In a world filled with challenges and crises, a hero is never too hard to find—just head to your local movie theater. Yet, despite the mass popularity and abundance of superhero films, many have criticized the genre as nothing more than frivolous entertainment. For instance, Martin Scorsese considers Marvel films visual theme parks that have been “market-researched, audience-tested, vetted, modified, revetted, and remodified until they're ready for consumption” (New York Times, November 5, 2019). But there is plenty to say for these tried-and-true formulaic stories, or “molds,” as Scorsese calls them. After all, superheroes were saving the world long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first film, Iron Man (2008).

Religion and Myth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) by Michael D. Nichols provides narrative context for the Marvel films produced within the three phases of the MCU, fitting those films into decades of consistent and popular comics based...

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