by Brett White
“Avengers” mastermind Joss Whedon has a problem with superhero films, and it’s one that he addressed in an interview this week with the Daily Beast. There are not enough female superheroes on the big screen, and it’s about time for that to change.
“It’s stupid, and I’m hoping ’The Hunger Games’ will lead to a paradigm shift,” Whedon said. “It’s frustrating to me that I don’t see anybody developing one of these movies. It actually pisses me off. My daughter watched ’The Avengers’ and was like, ’My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,’ and I thought, ’Yeah, of course they were.'”
Whedon’s already taking one small step by adding Scarlet Witch to “Avengers 2,” but there is so much room for a lot more Marvel heroines in the Cinematic Universe. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of 5 Marvel superheroines that Whedon could (and should) champion to join, or get their own, Marvel movies.
This is the most obvious one, for sure. Carol Danvers has seen a resurgence in popularity over the past year thanks to a dynamite ongoing series by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick that’s riled up a very passionate fanbase. She’s strong, she can fly and she can shoot energy blasts. Visually she could do pretty much everything Iron Man does, just without a suit. If Marvel wants to bring female audiences to the theaters in droves, they need to get Carol Danvers on the big screen, and they need to treat her right. Danvers represents the kind of no-nonsense hero that Whedon perfected for seven seasons on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” No, Carol and Buffy don’t have a lot in common at first glance, but take a closer look at Ms. Summers in the show’s final season. Every one of her take charge speeches, every tough decision she made, that is all very Captain Marvel. Whedon would make her work in a fantastic way.
Since her name is tied to a character whose film rights are owned by Sony, it might be hard for Marvel to get Jessica Drew on film. But they should really, really try, because Jessica Drew is a phenomenal character. Raised by HYDRA and constantly pulled between a number of allegiances, Spider-Woman has become defined by the struggles that she’s overcome. There aren’t many superheroes tougher than her, and Whedon could use her to explore the identity issues that made “Dollhouse” so captivating. She could be brought in as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, or a rogue HYDRA agent, or even as a card-carrying Avenger. Just get her in a movie and have her unleash her venom blasts and her trademark wit on unsuspecting bad guys.
While not a big enough character to headline her own film, Monica Rambeau (formerly known as Captain Marvel, Photon and Pulsar) could easily become the kind of scene-stealing utility player that superhero films need. Her ability to transform herself into any form of energy would come in handy when faced with pretty much any threat. She’s also a natural born leader, having led the Avengers for a period of time in the 1980s, and constantly strives to better herself. Her lack of notoriety, and lack of a consistent code name, makes her sort of a perpetual underdog, one that you instantly root for. She’d have audiences on her side immediately.
Joss Whedon figured out how to make Bruce Banner work, so maybe it’s time for him to turn his attention on Jennifer Walters. Shulkie’s often regarded as a joke by people that don’t know her character, but her fans know how special she really is. First, she’s a brilliant lawyer. Second, she has a healthy self-image. Third, her power isn’t defined by rage. Yeah, it’s the male Hulk that gets emotional and irrational. She-Hulk has her act together, and she embodies a lot of stereotype defying attitudes that need to be seen on the big screen. She’s smart and fun, she’s tough and feminine, and she is in charge of her love life. Yep, She-Hulk enjoys dating and socializing as much as Tony Stark, so what? Whedon’s She-Hulk would be an eye-opener, and it would catapult her into the highly respected hero A-List.
Marvel has an entire underworld of superheroes just waiting to appear on film. In fact, three leading, street-level characters have returned to the company after time at other film studios: Daredevil, Punisher and Ghost Rider. But Marvel doesn’t want to use them yet, not with the memories of their recent film failures still fresh. Misty Knight would be a great catalyst to bring all of those heroes together. Knight runs the Heroes for Hire operation from her control room, where she hires and then leads a number of Marvel’s heroes as they go on dangerous missions. But Misty’s no slouch, as she’s an incredibly capable martial artist and is skilled with firearms. Misty’s your lead character in a “Heroes For Hire” movie, and she’d be a great unifying force for all of Marvel’s disparate unused heroes.
Which female heroes did we miss? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!