Damn those cat-suits!
Now there’s no denying that the world loves a good, strong character that happens to be female. However, in the world of comic-book movies at the moment, women seem to be dragged down into the ‘token hot girl’ role. Scarlett Johansson is a perfect example of this. The treatment of her character, Black Widow, in the hugely popular Avengers series is almost criminal. Now whilst yes, she is a brilliant adaptation of the popular character and can quite easily go toe-to-toe with any of the Avengers, she’s treated as that ‘hot chick’.
Take the new Avengers film for example; Age Of Ultron. This was an adaptation of the hugely successful comic book from Marvel, featuring a merciless, sentient AI system gone rogue. It also featured a completely random/pointless romantic sub-plot…for Black Widow. It came out of nowhere. In Captain America: Winter Soldier, she’s shown kissing Captain America as a distraction technique, nothing romantic about it. Is it possible that a woman in a film can hold her own storyline without being limited to a romantic sub-plot? If we look at a solo-female orientated super-hero film, two features come to mind; Catwoman and Elektra. Neither of which are particularly worth mentioning due to their god-awful treatment. Now from a financial point, it makes sense that they haven’t made any more solo-female super hero films as those were two blatant examples of failures – both in critically and financially. However, the treatment of superhero films in general has come a long way since then, so surely there’s room for one somewhere? Or not.
Black Widow, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Wonder Woman and so many more have such rich comic-book history that they could easily carry their own film, but no…we’re getting a third reboot of Spider-Man. It’s the same Peter Parker version, which makes it worse. The young/middle aged white guy reluctant super-hero is starting to become boring. They could’ve at least given us Miles Morales, the african-american version of the character. Whilst we’re getting a Wonder Woman film from DC within the next few years, it’s such a shame that Marvel missed such a trick with Ant-Man. Evangeline Lily’s character was more than capable of carrying the movie’s plot by herself, and would have made room for The Wasp/Hope Van Dyne character in the Marvel Universe. Her character was given the emotional bitch role, who’s only redemption was a random thief her Father hired. Whom she falls in love with, thus redeeming her of her bitchiness and making him a better person NO. Come on Marvel, you could have just had the film about her, there was literally no reason to include the Scott Lang character. Yes, Scott Lang was funny. But what would’ve been good is the Hope character taking her mothers’ suit and doing all the training herself and not given a love interest. Admittedly, it was an enjoyable movie once the viewer can look past the quite blatant sexism.
Hopefully, the introduction of the Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel films will usher in a new radical age in the superhero genre where women can be seen as actual three dimensional characters and not just a plot device to serve the male protagonist’s evolution.