Brie Larson climbs a rope as Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel.

The Emotional Impact of Captain Marvel Still Has Us Tearing Up

Women kicking ass and taking names makes us emotional, okay?
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If it isn’t the Captain Marvel trailer, then it’s watching Wonder Woman cross No Man’s Land. No matter how many times we watch Shuri fight back against the Black Order in Avengers: Infinity War, we, as women, feel proud to watch these ladies stand up against evil.

When Black Widow told Proxima Midnight that Wanda isn’t alone, the theaters erupted with the joy that these women were going to fight alongside each other. These moments are few and far between in superhero movies, but it’s getting better.

With each new movie, we’re closer and closer to having women take the lead. Gone (hopefully) are the days when Natasha Romanoff was the “mother” to the Avengers, being exasperated by the boys. She’s better than what Joss Whedon made her out to be.

But here’s the thing: We still have a long way to go. We’ve yet to really have any women of color taking over the MCU or the DCEU. In fact, before Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok, women of color weren’t part of the superhero circuit. With the introduction of Shuri and Okoye, it seems as if the MCU, specifically, is gearing up for being more inclusive. We’re still waiting on a standalone film, but it’s better than it has been for the previous ten years.

As women, for years, we’ve watched men take to the screen to defend their homes. With few exceptions (where the writing was terrible and the movies bombed), we haven’t seen ourselves reflected as the heroes; it has primarily been a man’s world and the switch means that we get to be emotional.

For the first time, women are saving men. They’re throwing tanks, flying planes, and destroying Thanos’s Black Order with a simple twitch of their fingers. The funny thing about most of the female heroes in both the DCEU and the MCU is that they’re some of the smartest and most powerful heroes.

Carol Danvers is the strongest Avenger. Wonder Woman has proven time and time again that she can destroy every member of the Justice League, including Superman. Shuri has been labeled as the smartest person in the MCU, and Okoye is the fiercest warrior of the Dora Milaje. These women consistently save the men in the group—they defend Earth and each other—only for there to still be a discrepancy between male-led movies and female-led ones.

It’s 2018. There shouldn’t be tweets asking for a Doctor Strange sequel instead of Captain Marvel, which is sadly the first female-led film in the MCU. Our tears and our joy for these movies comes from our lack of seeing them.

So why did we all get just as emotional watching Carol Danvers in the Captain Marvel trailer? Because she gets knocked down but bunches up her fist, stands up, and kicks ass.

Brie Larson captain marvel

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.