Superhero movies are one franchise that just keeps getting bigger and bigger each year. For the last decade they have given fans smashing action-fests to delve into. #WarnerBros, #Disney, #Marvel, #Fox and many others have all jammed production budgets with cash to create the superhero must-see-movie of the year, and the majority are based on comic book franchises. The franchise is not even limited to the silver screen, as many other formats have also become popular, including television series and online streaming sites. However, there is a dark cloud looming over this topic, and that is how it is dominated by the male characters.
Marvel and #DC have both given very little focus on their female characters. While Marvel did attempt an Elektra movie, it failed massively and seemed to be the reason behind the reluctance to try more female superhero movies. #DCExtendedUniverse's #WonderWoman set to be the first large box office female superhero movie, and #GothemCitySirens is also in the works from DC. Marvel will also be giving #CaptainMarvel her own solo film in a couple of years. However, considering the length of time we have been getting films in the #XMen franchise, #MarvelCinematicUniverse and DC-based films, it is pretty shameful we can say there is a total of three female-focused films in the last 20 years.
However, hope is increasing, as the few females that have appeared have allowed both #JessicaJones and #Supergirl to succeed in reaching audiences with their own solo series. Additionally, White Canary has taken command of the Legends on #LegendsofTomorrow and fans are still crying out for Marvel's #BlackWidow to be given her own solo film. With the girl power on the rise, let us take a look at 10 female comic book characters that could truly hold their own in their own in a blockbuster movie.
10. Power Girl
Power Girl falls more into the unknown category when it comes to female superheroes. While it was not Power Girl, her design was the inspiration behind the character Galatea from the animated series Justice League Unlimited. She also appeared in the animated movie Superman/Batman: Public Enemies as part of a superhero team employed by President Lex Luthor. But, she has never really been given the spotlight like other female characters. It has been reported she could be set to appear in #TheFlash, but no word has even been hinted at to casting for the character.
For those unaware, she is the cousin of #Superman, hailing from an alternate universe. She can basically do anything he can. If the DC Extended Universe creators were brave enough, they could make a movie on her based in her home reality. The story could focus around her facing a villain, but at the end being sucked into the Extended Universe's reality. From there, she could appear in other character's movies, most likely Superman and Wonder Woman sequels. This would enable both creativity behind the plot while respecting canon that the character comes from an alternate reality.
Hit-Girl was a highly popular character in the Kick-Ass movies, and she is an extreme character for a female comic book character. While there are clear powerhouses in the female category, there are very few with the sheer bloodlust for a fight like Hit-Girl. Thankfully, X23 is set to arrive in the upcoming #Logan film, and as seen from the trailer she is one vicious little fighter. Let's admit it: Hit-Girl kind of fits that same criteria. What is exciting about female characters like these is the pure savagery of their fighting technique.
Kick-Ass 2 left off with Mindy taking off and leaving her crime-fighting partner behind. This opens up her story completely for an original movie — perhaps following her as she learns what it is to be truly alone, away from all her contacts from her past life. This could allow for a pretty dark movie, which would work given the character's personality and fighting style. However, it would probably require a side-hero to join her to add the comedy we have come to expect from the franchise. This character could also be the catalyst that gets Hit-Girl out of her current funk and become a true superhero.
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#Mystique is a highly popular character, both in the comics and in the X-Men movie franchise. However, the character has a pretty complex backstory all of her own. She has personal connections to many other comic book characters, some known better than others. While many know she is Nightcrawler's biological mother and Rogue is her adopted daughter, she was originally a nemesis for Captain Marvel, when she went by the alias #MsMarvel.
While a connection to Captain Marvel would be out of the question, due to licensing agreements between Marvel and Fox, there is plenty for them to use from her comic book past to create something truly unique with Mystique. Her actual age has never been revealed and some areas of her past are still a complete mystery. This would give any creative team the ingredients to create an original story, but draw on aspects of her comic book source. One nice touch would be for her to be with her partner Destiny and for Destiny's mutant ability of future visions to be what drives the plot along.
7. Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel, a.k.a. Kamala Khan, is relatively new as far as comic book character go. However, she made a hell of a smash for audiences when she debuted back in 2013. She is the first high profile superhero that was American Muslim and was praised by many critics around the world for her portrayal. While she is using the name Ms. Marvel, her powers and origins are different from the original Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel. Rather than gaining her powers through the Kree (like Captain Marvel), Kamala is in fact an Inhuman. When her powers awoke she became a shape shifter and gained a healing factor.
She only took the name Ms. Marvel as she admires Captain Marvel. We know Marvel is itching to do something with the Inhumans and Captain Marvel is only around the corner. Perhaps it would be perfect for Kamala to make her debut after #AvengersInfinityWar. The movie could have the Inhumans on a mission to bring Kamala over to their side, but her admiration to live up to Captain Marvel's legacy holds her back. Given the character's age, she would also have a good chance at appealing to younger female audiences, who tend to not have as strong a figure to look up to as boys do when it comes to superhero franchises.
#Storm is a character that does not need much of an introduction, given her high profile in the X-Men movies and animated shows. She is a true goddess of lighting and fans got introduced to a new origin story for the character during #XMenApocalypse. This origin was not well received by many fans, however the main reason for her origin alteration was due to her true origin involving T'Challa, the #BlackPanther. With this now done, it is time for some repair work to begin.
