How Heroes of Color Could Win in “Avengers: Endgame”

endgame

Promotional poster for “Avengers: Endgame” (2019)

I know that Captain Marvel (2019) is supposed to be THE next Marvel film to watch for a lot of reasons, but there’s no escaping the sequel to last year’s Avengers: Infinity War which I had meant to review, but apparently neglected. Avengers: Endgame is due to be out in late April and is expected to answer a lot of questions, not the least of which is who stays dead and who comes back to life.

However, there’s been a lot of concern about how specifically, King T’Challa, the Black Panther, and a large number of notable heroes of color and female heroes were exterminated, suspiciously leaving only the core, white male Avengers alive.

African-American screenwriter and author Steven Barnes has discussed at length, the history of black film characters dying for the sake of making white characters more heroic, and the impact of this, not only on his own childhood, but on his teenage son Jason.

Author G. Scott Huggins also weighed in on this last January, specifically about how, while we expect T’Challa, the Wakandans, and other African-American heroes to be revived, the fact that they died in the first place diminishes them as heroes. He said:

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Where the Ghosts Come From

ghost

Pedro Fogueras pexels-photo-626164 shadow

“Let me out, do you hear? Let me out!”

Olsen Hoyt pressed his intangible form against a non-existent boundary between the neither-world and the real one.

“Why did you do this to me? I didn’t do anything wrong!”

Pressing his non-face against the nothing holding him, he wept nullified tears.

Their plan was to leave Hoyt, and everyone like him, alone in the dark for all eternity, but inventor Dennis Tyson couldn’t resist adding more payback. He walked into the Qualdonitron control systems matrix and selected his former supervisor’s virtual cell, one of over a billion. Then he whispered across the void, “You deserve it.”

“Who’s there? Why do I deserve this?”

“Your kind has been in control long enough. It’s time for the rest of us to take charge. Monsters don’t deserve existence, but death isn’t punishment enough. Now thanks to the invention of the Qualdonitron, the privilege of dominance is ours.”

“Privilege?”

“Your people have caused millennium of suffering. Now it’s our turn to create the pain.”

It took all those like Hoyt countless years, but eventually, they learned how to come back to the world as ghosts. Now their presence would be forever haunting.

I wrote this for the Week #26 Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is ~200.

I very loosely based my story on some of the lyrics from Gordon Lightfoot’s 1971 classic song If You Could Read My Mind and specifically:

If you could read my mind, love,
What a tale my thoughts could tell.
Just like an old time movie,
‘Bout a ghost from a wishing well.
In a castle dark or a fortress strong,
With chains upon my feet.
You know that ghost is me.
And I will never be set free
As long as I’m a ghost that you can’t see.

Of course, there are other themes involved, but I’ll leave it to the reader to discover who Hoyt and Tyson could possibly represent.

To read other tales based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com. As I’ve said in previous weeks, this link up still needs a lot of love, so please consider contributing a story. Thanks.

The Tribunal

tribunal

Image: sundiatapost.com

“Mr. Mitchell, I’m very glad you decided to join us this morning.” The Judge’s vocal tone and facial expression did not reflect gladness to John Mitchell, but then he was used to society’s collective sarcasm.

“It seems I ran out of choices, Your Honor.”

Mitchell stood in the center of a room. The room had few features. There was a platform in front of him, behind which sat the three Judges of the Tribunal. The room was only semi-illuminated, except for where he stood, which was brilliantly lit by a spotlight, where he stood alone. He knew this day would come, no matter how much he tried to put it off.

“I assume you know the charges against you Mr. Mitchell, but for the sake of the record, I will read them.” The judge sitting in the center looked down at her paperwork.

“Mr. John Quentin Mitchell, you stand accused of failing to comply with the life span progression initiative, whereby all male, white, het-cis-gender citizens will, on their 60th birthday, report to the progression center for processing and termination.”

The Judge looked back up at Mitchell. “This is the most serious charge against you, but certainly not the only one.”

“I understand, Your Honor.”

“You have repeatedly ignored multiple digital and hardcopy summons from the progression center and this court to report. You are eight months late, and this court has run out of patience.”

“It seems, Your Honor, that I have run out of time and, as I said before, choices.”

“Mr. Mitchell, it would not have been necessary to have law enforcement threaten to arrest your…” the Judge looked down at her notes for a moment, and then looked back at Mitchell. “…two sons, one daughter, and one daughter-in-law if you had obeyed the legal order of this court to report to the progression center for processing, now would it.”

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