American Propaganda In the MCU

Growing up in the United States meant that Marvel movies were inescapable. Even as a young girl who was more inclined towards Mean Girls and the Princess Diaries, I watched every Captain America and Iron Man movie. Much like Marvel movies, Americans grow up bombarded with positive messages about the American military and are often encouraged to offer their bodies up to be American heroes themselves. 

Although plenty of people reject the idea that movies in the MCU are a form of U.S. propaganda for its military, it is undeniable that certain movies do indeed propagate common American myths about the military. For example, in Captain America Civil War, the military is revealed as a corrupt, incompetent institution in desperate need of saving by an American Hero. 

Most people point to this depiction of the military as evidence of the MCU’s critical approach to the American Military. However, what is forgotten is that the portrayal of the U.S. military as careless, incompetent, and fallible is used to excuse their war crimes and invasions. This carefully constructed myth means that the army can easily access​​ the public’s forgiveness when the U.S. falsifies proof that other governments have “weapons of mass destruction” or when the U.S. bombs the schools and hospitals of the countries they invade. When the United States acts contradictory to its vocalized values, Americans assume that in the end, the institution’s intentions were good.


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