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Why More Female-Led TV Shows, but Not More Movies, Marvel?

Yeah, TV is great, but this new streaming service doesn't make up for the lack of female-led movies

Brie Larson as Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel

Marvel sure likes to pretend to be female positive but continue to push their female heroes to the side. News that Wonder Woman writer Allan Heinberg would be heading a female-led series for Disney’s upcoming dedicated streaming service seems promising, but it brings up a really good question: Why is Marvel afraid of women leading movies?

The Marvel television shows have always been progressive in their inclusion of women and, more specifically, women of color, although there’s still plenty of work to be done on that front. With shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, women have led the pack for the last five seasons. Jessica Jones took to Netflix with her own show, and all of this started when Agent Carter hit television and gave us more of the Peggy Carter we loved so much. We’ve also got Misty Knight and Colleen Wing delighting us on Netflix, though we wouldn’t mind the Daughters of the Dragon getting their own show …

So look, it’s great that we’re getting more Marvel women on TV. I’m really excited they’re planning on including more women in their franchise but they’re still not giving us the movies we deserve. Do you want to show that you believe in female superheroes? Don’t wait over eleven years to give us a female-led movie. And before the manbabies of the world cry that they had to build the universe first, there is absolutely no reason why we have three different Iron Man movies and no movies about Natasha Romanoff.

She’s been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the second Iron Man movie and, most the time, she’s diminished to quippy one-liners with the exception of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Yeah, sure, there’s talk of a Black Widow movie now, but that’s after Wonder Woman’s success—not to mention after our interest in the idea started to wane.

If Marvel really believed in their female heroes and the success they could bring to the series, they wouldn’t have waited ten years for Captain Marvel. So sure, this television show is great, but it’s also a cop out. After the release of Captain Marvel, we’re right back to male-driven movies. With Avengers 4, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it seems as if they’re not too worried about adding another female superhero movie to the docket in the near future.

So great, let’s clap Marvel on the back for this streaming service that is going to give us shows about our favorite characters, but that doesn’t mean they can continue to leave their female heroes off the silver screen. For every manbaby who wants to say, “Isn’t Captain Marvel enough?” haven’t 3 Iron Man movies, 3 Captain America movies, 3 Thor movies, and 2 Spider-Man movies been enough for you? Or do you still want to see more?

Stop pretending like one female-led superhero movie is enough. Marvel has plenty of amazing female heroes that deserve more screen time, especially more screen time than someone like Stephen Strange, so give us more movies—and TV shows too, for that matter. Just let the women take over. They have to save the boys 99% of the time anyway.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.