his book: Religion and Myth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What role does myth play in our fascination with the MCU? Do religious stories add depth to the discussion that we might not even be consciously aware of? We discuss some Captain America, Black Panther, Thanos, Iron Man, Thor, and even some characters who do not get mentioned much in conversation. We talk about some of the prevalent themes in the first three phases of the MCU: sacrificial fathers, mortality, good vs. evil, and a lot more. You're not going to want to miss this one. Remember, we're on a mission together. We're bringing back civilized discourse, and with each subscriber, we get the word out to more people. So, hit that subscribe button, leave a kind comment or thought for me or my guest, and share the episode with a friend on your social media accounts. As always, I appreciate your taking the time to listen.
// EPISODE LINKS //
Dr. Nichols's book: https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/religion-and-myth-in-the-marvel-cinematic-universe/
Amazon (Affiliate): https://amzn.to/3VoqDPc
// EPISODE OUTLINE //
01:58 Start of conversation
05:17 How do you define "myth" for your work?
09:09 How do we preserve uniqueness of cultural myths and celebrate what binds us together as a species?
13:30 Myth allows us to see that every human being is born with an inheritance and legacy of suffering and triumph.
16:15 Why is it important for us not to see the Marvel superheroes as gods?
21:47 Captain America stands alone before Thanos, but he does so in place of us.
25:30 Why did the MCU in the first three phases push a theme of sacrificing fathers for the sake of the sons: I'm thinking of T'Chaka, Odin, Yinsen, Yondu, etc.
30:49 Milton's Satan reference! Why create sympathetic villains like Killmonger and Gorr, the god butcher?
35:37 Thanos is a much more complex villain than we give him credit for.
39:59 Captain America: Civil War fought the battle of postmodern skepticism and neomodern narrative assurance: am I way off base here?
44:21 What role does Julia Kristeva play in your understanding of the MCU?
48:10 How do Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier teach us about purity/impurity?
52:16 I made my case for why I think Thor:Ragnarok was terrible. My guest is much better at discussing it.
56:08 How does Gilgamesh's exploration of mortality connect with the MCU?
1:03:04 Are Marvel films and shows becoming too geared toward an older audience and closed off to younger people?
1:04:36 What did you learn from your family when you all re-watched the Marvel films together again?
1:06:50 My closing thoughts: the love and the thunder
// WEBSITE //
Head over to the website to learn more about me and to contact me. https://theneutralgroundpodcast.com/
// EPISODE SUGGESTIONS //
1. Why we crave narrative? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVqv1TIwLU4&t=129s
2. What we don't hear about incel culture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynYdpuhqjLw&t=43s
3. Why not violence? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohhht-zwNaU&t=1010s
4. The need for the heroic narrative - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoCLHOpM03o&t=202s
5. Why are we fascinated with psychopaths? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQgL13gP9ZE&t=50s
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#mcu #blackpanther #religion #fathers #captainamerica #ironman #ironman3 #tchala #thorloveandthunder
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