In February 2018, Marvel broke ground and box office records with the release of BLACK PANTHER, the first black superhero-led film, with an all-black cast, and the studio’s first step toward diversifying the MCU. With CAPTAIN MARVEL, they will reach another important milestone: their first female superhero-led film.
Brie Larson, who stars as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, said the studio is “just doing what’s natural” by focusing on the character; however, there’s no denying Danvers’s significance in the comic book films genre — and especially the MCU.
CAPTAIN MARVEL will be the first time fans see Danvers/Captain Marvel on the big screen, in a solo film on top of that, but to give credit where credit’s due: All of the Marvel women before her have led to this moment. Let’s look at a few of the fiercest female characters in the MCU.
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
Black Widow is the first major female superhero in the MCU, though technically, she doesn’t have super human abilities. She’s a master fighter, with skills in karate, judo, kung fu, wrestling, gymnastics and more. Combined with her signature weapons — batons, Glock 26s and electricity-discharging bracelets — she’s one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s most deadly assassins.
Played by Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow made her debut in IRON MAN 2 (2010) and has appeared in five Marvel films since, including last year’s AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. She’ll return for AVENGERS: ENDGAME in May 2019 and her own solo film, which is currently in production.
Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp
The Wasp is another first for Marvel: the first female title character in the MCU. She went from an aspiring superhero in ANT-MAN to a fully capable partner (even more so than Scott Lang) in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. In addition to her ability to shrink and fly, the Wasp is an expert scientist and martial artist — the new triple threat. We hope the Wasp, played by Evangeline Lilly, will return for AVENGERS: ENDGAME alongside Black Widow.
Under Thanos, Gamora was trained to be a ruthless assassin, but her integrity led her to join the Guardians of the Galaxy to help save the universe. Her super powers include space survival, and she’s an expert swordswoman. Played by Zoe Saldana, Gamora has been featured in three Marvel films so far: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY I and II and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. There’s speculation she will return for AVENGERS: ENDGAME, but that has yet to be confirmed by the studio.
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
Gamora isn’t the only female superhero to switch sides. Scarlet Witch fought against the Avengers in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and with them in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. Her incredible powers have been somewhat misunderstood, but Marvel confirms her abilities include mental manipulation by telepathy, telekinesis, levitation and energy blasts. Played by Elizabeth Olsen, Scarlet Witch sadly perished in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, but we know from the AVENGERS: ENDGAME trailer some of our fallen heroes come back.
Though Valkyrie has only appeared in one Marvel film to date, THOR: RAGNAROK, she’s undoubtedly one of the toughest women in the MCU. Like most Asgardians, she possesses super human strength, stamina, speed, durability and reflexes. She’s also an expert pilot and combatant, who brandishes a double-edged sword and dual daggers. Played by Tessa Thompson, Valkyrie may return to the big screen for AVENGERS: ENDGAME, but we will have to wait to find out.
BLACK PANTHER features the most highly trained, weapon-wielding women of any Marvel film. Wakanda’s elite bodyguards, known as the Dora Milaje, are fierce female fighters, led by Okoye. She can take on multiple combatants at once with deadly precision, using her collapsible vibranium spear. Played by Danai Gurira, Okoye also appeared in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and will return in AVENGERS: ENDGAME.
Producer Jonathan Schwartz said Danvers/Captain Marvel is “one of the most, if not the most, powerful character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” Even before she gained her superhuman abilities, Danvers was a strong woman, serving in the U.S. Air Force during a time when women weren’t allowed to fly in combat. Co-directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden described her as “a born fighter” with a “scrappy personality.”
Fans are more than ready to see the female superhero in the lead role. While Larson doesn’t want to have expectations about how audiences will receive CAPTAIN MARVEL, co-star Samuel L. Jackson predicts the impact will be significant. “To be a part of this specific story, where [Larson] has such an enormous responsibility, especially in the success of the Marvel Universe and what it means every time there’s a Marvel film … to know what’s going to happen when this movie does actually hit theatres for women and little girls is going to be amazing.”
We couldn’t agree more. Continue to check back on our blog for the latest articles about CAPTAIN MARVEL, opening March 8 at AMC.