The first trailer for the upcoming Captain Marvel excited the internet for plenty of reasons. It has the talented Brie Larson doing superhero stuff; it shows a beloved comic book character adapted for the big screen; it finally gives a woman a starring role in one of the bazillion Marvel movies dominated by dudes—and, perhaps most importantly of all, it features a quick clip of an old lady getting punched in the face.
While some are busy wringing their hands over the character’s willingness to bruise the probable grandma’s wrinkled, eerily soft, and lavender-scented cheeks, the rest of the internet is enjoying the hilariously context-free brutality another way: by meming the living hell out of it.
There are entries from the classic realm of “self-loathing” Twitter ...
... and others from the underappreciated subgenre of meme-makers over at “student Twitter.”
Other jokes focus on everything from Marvel versus DC rivalry to inevitable cracks about public transit. The best to date, however, turns Captain Marvel into the hero of choice for everyone born from the early ‘80s onward.
Of course, the old lady fisticuffs are part of some larger story that the comic savvy already understand, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t enjoy the clip for what it is: a generational war for the ages and a potent metaphor for anything else we want it to be. Sometimes, even when a cat isn’t just a cat, a superhero hauling off and landing a haymaker on a sweet old lady should be exactly what it looks like.
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