Captain Marvel defies expectations

Alice Webster, staff writer

The idea of a female lead superhero movie was largely scoffed at by male producers and fans until the success of Wonder Women in 2017. Now it’s Marvel’s turn at creating a revolutionary flick for their female fans, and they seem to have succeeded. Captain Marvel destroyed at the box office despite the cries of protest by sexist Marvel fans. Was it really that good or did it just benefit from Marvel’s notoriety as a brand?

My answer is a resounding yes. Comedy, drama, and action are seamlessly blended together for a realistic feel, despite all of the aliens. The film explores themes such as identity, perception, and oppression while also including a Fonz lunchbox and an adorable alien cat.

Carol’s journey is particularly resonant with women who have been told they’re not up to the challenge by men. Her refusal to prove herself to her abuser is especially epic; she doesn’t have to lower herself to his level to prove how powerful she is–she just is. Carol owes her captors nothing, no matter what they did for her while simultaneously hurting her. Once she breaks free of the limitations placed on her by men, she comes into herself and is freed.

Carol’s attitude mirrors that of other popular male superheroes such as Iron Man. Instead of following in the steps of the otherworldly and convivial Wonder Women, Carol is snarky, pugnacious, and often detached, quipping during tense moments and at first brushing off attempts by many to connect with her. This attitude was criticized by many of the same fans who adore Iron Man for one major reason: sexism. Despite these complaints, Captain Marvel still met with resounding success critically and financially.

The film also weaves in themes of oppression and government deception through not only Carol’s journey but also that of the alien species. Carol’s ultimate decision to be a superhero is fueled by a desire to protect those who can’t protect themselves.

Ultimately, Captain Marvel has everything a good superhero movie should: epic fight scenes, a charismatic lead, and a riveting conflict. Its box office and critical successes seem to be bellwethers for future female superhero films.