With Avengers: Infinity War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has actually reached two milestones. Not only does this film complete the evolution of the comic book movie from niche action flick that barely respected its own source material to movie industry staple, it makes the case that a summer blockbuster can deliver a complex emotional experience.

Even if you haven’t seen the film, you probably know that the deaths are particularly resonant (to the point that there has been a proliferation of “[X], I don’t feel so good” memes, which show characters from different franchises fading away), that Josh Brolin’s Thanos is the Marvel villain that we’ve all been waiting for, and that even with the loads and loads of characters, nobody feels overlooked or half-baked.

Travel back in time and watch schlock like Ghost Rider or Edward Norton’s iteration of The Incredible Hulk and the increase in quality from then to now is obvious. Your geeky superhero film had better be top notch, to the point where rival studios who can only manage a The Dark Knight or Wonder Woman every few years look like serious laggards.
Can we call this a revolution? Could we go so far as to say that it is an artistic revolution? I think we can. And for those of us on the right, this revolution is even more significant in that it had nothing to do with workers seizing the means of cultural production. The market, and those who are passionate about the product, created a rising tide that lifted all boats.
Naturally, there are those on the left who aren’t too thrilled. One such voice in my native country is John Semley, who you might recall from a recent NBC hit piece on Jordan Peterson.
The thrust of his argument can be illustrated with an example from the movie: A character in Infinity War explains that to obtain one of the elusive Infinity Stones, a sacrifice must be made- “a soul, for a soul.” Semley implies that a similar trade off must be made- a property can move units, or it can move you, but it can’t do both. For him, the film’s massive box-office invalidates any real artistic merit the film may have.
Thus Semley unwittingly exposes a raw nerve that must be touched by conservative writers of fiction if they are to win the culture war. Our books, our films, must pack an emotional punch. They must feel real. They can be broad in scope, and calculated for mass appeal as well.
Our own desire to show the left up at their own game cannot override the goal of creating media people really connect to. If we tell great stories first and make our political points second, the John Semleys of the world will float away like so much dust.