Recently, a Daily Dot contributor, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, published an article decrying the seeming failure of Marvel's Ant-Man. Gavia, using her infinite wisdom and knowledge of the Marvel and our universes no doubt, says it's a failure because Evangeline Lilly's character, Hope Van Dyne, wasn't the hero of the film.
As far as I know, we both saw the same movie over the weekend. But we've reached startlingly different conclusions.
Miss Gavia Hyphenated is jumping on the 'Marvel's Misogynistic Master Plan' bandwagon. The dogma espoused in this recent line of discourse says that Marvel movies, while featuring strong female characters in strong roles, just aren't good enough to further the progress of human civilization. Have you even read the books? We're just getting started here, people. There are easily thousands more stories to tell. I'm pretty sure they're going to get around to telling a female-based story (Heard of Captain Marvel? NO? Google it.).
Hope Van Dyne isn't Ant-Man. The story is Ant-Man. The hero is Ant-Man. Scott Lang and Hank Pym are Ant-Man. It's a Marvel movie, it's based on characters THAT ALREADY EXIST. Fans and movie goers want to see those characters come to life. If you want Hope Van Dyne to be the hero, then grab your laptop and pound out a screen-play and make her the hero OF HER OWN FILM. This movie is about the origins of ANT-MAN, as seen in the comics for say, 40 some years. Oh, and by the way, HE'S A GUY.
Not only that, but the film-makers address this head-on in the film. In a scene that surprises no father of a daughter; Hank Pym doesn't want to put his ONLY CHILD in danger. Scott Lang is expendable. Hope is not. And anyway, if you've seen the film, you know that there was a possible back-up plan. My dear Daily Dot writer, if you had kids, you'd understand.
Making Hope Van Dyne Ant Man/Woman/Person/Wasp makes as much sense as making Hermoine Granger the main character because she's smarter, more powerful and better prepared than Harry Potter. It would be akin to making a film where Peter Parker INVENTS a serum to give himself spider-powers. Or worse yet making him BORN with his powers like a mutant. This is the same stupid Hollywood-logic that put nipples on a Batsuit, made Peter Parker's parents super-spies and the upcoming Human Torch a black guy. There are PLENTY, PLENTY of stories Marvel/Fox/Sony can tell WITH characters like that that already exist.
If you need to put nipples on a leather/rubber suit, shoot a porn movie. If you need to make two normal parents who are in ZERO panels of a character's original story, the MAIN cause of your hero's powers because the rest of your story is weak and trope-ish, make up your own character and bring him to the screen. If you think you need a black man in your movie, make a damn Black Panther, Luke Cage, or War Machine movie. Oh wait, FOX can't because they don't own the rights. I'm sure they caught wind that Sam Wilson (The Falcon) was going to be in Avengers: Age of Ultron and I have no doubt that the execs told Josh Trank to make sure one of the Fantastic Four is black.
It's a plea heard for decades from the fan-boy camp and is beginning to be a call from all edges of a society that thinks taking the Confederate flag off a car from a TV series that was on 30 years ago will solve the nation's racial divide;
Don't INSERT plot/character twists that change the FUNDAMENTAL PREMISE ON WHICH THE STORIES WERE BUILT, just to satisfy a knee-jerk PC agenda or audience research or a perceived lack of strong female role models.
Now don't get me wrong, Marvel has messed with virtually every origin story/back-story in some way. We expect that, it's Hollywood. They're afraid of superhero films and characters. But Kevin Feige, Joe Johnston, Kenneth Branagh, The Russo Brothers, Joss Whedon, and now Peyton Reed have shown us that they can keep the super-fans happy while bringing in a whole new audience that had no idea how much they really liked hero films.
In the end, Hope comes out as the strong, intelligent, driven persona that was trail-blazed by her mother's character for so long in the comic-world. In fact, Evangeline addresses this whole issue in the video below.
If you don't think Marvel is living up their reputation for bombastic, powerful, intelligent female role-models in the movies or TV, as Peggy Carter, Jessica Jones, Melinda May, Bobbie Morse or Carol Danvers would say; "You haven't been paying attention, sweetheart."