Recent years have introduced more women in the realm of superhero and comic book movies. The past few years have given us some terrific new takes on popular female characters, from Wonder Woman to Harley Quinn. We’ve also had the pleasure of seeing an increase in female representation in general, with female directors and all-female main casts.
Women In Comics And Film
Getting women into key media roles has always been an uphill battle. Only recently have we seen any female movies where women are the main characters and fully fleshed out ones at that. Movies where ladies have their own identity away from male characters and where they support each other and have real representative friendships.
Birds Of Prey is an excellent example of comic book movies giving a more accurate portrayal of female relationships. Women who get messy, complement each other on their skills and kick bad-guy butt. It is one of the only comic book movies that is taking a historic female character from our childhoods and making it for full-grown women.
Countless male characters from our youth have made their way to the silver screen, each with its own fully-fledged arc and relationships. There have been eight Batman movies and five Superman movies and 43 Marvel movies, only two of which have a female in the title and as the lead. The number of female-led superhero movies is really low when all of the numbers are taken into account.
It is really depressing to think about how many girls who loved original comic book stories, old animes, like Sailor Moon, and fun TV shows, like Kim Possible and Totally Spies, have been disappointed by decades of no content fit for actual adult women. Even worse, many of our beloved female characters. like Supergirl, existed as a result of a male character.
Here Is A List Of Female Characters Who Deserve A Proper Silver Screen Debut:
Raven is a member of a superhero team known as the Teen Titans. They’ve been a staple of comic books for years. They even had an extremely popular show on Cartoon Network, which for reasons that remain unfathomable was canceled. It was that TV show that brought Raven and the Teen Titans mainstream popularity. She was an amazing character and has a cult following to this day.
Storm is undoubtedly one of the most powerful X-Men. Her powers are off the charts. Her comics are super interesting and she was at one time worshipped as a literal goddess and was the bonafide queen of Wakanda. Her story from a street kid to a queen and superhero is inspiring.
We all fell in love with Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender. She was fierce, beautiful, and powerful. Her love story with Aang was iconic and gave us all the feels. We know from The Legend of Korra that she and Aang later got married and had kids, but a lot is left as a mystery. A story featuring Katara-centric on a journey from a young woman to a mother would be worth seeing.
Hawkgirl or Hawkwoman depending on your comic arc is a flagship character from The Justice Society of America and The Justice League. A native of the planet Thanagar, Hawkgirl is a fierce warrior and even though more than a few of her comic book appearances are with Hawkman, she is a fully-fledged character in her own right. Despite the appearance of Hawkgirl and Hawkman in the TV series Legends of Tomorrow, what would be great to see is an accurate representation of her from her comic appearances. There have, of course, been other representations of Hawkgirl on TV, like the Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited, they’ve retained popularity over the years and even an adaptation of them would be welcome.
Rogue is another X-Men character and like Storm, she is a total powerhouse. Her arc from the comics is witty, fun, and action-packed. She, like the rest of the X-Men, deserved better than their recent movies have portrayed them. It would be fantastic to have a woman as cool as Rogue finally gets her due.
Logan, the Wolverine-centric movie from 2017, actually gave us a glimpse of X-23. Laura starts out as Logan’s clone and later ends up taking the mantle of Wolverine. Her full arc is just as captivating as Wolverines.
Fangirl is a book by Rainbow Rowell. It focuses on the everyday life of a fangirl named Cath. Fangirls are a key part of the nerd base and a story that reflects what fangirl life is like would be so satisfying. Fangirl is a touching story and is not only worth the read, but would be worth seeing.
The Future Of Female Leads
Each of these characters is exactly what women who love comics and superheroes want, developed characters whose stories reflect how real women actually behave. Wonder Woman gave us the first superhero movie we were looking for and Birds of Prey provided us with the interpersonal female partnerships we were looking for. However, those movies should just be the beginning, men have had decades of their childhood heroes coming to life in the movies, and now it’s time for women to make their mark on cinematic history. That means more female leads, and more females telling the stories as directors, scriptwriters, and producers.
My belief is that if movies about female characters, who look and behave like real women, will be wildly popular. That myth that we’ve all been told about how such and such types of movies don’t sell is tired. People know better now, we’ve been told for years that movies with LGBTQ centered characters won’t sell, that movies with an all minority cast won’t sell, that actual historical representations of events won’t sell and it has all been proven false. Bohemian Rhapsody, Black Panther, and 12 Years a Slave proved all of those archetypes wrong.
So yes, I want to see more movies that display the women I saw in my favorite childhood TV shows, comics, and books on the silver screen in their full glory. Women have been a fan of comics and superheroes for as long as comics and movies have been around and it is time we got to see more of what we love about the genre in the movies too.
I’m a polymath, writer, and an all-around nerd. If it involves gaming, anime/manga, or comics I probably have an opinion on it. I love spending time with my dog, Jester, and reading anything that sparks my fancy.