The Evolution of Women in the MCU

HANNAH ROBINSON

Marvel has been making films for 11 years, with over 21 films under its belt. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has come a long way from their debut film, and though they are working to diversify, there is still a ways to go.

Let’s start with a brief history:

  • Pepper Potts was first introduced in the 2008 film Iron Man, becoming the first female character to be on screen for nearly 20 percent of the movie. She acted as Tony Stark’s love interest and secretary, ultimately proving herself to be much more than just a damsel in distress.
  • Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) first appeared in Iron Man 2, though she is more commonly known for her roles in the Avengers films
  • Gamora is one of the most powerful and dangerous women in the galaxy. She appeared first in Guardians of the Galaxy as Thanos’ adopted daughter and many others since.
  • The Scarlet Witch debuted in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, displaying her unique set of critical powers.
  • Hope van Dyne (aka. The Wasp) appeared first in Ant-Man and most recently in Ant-Man and the Wasp where she had the longest single appearance by any MCU character in a film to date.

The much awaited film, Captain Marvel, was released earlier this year on March 8th (which is not-so-coincidentally National Women’s’ Day). This film marked MCU history by being its first female-led film to hit the theaters, especially with the outstanding attention it received. While there have been other superhero films featuring a female lead, this was the first, along with DC’s Wonder Woman, of real quality or substance.

Progress has been made in through other films such as Wonder Woman which not only starred a female lead but was also one of the first superhero movies to be directed by a woman. Similarly, Marvel has started to work on solo films that feature female characters. Fans who have long awaited a solo Natasha Romanoff movie are finally being given what they want, as Marvel recently revealed they are working on a Black Widow film. I wonder who will be next…

At the end of April, the final Avengers film, Avengers: Endgame, hit theaters. It has been a highly anticipated film with a mixed crowd of emotions about the ending of the saga. Theoretically this film will have the highest number of female characters present ever in an MCU film which is an exciting moment. Besides, Marvel movies are just plain fun so if you haven’t already, go catch this one in theaters!

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