Women in Media: Avengers Assemble

Quarantine has given us a lot of free time — when we’re not doing schoolwork. As Marvel fanatics, this extra time has us rewatching our favorite cinematic universe, the Avengers series. One of our favorite scenes is the epic women montage at the end of Avengers: Endgame. All of the powerful and strong women from the past 22 movies gathered in a final scene to practically destroy every villain in their path. Even after multiple re-watches, the scene is still mind-blowing and inspiring. Each of these women defied expectations and boundaries of what it means to be a “hero,” and we wanted to break down some of our favorites from the franchise. 

  1. 1. Black Widow

    In order to understand how impactful this finale scene in Avengers: Endgame was, we must go back to the beginning. Black Widow — otherwise known as Natasha Romanoff — made her first appearance in Iron Man 2, and little did audiences know how big of a character she would become in subsequent films. This fearless woman’s fight is stronger than the most vengeful gods and was the first example of a strong female warrior in a primarily male-dominated world. Romanoff has the ledger of a woman capable of great triumphs, but she has also faced many detrimental defeats. She was the primary woman of power during these films for a few years until others began emerging. Audiences finally were able to see themselves through the lense of a fierce and incredible woman who was saving the world alongside her male counterparts. We see her character develop through the stories into a selfless, dynamic and clever Avenger while also seeing how much of a family she builds with her team members. 

  2. 2. Captain Marvel

    For the first time in the Marvel universe, women were allowed to feel empowered and like a force to be reckoned with. In 2019, a good seven years later, we finally have the release of Marvel’s first women-led superhero movie with Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel encompasses all the traits of every great superhero: she’s the strongest, the fastest and the smartest. She has unbelievable powers and fights for the greater good.  While superheroes like this already exist, never has a woman portrayed this specific character as the lead. Her ever present confidence, even in her darkest moments, has inspired women to continue pursuing passions and break the boundaries of what it means to be a woman.

     

  3. 3. Shuri

    Marvel is full of legends, and sometimes the best heroes aren’t even super at all. Black Panther is Marvel’s first African American led film with even more strong female characters. Shuri is Black Panther’s genius, younger sister and also the youngest character in the Marvel universe. Despite not having any form of traditional superpowers, she has been deemed the most intelligent person out of all of the characters due to her knowledge of technology and battlefront advantages. She is able to hold her own during battles and continuously has the upper hand with her extreme smarts and advanced weaponry. Shuri is a great example of a more humanly role model, and her strengths appeal to a different kind of audience. While she is not physically strong, her strengths lie in math and science making her an inspiring figure for young girls interested in STEM. Overall, she has proven herself to be a wonderful new addition to the Marvel universe.  

  4. 4. Pepper Potts

    Another woman that doesn’t technically qualify as a superhero is Pepper Potts. Appearing in the very first Iron Man, she has played an important role since the very beginning of the Avengers series. While Potts doesn't have any super strength or super intelligence, she is still an important figure in the universe. Many of Marvel’s heroes can be brash and run into fights head-first, however Potts’ wisdom and logic remains a constant advantage for the team. Potts may not be the one to lead the battles, but she is often a figure that these heroes turn to for level-headed advice and second opinions. She is able to see the bigger picture and has been known to keep some of Marvel’s superheroes, especially Iron Man, from creating bigger problems. Occasionally, she has suited up in her own armour, seen in the final battle of Avengers: Endgame, to bring her strengths to the battlefield. Despite her lack of experience, Potts’ strong will and tenacity aided her in the fight and showed much of the world that even modern day women are a force to be reckoned with. 

  5. 5. Scarlet Witch

    Arguably the most underestimated, yet most powerful woman that we have yet to discuss is Scarlet Witch. Wanda Maximoff is introduced with her twin brother in Avengers: Age of Ultron and mesmerizes the Avengers team with her use of chaos magic. At times, even Maximoff herself is unsure of her own power and all the ways that she is capable of using it; however, her fear falls away to reveal a woman capable of miraculous feats. Maximoff faces the most trauma compared to her fellow teammates throughout her time on screen, yet she still manages to pick herself up to fight some of the greatest villains the Avengers have seen. Initially, she is portrayed as a “damsel in distress,” but she ends up being the one to save, not only herself, but the whole team. Additionally, she brings a strong sense of humanity to a world dominated by superhumans and gods. Despite the strength of her powers, her mental strength and dedication is what pulls her through the biggest battles. Thanos’ power and mission is greater than anything that any hero had faced up until that point, and while it originally takes quite a few of earth’s strongest heroes to bring him to his knees, during the final battle, Maximoff is able to take him down completely on her own. Her storyline and character has only continued to advance and inspire many hardworking women despite only being in the cinematic universe for the last few years. 

Each of these women have completely different sets of skills and powers, but that doesn’t necessarily make one better than the other. During the final scene in Avengers: Endgame, it shows that working alone will only get you so far. When all of the women teamed up, they were able to support each other and provide aid where others lacked. Female power is something that is being discussed within the media more these days, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is no exception. Each of these women play such an important role in the whole story, and now they will forever inspire women to be the hero of their own story.