The Importance of Captain Marvel

 

 

Disclaimer: I’m not the biggest Marvel fan in the world. Out of the twenty-two films in the Marvel universe, I’ve seen a total of ten. However, I can and do truly appreciate the franchise; I’ve shed tears and felt heartache just like you. I know my opinion might be disregarded by many die-hard fans but what I have to say still stands.

 

Captain Marvel is an extremely important film for women all over the world. Vers’ story is an empowering one, spearheading as the first female character to receive her own film in the franchise. Her debut into the Marvel Comic Universe (MCU) changes the dynamics of all films in my MCU, especially Avengers: Endgame. Even though superheroes aren’t my thing, I still was able to recognize the impact Captain Marvel has had and will continue to have on future generations.

 

(Photo by IMDB Photo Gallery)

 

Before she was known as Captain Marvel, Vers’ was known as Ms. Marvel. Ms. Marvel was initially created to serve as the female counterpart and love interest to Captain Marvel during the late 1960s. In an article written by Susan Polo, she explains that Captain Marvel was later marketed as a superhero explicitly to tap into the feminist movement of the 1970s, where she received a character upgrade. Vers’ storyline took many turns throughout the comics storyline and eventually reverted to a semi-sexist role in the MCU. However, when Marvel Studios decided to reboot the series, they decided to diversify their work.

 

(Photo by IMDB Photo Gallery)

 

* WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD*

 

The live-action film adaption centers around the story of Carol Danvers, a Starforce member with amnesia trying to prove herself. Her struggle in the present is paralleled to her forgotten past. Time and time again Danvers is faced with discouraging challenges because of her gender. A pivotal moment in the film is when Danvers is confronted by an old Kree comrade who mocks her human nature and belittles Danvers. Flashbacks from her human life appear on the screen displaying multiple incidents of defeat, but her human desire to keep fighting pushes her forward. This becomes one of the most beautiful scenes in the entire film. The montage features multiple scenes of sexism and bullying. In one scene, Danvers is taunted after a failed pitch at a softball game. In an other, she’s catcalled and humiliated by a male comrade who repeats “you know why they call it a cockpit?” This is a moment of realization for her. She sees the strength in herself and knows her capability. She gets back up, one final time, and attacks with all of her might. Time and time again, she has proved herself against her male counterparts and reached new heights of achievements. Danvers no longer doubted herself and her reassured confidence was enlightening.

 

(Photo by IMDB Photo Gallery)

 

If you’re familiar with Gwen Stefani, then you know how much of a revolutionary icon she is in the music industry. A lot of women resonated with her because she wasn’t afraid to be herself and express her sexuality; while some found it as controversial, others found it inspiring. Her song Just A Girl sung with her original group, No Doubt, was an empowering song that outlasted the early 2000s music scene. The song talks about the patriarchal society we live in and how women are perceived as weak and subordinate. With lyrics such as  “don’t you think I know exactly where I stand? The world is forcing me to hold your hand” and “I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite so don’t let me so don’t let me have any rights” speaking on issues of gender norms and equality. The ladder part of the song is largely Stefani fighting against these stereotypes and gender norms by presenting examples of her own strengths. The reason I’m talking about this song in particular is because during one of the most crucial scenes of the film, Danvers rises to the top and fights against those who betrayed her while this song plays in the background. I cried almost instantaneously because I recognized the power behind the song choice. The song added a whole other element to this scene and any woman watching the film could begin to recognize the feminist message of the film.

 

(Photo by Louis from Pexels)

 

When the movie was over, I drove home with my brother and I asked him what he thought about the message behind the film. He responded with “I don’t know, what was the message?” I then realized then that not everyone would recognize the film for it’s feminism but purely for it’s addition to the MCU. For that same reason, is why movies like this one are so important. Soon the representation of women on the big screen will no longer be a miracle but a standard.