Annlyel explores the evolution of the MCU female superheroes
I have just come to a stunning realization. Four of the next seven announced Disney+ series will focus on female superheroes; Wanda Maximoff in WandaVision, Kate Bishop (rumored to be portrayed by Hailee Steinfeld) in Hawkeye, Kamala Khan (played by newcomer Iman Vellani) in Ms. Marvel, and Jennifer Walters (played by Tatiana Maslany) in She-Hulk.
The thought is so exciting!
I remember a time when the only female superhero under Marvel Studios was Black Widow. Looking back, it’s almost jarring to see The Avengers which consisted of five men and only one woman ready to take on the forces that be. That stretch extended for four years until Gamora’s debut in Guardians of the Galaxy. The very next year we were introduced to only the third female superhero in the MCU, Wanda Maximoff a.k.a Scarlet Witch, whose addition to the team was a worthy and much-needed entry. It wasn’t until 2017, however, that we would finally get to see more powerful female characters introduced to the MCU at a steady rate.
I’m talking Mantis and Valkyrie, Nakia, Shuri, and Okoye, Wasp, Captain Marvel, and even a couple of female antagonists in Hela and Ghost. And we can’t forget our beloved Pepper Potts who finally got her official role as a hero in Avengers: Endgame.
The future of the MCU will apparently continue this trend, delivering us even more female bad***es to enjoy. I’m thinking even beyond the Disney+ series I listed earlier and approaching the actual movies.
Next year (hopefully) we’ll finally get to see Black Widow, a film that features not just our Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) but several Black Widows. WandaVision will feature the debut of grown-up Monica Rambeau who should probably be getting her powers in this series as well as what appears to be a female villain played by Kathryn Hahn. Thor: Love and Thunder will feature Natalie Portman’s return as Jane Foster, only now she will be playing Mighty Thor. And Valkyrie, now King of Asgard, will be allowed to explore her bisexuality by following her search for a queen, providing LGBTQ representation in the MCU. And who isn’t excited seeing the cast of Eternals which has a cast of 11 heroes/Eternals and five of them are women?! That’s a first among these superhero ensemble films where the cast of Eternals is nearly a 1:1 ratio of men to women.
And who knows what other fascinating female heroes we haven’t met yet!
As a female fan of these films, this evolution in the MCU has not only been heartening but rewarding as well. These women, unlike the women in Star Wars who seem to fit a certain mold, are all unique. Female fans of all colors of this franchise can find a female superhero we identify with or feel like we can easily dress up as in cosplay for Halloween. I mean, I love Wonder Woman or Rey or Princess Leia, but I’m not dressing up as them to a comic con or on Halloween. But do you know who I will dress up as? Gamora! She’s so cool, her story is fascinating, and yeah, she’s got a great sense of style too. Who wouldn’t want to be Gamora for a day?
And that’s why I love the MCU. The masterminds behind the franchise continue to find ways to make me happy and they understand that inclusivity is a major ingredient to their booming success.
Let’s just say, it’s a great day to be a female Marvel fan. ♥️
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Annlyel James is a prolific Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. She is passionate about Star Wars and Marvel but loves a wide variety of movie genres. Aside from her role with Future of the Force she also writes for her blog: annlyelonline. Follow her on Twitter @annlyeljames where she channels the Force frequently!