For all those wondering just how Marvel Studios went from a hopeful newcomer with 2008’s Iron Man to making two of the most successful movies of the year with this summer’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, don’t worry: the University of Baltimore has created a course that might explain that very thing.
Titled “Media Genres: Media Marvels,” the course promises to “examine how Marvel’s series of interconnected films and television shows, plus related media and comic book sources and Joseph Campbell’s monomyth of the ‘hero’s journey,’ offer important insights into modern culture,” according to a press release from the school.
“One thing we’ll do is dive into the impact of the Guardians of the Galaxy film, which proved two things: Mainstream movie audiences are not remotely tired of superhero movies; and Marvel Studios can now release a sci-fi adventure that actually features talking trees and raccoons,” read a statement by Arnold T. Blumberg, who’s teaching the course. “It’s not that they’re getting away with it — they’ve created a universe in which fans completely accept these developments, and they’re ready for even more.”
Blumberg posits that Marvel’s movies provide a fantasy framework for exploring contemporary issues, including “the nature of heroism, the great responsibilities that come with wielding great power [and] our willingness to trade freedom for security,” among others. “We have a generation coming of age with these characters and this completely mapped-out universe. It could be argued that it’s never been done better,” he said.
“Media Genres: Media Marvels” will be offered in the spring 2015 semester, according to the school. Reports of rival studio executives suddenly rushing to enroll are as yet unconfirmed.