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Crosscurrents is our award-winning radio news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays at 11 a.m. on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community. Listen to full episodes at kalw.org/crosscurrents

Joanna Robinson writes about the rise and struggles of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Oakland author Joanna Robinson
Robin King
Oakland author Joanna Robinson
"People brush off superhero cinema sometimes as dumb popcorn entertainment. It can be, but it also runs really deep because these are the stories we show kids. These are the stories that show them who they can be in the world."
Joanna Robinson

In 2008, Marvel Studios released their first “Iron Man” film. An after-credits scene between Tony Stark and agent Nick Fury was alluding to something big to come. The scene teased the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now, it is one of the top-grossing media franchises of all-time.

Oakland writer Joanna Robinson co-authored the book “MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios.” It's an unauthorized, behind-the-scenes look at the franchise. The book is a New York Times Bestseller. It covers a range of Marvel history from celebrity interviews to stories of executives fighting for creative control.

This interview was co-produced by Porfirio Rangel.

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She is the executive producer and host of the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds as well as the series Sights + Sounds Magazine. Jeneé also covers East Oakland for KALW. Jeneé has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.