Ricky Church with six female-led superhero movies we’d like to see post-Wonder Woman…
It’s probably an understatement at this point to say Wonder Woman has done exceedingly well since its release earlier this month. The film has become one of the summer’s biggest blockbusters and disproved the notion that female-driven superhero films do not sell.
With WB already developing Gotham City Sirens and Batgirl, to be directed by David Ayer and Joss Whedon respectively, along with Marvel’s Captain Marvel and Sony’s Silver & Black on the horizon, there’s a lot of potential in the market for more female-led superhero films from both DC and Marvel. But which ones could or should be made first? I run down a few options on which female superheroes could support their own films and why they should be made…
Dinah Lance, a.k.a. Black Canary, is one of the most significant supporting characters in the DC universe. Not only is she a powerful character with her sonic scream, but is also one of the most skilled hand-to-hand fighters in the world, considered to be on par with Batman. She’s been a member of several teams throughout the DCU, such as the Justice League, the Justice Society, the Outsiders and, most notably, the Birds of Prey. She is also (at least pre-New 52) married to Green Arrow, making a formidable fighting team.
She’s not just a powerful hero and skilled fighter though, but has a strong moral centre, earning the confidence of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and other Leaguers. She’s not afraid, however, to stand up to the bigger heroes when they’re going down a potentially wrong path or at risk of making a bad call. Writer Gail Simone’s take on Canary is among the best portrayals of the character and would make a great foundation for a film.
Black Canary could very well support her own film and could offer something a bit different to many of the other superhero films. While she does deal with large threats, Canary also fights against a lot of street level crime, such as gangs, kidnappings and drug dealers. A Black Canary film could take us to the streets and be a nice break from the usual world-ending threats in these films. The Batman’s director Matt Reeves has already stated his desire to be driven by film noir for the solo movie and Black Canary would be well suited to follow that direction.
Another direction they could take with Black Canary is going straight to Birds of Prey following Batgirl, pairing those two heroes with Huntress for another team-up film.
Not to be confused with Captain Marvel, soon to be played by Brie Larson, but the young Kamala Khan who is currently the successor to the Ms. Marvel identity. She is a teenage American Muslim from Jersey City who discovers she has superpowered genes that allow her to heal fast and change shape at will. She chose to become the new Ms. Marvel because of how much she idolized Captain Marvel as everything she wanted to be as an adult and hero.
Due to 2019’s release of Captain Marvel, it may be a while before Ms. Marvel would ever be introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, let alone her own film. That said, a film featuring Ms. Marvel has a lot of potential. Since she is such a young age, she can show the effects the heroes in the MCU have had on the younger generation in the same way the Avengers have had on Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Much like Marvel’s wallcrawler, it would also be relatable to young audiences to see a young teenager struggling between their social and school lives with being a superhero.
That may be a bit too similar to Spider-Man: Homecoming, but where the difference lies is in two things: the first being the obvious one that she is a teenage girl, focusing on different things than Peter Parker normally would (especially since she doesn’t have the tragic backstory of the Parker family). The second, and perhaps more importantly, is her identity as an American Muslim. One criticism the superhero genre often faces is its lack of diversity, something that is slowly changing with the likes of Black Panther, Wonder Woman and even Suicide Squad. Putting a young American Muslim front and centre on a superhero film could bring light to that generations experiences and open the door to a whole new perspective for audiences.
Shayera Hol is a warrior and one of the Justice League’s strongest members. Though she’s often teamed with her male counterpart Hawkman, Hawkgirl could work well in her own movie or in a team-up with Hawman, perhaps similar to the upcoming Ant-Man & The Wasp.
Shayera Hol’s history is a little convoluted with two different backstories that often get merged together. In one, she was an Egyptian princess who was murdered with her lover, Prince Khufu, but due to the murder weapon and the pair’s love for each other they’ve been reincarnated multiple times throughout history and always destined to meet. The second backstory sees them as aliens from the planet Thanagar, hunting intergalactic criminals and wish to study Earth’s policing ways.
Hawkgirl could make for a great sci-fi film if they chose to go the route of the Thanagar angle. One significant part of Thanagar is its icy tensions with its neighbouring planet, Raan. At one point a full scale war broke out between the worlds with Hawkman and Hawkgirl attempting to put an end to it so that definitely has the potential to venture into the cosmic side of the DCU. As I mentioned, the backstories have often been merged before, such as in the cartoon Justice League Unlimited as well as the recent comics, so its very possible we could see a merger of that in live action too as Hawkgirl discovers her true self.
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