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Insight: My sister and I bonded through watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe

'Part of the benefit of this being so popular is that it’s such a good talking point, and so many relationships can be formed because of it'


"Sometimes the stories and actions of fictional characters bring us together in reality." Illustration published on Friday, April 16, 2021.

Last winter, almost two years after the release of “Avengers: Endgame,” my sister and I decided to explore the beloved Marvel Cinematic Universal.

The MCU was never something I was deeply involved with, but it was familiar. My sister, on the other hand, had even less knowledge. Despite this, we wanted to tackle the beast that is the extensive filmography together since in the past, we've bonded over other mediums.  

My sister and I have always been very close, and as my tour guide to life, she's played the role of best friend, parent and sister all in one. She introduced me to her taste in music, books and television shows. Although our interests didn't always align, some of the things she showed me ended up being my favorites as well.

But, the dynamics of our five-year age gap made instances like these more difficult as we grew older. While my sister was just old enough to take on a guardian role, she wasn't quite old enough to where our childhoods were completely disconnected — there was only a stagger between them.

Just as I was in the thick of high school, she had finished college and was ready for the real world. Our frames of reference, although not completely foreign from each other, were significantly different.

Responsibilities with work and school meant our schedules get very much out of sync. That said, living under the same roof has kept us connected despite our busy lives.

With an abundance of time to kill, thanks to winter break, and a free trial to Disney+ in hand, I decided to reacquaint myself with “The Avengers.” And after a little bit of persuasion, my sister sat next me and we tuned in together. 

Prior to this, my sister's only exposure to the blockbuster series was through Twitter, so now was the perfect time for the both of us to really understand the hype of it all. Needless to say, we were immediately hooked. 

We blew through “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming” in seven short days. While this is far from impressive, I am admittedly bad at binge-watching.

Regardless, we fell in love with the characters, who now have became integral factors in our games of “Would You Rather,” and we discussed at length which of the villains were justified in trying to destroy the world. 

Soon, Marvel TikTok, fancams and comedy edits became staples in our internet diet. 

Since the spring semester started, we’ve managed to get in at least one movie a month, and we are currently on the road to watching “Avengers: Endgame.”

The MCU was something we could immerse ourselves in the lore of, and it reminded us of when we were equally as enthralled with "Harry Potter."

I think this is partly why the MCU is so successful — it’s an intergenerational series, and I know for a fact that my experience is not unique. 

Part of the benefit of this being so popular is that it’s such a good talking point, and so many relationships can be formed because of it. 

My sister and I were close to begin with, but now, we have even more to talk about and bond over – our love of Bucky Barnes included. We have even made extensive lists for the ranking of our favorite Marvel men, but that list is ever-evolving with each movie we watch. 

This set of superhero movies is so special because for the first time, I introduced my sister to something instead of the other way around and it has created such a big presence in our lives. 

The way I feel after watching the movies and the insane degree to which I’m invested in these characters is only amplified by the fact that I get to share it with someone I care about.

Although I’m not a die-hard fan, this series neither my sister or I were very invested in until we had some shared downtime proved to be one of our favorite bonding moments. 

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Sophia BalasubramanianDiversity Officer

Sophia Balasubramanian currently serves as the Diversity Officer for the State Press. She previously worked on the Echo as an editor and reporter.

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