Storm is a character with many options for an electrifying movie. One really good option would be a focus on her relationship with the evil Shadow King. Storm has many comic book run-ins with the entity, the primary reason being that the Shadow King understands the true potential behind Storm's powers and wishes to inhabit her body to wreak havoc on the world. Storm is also one of the X-Men to have a strong bond with Charles Xavier. So, much like with Logan, they could have him act as a supporting character for her in the movie.
#DoctorStrange was a big hit last year, and DC does have a pool of magic wielders to select from for their own mystical-based superhero movie. While Doctor Fate may seem like a more logical choice to rival Doctor Strange in the box office, #Zatanna would be a stronger character for them to use. Her magic is used in both fantastic displays but can also be very showy in style. This would give them a chance to not only wow viewers with spectacular imagery, but also wow with a little razzle dazzle.
What would be cool is for them to use a foe such as Felix Faust and have the plot revolve around magic used in ancient Egypt or Greece. If they used Greece, they could also have an opportunity to pull on the Wonder Woman's links to the Extended Universe. Perhaps not use Wonder Woman herself, but instead to use her mother, Queen Hippolyta. This would also allow them to bring in Hades as a behind-the-scenes enemy ready to use in a Wonder Woman sequel.
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4. Black Widow
As mentioned earlier, Black Widow is a character fans are still screaming out to receive her own movie. The part of this that could be really interesting is the creators using her as a chance to focus more on a spy-centered superhero film. Jessica Jones opened up the avenue to superhero franchises using elements from unexpected areas, as it was a superhero detective series. With a good writer they could link elements from several Marvel Cinematic Universe films to reveal a conspiracy or underhanded plot that was set in motion years ago.
To strengthen the movie (and previous moments from other films), they would do well to have Hawkeye act as a supporting character for her. What would be the black cherry on top would be for them to use Yelena Belova, the second Black Widow, as the antagonist for the film. While the comic book counterpart has more heroic ties than evil, this wouldn't mean she couldn't be on the dark side in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Black Widows would literally have a battle of wits, stealth and combat in a film that could be like nothing seen from the Marvel films to date.
She may be green, but unlike her cousin, she ain't as mean. Unlike the #Hulk, #SheHulk retains complete control of her emotions and is not driven by rage as easily. What makes her interesting is the fact she is a lawyer in her personal life. This grants access to a film featuring court cases based on super-antics around New York. She also has had many interesting connections throughout her decades in comic print.
One area they could look at using with She-Hulk is Netflix's upcoming Defenders. She has had links with this group in the past and could be how Marvel bring the characters of #Daredevil, Jessica Jone, #LukeCage and #IronFist to the Cinematic Universe. Another option could be having her as an #AgentsofSHEILD, which would make sense as the organization is fearful of Hulks and she could be on a mission to show them that they are not a threat.
Everyone pretty much knows #Batgirl, but sometimes you can not help but feel she is the last resort when it comes to a #Batman ally to use in the media. It is a shame as the character herself has many virtues that could lend themselves nicely to a solo film. The sad part is her portrayal in #TheKillingJoke fell flat for many due to the original content created for the film. However, this should not deter them from trying other option for the character.
Perhaps the most appealing option for them to use is her donning her cowl for the first time. After Batman has his own solo film, featuring #BenAffleck, they could have a young Barbara Gordon be inspired to become Batgirl. The movie could literally be Batgirl tracking some underground crime organization and trying to keep one step ahead of Batman so he can not discover her identity. Come the finale, she needs Batman's help and he upgrades her to his style and forms a partnership with the young heroine. This way they can bring her into the Extended Universe in a pretty cool way. Rather than her being added via a Batman movie, he recruits her through her own.
1. Spider Gwen
#SpiderGwen is every #SpiderMan fan's dream come true. Being the one to be bitten by the radioactive spider in an alternate universe, Gwen Stacy becomes the heroine #SpiderWoman. She has in the comics had run-ins with many variations of Spider-Heroes, including: Spider-Man, Spider-Girl, Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Ham. With #SpiderManHomecoming set for release this year, Marvel could be brave and create a second web-slinger using Gwen Stacy.
What would be better is for her to be established within a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming and then to have her own solo film later. An ideal foe for her to face would be Kraven the Hunter, but using the Ana Kravinoff version (the daughter of Sergel, the more commonly known Kraven). She could simply be after revenge as Gwen's father was the one to put her father in jail.
What would be more exciting is a Spiderverse-based film. If Marvel establish both Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen in the Cinematic Universe, they could lead the pair to a film featuring the Spider-Heroes from the Marvel Multiverse. To really entice fans they could even include Jessica Drew's Spider-Woman, Julia Carpenter's Arachne, Miles Morales's Ultimate Spider-Man and have Madame Web holding the entire plot together.
It's Time For Female Heroes To Rise Up
With the female superhero market picking up more now, it is safe to assume over the next 10 years there will be an increase in the use of female characters. While it has been a slow start for the ladies, audiences are showing they want more diversity in what they are already being offered. In the last couple of years alone, female-centered media in the superhero genre has spiked.
While some do stick to the idea of a strong male being needed more than a female to help a film succeed, viewing figures and sales profits suggest otherwise. #HarleyQuinn branded merchandise alone has created hundreds of thousands in revenue in the last six months. This will also most likely be the case once Wonder Woman is released and more merchandise and branding is used to help promote the film. This is essentially what it comes down to, and producers love it when the money hits the bank. It wouldn't be a huge surprise if we here of more ladies gaining their own titles sooner rather than later. So, strap into your seats on the invisible jet and prepare for a new era in the superhero genre.