The news of the 1980s classic She-Ra’s reboot for a television series in 2018, indicates a change in preference for female superheroes. With Wonder Woman’s success, studios are again coming around to back the idea of solo films and televised series with female superheroes in the lead. Captain Marvel is getting her solo film, with Brie Larson in the lead. While Supergirl has a successful television series to her name. Also, in the comics, Marvel Comics has passed the baton from Iron Man (to Iron Heart- Riri Williams) and Thor (to Dr. Jane Foster) franchise to women. It will be interesting to see how this change reflects in their movie universe.
So far, the superhero genre has only a handful of female protagonists, to begin with. We have Marvel’s Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Spider Gwen, Jean Grey, Storm, Elektra, etc, and DC’s Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl, Catwoman and Filmation animation’s She-Ra. Producers and creators of comic book fiction, need to bring more of such female superheroes to our big and small screens more than ever before.
Some of these characters like Catwoman and Elektra did get standalone films. But they bombed badly at the box office.
Probably this early scalding is the reason why studios have shied away from making superhero films with female characters. As a result, popular characters like Black Widow, Storm and Rogue have been reduced to supporting characters in film franchises like The Avengers and X-Men.
But all of these characters are either hand-me-downs from men, or are from the last century. What we need is a fresh lot of characters, where female superheroes are much more than just objectified sketches.
We want characters which will be more than just perverted geeks’ sexual fantasy, or sidekicks to popular superheroes. Characters of so much strength that production houses do not feel unsure while backing them up for a standalone venture.
2018 rides on the tide of feminism which rose last year. To make sure that this trend transcends into films and media, we the audience need to make demands. We should demand standalone films and series for female superheroes. However, they need to back this change with solid content. Else, the films will be panned by both the audience and the critics. The directors and studios have to make sure that they honour these powerful female characters. Moreover, the readers and audience should be loyal to them as they have been to the male superheroes.
Also Read :Wonder Woman Fans Can Look Forward To Sequel
Dr Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.