Why Captain Marvel Matters

SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War make an appearance. Although, if you haven’t watched Infinity War yet...what are you doing?

 

You’d be hard pressed to find someone these days who still hasn’t watched Infinity War. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is one of the fastest growing franchises today, following a profitable and clever mix of smaller solo superhero franchises and ensemble movies, resulting in a total of twenty films and counting. The release of the upcoming film Captain Marvel (2019), starring Academy Award winner for Best Actress Brie Larson as the titular character Carol Danvers, means more than just their usual blockbuster, however:

 

  1. First female superhero centric movie from the MCU: It’s remarkable that in twenty films, not one solo movie has been dedicated to a superhero that happens to be a girl, but Captain Marvel is going to make MCU history. Fans have been clamoring for a Black Widow solo movie for years (which is in the works!), and judging from the success of Wonder Woman last year, Larson’s MCU debut is bound to be a hit.

  2. Lead up to Avengers 4: Anyone who watched Avengers: Infinity War can commiserate with me when I say that I was gobsmacked by the ending and have been counting down the days until Avengers 4. In a twist no one saw coming, about half of the people in the universe, including Spider-Man and Black Panther (MCU’s most lucrative new Avengers), apparently died. Before the man who assembled the Avengers in the first place, Nick Fury, also crumbles away, we see him send a message to Captain Marvel herself. Her solo film in March 2019 will undoubtedly uncover her backstory and reveal her status as one of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel comics, as many comic fans already know.

  3. Feminist icon: In this powerful and rousing time of the #MeToo movement and the Women’s March, Carol Danvers will be added to the growing list of feminist icons of our age. Already, the movie faces criticisms that Captain Marvel isn’t smiling enough on the movie posters, a stark contrast from male superheroes who receive no such comments. Larson herself shined a light on this double standard, posting photoshopped pictures on her Instagram story of her MCU co-stars smiling on their movie posters, emphasizing how bizarre they looked and how even more bizarre it is to expect Captain Marvel to also sport a winning smile in a life-or-death situation just because she is a woman. The Oscar winner’s response to the gendered criticisms establishes that Captain Marvel’s refusal to present as an  objectified female character that exists solely for her pretty face. Like Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel is set to become a role model for girls everywhere. Introducing a woman superhero as the only one powerful enough to stop the villain from Infinity War is nothing short of inspiring.

Captain Marvel is scheduled for release on March 8, 2019, also known as International Women’s Day. Yeah, Marvel really did that.