The Marvel Comic Universe has spawned many a superhero, a lot of them appearing on the big and small screen with varying degrees of success. Thor, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Ant Man, Doctor Strange… the list seems endless. Yet outside of the Comic-Con community, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who could name their top ten MCU female characters. The myth that women can’t carry their own superhero movie was busted by Wonder Woman, which made over $800 million at the box office.
Though not a Marvel film, that movie paved the way for this year’s hit, Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson as the superheroine. In a nice touch, Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot had a love-in with Larson on Twitter, pre-empting any ridiculous media stories about rivalry between the stars and showing that superheroes from different universes are not necessarily enemies. Captain Marvel opened in February to positive reviews and has already earned over $1 billion, consolidating the fact that audiences are more than happy to see female-led superhero movies.
So which female characters have proved popular and which would we like to see at the cinema? Scarlett Johansson has enjoyed huge success as the Black Widow (aka Natasha Romanoff). While she has yet to have her own movie, her role in the Avengers series has matured and grown in importance. The Black Widow movie, a standalone prequel starring Scarlett Johansson, is set to be the second female-led MCU movie so far adn will be out in 2020.
One of my favourite Marvel femmes – and one I’d love to see on the big screen – is Jessica Jones. Like characters such as Will Smith’s Hancock, Jones is a great anti-hero: she drinks, she’s anti-social, she’s sarcastic and seems to have more in common with Lisbeth Salander than any of her fellow comic book comrades. The reason for her jaded outlook is an accident that has left her without her superpowers. Krysten Ritter brought JJ to life in a TV series (which ran for two seasons) and the flawed, damaged character would make an intriguing and complex subject for a movie.
Another woman beloved by Marvel aficionados is Agent Peggy Carter. Like the Black Widow, she also enjoyed several outings in a variety of films, including Captain America: The First Avenger. She even got her own movie. Shamefully, Marvel Studios and Walt Disney made a dud and Agent Carter – which starred the likeable Hayley Atwell – went straight to video. This was such a waste of a brilliant character: Peggy is feisty, razor sharp and as good at combatting sexism at work as she is at tracking down the baddies. She is an original Stan Lee creation from 1966, which means it is high time this special agent got the decent film she deserves.
Though the list of female contenders deserving of their own movie is long, special mention should go to the baddies, because for every Spider-Man there is always a Green Goblin. Mystique has appeared in the X Men franchise and has caused that posse of heroes all kinds of trouble. Other interesting villains include Typhoid Mary, Black Panther’s adversary Nightshade, and Emma Frost, who is both supervillain and superhero. However, the queen of the bad-ass brigade is probably Nebula, who we got to see in Guardians of the Galaxy. There is no demure alter ego, no terrible past that has led her down the wrong path. She’s just pure evil and that’s what makes her so entertaining. The above contains just a handful of fabulous female characters from the MCU. If there is a place for Iron Man 4 and three Thor films, then surely we can accommodate a few more Marvel action heroes who just happen to be women.
- Take a look at Avengers: Endgame, official trailer