How Daddy Issues Drive the Marvel Cinematic Universe

From the moment Tony Stark put on power armor to slug it out with Obadiah Stane for control of Arc Reactor technology, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been about a generational struggle against Bad Dads for the fate of the world.

Each movie is the story of men (mostly) realizing that they can no longer rely on their fathers (or uncles, or other surrogate father figures) to fix their problems for them, and now must use their own sense of morality and ethics to decide what to do with the great power they possess.

This theme of growing up and becoming an adult comes directly from the Marvel comics of the ‘60s, where many of the characters and most of the target audience were teenagers. It’s a little weird in the films, considering the three main Marvel men are 53, 100, and 1500 years old. However, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, ...