Is ‘Avengers’ America’s Iliad?

My latest article on MercatorNet looks at the whole Infinity Saga as a cinematic form of the epic poem:

The epic genre is defined by loose stylistic and thematic criteria, not all of which translate to film. But the essence of the epic is there:

“it is a long verse narrative on a serious subject, told in a formal and elevated style, and centered on a heroic or quasi-divine figure on whose actions depends the fate of a tribe, a nation, or (in the instance of John Milton‘s Paradise Lost) the human race”.

Other key characteristics include catalogues of heroes and warriors, vast geographic range and disparate locations, depictions of superhuman and martial feats, extensive descriptions of the hero arming himself, intervention by gods and other supernatural beings, and often a terrifying journey to some form of underworld or land of the dead.

Has Marvel succeeded in creating an epic for our era? And if so, what virtues and values does it represent to us?

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