captain marvel

How Does Captain Marvel Live Up To The Expectations of Being The MCU’s First Female Superhero Movie?

When Iron Man started the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008, it was an immediate box office and critical success. 11 long years have passed by since Tony Stark blew up the middle east. We’ve all not-so-patiently waited for the biggest movie franchise of all time to finally create a solo movie starring a woman.

The 21st film in a 22 film series that wraps up one month from now and that’s when Marvel decides to finally introduce a solo female superhero film. Right at the buzzer.

But before I talk about Marvel’s interesting depiction of a female superhero, I can’t not compare Captain Marvel to DC’s Wonder Woman. I should add the disclaimer that normally it would be a total waste of time to compare Marvel movies to the garbage that DC shits out but Wonder Woman was one of the best superhero movies ever made in spite of Zach Snyder having his gross neckbeard all over it.

Wonder Woman leaned in so heavily on the fact that it was a female-led superhero and that has a lot to do with the source material it was extracting from.

Diana Prince is from Themyscira, an island of Amazon women that have sustained peace and prosperity for generations without a single man ever crossing their shores. The blueprints were obvious here.

That scene where the Amazons ride out and fight the German army that swarms the beach is fucking amazing. It’s impossible not to get chills when you see these women perform physical acts that up until that point, had exclusively been performed by men.

Not only were they women kicking ass but they were women of a certain age. Robin Wright and Connie Nielson are my heroes.

The entire scene was awe-inspiring. When Wonder Woman runs into the literal ‘NO MAN’S LAND’ and just stands there deflecting bullets emotions were running wild. That movie truly leans into how powerful, strong and inspiring female characters can be in superhero movies.

But I want to focus on the word ‘emotions’ as I pivot back to Captain Marvel. Or more so, Brie Larson’s portrayal of Carol Danvers being pretty much absent of emotions.

I keep going back to the scene when Carol goes to visit her former best friend Maria Rambeau. Maria shows her photos of the life they used to have together and they look close. Like, really close (wink wink). Carol barely remembers her life on Earth so I suppose it makes sense that she doesn’t react much.

But then later in the film, Carol does get her memories back and there is no emotional catharsis. She was gone for 6 years. Left her best friend and her entire life. She FORGOT about her closest friend. And when she finally does remember, we all should have been crying together.

That’s the moment that made me realize Captain Marvel never actually really emotes. She’s never upset. She gets slightly angry in short bursts, I suppose. Smiles occasionally after she cracks some jokes. But all in all, she’s brooding the entire time.

And all of that makes Yon-Rogg’s (played by Jude Law) training of ‘Vers’ less and less sensiscal every time I think about it. Yon-Rogg keeps telling Vers to ‘control her emotions’ but she is the most controlled and even-tempered character in the entire film.

But this isn’t an article questioning the quality of this film. I already called Captain Marvel the best movie ever. If anything, this movie was Marvel’s attempt at depicting what they believe feminism is in 2019.

While Wonder Woman puffs its chest out and screams ‘I AM WOMAN. HEAR ME ROAR’, Captain Marvel goes the complete opposite route. Their approach was to introduce the most powerful character in the entire MCU anddddd she just happens to be a woman. It’s as if to say that true inclusion is the act of not highlighting or making a massive deal about her ownership of ovaries.

When women proudly claim ‘women rule the world’ it’s meant to empower.
It’s meant to embolden women and it isn’t intended to diminish men. It’s not about men. That’s the point.

I feel like people forget women were the last to get the right to vote in America. And like, fairly recently. That’s insane.

But I reckon the ultimate utopia is a world where that proclamation doesn’t need to be made because equality is everyone’s default setting. The Kree didn’t seem to give any shits that Vers was a woman. Her identity isn’t shaped by ‘girl power’ because, in her world, it doesn’t need to be.

Is the Marvel Cinematic Universe utopia? (yes.)

I can’t tell you which female superhero movie better serves women.

I will say that I think it was very important that Wonder Woman, being the first massive female superhero movie, 1000% leaned into their ‘Girls Rule The World’ theme.

Captain Marvel benefits from the infrastructure of the already established MCU and can afford to have their first female superhero not ever really recognize the fact that she’s a woman.

I’ll admit that I prefer Wonder Woman’s perspective. However, there is also something very cool and equally inspiring about Captain Marvel never really pointing out ‘hey isn’t it so crazy that I’m a woman but also WAY stronger than all these men??’.

I don’t know which version of feminism you prefer. All I know is that I’m totally okay with every superhero being a woman going forward. Hire me, DC. I’ve got ideas.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading. Tweet to @TheLesterLee with your opinions on Captain Marvel’s treatment of their first female superhero. Also, go ahead and throw Deadseriousness a Follow on Instagram so that I can keep the lights on around here at HQ.

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TheLesterLee

Written by TheLesterLee

Creator and King of Deadseriousness. Writer of all things pop culture. Jerk.

E-mail Lester@Deadseriousness.com to talk to the king directly about all Deadseriousness related stuff or if you just want to talk about like, the Yankees or Marvel comics or whatever.

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