Ever since the release of Marvel’s Iron Man in 2008, we’ve been in what could arguably called the golden age of superhero movies. Although superhero films, particularly in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, are generally well-received by fans and critics alike, many fans have noticed the absence of diversity in leading superhero roles. In modern blockbuster superhero films, there has yet to be a lead character who is non-white and non-male. Fans are itching for that to change.
DC’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice took a big step towards more diversity in superhero films. Although the titular characters were men, the film also introduced the first big screen adaptation of the iconic Wonder Woman. DC is gearing up for a solo Wonder Woman film as part of their broader cinematic universe, and that 2017 release will mark the first time a woman has been the star of a superhero blockbuster.
Where’s Marvel in all of this, though? They will also be taking a big step for diversity with the solo Black Panther film in 2018, and there will be a female co-lead later that year in Ant-Man and the Wasp, but it won’t be until 2019’s Captain Marvel that a woman will be the central starring character in a Marvel film. And yet, a popular female superhero has been in the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since 2010’s Iron Man 2. I’m speaking, of course, about Black Widow, who has since gone on to appear in four other Marvel films.
Considering Black Widow has been around for six years now, fans can’t help but ask: where is the Black Widow movie? Is Marvel listening to what the fans want to see?
Thankfully, Marvel does appear to be listening. Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege recently revealed that Marvel is committed to doing a Black Widow solo film at some point, though his comments suggest that it may not be until after 2019’s Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2. If Marvel does produce a Black Widow film, then that would be a great step for the character. It would bring her more into the overall storyline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially since we know every other Marvel character’s backstory but very little about hers. It could also allow us to see more fan-favorite interaction between Black Widow and Hawkeye, as well as explore the origins of their friendship.
Black Widow’s backstory is vital not just to the story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also to girls and women everywhere. The impact of seeing someone like yourself, who you can more clearly relate to, on the big screen cannot be overstated, especially when a character like Black Widow had to endure so many hardships as an enemy spy before emerging as a hero and an Avenger. And we know without a doubt now that audiences will not only accept but also love a great female hero at the center of an action movie. Look no further than Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Although Marvel does seem committed to making this film now, it should not have taken the Marvel Cinematic Universe over a dozen films (over 20 by the time of Infinity War!) to release a film with a female lead. We have Marvel’s Captain Marvel and DC’s Wonder Woman to look forward to, but it’s time that Marvel also gave their most prominent female action hero her due as well.