The Rise of Females as Superheroes

With the release of WandaVision on Disney Plus, strong female superhero leads are starting to become more prevalent in film, contrary to how they were portrayed in the past. One of the first female superheroes portrayed in major films was Wonder Woman, who came under criticism for being portrayed as an oversexualized version of the superhero, taking away her role as a strong female role model. In the Marvel universe, there are many women that are powerful superheroes in the comics but had never made it to film until very recently. The first female led Marvel movie was Captain Marvel which hit the silver screen in 2019. Captain Marvel was the first superhero movie where the leading woman was not wearing a sexualized costume, and instead was wearing one that would be realistic for her duty as a military officer instead. This costume change was a big step in the right direction of desexualizing female superheroes in film, and instead focusing on their story, like in the movies with male leads.

When Avengers: Endgame brought Phase Four of the Marvel Universe movies to a close, Marvel then started to reveal their upcoming movie list, which started to feature more female superheroes in lead roles, taking from the comics and giving powerful women superheroes the movies they deserve. We are getting a Black Widow movie, Captain Marvel Two and even a female Thor. In superhero movies, it has always seemed that there was a woman depicted as hopeless and powerless, and there was a superhero that always had to aid them. Mary Jane in the original Spiderman movies with Toby Magiure always seemed to be easily targeted, inhibiting her from being able to take care or save herself. Now with the new Spiderman movies, Zendaya playing Mary Jane shows young girls who watch superhero movies that they do not need someone to save them. We are starting to see strong female leads in superhero movies, but are not superheroes themselves. 

WandaVision truly seemed to flip the narrative when it comes to women as superheroes. In WandaVision, Wanda is seen trying to save her husband Vision, not the other way around. Critics are also saying that WandaVision is one of the most throughout Marvel productions to date, and that Wanda herself is actually the most powerful out of all the Avengers. In WandaVision, it is seen that she has powers no other Avenger can even come close to having. This is very impactful to young women who are watching these movies, because it shows them that they too can be powerful. 

Though women are just starting to become prevalent in superhero movies, it is critical that they are. As a young child, I always loved watching superhero movies but never was able to idolize one because I could not relate. However, girls growing up in this generation are able to see women on the screen in powerful roles, creating an inspiration for them to look up to, and influencing them to stand up for themselves and be powerful.