The women of the MCU are amazing, right? It’s amazing to think that six years ago when THE AVENGERS came out, the MCU only had one female hero. Don’t get me wrong, we at ComicsVerse love Black Widow but we wanted to see more than 1 badass female have her time to shine.

Women of the MCU
The Vanity Fair photoshoot with part of the ‘women of the MCU.’

Now in 2018, Marvel has upped its representation of female characters by introducing some seriously powerful women into the MCU. Here are some of our favorite women of the MCU and why they are some of our favorite heroes on the silver screen.

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1. Wanda Maximoff (a.k.a., Scarlet Witch) by Kelsey Mihachik

Our first ‘women of the MCU’ goes to Scarlet Witch, first appearing in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

To me, strong superheroes remain defined by their most humanistic moments. This is especially the case for Wanda Maximoff (a.k.a., Scarlet Witch). It’s Wanda’s resilience to hardship that makes me admire her most. She loses her parents at a young age, and what’s more: in an explosion that should’ve also killed her and her twin brother, Pietro (Quicksilver).

Once Wanda and Pietro escape the rubble of their home days later, they are orphaned and eventually experimented on. Next, when she joins the Avengers, Wanda must endure the loss of her brother. Pietro dies when he takes a bullet for Hawkeye, and this devastates Wanda. As if this wasn’t enough, Wanda’s next MCU appearance shows her responsible for twenty-six dead innocent bystanders.

Women of the MCU
Scarlet Witch in AGE OF ULTRON; Courtesy of Marvel.

This occurs in the opening scene of CIVIL WAR, when she attempts to move a bomb to save civilians, but instead ends up destroying a building and accidentally kills them anyways. To speak a bit on her powers, Wanda’s telekinetic and telepathic abilities absolutely set her apart from the other Avengers. Reason being, she doesn’t need a suit, a shield, or a gun to defend the world.

Scarlet Witch in AGE OF ULTRON is Fierce!

In AGE OF ULTRON, she uses her powers to evacuate people by the masses during the Battle of Sokovia. Wanda also offers to protect the core of the floating city — the most important role in the Battle of Sokovia – so that Ultron could not activate it and kill the billions of people below. Wanda truly cares about the greater good of the people. But by happenstance, she seems to always be grieving or second-guessing her morality.

Wanda may not be perfect, but she keeps herself grounded – never feeling too complacent in her role of being a “superhero.” This, I think, is what makes her one of the best ones.

2. Carol Danvers (a.k.a, Captain Marvel) by Kevin Erdmann

Our second ‘women of the MCU’ goes to Captain Marvel, first to appear in her solo film in 2019, CAPTAIN MARVEL.

A future woman of the MCU that we can look forward to is Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel! Beginning as a U.S Air Force pilot, Danvers’ comic origins find her gaining her powers when an alien Kree machine explodes. The explosion causes her to get the powers of the Kree hero Mar-Vell. She goes on to call herself Ms. Marvel, then Captain Marvel, joining the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

With her MCU debut coming soon, Carol will soon be positioned to be one of the most powerful superheroes yet, possessing flight, immense strength, durability, and probably the most interesting: energy projection and absorption. And when I say most powerful, I’m including the guys. In a throwdown between Thor and Captain Marvel, I think I’m gonna put my money on Carol.

Women of the MCU
Brie Larson as Captain Marvel; Courtesy of Marvel.

It looks like the CAPTAIN MARVEL film will be set in the 90’s, meaning that audiences will get a unique look at a previously unseen time period of the MCU. It also looks as though it will explore a super significant Marvel Comics event, the Kree-Skrull War. CAPTAIN MARVEL will release in between the upcoming INFINITY WAR film and the untitled fourth AVENGERS film.

While she probably won’t be featured in INFINITY WAR, hopefully, she will join the fight against Thanos in the fourth film and be a huge force to be reckoned with! There’s still the question of where the heck she’s been since the 90’s, but I’m sure that it’ll resolve itself. Captain Marvel is way too cool to not be featured as a full-fledged Avenger on the big screen!

