When watching movies in the MCU, they always highlight the heroes and what they are doing to help fight against whoever the villain is for that movie. Of course, that’s what any movie would do – focus on the main characters and their plot, only skimming over anything else that isn’t as relevant. However, one thing the MCU does include is a look into how some heroes actually affect everyone else living in the world. It’s what brings something like the Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War to light. The plot is affected by these accords, which are an attempt to control the heroes and stop them from doing whatever they want when they want.
One thing these movies do not touch on as often, though, is how the actual lives of everyone living in the MCU are affected. Those who aren’t heroes and are trying to live normal lives like any of us have a lot of struggles to deal with from day to day, especially if they live in a big city. They might be there to serve a purpose and show the hero rescuing someone, like in Black Panther where T’Challa helps rescue a group of women and sends them back to their homes, but the actual struggles they would have to deal with are rarely touched. Everyone wants to be a superhero, but it seems actually pretty horrible to live in a world with them.
You Better Have Good Insurance in the MCU
Collateral damage costs and civilian deaths are, perhaps, one of the most highly contested topics in the MCU. Sure, the Avengers manage to save New York from the Chitauri invasion in The Avengers, but the city around Stark Tower is destroyed. Buildings are smashed by Chitauri and Hulk, the roads are torn to shreds, and even the interiors were not safe as Hulk ran through office buildings or Captain America battled Chitauri keeping hostages.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, an entire city is evacuated, as it is literally flown into the sky only to be vaporized, wiped completely off the face of the Earth. This damage isn’t unique to the team-up movies, either – Captain America: The Winter Soldier features plenty of collateral damage, including the asphalt dug up by the Winter Soldier’s hand, the bus destroyed in the ensuing battle, and the destruction of the triskelion and the three helicarriers, the impact of which can still be seen in a deleted Spider-Man: Homecoming scene.
Climate change is a catastrophic problembut imagine living in a world where your entire city could be vaporized.Now, imagine if you were the one living through all of this. You had to experience these fights happening in your city, or knew a friend living there, and did not know if they were going to make it out alive. And maybe if you do make it out alive, now you might not have a car, or a wall to your apartment.
Imagine yourself in Zemo’s shoes, the villain in Captain America: Civil War. The only reason he is trying to break the Avengers apart is for revenge, because his entire family was killed when Ultron attacked Sokovia, and he blamed them for it. Or, you could look at Kate Bishop in Hawkeye and how her apartment is blown up during the battle of New York in The Avengers, which also killed her dad. These terrifying occurrences turn into a regular thing when you live with heroes, and you’d probably be afraid any time there are heroes fighting nearby, wondering if you and your belongings will make it through this.
MCU Villains Wander The Streets
Sometimes, heroes have secret identities that they hide from the public, so they can have some privacy in their life. In the MCU, this comes in the form of the vigilantes like Spider-Man. However, the villains have secret identities too. You could come into work one day and find your boss or co-worker was arrested because they were insane and tried to murder a bunch of people only to be foiled by one of the nearby heroes. That could have been you they tried to murder, and maybe you would not have been lucky enough to be saved, and that thought might haunt you forever.
Some villains run gangs too, and this is not Gotham, where most of the villains dress their henchmen up in matching outfits. Anyone you walk past on the street might be working for a villain who regularly goes toe-to-toe with one of the costumed heroes, and maybe one day, it puts your life at risk to be so near them.
Kingpin are from Hawkeye, Daredevil, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. While each Fisk is a little different, even though Daredevil and Hawkeye share the same actor, it helps show just how normal a villain can look.Perhaps one of the best examples, to really help understand what it feels like to be in this position, is to look at Kingpin, or Wilson Fisk. He has been brought to life many times, but perhaps the most notable moments for
From the outside, and to the public eye, Fisk is your everyday businessman who does not do anything out of the ordinary. In the spider-verse, he even holds a party meant to remember Spider-Man, even though he was the one who killed him. In reality, Fisk is a terrifying mob boss, perhaps one of the most influential in New York, and participates in all manners of illegal actions. You’d probably be second guessing everyone you meet if you knew any one of them could secretly be a villain.
When Thanos Wins
One thing that no one is safe from, whether you live in a city or the most rural and out of the way place imaginable, is The Blip, which brought along with it a lot of burning questions from fans. When Thanos snapped and erased half of all life in the universe, he did not get to pick and choose who, and it seemed like a completely random choice. It was not like half of each family disappeared, or half of any way you want to sort humanity. It was just a random half of the population, which is how the original six Avengers were still alive, and yet only two of the Guardians of the Galaxy were.
Then of course, the question of what happened to those who disappeared while in a plane or boat comes up, because when they return, would their lives not now be at risk? Would not they return in mid-air or mid-sea? Supposedly Hulk took care of that when he returned everyone, but it’s never been directly mentioned in the MCU, so anything could be possible. It brings to mind the scenario of HBO’s most underrated show The Leftovers, in which two percent of the population randomly disappears. What kind of horrible existential crises would that cause? How would people continue to live after the very rules of reality were broken, and each person lived in fear that at any moment they or their loved ones could simply disappear?
If you were living here at the time, you either had it lucky and your entire family was unharmed, you lived but people you care about were suddenly gone with seemingly no hope of ever getting them back, or you yourself were gone. Each of those three have different impacts. Maybe you feel guilty everyone you love is safe while most of the world is not as lucky.
The loss of those you care about would be deeply upsetting, especially knowing how suddenly they were ripped from you and not knowing you would ever see them again. And, if you were one of the unlucky ones that died, you’ve been gone for five years and now everything has changed – your house might now belong to someone else, those who were still alive are all five years older, and your friends may have already moved on from you by now. No matter what fate would have befallen you, it seems like the therapists of the world had a lot of traffic during and after the events. In fact, just living in the MCU, with or without The Blip, seems like a daily war zone of terror. If you think the nightly news is bad now, imagine what it’s like there.