Orientalism In Marvel!

Typically, we look past the idea of Orientalism when it relates to the movies that we all know and love, and those are the classic Marvel superhero movies, yet there are quite a few examples of Orientalism shown in these movies that a lot of people don’t notice. Marvel Studios recently announced that they are developing a film with Shang-Chi, or Master of Kung Fu, as the protagonist. While many are excited for Marvel Studio’s first Asian-led movie, others are concerned that the studio’s choice of character was a stereotypical martial artist who happens to be the son of Fu Manchu, the offensive and racist fictional villain popular during the twentieth century. When adding a Asian character to a Marvel film, the producers usually add a stereotypical Asian fighter who has a strength of Martial arts. Some examples of this in past films include the characters like Wolverine and Katana. Both of these characters were introduced in the early stages of marvel and are pictured in many comic books where they are seen as Asian fighters who have mastered street fighting rather than other white superheroes who have more of a power and doesn’t necessary stereotype them as street fighters. It often goes unnoticed due to the popularity of Marvel, as well as the kid like persona that Marvel brings. When westerners are played in these type of action movies, there are often characterized as the villain and as a mean viscous fighter. Whereas the Eastern characters are usually the hero’s and are the people who have the superpowers. As we move forward in the future, I hope that Marvel can shy away from these stereotypes and switch things up and go in a different direction.

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