Too Little, Too Late for Marvel

The Marvel universe is known for having some of the most heroic and tough female heroes in modern movies. Incredible fighters such as Black Widow, Gamora, and Agent Peggy Carter are just a few that young girls have been able to look up to in the recent years. To have an empowering female role model to fight alongside all of the male heroes is very important to young girls as it lets them know that they too can be there, not just waiting for other heroes to save the day. So, the fact that Marvel has developed so many complex and intriguing women heroes is why their treatment is so surprising.

In 2014 Marvel fans were shocked to find that Gamora, the only female guardian in Guardians of the Galaxy, had been left out of the majority of merchandise, even in most shirts featuring the entire group. This sparked the hashtag #wheresgamora.

Unfortunately, Marvel continued to make the same mistake when in 2015 fans discovered that every male Avenger go their own shirt while Black Widow was left out. This sparked the trending hashtag #wheresnatasha as many were upset that Marvel’s only female Avenger had not been included. Marvel’s own actors even tweeted in support, like Clark Gregg and Mark Ruffalo. It seems that not even Marvel’s own employees agree with Black Widow’s exclusion.

It's surprising that Marvel, a company that has made beloved shows starring female leads like Jessica Jones and Peggy Carter, seems reluctant to have woman on merchandise. I'm not sure if it's the fear that it won't sell, that a woman on a shirt would make it "unmanly," or the assumption that the only people in audiences are men and boys with no interest in buying anything with a heroine on it. Regardless of the reason, fans have repeatedly voiced their displeasure for this exclusion.

The most surprising thing about Marvel’s treatment of their heroines happens to be the fact that they have refused to create a Black Widow movie. Time and time again male leading superhero movies are being pumped out of the company. The company’s most famous female hero has only held the role of a supporting hero, having side stories and being an overall right-hand man when needed.

But after the overwhelming success of DC’s Wonder Woman, the lack of Black Widow’s own movie has been more apparent than ever. Wonder Women was immensely success and well made, making her one of the most popular heroines in today’s pop culture despite nearly a decade of the current Marvel universe movies.

Now it seems that Marvel has missed their shot at making everyone’s favorite former Russian spy her own movie as Red Sparrow is now on its way to theaters next year. Red Sparrow is about a highly intelligent and incredibly seductive female spy, played by Jennifer Lawrence. Now, if Marvel were to throw their hat in the ring with a Black Widow movie, they would be competing against Wonder Woman and Red Sparrow, and looking like they are now trying to keep up with the rise of female heroines and even villains.

 

Wonder Woman had a long run in theaters and had an income of over 800 million dollars. The movie worked on so many levels. Diana was smart and strong. Her beauty wasn't’t just her appearance, but also in the kindness and compassion she expressed. Despite fighting alongside men, she was the strongest and most courageous, not choosing her battles but taking everyone head on.

The support for Wonder Woman has sparked a growing trend of support for female lead films. 2017 has seen another actress star in Alien: Covenant and there has recently been an announcement that Linda Hamilton will reprise her role as the tough and iconic Sarah Connor in The Terminator. Hopefully the overwhelming response to Wonder Woman will make this a lasting trend to further inspire people across the world, both girls and boys.

 

Hopefully other movies will follow the trend that Wonder Woman has set; that female leads can make successful films and showcase strength in a woman over sex appeal.

Marvel has finally seemed to have received the notice that audiences want a female superhero movie and Captain Marvel has been announced for a 2019 release date, though it will be two years after Diana has already told the world that girls can be heroes.

 

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