Superhero movies have been under pressure for the last couple years to include more diversity. With the Human Torch now black, Luke Cage having his own show soon, and another woman joining the Avengers in Age of Ultron, Marvel has been moving in this direction.
I could point out that during the “Silver Age” of comics, where most of the most popular heroes come from, Marvel was actually quite progressive in their thinking regarding race and women. Falcon, Ms. Marvel, and even the X-men as a whole represented minorities and forward thinking.
That being said, critics of the genre are quick to point out that the standard for superheroes are white men. Sony has been rapidly apologizing for this, hinting at a “woman-led” movie for a couple months, but frankly Sony doesn’t have their feet beneath them right now, so it’s unlikely we will get that. The X-men were always very inclusive with minorities, with women in their central rolls since the beginning.
So who would we want to see on screen? What women heroes would I like to see represented in any of the given universes?
Well for starters, I would go with the woman who is named after the brand itself. Carol Danvers was exposed to Kree radiation and transformed into Miss Marvel. Her powers are unspectacular, including energy bursts and flight, but she is an exceptionally strong woman character. She works for SHIELD mainly, but was a long-term member of the Avengers.
She had run-ins with quite a few enemies, most notably with a confrontation with Rogue, where she barely escaped with her life. Fans have been calling for a Miss Marvel movie for a while, but personally I think if she does take the screen, she will do so similarly to the Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver. She may be hinted at beforehand, but she would come into an Avenger movie. Frankly, that’s where the character belongs, in my opinion.
Her name probably sounded a lot better when it was first thought up. Jennifer Walters is the cousin of Bruce Banner, the Hulk. Jennifer was a lawyer who was shot by a mob boss she was attempting to prosecute. She needed a blood transfusion, which her cousin gave her. Banner’s blood had another effect on her, however, as it partly transformed her into a version of Hulk.
As She-Hulk, she battled crime for a short while. She joined the Avengers for a time, but was asked to move out of the mansion after she had a rage outburst. She played a pivotal roll in the Civil War, serving as a lawyer for a boy who was on trial for his actions as a superhuman (one of the most interesting stories in the Civil War). Mainly seen as a lawyer in recent years, Jennifer is not only a strong woman, but one of the most respectable heroes attempting to live a normal life with superpowers.
She could fit into the MCU, I have no doubt. I only wonder what the point of bringing her in would be. Still, she is a strong female that would be relatively easy to bring into the movie universe.
Although originally seen as the sidekick and love interest of Hank Pym, Ant-Man, Janet Van Dyne outgrew the shadow of her sometimes-husband and served the Avengers for a time without him. She was actually the one to come up with the Avengers’ name in the first place. She holds the ability to shrink down to small sizes. Her costume includes wings to help her fly and “stingers”, utilizing concentrated bio-energy to attack.
The Wasp is more than just Hank Pym’s wife. She was forced to leave him at one point, when his anger outbursts caused him to strike her. In the Ultimate Universe, she is actually a mutant. In the end of the secret invasion, a Skrull transformed her into a living bomb. Thor was forced to kill her to save the planet.
The best thing about the Wasp is that she manages to balance being a strong woman with maintaining a sassy attitude. Occasionally, strong willed women in fiction become “bitchy” to get the point across. Wasp was strong willed, but still fun-loving. It’s a refreshing balance.
There are rumors that the Wasp will appear in the Ant-Man movie, but they are unconfirmed at the moment. Personally, I’m strongly hoping so.
These are some of the women in Marvel that I think would make a nice addition to the film canon. People may pull for individual movies for them, such as those who pull for independent Black Widow movies. For my part, I would be glad to see them.
One of the biggest hurtles that the movies would have to cross is the costumes. By nature, the comic books have outlandish costumes. For men, this means over-muscular figures. For women, this means overly sexualized costumes. Both Miss Marvel and She-Hulk show a lot of leg in their costumes and sport a top-heavy figure. Janet Van Dyne wears a rather short skirt sometimes. How do we demonstrate strong women, doing justice to their comic partners, without overly sexualizing them.
Truthfully, only time will tell.