WandaVision’s Quicksilver prank was just the latest in a long line of similar gags in the MCU, but why is the franchise so obsessed with them?
WandaVisionThe ending caused controversy for reducing Evan Peters’ role as Quicksilver to nothing more than a dirty joke, but it wasn’t the first time the MCU made jokes about dicks. In fact, the franchise has challenged its conventional family label, which doesn’t quite fit the material in a broad sense, for several examples from Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man launched the universe in 2008.
Conventional wisdom, by contrast, suggests that the MCU doesn’t make adult material, with Avengers: Age of Ultron famously using Chris Evans’ Captain America for a silly joke in which he berated his teammates for swearing in battle. Took up Endgame for the MCU to get over the idea of Cap as a moderator of language use, but the idea of an internally censored franchise has always stuck. Considering the fact that the MCU’s 20+ movies have dealt with mass murder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse allegories, historical abuse, and mental health struggles, the persistent family label doesn’t really fit. Yes, there is an agenda to avoid unnecessary obscurity in tone and aesthetics, and the language is still largely PG-13, but as the franchise has grown in age, so has the appropriate audience. WandaVision joked about sexual intercourse and in a way that was not played for laughs like the nasty, notorious ones “hide the zucchini” joke.
And as an extension of the idea that the MCU isn’t as kid-friendly as it might seem, there’s a strange history of penis-related banter in the franchise. Which may explain Paul Bettany’s apparent obsession with Vision’s genitalia. Or the fact that Thor’s entire motif for much of the first three phases was inevitably phallic given the rules of raising his hammer and the Asgardian’s manifest parallel to masculinity and strength. It’s not high-level writing, and perhaps it speaks to why movies have traditionally struggled with female representation until WandaVision started a new, more diverse Phase 4.
During the end of the AvengersTony Stark confronts Loki, apparently singing his victory in the Battle of New York at the Avengers Tower. The God of Mischief tries his possession trick again on Stark using the Mind Stone inside his Scepter only to be thwarted by Iron Man’s arc reactor, complaining that “This usually works.” Stark’s joke fits Tony’s level of maturity: “Well, performance issues, it’s not uncommon …. Considering that Loki’s arc is driven by conflict with Thor and an apparent inferiority complex that leads him to attempt to invade his father and brother’s favorite Kingdom, it is not illogical but it is cheap.
Because Tony Stark only learned something about personal growth in Phase 3 of the MCU, he pulls an almost identical performance-related joke when the Avengers rejoice in their HYDRA victory in Sokovia by proving their worth. When Hawkeye tries to lift the hammer, Stark jokes “Clint, you’ve had a rough week, we won’t have it against you if you can’t get up. “And then when Barton fails, he steps forward to his own attempt saying he is.”never one who flinches from a challenge“with a knowing look.
So why do you do it? Aside from the screenwriter thinking this is funny, at this stage in his arc, perhaps because of that writing, Stark is not the good man he would become when he died in Endgameend of. He was always arrogant, always interested in expressing his supremacy, and still a bit of a bully. Of course I would equate machismo with virility.
If there was any doubt about the MCU’s disdain for the romantic angle between Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff, even when Joss Whedon was wearing it unnecessarily. Ultron age, the confirmation should come thanks to another line from Tony Stark. Because Tony Stark may have proclaimed himself a genius, but his humor was surprisingly one-dimensional. In the Avengers sequel, Stark pokes fun at the burgeoning romance between two of his fellow heroes by berating Black Widow for being late to the battlefield because “You better not be playing hide the zucchini with BannerGiven the fact that the relationship is supposed to add emotional depth, having a sarcastic disregard of her for a laugh was remarkably reductive.
Guardians of the Galaxy He changed the tone a bit for his penis humor, because it is played to reflect the emptiness of Peter Quill’s life, even when he brags about it. Before realizing that what was missing in his life was a family that included Gamora as Quill’s soul mate, Quill spent his free time promiscuously, to the point where he forgot that one of his partners was still on his ship. at one point. When Gamora challenges him on his boat for being dirty, Quill says he has no idea and that “If I had a black light this place would look like a Jackson Pollock painting“It’s childish, but appropriate for Quill, and in the context of his broader arc it speaks to both his exaggerated bravery and his loneliness.
A few years before Paul Bettany’s obsession with Vision’s genitalia, James Gunn had Dave Bautista’s Drax the Destroyer ask Ego the Eternal if he had made himself a penis. Intended to showcase Drax’s ongoing issues with proper social demeanor, it’s a goofy moment that crowns the way the Guardians of the Galaxy The sequel recast Drax as a purely comic figure. But given the attention around Vision’s physical makeup, particularly when his children are born, he obviously answered a question someone was asking.
In a more open reference to the fact that all of these MCU jokes seem to equate genitalia with heroism, Ant-Man 2 has a female character who ultimately fights back against jokes. When Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang meets Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) in the sequel, the pair talk about their respective abilities to grow in size. Naturally, they share their record sizes, with Lang’s 65 feet topping Foster’s 21, which Hope Van Dyne jokes about “If you two are done comparing sizes, we need to find a way to track the lab.A surprisingly wise reference given the strange history of the MCU in this area.
While it has been speculated that the appearance of Evan Peters as Pietro Maximoff in WandaVision would set the multiverse and the possible arrival of the X-Men to the MCU, it all came down to a dick joke. Controversially, the fake Pietro was revealed to be Ralph Bohner, a Westview resident who was given Quicksilver’s actual powers by Agatha Harkness in some way to try and fool Wanda. That a bigger reveal could have created a bit more bait for fans for a show marketed insanely hard by speculation and fan engagement online, WandaVisionRalph’s reveal was the right way to go. Unfortunately for the more cynical viewers, it will now be the only thing the ending will be remembered for.
The key to remember WandaVision is that it was full of detours, both in the marketing – including the naughty interviews of Paul Bettany – and within the program. It was a show obsessed from the first episode with appearances and duplicity, with red herrings scattered everywhere due to the narrative’s inherent mystery focus. With the reveal that Agnes was indeed Agatha Harkness all the time teasing as soon as Katharine Hahn was cast, the show worked hard to shed hints of another great villain and informed fans that they took the bait. Mephisto didn’t show up, there wasn’t a huge cameo for an aerospace engineer, and Quicksilver’s cameo meant nothing. The sight of Ralph Bohner laughing at his own last name before Monica woke him up from his magical possession played in WandaVisionThe cheat game to perfection.
Next: The 13 Marvel Movies To Be Released After WandaVision
Why Rey doesn’t use Force Lightning in Rise of Skywalker’s Final Battle
About the Author