Tonight, the second Avengers movie is being shown here at Calvin. Is it worth seeing? Maybe. I don’t think it’s as good as the first, and superhero fan that I am, the one reason I would recommend it is the robots. If you go see it, though, there is something you should know: Marvel decided to be… really offensive, to put it mildly, with two new characters this movie. Minor spoilers ahead, in case you don’t know what it’s about.
In the upcoming movie, we get two new characters introduced — Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, the siblings that are Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, respectively. In the comics, they’re Romani and Jewish, mutants that are Magneto’s children (yes, Magneto is Jewish. The more you know). Their mother was literally one of the 20,000 Romani that were sent to Auschwitz — Magneto was one of the Jewish people sent to Auschwitz, and that was how they met. When their mother died and they were adopted, they were raised by the Romani Maximoff couple. All in all, the sort of people that Nazis hated.
Given that, I’m really, really not sure why Marvel decided it was a good idea to make the siblings work for the Nazis in Age of Ultron. Yeah, you read that right. In the Avengers movie, the formerly Romani and Jewish duo are no longer Romani and Jewish, and they work for the Nazis. They were volunteers for human experiments — given that they’re twins, and there were actually experiments done on twins in Auschwitz… I still really have no idea why on earth Marvel thinks this is alright. While they were not allowed to call them mutants in the movie because of copyrights, could they have kept it vague? No one knows. It would be easy enough to say they were born with the powers or something and leave it at that.
And do they really need to work for the Nazis? A pair of Romani and Jewish twins working for the Nazis doesn’t strike you as offensive at all, Marvel? Ah, right. They’re not actually Romani and Jewish anymore. Two white, goyim (non-Jewish) actors played the both of them in the movies — and readers don’t even know if they’re Romani and Jewish anymore in the comics. In April, the movie aired in theaters. One month later, it was confirmed that Magneto is no longer their father (thus erasing their Jewish heritage) and presumably, his wife is no longer their mother, erasing their Romani heritage. What are they now? We don’t know.
For over 30 years, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff were a pair of Romani and Jewish twins who were born with powers, whose parents met in Auschwitz. The movie changed them into a pair of white twins who received their powers from getting experimented on by Nazis — in the comics, at least, they didn’t volunteer and they got their powers from a non-Nazi scientist, instead.
Remember that when you go into this movie (if you do). This movie transformed two superheroes who were part of two marginalized groups and whose backgrounds had major origins in the Holocaust, to two more white superheroes who willingly ally themselves with the Nazis. Think about that. Remember that.
We shouldn’t forget it.