“Captain Marvel” Photon Blasts Marvel’s Glass Ceiling

Manhattan, New York
United States

Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man, Captain America, Doctor Strange- there is no shortage of male superhero movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). That’s why the premiere of “Captain Marvel,” on International Women’s Day of course, has been a long time coming. The film, Marvel’s first solo female superhero movie, faced sexist backlash from the start. When the first trailer was released, online trolls commented on the fact that Captain Marvel didn’t smile (to which Brie Larson, who plays the titular character, had a clever response to)-essentially the digital version of a catcall. The trolls didn’t stop there, they also criticized Larson’s physique, saying she “wasn’t strong enough” (ahem), and flooded the internet with negative reviews of the film. Still the movie broke box office records, bringing new meaning to its tagline of “higher, further, faster” and bringing in $455 million globally, making it one of the biggest female-led film debuts.

This goes to show the importance and desire for equal representation in media. People want to see themselves in the movies they watch. In the case of “Captain Marvel,” the director and screenwriters were female and the soundtrack featured Pinar Toprak, the MCU’s first female composer.

Carol Danvers (AKA Captain Marvel) is a flawed, relatable character. Taking place in 1995, the movie begins with Captain Marvel (introduced as Vers), a Kree warrior training to hone her powers while an intergalactic war between the Kree and the Skrulls rages on. She winds up on Earth with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury and struggles to piece together the flashes of past memories she keeps seeing. Carol faces sexism from a young age as she wanted to participate in male-dominated activities from racing to baseball to the Air Force. She receives comments such as “you’re too emotional,” “you’re not strong enough,” and “smile for me.”

Carol learns to follow her heart, in addition to her mind, as she wrestles with her identity. It’s filled with empowering, heartfelt, and humorous moments. Audiences will love the surprising scene-stealing character of Goose the “cat,” and the banter between Fury and Carol. Brie Larson’s acting gives depth and humanity to her character, and the friendship between her and Lashana Lych’s Maria Rambeau is heartwarming. “Captain Marvel” is essential viewing for young girls- everything from the clothes to the (stellar) soundtrack and characters scream riot girl energy and leaves audiences feeling ready to take on anything (in my case, a Chemistry midterm). Traits and abilities that Carol was told were her flaws turn out to be the exact opposite, revealing strength she never knew she had. It is a story of not only a superhero but also a woman coming into her own (while cracking jokes and kicking butt). Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful, real characters from the MCU and will be a role model for years to come (and also probably defeat Thanos). I suggest that if you haven’t seen it, you change that ASAP (and make sure to stay until the very end- there are two end credit scenes!).