3. Shuri by Tomi Nabach

Our third ‘women of the MCU’ goes to Shuri, first to appear in BLACK PANTHER.

Let’s face it—everyone loves Shuri. I don’t think I’ve met a single person who doesn’t. She deserves it, too! Shuri stood out even among the absolutely amazing cast of BLACK PANTHER. Her sense of humor, her loyalty to her family and country despite her misgivings about tradition, and her genius all combine to make for an interesting, refreshing character.

My favorite thing about Shuri is that she’s allowed to be a super genius and a sixteen-year-old girl. She doesn’t take herself too seriously—she likes teasing her older brother, she wants to go to Coachella, and she leads technological advancement for Wakanda. Shuri’s sense of humor and her sense of fun don’t take away from her intelligence or how well she works with technology. If anything, they add to it.

Women of the MCU
Shuri and T’Challa in BLACK PANTHER; Courtesy of Marvel.

Shuri is a fantastic role model and amazing representation of girls of color, especially black girls. She shows that black girls can be smart, capable, and inventive without sacrificing fun. Shuri doesn’t only stand to encourage young girls to embrace their love of science and technology but tells them they don’t have to compromise who they are to love those things. Plus, it helps that her sense of humor is on point.

4. Nakia by Marissa Cortes

Our fourth ‘women of the MCU’ goes to Nakia, first to appear in BLACK PANTHER alongside Shuri and T’Challa.

I’ve loved Lupita Nyong’o for pretty much ever. After she won an Oscar for 12 YEARS A SLAVE, I had been hoping I’d see her in more films. Beyond her motion-captured performance as Maz Kanata in the new STAR WARS movies, that wish had been mostly unfulfilled. I was thrilled when she was cast in BLACK PANTHER as Nakia. Once I saw the movie, I fell in love with her even more.

Women of the MCU
Nakia and T’Challa in BLACK PANTHER; Courtesy of Marvel.

Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia was amazing. I wasn’t super familiar with Nakia before the movies or her character in the comics. What I really appreciated about Nakia is that she’s a formidable force in her own right. The initial opening scene set it up to look like Nakia was captured and T’Challa was on his way to rescue her.

It was the most delightful surprise to realize that not only did Nakia need no saving, she was in disguise and in complete control of the situation. Again and again, Nakia was cool and capable. T’Challa values her capabilities and doesn’t try to keep her from doing what she wants — instead, he trusts that her judgment is right. Plus, the hints at her past adventures as a War Dog were amazing and I hope we get a thousand more movies starring Nakia being the absolute best.

5. Gamora by Mufsin Mahbub

Our fifth ‘women of the MCU’ goes to Gamora, first to appear in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY alongside Star-Lord and Thanos.

With many characters from the cosmic universe of Marvel, we have few women as strong as Gamora. She comes off as a tough character not because of her skills as an assassin, but also because of all the hardships she went through since childhood. Her emotional journey has made Gamora strong and is why she is one of the greatest female characters in Marvel today.

Before she became a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, she was the last of her species, the Zen-Whoberis, after her family was killed. She also had to face so much torture before she became an assassin under the tutelage of Thanos. After being adopted by Thanos, she was trained in hand-to-hand combat and a weapons expert to become the deadliest woman in the galaxy. She even possessed superhuman strength, agility, and a healing factor.

Women of the MCU
Gamora in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY; Courtesy of Marvel.

She wasn’t shown any kindness from the Mad Titan, but she showed her loyalty to the man who raised her and promised her to get her revenge on the one who killed her family. After realizing Thanos was behind her family’s death, she had a change of heart and decided to go against him. This truly showed a different side of Gamora, making her much more vulnerable than she was as a killer. Her compassion for others makes her have similar qualities to a human.

Here Comes the Badass Female Future of the MCU!

