Five Female Superheroes who Can Helm a Movie   9 comments

Other than Wonder Woman.

Marvel Comics has nine live action movies in the works by my count (between the combined universe, X-Men and Spider-Man franchises), DC has Man of Steel in the pipe line for next year, but nothing else officially in the works now that the current Batman series has finished up its run.  So far as I can tell none of these movies are set to feature female superheroes in a lead rolls.  That isn’t to say there won’t be any female heroes in the movies, but they are trending towards supporting members, like Black Widow in Avengers and Jean Gray in X-Men.  An argument can be made for Jean being a main character, but as I see it her biggest moment before the series got stupid was dying to save the real star after the bad guy was defeated.  Now that women are making up an ever increasing part of nerd culture it is the perfect time to embrace kick ass women superheros in the mainstream.  And really. women deserve better than the Elektra and Catwoman movies.

I’ve decided to leave Wonder Woman off this list because she is a bit too obvious.   Seriously, DC, just make that happen.  A Wonder Woman movie would be a slam dunk if you could get the right script.  Maybe see if you can convince Joss Whedon to take another stab at it.

Storm – Marvel

Storm is one of the most iconic members of the X-Men, and has been a star member of the team since her debut in 1975.  She was cast off as a side character in the X-Men trilogy, and I always got the sense that the writers didn’t know what to do with her.  With the power to control weather she is hands down one of the most powerful mutants around, but since it would have been a bit anti-climatic for her to have just lighting bolted Magneto in the first five minutes of the series (seriously that would have taken care of everything cleanly.  And its not like she had any moral opposition to it.) she never really gets her due.  An origin story could show her growing up as an orphan on the streets of Egypt where she ran afoul of the physic villain Shadow King and was later worshiped as a goddess before joining the X-Men.

Captain Marvel- Marvel

There is a long strange history surrounding the name Captain Marvel, as well as the current holder of the title, Carol Danvers (formerly known as  Ms. Marvel).  If you have a half hour you can learn all about it in video form here, here and here.  She was introduced by Marvel Comics as a female counter part to the original Captain Marvel, but proved to be a much more popular character, becoming a mainstay of The Avengers.  She has enhanced strength, speed and the ability to fly; and the alien origin of her powers could easily be woven into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Also it would fit right along with Marvel Comics giving her increasingly important roles in their stories, perhaps in an effort to make up for years of mistreating the character.  I would like to see a pre-powered Carol Danvers on the recently announced S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, leading into her a main character in Avengers 2.

Speedy – DC

I find the lives of sidekicks fascinating, and I think they deserve a little more time in the spotlight.  They are always stuck between their lives as heroes and their lives outside of the costume in ways that guys like Batman and Superman are not.  Mia Dearden took over sidekicking duty for the Green Arrow back in 2005, replacing the original Speedy.  Lame code name aside, Mia has a great back story.  She was a teen run away who ended up as a prostitute before being taken in by Green Arrow and training as his protege.  She is one of very few HIV positive comic book characters, making her life as a costumed adventure all the more complicated.

Spider-Woman – Marvel

Jessica Drew popped up back in 1977 as a member of HYDRA (the baddies from Captain America).  She was popular enough to land a cartoon series in 1979 and is currently a member of the Avengers.  She has spider powers similar to Spider-Man, but with the addition of corrosive venom blasts, gliding on wing like webbing and pheromones that she can use to subdue men.  The question would be who owns the right to make her movie.  Would she fall into the Spider-Man camp, and therefore belong to Sony who licensed the rights to his stories before Marvel started producing its own films? Or would she fall into the Avengers category, considering that she has been much more closely tied to them over the years?

Black Canary – DC

Rumors are popping up about the possible Justice League movie pretty much every day.  The current rumor is that DC plans to reboot all of its franchises (with the possible exception of Superman) with the release of the Justice League movie, then spin each character into their own series.  Sort of the reverse of Avengers.  I hope that DC uses this opportunity to avoid what I saw as Avengers’ biggest misstep, in that it seriously lacked strong women in the lime light.  This is DC’s chance to put Dinah Lance, the Black Canary in a leading role.  She is a martial arts expert and has the power to emit a high pitched scream referred to as the “Canary Call.”  In the comics she lead the Justice League for a time (that is until the continuity was rebooted in 2011) and was married to the increasingly popular Green Arrow (they split up).  She also founded and currently leads the Birds of Prey, a team of kick as female superheros.

Those are are the women who I want to see in on the big screen, how about you? Which other female heroes deserve a movie?


9 responses to “Five Female Superheroes who Can Helm a Movie

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Awesome! I would love to read a Sam-imagined plotline for a movie starring one of these kick-ass ladies.

  2. Can’t use Storm, Fox (or Sony?) owns the X-Men… since it’s SHIELD, Daisy Johnston (Quake) would make a lot of sense

    • Fox owns Storm, and it would be my expectation for them to make the movie in the same vain as the Wolverine Origin movie (just, you know, not crappy). I am not familiar with Quake, so I will look her up!

