The First Marvel Movie to Star a Female Lead

Photo courtesy of Captain Marvel is depicted with her powers, ready to go into battle.

Rhea Premanand , Staff Writer

Throughout their lives, Marvel fans can admit that they have never once seen a Marvel movie with a female protagonist, until now. On March 8, 2019, Marvel will release their first movie starring a female lead, Captain Marvel. Though Captain Marvel appeared in Marvel comics since 1967, a mere four years after the first Iron Man comic, she has never been mentioned in a single Marvel movie. Why exactly is that?

Time after time, Marvel never released a movie starring a female lead. This problem is not particular to just Marvel, but rather the entire movie business. In 2017, Hollywood films with female protagonists comprised only 24 percent of all films made that year. Though this problem is generalized to the entire Hollywood enterprise, Marvel did have many other opportunities to publish films with female leads as they have many comics portraying female superheroes.

Around a month ago, the highly anticipated trailer for “Captain Marvel” was published and has received over 43 million views on YouTube. Though the trailer itself is relatively short, it is bound to keep fans at the edge of their seats. Throughout it, there are many moments that viewers cannot seem to get enough of, and many have gone as far as to tweet anything and everything they are hoping for from this movie.

The film is set in the 1990s and introduces the audience to Carol Danvers, an alias for Captain Marvel, who becomes caught in the middle of an intergalactic alien war. This teaser does not really provide any additional information besides this, but the upcoming film is bound to be promising. However, it is facing some fierce contenders in the competition for “best superhero movie”.

The highly regarded movie, “Black Panther”, which came out earlier this year, had a box office of $1.34 billion. How will “Captain Marvel” rate against it? As the film plans to feature female lead, it is bound to draw in a large amount of crowd. However, “Black Panther” in itself was revolutionary, because it featured a man of color as the lead and had several strong-willed females as supporting characters. In terms of its rating in comparison to “Captain Marvel”, “Black Panther” may have outranked it.

Although “Captain Marvel” is the first movie produced by Marvel featuring a female lead, in 2017, “Wonder Woman” was released by DC Comics. It essentially made history because it was a film starring a female superhero, the first of its kind. This movie received a lot of appraisal from critics and fans and was overall an extremely successful film. However, because “Captain Marvel” is not the first ever created movie with a lead female superhero, many fans are wondering how it will compare to “Wonder Woman”.

As “Wonder Woman” grossed about $821.8 million in their box office, there are many questions regarding the success of the upcoming “Captain Marvel” movie. On one hand, Marvel movies in general tend to do better than their DC Comics counterparts. For example, though DC Comics’ “Justice League” and Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” were released around the same time last year, “Thor: Ragnarok” grossed around $196 million more than its DC Comics counterpart.

While it is understandable to automatically assume that “Captain Marvel” will beat “Wonder Woman” in its box office sales, no one really knows what to expect from the movie until it airs in early 2019. This leaves us wondering, what the reaction will be to “Captain Marvel” when it comes out. More importantly, the impact this movie will have on future Marvel movies starring female leads.