comics / equality / Feminism / gender / sci-fi

Why the time is right for a female-led Marvel Movie

I’m going to get straight to the point. The world is overdue a female centric comic hero movie.

There are plenty of nah-sayers out there that will say BUT! Supergirl sucked and Catwoman was the worst! Oh, right so we should never let a woman do anything again then right? Because, that’s how it works for men right. They do a sucky movie and so never do anymore of the same. Right? RIGHT!???!?!

Remember how awesome this movie was!!

Remember how awesome this movie was!!

No. So I’m going to throw that BS right in the bin and move on.

I’ve already blogged about the idea of a Wonder Woman movie, and a lot of the points in that hold here –

  • That movies who passed the Bechdel test did better in the box office than those that did not in 2013
  • Female-led movies, especially Young Adult genres, have been some of the largest hits over the last few year in terms of box office and merchandising
  • Women, amazingly, still make up roughly 50% of the population of this planet! This probably won’t change any time soon…

Why Marvel?

If you’re in any doubt as to how DC feel about a female-led movie, check out Dorkly’s rather accurate take on it. On the one hand we can talk about the difference between how Marvel and DC handle their female characters – which I have also previously blogged about. On the other, we can talk about how Marvel actively encourages female staffers and readers in a way that is alien to the bods at DC.

In their comic titles Marvel women are better represented and massively better portrayed than anything out in DC’s current New 52. And just from my experiences on twitter the vast majority of Marvel fans regardless of their gender, are eager to see more of the now popular female characters. When it comes down to it, Marvel would be landing a final, and deserved, suckerpunch by beating DC to the first female-led standalone superhero movie. I know I want to see that happen!

Ya heard? The main X-Men title is currently all female - and they are FIERCE!

Ya heard? The main X-Men title is currently all female – and they are FIERCE!

Why Now?

At the moment the time is absolutely perfect for two of Marvel’s most popular female-lead titles. Captain Marvel and Ms Marvel. Fan reaction to the female characters that Marvel have so far put out in their movies has been strong, so maybe they should strike whilst the iron is hot!

Captain Marvel, in her latest run, has fraternised with the Guardians of the Galaxy. On top of which, despite being an Avenger, you could imagine she might fit well with the style and themes apparent of the upcoming GotG release. Having her cameo in GotG which, if you go anywhere near twitter, you will know is a current fan fantasy, would likely elicit cheers from the audience!

Spectacular team up!

Spectacular team up!

Another route, would be to go YA. It is a hugely popular genre at the moment, and Marvel could do worse than to commit their latest smash hit  – Ms Marvel – to film. YA and superhero genres are two of the biggest over the last few years, so this combination, along with the wit and charm of Kamala Khan could open Marvel comics up to a whole new audience.

Are They Filmable?

When Captain America was first announced, many pondered on how it would be filmed. How would it fit with the modern Avengers movies already out there (the likes of Iron Man) and still be watchable. How would they create the context of a man running around wearing the American flag? Of course, the answer was brilliantly done with the first movie set in World War 2, but even more so working in the awesome context of USO shows, setting the scene for our number one patriot!

Den of Geek put up an interesting post today about whether we need superheroes movies to begin with an origin story. Arguably they are overdone, especially in the wake of the Amazing Spider-Man movies. But that said, this is possibly because we really do know all these stories. Superman, Batman and Spider-Man have to varying degrees been prominent in cinema (and television in different guises) for decades. So even anyone who hasn’t picked up a comic in their life has a good idea of what is going on. I touched on this a little in my previous post about different cinematic versions of Superman.

In the case of characters like Captain Marvel and Ms Marvel, it is likely that a lot of cinema goers would not be familiar with their characters or their origin stories. The only problem there is that their origins are tied up in a bigger picture. Carol Danvers inherits the powers and title from the previous Captain Marvel, Noh-Varr. The problem here being that the audience may also not know of this character (or worse get him confused with Shazam!). Similarly, Kamala Khan takes the mantel of Ms Marvel from Carol Danvers in a rather strange, and apparently hallucinatory, event in which she also gained some rather curious powers.

Not impossible...

Not impossible…

This shouldn’t stand in the way of bringing them to cinematic life though! Both these stories would only require slight rewrites in order to make them accessible to the wider audience without the required background in Marvel 101. And they’ve done a great job so far with other characters in their titles.

Not The Same Old…

With the masses of superhero movies we have enjoyed over the last few years, there is the possibility that they will at some point collapse under the weight of their own momentum. How do you keep the same characters fresh, interesting and enjoyable to watch. For me, I’ve already tapped out on Amazing Spider-Man and struggled to find an interest in the Dark Knight Rises (even though I did enjoy it once I finally watched it). At what point do these same old characters get boring? And what do we do when the characters out live the interest of actors – can you seriously buy anyone else playing Wolverine at this point?

Introducing new and interesting characters into that mix is a great way to keep the genre alive and well whilst continuing to explore the universe in which they live (one of the reasons why I also advocate a Miles Morales led Ultimate Spider-Man movie) .

He ain't wrong!

He ain’t wrong!

It is clear that both Carol Danvers and Kamala Khan represent a huge opportunity for the future of Marvel movies, and to be quite honest, even the twitter based cries for a Carol cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy thrills me!





8 thoughts on “Why the time is right for a female-led Marvel Movie

  1. Captain Marvel definitely deserves a movie. She’s a fantastic character, and she’s a powerhouse. She’s someone who can go toe-to-toe with the Hulk. None of the women in the Marvel movies so far can do that. Having a woman with a powerset not much different from Iron Man and Thor – flight, strength, invulnerability, energy blasts – would be a great touch. Having her be equal in rank to Captain America would be even better. She’d be a fantastic feminist character. And as a bonus, I don’t think her origin would be all that hard to do.

    Ms. Marvel’s great, but she’s been around for five issues. It’s way too early to be thinking about giving her a movie. Let her stick around for a couple years before we start talking about that possibility.

    • I agree that right now it is too soon to be thinking about Ms Marvel, but considering any movie that is greenlit now possibly won’t be slated for release until 2016/17 it might not be a bad idea to start thinking about future possibilities. My main thing with Ms Marvel is that they could totally tap the YA market in a different way than they have before, so it is definitely one worth thinking about for the future.

      Captain Marvel on the other hand… that needs to happen right now!! In a perfect world she will cameo, or be the end credits lead through in GotG and one of the currently unnamed Marvel pics slated for July 2016 and May 2017 (please oh please oh please!!)


    • Lol, thanks 🙂

      I wrote this in the 20 minutes before I had to start work, added the pics on my lunch break and then quickly re-read proofed before posting right after I finished work before leaving the office. I even looked at that and thought “is that right” before moving on. Oops.

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  3. For Marvel the time is now right because the MCU is so tight knit that they could put any character, no matter how well-known or not, on its helm and people will be at least interested because it is the MCU.

    DC has no excuse. Wonder Woman has been a high prolific property for ages and is part of the “big three” of DC, and yet she has one measly TV-Show adaption (which as even successful, so no excuse there either), while Superman has six movies and two life-action TV shows (not counting the serials) and Batman has no less than eight movies and one TV show (plus I don’t know how many animated series)

    • You’re absolutely right. I’ve really gone off DC in recent years but I’m still excited about a Wonder Woman movie. I just hope they don’t screw it up because DC are not very female-friendly on any level so fingers crossed they actually do a good job of it!

      • Yeah…exactly my sentiment, too. Marvel has gotten better and better with their female characters. DC not so much. I wanted a Wonder Woman movie for years and really hope that they wont screw this up, but I have a bad feeling about this.

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