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Psych Geeks: 'Black Widow' And Marvel's Next Phase Of Cultural Influence

Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) and Yelena (Florence Pugh) survey the damage in Marvel's "Black Widow."
Marvel Studios
Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) and Yelena (Florence Pugh) survey the damage in Marvel's "Black Widow."

Marvel returns to the multiplex this weekend with the release of the long-awaited "Black Widow," starring Scarlett Johansson.

It's a big step not just for the business of Hollywood, but also the outsized role of comic-book movies in our culture.

To dissect all this, WGLT brought back the Psych Geeks. They are Eric Wesselmann and Scott Jordan, both psychology professors at Illinois State University.

In a conversation with WGLT's Ryan Denham, the Psych Geeks talk about:

  • Finally exploring Black Widow's complicated past, and leaning into her intersectionality as a uniquely non-American Avenger.
  • How the Marvel Cinematic Universe is playing a more sizable role in conversations about representation.
  • Marvel's pivot to high-budget television series, including "Loki," "Wandavision," and "Falcon and the Winter Soldier."
  • Monoculture, religion, and having a common story.

Listen to the full conversation using the PLAY button above. You can also listen to past episodes with the Psych Geeks.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.