On Superhero Stories: The Marvel Cinematic Universe as Tolkienesque Fantasy

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By considering the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a case study, I bring Tolkien’s explication of mythopoesis in “On Fairy Stories” to bear on the current popularity of superhero films to argue that such works qualify as cinematic examples of Tolkienesque fantasy tales. After summarizing Tolkien’s criteria for the genre in Nietzschean aesthetic terms, I both demonstrate how the builders of the MCU have crafted a sub-created fictional world and defend the existence of fairy stories in visual media from Tolkien’s own criticism of such a possibility.
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Archival date: 2021-09-16
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