  3. They can’t use storm, Fox (I think) still owns the movie/TV rights to the X-men. Since it’s S.H.I.E.L.D., they could do Daisy Johnson (Quake).

    And what, no She-Hulk? A courtroom procedural with smashing!

  4. I tried writing this before but the computer crash so this is now the fourth time I’ve tried posting it. So forgive me if it sounds a bit rambling.

    1) Call me crazy but I never liked Storm. She had a cool backstory being a thief and pickpocket Cairo, being a weather goddess in an unnamed African country… but she didn’t have any specific antagonists. If Fox wanted to do an X-Men: Origins: Wolverine type story with her, there wouldn’t be any bad guy. There’s no Sabertooth or Weapon X Program to pit her against. Where I want to see Ororo is in the Black Panther movie that should be a spinoff from Avengers 2. You have it set Wakanda and you use her as a supporting character for T’Challa. After going to America, and joining the Avengers, there’s a political uprising back in Wakanda, and he has to battle for control of his country, and win back the hearts of his people. Storm could be there to help combat a Lion King like drought that obviously is linked to a an illegitimate ruler, And their courtship helps keep Black Panther focused on saving his country instead of abandoning it. After all, he is the servant of the Panther God and High Priest of the Panther Clan, and she was worshiped as a Goddess so really there’s nobody else who can truly empathize with him. It’s just a shame the characters got divorced a couple weeks ago… and also that the licensing means that movie would never get made.

    2) Captain Marvel/Ms. Marvel/ Binary/ Warbird/… fuck it… CAROL DANVERS is a cool character it’s too bad that her backstory is so fucking complicated, and tied up with the original Captain Marvel, and his death, which is too big a can of worms to pile onto a mainstream audience. A mainstream movie audience would never be able to follow along with her backstory, and there’s not an EASY way to cobble one together and make sense. I had five wikis and four years of following her character, and I can barely keep it straight. There IS a way to get the character to work, it just requires additions/ rewrites to a seemingly unrelated to film… According to the concept art, Guardians of the Galaxy is made up of Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Drax the Destroyer, and Gamora. If they add Quasar (Phyla-Vel) they can make it work. Phyla is the half-clone/ daughter of the original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vel. She can not only introduce the concept of the Kree, but share with Star-Lord the legend of their hero Mar-Vel. Star-Lord is being described as “a U.S. Pilot” in the one line synopsis being put out by Marvel, so it would make sense if he happened to tell Air Force test pilot Carol Danvers about all this backstory (offscreen) when she suddenly develops superpowers that he’s seen before. And SHE can explain all this via a quick exposition dump when we see her character in Avengers 2. If we the audience have already heard of the Kree and a Captain Marvel, it would be much easier to swallow when a human shows up later and starts mentioning her powers based on an alien hero of the same name.

    3) Not much to say about this choice other than the fact that Green Arrow probably won’t end up being in Justice League, so she won’t be there either. And unless CW (the people who brought you Smallville) decide to go with the underage runaway teenage prostitute with AIDS over the heroine addict, it’ll be about 5 to 10 seasons before you see her in the new Arrow show, I figure… But according to a few of the wikis I saw, Smallville actually DID go with the prostitute they just didn’t mention her being underage or being HIV+.

    4) The longshot reason they wouldn’t make Spider-Woman is because people in our age range MIGHT remember the other Spider-Woman, Julia Carpenter, from the old Iron Man cartoon in the 90s. She has a totally different backstory, psychic-based spider powers, and the costume that looks more like Spiderman’s black one. Jessica Drew also had a lot of weird, sometimes CONFLICTING origins. She was injected with irradiated spider blood, she was an experiment of the High Evolutionary, her mother was hit by a laser beam containing Spider/Human hybrid genetically engineered DNA while pregnant with her… I mean for fuck’s sake! But really Jessica Drew wouldn’t work in a movie because people would see her as a ripoff! You can hear it now, “she’s just a GIRL version of Spiderman.” And if that’s going to be the case, you might as well just go with the Spider-Woman who actually IS a clone of Spiderman, Ultimate Spider-Woman. She is a genetically modified clone of Peter Parker’s made by Dr. Octopus in the Ultimate Clone Saga. She’s not as goofy and wisecracking is Spiderman, she’s more badass, more serious, more ass-kicking. It would be a great way for Sony to really spice up their new franchise.

