The first trailer for the Black Widow film dropped earlier this month. Considering that the character Black Widow has been a staple in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Iron Man 2 back in 2010 — almost a decade — her solo movie has been long overdue.
In fact, I was surprised that DC took the plunge in creating a solo female superhero film before the behemoth Marvel corporation.
(Or perhaps not. Black Widow has been routinely left out of merchandising opportunities, which baffled me more than anything. Imagine just how much richer the Marvel tycoons could have been had they advertised to girls and women just as much as they advertised to men. But, I digress.)
Growing Up With Heroes
I grew up with an uncle who had no problem introducing me to the likes of Batman and comic superheroes. While we focused more on the Dark Knight himself and the X-Men from Marvel, Wonder Woman was there in the background. I really got a sense of her when I had started watching the Justice League cartoon. Even back then, I was able to recognize that she and Hawkgirl in that series were there to help fill in for diversity representation, much like how the black John Stewart was the chosen Green Lantern character. Don’t get me wrong, the representation was fantastic and a smart move during that time, something that may have happened without all the extra thought that comes with adding diversity into casts nowadays.
Superhero movies are pretty much the norm now in theaters, and I remember being excited when I first heard about the giant plan to bring the Avengers together in an epic series of movies. Yet, while the movies that I saw were excellent, at that point I got a bit burned out with the series. I saw the first two Iron Man movies, Captain America, Thor, the Guardians of the Galaxy and… I think that’s it for the Marvel movies, in all honesty.
Despite my superhero burnout, I was really excited the more I heard about the Wonder Woman movie when it was getting closer to the release date. Wonder Woman as a movie was fantastic. I adored the story line, Diana herself, Steve Trevor, the supporting characters, the scenery, and the action sequences, especially the action sequences. Seeing the Amazons charge into battle to protect each other and their home made me tear up.
These women were the epitome of strength and it was about damn time we saw that on the big screen. I totally understand how the majority of men can seem so confident and ready to take on a thousand bad guys after seeing a superhero like you do the same.
Because, for the first time in my 27 years of life at that point, I felt the same way.
I felt the same way after seeing Diana Prince unabashedly go out in the world to protect what is dear to her, to simply do something to save the world and the innocent people in it. She exuded confidence and power, perhaps not fully understanding how the world worked, but knowing that she could do something to help.
Likewise, it wasn’t until Captain Marvel entered the MCU that I was interested in seeing those movies again in the theaters. I shelled out the twelve bucks or so to see it, being enraptured with this woman who gave no apologies as she flexed her superhero prowess and found wholesome friendships with the other characters on the screen. It was the same feeling that I had a couple of years prior when I saw Wonder Woman on the big screen.
It’s About Time
I saw Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel with my mother, and I can’t fathom her being able to see — or even being interested in — superhero movies with complex female characters. Honestly, I believe Mom was more interested in hearing me gush about the character nuances, but it was still special to be able to share these female characters who had deeper story lines than merely being a love interest to a male character.
It’s a special time to be able to share these female heroes, a female 00 agent in the upcoming James Bond movie, even Disney heroines who trail their own path while the male hero’s main plot line revolves around love. It’s about time we are able to see these archetypes.
With the Black Widow and the second Wonder Woman movie trailers out within a couple of days of each other, I’m excited again to see women, people like me, on the big screen and showing what they can do.
Parts of this article were originally written and published on KrisPoli.com, and were edited to fit this article.