Captain Marvel Breaks the Curse Against Female Superheroes


Melanie Kibler

On March 8th Captain Marvel was released, bringing the first Marvel movie with a female as the main superhero to the big screen.  This is obviously a big deal for many reasons, but the most important one is that it finally killed the curse of the female superheroes.

Sure, Wonder Woman definitely helped push female superheroes onto the big screen, but Captain Marvel’s success ensures that we will see more movies revolving around women superheroes.


Why The Aversion to Female Superheros?

Even with all the popularity of female main characters in other genres of movies Hollywood seems to have an aversion to focusing on women in superhero movies.  This is mainly because these movies have been male focused for so long that producers are scared to change the way it’s always been.

When BBC investigated this problem they interviewed a film critic named MaryAnn Johanson, “The reason we’ve had so few movies about female superheroes is the same reason we get so few movies about women at all,” says Johanson. “Hollywood has decided that it is going to cater to the tastes of adolescent boys and young men, and it doesn’t believe that that audience wants to see a movie about a female superhero (or any female protagonist).”

For some reason the people in Hollywood seem to be under the impression that the only ones who would go and see a movie about comic book characters are men.  This is obviously untrue, because there are many women who love superheroes just as much.

Another reason that Hollywood doesn’t want to give female superheros a go is because there have been movies that have flopped before.  33 years ago Supergirl tanked by only reaching $14 million, then in 2004 Catwoman would only reach $40 million, and the trend continued a year later with Elektra reaching a measly $24 million.

Even though these movies bombed in the box office, they were also just terrible movies.  None of them reached higher than 10% on Rotten Tomatoes. Of course, critics like to say that the reason it is bad is because of the female main characters, but for some reason they don’t blame the failure of other superhero movies on the fact that the main characters are men.  


Internet Trolls Beaten by Captain Marvel’s Success

Many people were appalled by the fact that there would be a woman superhero coming to theatres, so they took it upon themselves to try and stop its success.  They went on Rotten Tomatoes and wrote horrible reviews, even though they had never seen the movie.

This isn’t the first time that this type of trolling has occurred.  This happened when Black Panther came out, as well.  People seem to be get personally offended when Marvel tries to include more diverse main characters in their movies.  

Luckily, Rotten Tomatoes has said that it is changing its review feature so that users can’t post reviews before a movies opening.  This, along with Brie Larson’s answers to the sexist comments she has received, has greatly reduced the amount of affect the trolls had on the movie.  

And it was Captain Marvel who got the last laugh, because even with everyone trying to stop the movie’s success, it still made $100 million the opening weekend.

Captain Marvel Ensures More Female Centered Superhero Movies

Even though Wonder Woman opened the door to female superhero movies it is Captain Marvel that really ensures their survival.  Just look at the box office earnings: the movie is estimated to rack up more than $600 million by the end of Friday.  Few people will be able to say this movie wasn’t successful.

It isn’t just the movie alone but also Captain Marvel’s main character, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), who helped in this movie’s success.  Danvers is a different type of superhero than that of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), and not just in her powers.  Both of these women are extremely powerful, but it is Danvers who really relates to the average woman.

She isn’t this woman who is perfect in every way possible, she makes mistakes and is defeated over and over again.  What really makes her super is the fact that each time she is knocked down she gets back up no matter what.

This is the role model that women want to represent them in the superhero industry.  Someone who seems like she could be any one of us, and not like it’s too far away to ever achieve.

Also, the movie does an amazing job with the costuming.  It’s rare to see a female superhero who isn’t in a costume that is centered around female sexulaity.  Throughout the movie Danvers is the definition of a tomboy, and even when she is in her uniform it is relatively gender neutral.


Whatever the future holds for female superhero movies, one can be sure we will be seeing many more to come.