With her introduction to the MCU, Gamora has opened up a world for more badass characters to exist in comic book films. Even casting a woman of color like Zoe Saldana has increased how much diversity can be a factor in giving diverse women these types of roles. Any white actress could’ve played Gamora since it requires makeup to look the part, but the fact that Hollywood cast a black Hispanic woman to play the part shows just how important Gamora is to audiences.

6. Valkyrie by Aaron Young

Our sixth ‘women of the MCU’ goes to Valkyrie, first to appear in THOR: RAGNAROK alongside Thor and Loki.

Back in 2017 Tessa Thompson told the Los Angeles Times “there’s one word I hate in all scripts in Hollywood at the moment in describing women, and that is the word ‘badass’…It’s a dumb male writer way of saying: ‘Ah, uh, she’s like, she, uh, she’s tough.’ Then straight after that, it’s like: ‘She’s badass, but she’s got a beauty about her. And she’s sexy. Unconsciously sexy.’”

Thompson nailed the fact that male writers have often objectified their female action stars. “A badass woman” would mean a woman who is strong enough to look strong while not diminishing her sex appeal. Rarely have these male writers imbued their female characters with the complexity that their male counterparts possess. Thompson would not stand to play another piece of eye candy in tights. If she were to play a part in the MCU she would do it her way.

Women of the MCU
Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in THOR: RAGNAROK; Courtesy of Marvel.

A Well Deserved Character in the MCU!

This is how Valkyrie in the MCU was formed. Instead of a sexy female version of Thor, Valkyrie is a unique character for comic book films. She is a warrior who has lost her way and runs away from responsibility. Compared to her, the men in THOR: RAGNAROK look like naïve children. Thompson’s Valkyrie provides the soul of the movie. Because of Thompson’s impactful performance, the audience connects to the horrors that she has seen and the pain she has suffered. It is this connection that makes her return to heroism that much more powerful at the end of the film.

Thompson’s Valkyrie is a treasure of the MCU that deserves its place in the future of Marvel Films. Let us hope that Thompson’s all-female Avengers pitch actually goes through because Valkyrie is a leader the MCU needs.

7. Wasp (a.k.a, Hope van Dyne) by Aaron Young

Our final and seventh ‘women of the MCU’ goes to Wasp from ANT-MAN & THE WASP.

There’s a population that argues that Evangeline Lily’s Hope van Dyne should have been the star of ANT-MAN. I agree in large part with this sentiment. Hope van Dyne is tougher, cooler, and smarter than her ally Scott Lang. Moreover, having a female lead in an MCU film back in 2015 would have been amazing.

I do think there was a purpose, however, in holding Hope back since she clearly needed to overcome some of her problems with her father and her misunderstanding of her mother’s demise to become the hero we need her to be. Now Hope is the Wasp and, as she says in the end credit scene, “It’s about damn time.”

Women of the MCU
Wasp in the ANT-MAN & THE WASP trailer; Marvel Entertainment.

With her baggage out of the way, I expect Evangeline Lily’s Wasp to be nothing short of an unrelenting force in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. With much of the story supposedly surrounding the team’s search for Hope’s mother, Janet, I expect to see the Wasp largely leading the action in this movie.

Similar to Hope in the first movie, let’s hope that Scott’s main role is to support Hope in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. As is the case with all great partnerships, it’s important to know when it’s your moment to shine, and likewise when it is necessary for you to have someone’s back. It’s likely that Wasp will be the true hero in the front and center.

It is the Year of Female!

The women of the MCU are some of the strongest women in the universe. Whether that be Black Widow, one of our seven favorites, or any of the other awesome women in the MCU, you can find someone powerful that speaks to you. Even Pepper Potts is a superhero to us.

So, tell us… who is your favorite woman in the MCU? And why do you love them so much? Let us know in the comments! We have a special place in our hearts for all of the great MCU females. There is not a better time to appreciate them more.

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