The Future of Female Superhero Movies
It’s been said many times that we live in the golden age of superhero movies. It was arguably kicked off by X-Men and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, and solidified in 2008 with Iron Man and The Dark Knight. However, this golden age hasn’t been all-inclusive. Both major comic companies have lagged in putting out female-led superhero movies. Sure, Wonder Woman was a huge success, leaving a lot of people looking forward to the sequel. Marvel Studios also promises us Captain Marvel soon, which is expected to keep up the production company’s winning streak. However, there’s still a lot of ground to explore if we want to get serious about all-female superhero movies. Here are some female teams that both companies could use to give audiences more diverse viewing options.
Marvel: Gamora and Nebula
Soon we will live in a post-Avengers: Infinity War world. In all likelihood, it will end with Thanos either dead or somewhere in the far reaches of existence where he can do no harm. The development will probably mean a lot for his daughters, Gamora and Nebula, who spent most of their lives hating him. Doing a movie focusing on the two of them would be a wonderful opportunity to not only go deeper into their relationship as sisters (which Guardians of the Galaxy 2 began to explore with care), but to show more of the cosmic side of the MCU. There’s so much more to it than what we’ve seen so far. A spinoff with these two unique women would be the perfect opportunity give us more.
DC: Gotham City Sirens
Yeah, this is technically a supervillain movie and not a superhero movie. But this movie is actually in development right now, and it’s a good decision. Margot Robbie did an excellent job as Harley Quinn, and I’m excited to see her reprise her role. Moreover, even though Batman has appeared in three movies in the DCEU, we haven’t seen a whole lot of Gotham. Telling a story there through Harley, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman instead of through Batman is a wonderful way to grow the DCEU and make it feel more inhabited. It also gives us the opportunity to enjoy some of the Caped Crusader’s villains without making them the focus of a standalone Batman film. It opens up a lot of room for storytelling outside of the main superheroes’ narratives.
Marvel: Fearless Defenders
Hey, do you love Thor: Ragnarok? Of course you do! What about Marvel’s Netflix series? You know you love them, too! The Fearless Defenders would be a perfect opportunity to capitalize on the success of the two by giving Valkyrie and Misty Knight their own team on the big screen. Both characters had great debuts in the MCU, but we really haven’t seen enough of them yet. The characters would certainly have good chemistry, which could be rounded out by strong castings for Danielle Moonstar and Warrior Woman. Moreover, it would merge the movies and shows of the MCU in a way that unfortunately hasn’t happened yet.
DC: Birds of Prey
This seems like a pretty obvious place to go, though with the Batgirl movie in limbo, it might not be such a foregone conclusion. In any case, seeing Barbara Gordon in a movie not directed by Joel Schumacher is something fans have wanted for a while. Whether she operates as Batgirl or Oracle, her friendship and working relationship with Black Canary can provide a lot of material (not to mention opening up the door for the Green Arrow side of the DCEU). Throw in Huntress for a tense dynamic, and you have a movie I’ll go see opening weekend. Then again, I’d go see all of these movies opening weekend.
Marvel: All-Female X-Men (or X-Women, rather)
Even though the X-Men usually has both men and women on the team, 2013 saw an all-female version of the squad. The team featured Storm, Rogue, Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey, and Psylocke. Most of these characters have had their feature debut, so audiences would already have a reference point. Moreover, Marvel Studios finally has the rights to X-Men and wants to fold them into the MCU in the long-term. It’s a perfect opportunity to start fresh. The cumbersome X-Men universe Fox created need not burden Marvel Studios. Despite the many high points of the franchise, audiences are likely ready for a clean reboot.
DC: Justice League of Amazons
You probably saw a little movie last summer called Wonder Woman. It made a good amount of money and is the most well-received movie in the DCEU. Naturally, Warner Bros. and DC Comics want to capitalize on the movie’s success. The Justice League of Amazons features Wonder Woman leading an all-female team. Furthermore, it’s a fantastic opportunity to expand the universe by introducing other cool female characters. Supergirl, Zatanna (I’m still hoping for that Justice League Dark movie), and Big Barda would all be great additions to the larger DCEU, giving the franchise a lot of possibilities for where to go next.
Both companies have a lot of places to go. The teams I listed are just scratching the surface, and that’s to say nothing of potential solo movies. With such great properties to explore, it’s hard to determine who is in a better position to give us some great all-female superhero movies. While I’m personally more excited about the DC properties, the DCEU is still struggling to gain traction (this coming from someone who is willing to die on the hill for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). On the one hand, this means that there’s still a lot of potential. The right movie could help the franchise actualize. On the other hand, the MCU is well-established, and Marvel Studios is deservedly confident in their movie-making process. At the end of the day, that probably counts for more.