Female Superheroes; My Reaction to the Captain Marvel Trolls.

I am a Marvel Geek and proud

I have always had an interest in superheroes. Being an only child in a small, dreary town and being told that ‘you are not normal’ made me feel invisible. Therefore I retreated into the world of fantasy to feed my imagination; as the real world was not nice at all. I remember watching Spiderman and his Amazing Friends on many a Saturday morning and wishing I had superpowers like my favourite character ‘Firestar’.

Programs like this and X-men gave me hope and inspiration; they were often misunderstood and shunned by the rest of the world, keeping their ‘real’ identity a secret. Throughout my teens and early twenties, my intelligence and capabilities where often overshadowed due to my gender and my ‘odd’ personality; I was not allowed to play rugby, I was forced to wear a skirt at school even though it felt alien to me and my opinion was often over-looked because I was ‘Just a girl’.

These may seem like ‘first world problems’ and I am well aware that there is much deeper suffering in the world going on now, however, these left me believing that I was second best. I once told a theatre director I worked with that I wanted to be the ‘female version of Alan Rickman’ and he laughed saying ‘you have the talent to be that, however you are not a man and therefore it will not happen.’ I learnt then that the term ‘mans world’ still applied despite decades of people fighting for equality.

Captain Marvel and International Women’s Day

It is no coincidence that Captain Marvel was released on March 8th which was International Women’s day. Hailed as one of the most powerful Avengers in the Marvel universe, Captain Marvel marked Marvel history as the first of their films to feature a female lead.* After over ten years of Marvel films, now we get a female lead, that was a bit slow off the mark and something DC beat them to with their own female lead ‘Wonder Woman’.

Plans for a ‘Black Widow’ stand-alone film had been in the pipeline for years and thankfully the film never materialised. I say thankfully only because Scarlett Johannsson’s Natasha Romanoff was introduced as a side character to ‘larger’ heroes like Captain America, Iron Man and Hulk and I believe, no matter how good the film would be, people would not get on board in the way they can with Captain Marvel.

Who is Captain Marvel?

Carol Danvers AKA Ms Marvel and subsequently Captain Marvel appeared in the Marvel universe in 1968. An air force officer who is caught up in an alien Kree device exploding, which gives her superpowers.

Danvers, as Ms Marvel appeared in her own comic in 1977. Her name is a nod to the feminist magazine Ms. Stan Lee said of her creation:

It bothered me for years that we didn’t have one particular superheroine. Sure, we had Red Sonja, but I wanted a female superstar who would exist in the present, the real world. I kicked the idea around with Roy Thomas. We came up with the name Ms. Marvel, for two reasons: One, I wanted to use the word Marvel if possible simply because it’s the name of our gregarious group of titles; and, two, it seemed the word “Ms.” totally represented the new, liberated, upbeat spirit that we wanted the strip to represent.

The trolls are back again

Captain Marvel hit the headlines way before its theatrical release with many people attacking Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers even when the trailers dropped.

While some Marvel fans were excited to see Carol Danvers fly plans and sport a Mohawk, others were quick to attack Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel on account of her serious demeanour.

The smile meme

Brie Larson came under the scrutiny for not smiling throughout the trailer of Captain Marvel. Trolls quickly flocked to Photoshop to alter the images from the trailer to add a smile.
This moment resonated with me as I have been told to smile many a time by random men, usually in a very creepy way. I would never dream of going up to a man and saying ‘smile love’, neither would I say it to a fellow female. People are allowed to feel exactly however they want to feel and if Captain Marvel wants to look serious, who are we to say different.

Brie Larson’s response to this was epic. Instead of reacting in anger or complaining about the trolls she used Photoshop to point out their own hypocrisy. She took posters from Captain America, Iron Man and Dr Strange and put smiles on their serious faces; the results are hilarious. It has also helped generate more hype and publicity surrounding the film which slays the trolls. My opinion of this relatively new actress has gone through the roof.

Negative reviews

In an attempt to stop the film’s success before it even hit the cinemas, trolls took to Rotten Tomatoes to publish negative reviews. Bear in mind they had not even seen the film themselves so had no right to judge the film. This tactic has happened before with films like The Last Jedi, which has a female lead and Black Panther with its nearly all-black cast. Do you see a pattern here?

It is sad that films that embrace the diversity of race and gender are being attacked like this, this may be due to fear and ignorance. Despite trolling, Black Panther was a huge success and I hope that Captain Marvel has the same impact. It is good that Rotten Tomatoes have removed many of the reviews and Marvel have managed to turn the negativity into publicity for Captain Marvel. I hope it is as successful as the likes of Captain America and Iron Man, it is a great film and is worthy of success.

My opinion of the film

For a girl that grew up in the 1990s, this film spoke to my heart. The soundtrack is a killer collection of classic 90’s tunes that define the era with an extremely generous helping of female artists from TLC to No Doubt. The pop culture references hit me in all the right places and wishing Blockbuster still existed so I could rent scary movies with my teen bestie or spend a Friday night debating with my husband about what films to get.
Nostalgia aside, the movie is a great introduction to the character and adds some much-needed history to characters like Nick Fury and Ronan the Accuser from Guardians of the Galaxy.

This film certainly celebrates women and Larson does a great job of showing just how tough and determined ‘one of the most powerful Avengers’ is. She does not let her male counterparts suppress her and is a beacon of hope to all women who feel like they might have been overshadowed. This is not my favourite Marvel film, however, it is a fantastic addition to the MCU and proof that a female-led superhero film can make a massive impact.

Have you seen the film? What is your opinion of the trolls slaying a film before they have even seen it? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Ciao for now beauties xx

*I am aware that female Marvel characters have been in movies before; Elektra produced by FOX studies is an example. However, when I refer to Danvers as the ‘first’ I mean the first in the MCU, Marvel Cinematic Universe.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Catherine says:

    What an insightful review! I can’t believe that Rotten Tomatoes thing! I did not know people were leaving such negative reviews before the release. Super interesting read.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.