Okay, so we’re making a little bit of progress on the whole female superhero dilemma. Marvel’s Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) has essentially been operating alone for a while now, and she’s become a pretty major part of the MCU in spite of not having her own film yet. We’ll soon see Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) in Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice (and she is getting her own movie), as well as the addition of Elektra to Marvel’s Daredevil series on Netflix and Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) to the Ant-Man sequel. And to be fair, the studio did just build a whole show around Jessica Jones. Supposedly, Marvel is also bringing a Captain Marvel character into the MCU, with an as-yet-unknown actress leading a solo film in 2019.
So, that’s five prominent female characters from both comic giants combined, with a few X-Men and other supporting characters omitted. Now consider this: the Russo brothers, who are directing Avengers: Infinity War, recently revealed that 67 characters might feature in their movie. So assuming Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Wasp, Jessica Jones and Elektra all make the cut (even though Captain Marvel’s solo film won’t have been released yet), that’s five out of 67. Now pretend I forgot about 10 whole characters. That would still make less than 25 percent of the cast.
You get the picture. The superhero film empires built by DC and Marvel need more female heroes. Fortunately, should they care to act on this issue, there are a lot of great ones from their own comics they could select! Here are just a few who would make for great additions.
Marie Claire’s piece on female superheroes pretty much says it all: Ms. Marvel, aka Kamala Khan, is a “15-year-old Muslim Pakistani-American girl living in Jersey City.” In her comics, she’s basically an obsessed Avengers fan who ultimately gains superpowers from a mysterious fog… Sounds like a pretty easy character to inject into an existing Marvel Cinematic Universe, no? Ms. Marvel would also make for a brilliant statement by Marvel in the face of dangerous anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments spreading across the U.S.
It’s also worth mentioning that this character really isn’t that obscure. She’s a regular character in hugely popular Marvel video games like Marvel Heroes online and the Contest Of Champions app by Kabam. She’s also been the subject of some pretty recent comics. Or at least, the Kamala Khan character has been (with a few others using the Ms. Marvel moniker as well). Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal even won a “Best Graphic Story” award just last year.
Artemis isn’t that complicated, given that like Thor she’s straight out of real world mythology. Daughter of Zeus and sister of Apollo, she’s the goddess of the hunt and the Moon and a certified badass in her own right. There are a few goddess figures that have factored into the Marvel comics over the years, and they would all seem like fairly natural additions given the connection to Thor (Artemis first appeared in a 1966 Thor comic).
This goddess in particular makes some sense given her connection to the Moon Knight. ScreenCrush has revealed that Marvel and Netflix are developing a series about the Moon Knight (a relatively obscure hero who’s basically Marvel’s Batman counterpart). He gets his name when he’s granted powers by Khonshu, the Egyptian Moon god. so there’s a pretty natural connection to be worked out there.
Another character from real world mythology who’s seeped into the Marvel comics over the years, Medusa is particularly interesting because she’s among the leaders of a modern comic series called “A-Force,” which is an all-female team akin to the Avengers. If Marvel were to truly make an effort to incorporate more female superheroes, an A-Force division among the Avengers could be a clever way to do it.
The tricky part here would be separating the creepy mythological character from the Marvel hero, given that the creepy version still has a presence in entertainment. The character was featured in the 2010 film Clash Of The Titans and was even played by Uma Thurman in Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. She’s also attached to an online slot machine found at Gala Bingo. In addition to their promotions and rewards for returning players, the site hosts a lot of games featuring mainstream fictional characters that are used to keep their audience interested. “Medusa” and “Medusa II” are among those selections, but both are based on the mythical terror who turns enemies to stone rather than the Marvel hero (whose primary power is the strength and agility of her hair, which is like a giant set of endless appendages).
Not one of the better-known superheroes to more casual fans, Namorita is most easily described as a more useful, female Aquaman. She has super strength, the ability to become transparent, and the ability to survive and thrive underwater. And she might just make more sense than any of these heroes for Marvel to bring into the fold.
For one thing, she’s the perfect answer to DC’s introduction of Aquaman in the budding DC film empire. But even more importantly, Namorita’s primary comic book association is in the Civil War comics, which are the inspiration for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War. It’s probably too late, unfortunately, for Namorita to sneak into this film (we’d have heard rumors by now), but there’s another opportunity as well. Namorita is also associated with the Defenders, the same team Marvel’s building on Netflix.
Only time will tell if any of these characters make the cut for future Marvel projects. But as of now, none are known to be in the plans.