ScreeningNotes’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Do you have PTSD?"
Processing the fallout of The Avengers. Directly reckons with the post-traumatic stress of an incalculable loss and an unimaginable shift in the dimensions of our reality, while also confronting and rewriting the franchise's endorsement of the iconography and ideology of America's response to 9/11.
Turning what was originally a racist caricature in the comics into a metaphor for U.S. propaganda is a perfectly appropriate decision. U.S. propaganda is structured around precisely the same type of racist caricatures that the Mandarin was in his first appearances in the comics. People still think all Muslims are terrorists or all terrorists are Muslims or however they want to phrase their anti-brown hatred thanks to anti-Muslim propaganda based on racist caricatures.
America "give[s] evil a face, a Bin Laden, a Gaddafi," they "own the war on terror, create supply and demand," and we're too busy dealing with the fact that "nothing's been the same since New York," the fact that aliens just came in and blew up our tower(s), to think critically about the information we're being offered.
"We create our own demons" thus takes on a double meaning: not only do "we" (Tony Stark) "create our own demons" by inventing a weapon that attracts the attention of intergalactic trans-dimensional antagonists who give us Space PTSD, "we" (America) also "create our own demons" by inventing racial antagonists to scare the population into submission so that we can develop our nuclear-shadow-creating bioweapons.
We create both psychological and ideological demons.