    5) Okay this is saying a lot but hold on to your butts, THIS is where it gets confusing…and that’s saying something. Follow along closely, it’s a long winding path, but I’ll get to Black Canary. FIRST let me just say, Batman shouldn’t be in the Justice League (he wasn’t in the original lineup, it’s not that far fetched). He should be in the movie, but at the end he should decide not to join. He could say something about “not being a team player” or “not getting along with others” but that’s not true, as we’ll see coming up (really it’s because he has compulsive need to be in control). Then we spinoffs into the Batman movie, which ends with signs showing “Halley’s Circus Coming Soon to Gotham!” Batman 2 introduces Robin, and Batman 3 introduces Batgirl and ends with Dick Grayson moving on to become Nightwing. Then we spinoff into the Batgirl movie, which gets followed up by the Birds of Prey (based on the old DCU line up. None of this Poison Ivy as a good guy, New52 bullshit). Obviously, Black Canary would a pretty huge role, as she and Barbara formed the Birds of Prey together. At the same time we can have Batman 4: A Death in the Family. That gets followed up by Batgirl 2: The Killing Joke. I know “The Killing Joke” isn’t actually a Batgirl story, but that’s why I think it would succeed. The first two acts would just be some generic Batgirl story, then that the end of act two, the Joker shows up and shoots civilian Barbara Gordon and kidnaps her. To have a villain take out the protagonist’s secret identity without knowing about her alter ego would be a great twist, and knowledge of a Batman “cameo” which turns out to be for the entire 3rd act would put butts in seats. After that movie you get Batman 5, introducing Tim Drake’s Robin, and then Birds of Prey 2, with the debut of Oracle. This time the team is led by Black Canary (not sure if you could say she “helms” it), who is getting intel from the mysterious, puts-Wikileaks-to-shame, information broker, Oracle who isn’t revealed to be Barbara until sometime in the second act. And with Barbara as Oracle, and Tim is Robin we can finally have Batgirl 3 starring Cassandra Cain, the greatest Batgirl ever, and one of the greatest comic book characters ever. I’ve just mapped out 6 to 10 years worth of Batman movies! All of which could be stories loved by comic fans and able to be adapted from mainstream audience!

    Hopefully in the 2 or 3 times I’ve written this now I haven’t forgotten any details of how to make those characters work, but the point is none of them could headline a film. It’s kind of like the reason we’ll never see a good Wonder Woman movie. To have a good comic book movie you need two things and easy-to-follow backstory, and a good antagonist. Just about all of the characters you named (and Wonder Woman) don’t really have good rogues (although that’s something that’s getting fixed for Wonder Woman in New52). Ok Sam, I eagerly await your rebuttal to my rebuttal.

    • Dear Mazur, my conjoined twin connected by the awesome,

      1) How do you not like Storm!? That is crazy. Well, aside from the Halle Berry version, who as I said before was pretty much useless.

      Storm is licensed out to Fox and there is no chance of seeing her in an Avengers movie anytime soon. Which sucks because I would also like to see her romance with Black Panther play out on screen (movies also need more minority heroes on film, but that is a whole other post). But with the X-Men First Class series and Wolverine solo movies being in production I think that Fox is starting to appropriate the X-Men as their own flag ship super hero team, and a Storm solo movie would fit right in with that. If I were in the position to make those sort of calls I would use a Storm’s ties to Egypt to seed an Apocalypse story line for the future X-Men movies, using Mr Sinister as a primary villain in the Storm Origin.

      2) Porting Carol Danvers to a new format (I’m crossing my fingers for her to be on the SHIELD series and then Avengers 2) is that you can (and should, considering how convoluted comics get) simplify the back story. I agree with you that tying her into the Guardians of the Galaxy would be the way to go on that one. And she should stick to one name.

      3) I agree that because of Green Arrow developing for TV rather than film it is unlikely that it will ever get told on the big screen. But if she ever got the chance I think it would make for great story telling. The sidekick’s story can offten be more compelling than the hero’s. Like in Dark Knight Rises I was way more interested in the John Blake story line than I was Batman. DC is having success with direct to DVD animated movies (which is good because the more I hear about the possible live action Justice League movie the less I want to go see it), and I could see Speedy starting in one of those.

      4) I watched that cartoon pretty much every day and I hardly remember her on it. Like with Carl Danvers porting her to a new format would mean a chance to clean up her origin (no one cares about the High Evolutionary) and reinvent the character. I wouldn’t go clone saga though, unless they wanted to devote a few movies to it. I feel like Sony would try to cram it all into one big bloated mess and end up with another Spider-Man 3. I would work her into Amazing Spider-Man 2 (or even 3) without powers, give her powers in the following movie, then spin her off. Maybe go ahead an introduce Mile Morales while they are at it.

      5) I would watch every movie you came up with. But I think there is a way to get to a Black Canary / Birds of Pray movie faster. Batman and Superman are going to be the main characters in the Justice League weather we like it or not (I don’t because I think it is time for other characters to get a chance but that is just me). Since the movie will be the origin of the League rather than the characters that will mean we are going to meet the new Batman at some point after he is already established, which means that the Killing Joke could have already happened, allowing the mysterious Oracle to already be in play. At the end of the Justice league movie Black Canary can be the one to walk away from the team, and her solo movie would pick up the seeds from Oracle story line in Justice League. Her movie then ends with discovering who Oracle is and the founding of Birds of Pray.

  5. Pingback: Five MORE Female Superheroes who Can Helm a Movie | AtomicSam

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: