Special Episode 11: The Marvel-Industrial Complex

The cover for Special Episode 11. Captain Marvel in an Air Force cockpit.

Spurred by the release of Captain Marvel—and its promotional collaboration with the U.S. Air Force—Flourish and Elizabeth invite Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, pop culture journalist and co-host of the “Overinvested” podcast, to talk about the film and the Marvel Cinematic Universe on a whole. How does the U.S. military influence filmmaking? How is that whole “five-year plan” working out for Marvel Entertainment? And how progressive can we expect—or demand—blockbuster movies to be?

To listen to this episode or read the transcript, pledge to our Patreon!


Show Notes

[00:00:00] As always, our intro music is “Awel” by stefsax, used under a CC-BY 3.0 license. This time, we used it for the outro music too.

[00:00:52] Gav writes for the Daily Dot, creates “The Rec Center” with Elizabeth, and is half of “Overinvested.”

The Overinvested logo.

[00:04:13] If you haven’t read it yet, read Gav’s article about Captain Marvel and the military. Then go read Gav’s review of Captain Marvel.



[00:09:09] You probably are better off not knowing about the Alita Challenge, but Know Your Meme has you covered if you want to learn more.

[00:12:15] Gallup’s “in-depth” polling on the military and national defense isn’t all from 2019, but the stats they have: in 2007 (10+ years ago!) 77% of people said that women should be allowed to hold combat positions. In 2003, only 16% of people said that women should never have combat assignments, and 77% of people said that women should fly combat aircraft (some other jobs, like doing special forces work behind enemy lines, had lower approval ratings). We can’t assume that those numbers have gone up since or that those numbers reflect conservative opinion, but it’s interesting.

[00:13:03] In fact, the current Congress has the most female veterans ever (6—by comparison, there are 90 male veterans serving in Congress). There were 14 female veterans on the ballot.

[00:19:49] “Overinvested” #116 is on Captain Marvel.

[00:27:38] Gal Gadot was announced as playing Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman in 2013. Brie Larson was announced at Comic-Con 2015. So no. But 2015 was when Wonder Woman got a director and actually was really going to happen, which is probably where the confusion comes from.

[00:28:40] Cast your mind back to 2012, when Marvel Phase 3 was announced. Remember how mind-blowing that was?!

The original slide of the Phase 3 plan, as revealed by Kevin Feige.

[00:41:00] Rahawa Haile’s article, “How Black Panther Asks Us to Examine Who We Are To One Another.”

[00:52:48] Gav’s talking about her reviews of Level 16 and Freaks.

[00:55:51] This was definitely not the article Gav was thinking of, but in 2017 there was a profile of Tech Sgt. Courtney, the first enlisted woman to fly Air Force drones.


Tessa Thompson in  Sorry To Bother You.