Everywhere you look, you see a slew of DC and Marvel comic characters from summer hits, from the Marvel live action movies to late night tv recordings of the CW network’s The Arrow and The Flash. There’s no denying that male superheroes are in charge. In a culture where male superheroes are dominating the box office and satellite TV it is safe to say: where did all the female heroes go; why is Hollywood so afraid of them? You could argue that female action packed features are not as entertaining or well made as a movie with a male main character, but that is not the case. Unfortunately Hollywood is still sexist. Hollywood pushes so many male centered television shows and movies with strong characters and intricate plots while giving female characters the short end of the stick, producing low rated movies like Catwoman and Elektra, (which was rated the worst Marvel cinematic universe movie on Rotten Tomatoes).
Stan Lee, along with other comic book creators and writers are not to blame for the problem. Neither are the heroine’s origin stories. In comics, there are several kick ass female characters and storylines like the DC comics series “Gotham City Sirens” written by Paul Dini featuring some iconic characters like Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn. Even when the characters are not the main point of focus they are usually never being undermined. Comics have even gone as far as taking on the lack of representation problem going on in entertainment by making the present Ms.Marvel (Kamala Khan) a Pakistani American, and changing her costume to something more crime fighting appropriate. On top of that, Marvel has other women of color, characters like Storm and Jubilee. With all of these characters, how hard can it be to take one of these story lines and turn it into a highly praised movie?
Every so often when you do come across a femme fatale, she usually is not a big part of the storyline or she exists to be a mere object of a male superheroes affection or motivation. In the X-Men movies, the female X-Men are taken down a whole notch so they don’t outshine their male counterparts. For example, the character Rogue is arguably one of the strongest characters in Marvel universe but the whole franchise she plays a victim. Afraid of her own powers, the character meets a sad fate in X-Men: The Last Stand when she takes “the cure” for being a mutant thus, losing her powers. Rogue goes through something no other character is going through (besides maybe her female peers). She is insecure and constantly doubting herself. Rogue is afraid to discover her full potential while a lot of her male peers in the academy flourish.
Other amazing characters face problems as well. Another example is Storm, she is nearly white washed when casting directors chose a light skin actress to portray her when the character is from an African tribe in Kenya. Even though Jean Grey was an extremely powerful mutant, in the movie she is portrayed as a pawn for Magneto; and then killed off shortly after. God forbid there be a character, let alone a female character, stronger than Wolverine.
The Marvel cinematic universe, along with DC, need to stop focusing on overrated characters like Wolverine(Marvel), and Green Lantern(DC comics), and turn their focus into making a female lead in a movie. When confronted about the issue of a Black Widow standalone movie, Marvel Studios President responded by saying “the character is an integral part of the avengers film.” There is no need for them to sugar coat anything as it is quite evident what they are trying to say. Black Widow will remain in the sidelines and watch her other team members kick ass in the box office. Meanwhile, Captain America and Thor are coming out with their third feature films sometime in the next two years. The Green Lantern will also be getting a reboot after the first unsuccessful film starring Ryan Reynolds. You don’t see anyone trying to reboot Catwoman or Elektra.
Although comic books do have their own problems, especially with the skimpy outfits worn by most female characters, Marvel and DC cinema are way behind in the times. The movie industry needs to follow the example of comic books, and do a lot of changing to better represent female superheroes of various backgrounds, seeing as womanandhollywood.com reported that females over the age of twelve are buying more movie tickets than males. Hopefully, change will come soon, because we are all rooting for the upcoming movie Wonder Woman to be a success along with the television shows Vixen, Supergirl, and Jessica Jones. With the current rise and trend in feminism, Hollywood needs to stop being sexist and give viewers a wider range of female characters or else it’s safe to say it will lose moviegoers who can’t relate to, or be inspired by Hollywood’s submissive weak characters.