By Madison McCollum, Opinion Editor
Why is it that “God is a Woman“ by Ariana Grande plays in the background of a fan edit for the new “Captain Marvel” trailer two hours after its debut? The answer is simple: The world is starting to recognize female strength.
The first scene that we’re given of our newest hero, a woman donning a seafoam green uniform, is as she plummets from the sky and straight through the ceiling of a Blockbuster Video like a falling comet. As the camera focuses on the iconic blue and yellow sign of a relic of decades past, we’re tossed into the 90’s, and it is clear that this movie is targeting a specific audience. It’s an audience that used to spend their Friday nights shuffling up and down rows and rows of video tapes, idling over thin, busty women and wondering what’s worthy of popping into their VCR. This audience now has no need for a dedicated trip to a brick and mortar store to get their media fix. This audience is well-versed in the art of streaming, downloading, torrenting. This same audience is one that loves to steep itself in nostalgia.
For the past ten years, Marvel Studios hasn’t let its fanbase down. But, with the introduction of Captain Marvel, are they finally playing with fire? This is the first major motion picture from the studio to star and feature a female superhero. Playing the leading role of Captain Carol Danvers is Brie Larson (Scott Pilgrim VS. The World; Kong: Skull Island), who Marvel has entrusted to carry this gamble of a film on her finely-sculpted shoulders. Fans have been clamoring for a female-lead superhero movie since we met Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2 back in the year 2010. But, why Captain Marvel? Why take a chance on a brand new hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe instead of giving Black Widow, who we have grown to know and love, her own solo epic?
Black Widow is simply not the picture of female empowerment the way that Captain Marvel is.
Captain Carol Danvers as a character is a pilot of the United States Air Force. She doesn’t rely on slinky, sexy fight moves to bust her bad guys. In the trailer, she packs a powerhouse of a punch as she knocks the daylights out of what appears to be an old lady. Flying, fighting, and no-nonsense, Captain Marvel is a character that fits the movement of the times. In a way, she is hyper-masculine even in the way she stands in the press-release stills for the movie. There are no hips cocked or low-cut costumes here. Fists clenched and focused, her posture screams empowerment.
Today’s audience wants a hero that they can relate to. We saw success in Black Panther, released earlier this year. People of color finally had a hero that they could see themselves in. It’s time for the female-identifying to have their turn. Captain Marvel is sure to be a hit with females young and old. She is a hero who stands on her own, straight-backed and proud. As a veteran and a fighter, Captain Marvel is sure to resonate all across the spectrum. She is the hero that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been sorely lacking and hopefully the box office brings in the numbers to show her success.