The Marvel comics which were originally created by Stan Lee way back in 1939 managed to keep a well-balanced ratio between strong male and female characters, however, the film franchise (owned by Disney) seems to be less virtuous. The Marvel universe and its franchise are huge, and in the last few years their popularity has increased enormously and rightly so, the movies are epic, right?
Although, if you take a closer look at the Marvel films set to be released in 2017/18 they seem to follow a distinct theme; the majority of the films focus solely on a male protagonist, some examples of these include: Thor, Ant-man, Black Panther and Spider-Man, which are all set to be released within the next two years.
Arguably, I like to keep the odds as balanced as possible and there are also films in which the heroes are part of a collective team such as; The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, despite this, in both of these original parties, only one of the heroes is female; Black Widow in The Avengers and Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Each of the original Avengers team excluding Hawkeye and Black Widow has been granted their own movie franchise with each individual franchise producing two to three films in total, and at least one film being released per annum. So, where is Black Widow’s origin movie? Or Scarlet Witches, for that matter?
When it comes to promotion of these films, the advertising tactics including the posters and figurines have become controversial amongst many, with the women being seen in extremely tight all in one body suits to accentuate their ‘womanly’ curves on giant posters and the availability of female figurines being extremely sparse… sometimes none- existent.
Admittedly, I am a fan of both Marvel and DC (mostly for the DC series, not their films…I think we’ve all seen Batman vs. Superman) DC seems to have obtained the balance between strong female characters and male leads, in Arrow, Oliver Queen is helped by Black Canary, Felicity and his sister; DC also have a popular series dedicated to Supergirl and a film about Wonder Woman being released in June this year.
On the bright side, however, Marvel also have some amazing series such as; Daredevil, Luke Cage and The Punisher, nonetheless, they have also incorporated some female-led series such as Jessica Jones and Agent Carter– but these are on-going series, not films.
This argument is concerning the films and their lack of female diversity, it would be a great honour to the Marvel universe if the next film to smash the box office was to stem from a female character like Scarlet Witch, Mystique or Black Widow.
But, not all hope is lost, in 2019 Captain Marvel is set to hit our screens and whilst this relates to several characters in the universe, the most common portrayal is that of a woman named Carol Danvers. Captain Marvel’s backstory is long-winded, but in a short brief summary here are the main facts; the original Captain Marvel in the comic series (male) was killed off due to his lack of popularity, and in 2012 Carol became Captain Marvel after previously being known as Ms Marvel, and now another woman has taken Ms Marvel as her own…complex right.
Anyway, so far Marvel has only made one film made with a female lead and that was the Elektra movie which obviously didn’t take off as well as they had hoped (she’s portrayed much better in the Daredevil series). So, perhaps Captain Marvel will be the female lead film that they always dreamt of.
Closing note: women can be just as strong as men, in fact, sometimes they can kick their ass if only they’re given the opportunity!
<Story by Sophie Ogden>
Featured Photo Credit: DisneyStore/Marvel