Somewhere in the basement of a Belarus Hot Wheels factory, a few dusty, malnourished child skeletons are banging their bandaged and bloodied fingers away on xylophones made from the bones of their former co-workers. The great and grand American symphonies championed by visionaries like Danny Elfman and John Williams have given way to the viral practices of outsourcing.
As Iron Man and The Avengers have been tearing through villains and box-office tickets respectively, Marvel’s battle to continually find new antagonists for our mighty heroes to face-off against is an ever-evolving shuffle to both increase upon the ferocity of the previous baddies while still institutionalizing and rationalizing the motives of these new crop of foes.
Sometimes it goes the other way, though. Sometimes the ones we thought were our heroes were actually self-absorbed opportunists, donning flashy gadgets and suits in order to pull sleights-of-hand.
“Hey, look at my jetpack and wrist blasters, and—zoink—you got played, bitch.”
Such is the case with the fearless leader of our Avenger’s, Iron Man. Yes, he’s a capitalist d-bag with a propensity to indulge himself in top-shelf liquors (which is awesome), but until now, we’ve always thought him to have the best interests of our country in mind. But, a new villain has emerged, and as more information trickles in, it seems that this new villain isn’t a villain at all.
They call themselves the American Federation of Musicians, and, armed with paraphernalia, clever posters and picketing parades, they have the power to expose the corrupt and inexcusable actions playing in the backfield of the triumphant, and ever-ignored, backing tracks to some of our favorite villain-squashing moments. Don’t understand yet the threat that the AFM is trying to quash? Maybe this will help.
You see that poor violinist getting his face trampled upon by “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?” All he wants is a paycheck, and instead he gets a two-ton green mutant who never bathes stomping his musically-inclined melon in. Why is this happening you ask? Why are these powerful earth-protectors picking on our country’s peaceful, string-plucking purveyors of sweet melodic air-vibrations? MONEY…plain and simple.
It’s not enough that The Avengers has pulled in over $1 billion in ticket sales. Marvel is making bank off of every film they put out into the market, but money is money. How do you think Iron Man can afford all that cool shit? You think his jetpack runs on trash like Doc Brown’s DeLorean? Nope, it runs on the tears of cellists.
So the next time you see a Marvel film in the theaters pay special attention to the calmer moments in the film. There’s a good chance you might catch the audible remnants of a starving child’s churning stomach.