How Marvel Works With the Pentagon for Equipment Access In Exchange For Positive Military Messages

In a highly insightful video essay for the “One Marvelous Scene” project, Sage Hyden of Just Write takes a look at how military propaganda has made its way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Hayden first examines the most blatant use of pro-military sentiment in the MCU with Captain America particularly due to it being a period piece, but explains that in the first Iron Man, director Jon Favreau worked with the Pentagon to get access to military equipment in exchange for final script approval regarding how the military was represented in the film. This practice took on a life of its own, as Hayden explains.

Marvel has partnered with the Pentagon on a bunch of its films in the last decade including all three Iron Man movies and all three Captain America movies. Military propaganda is extremely effective in the first Captain America movie…while there isn’t a dancing chorus line or a catchy song, Captain Marvel still feels like the propaganda montage in Captain America, except instead of being played for a laugh it’s treated unironically here.