Super women take over

in Fiction by

I’ll be honest – the TV commercials made the new female superhero movie, Lucy, look pretty ridiculous. Every time I heard Morgan Freeman’s voiceover say, “Most people only use 10 percent of their brain,” I inwardly cringed. But then I heard the film dominated the box office last weekend, blowing the new Hercules movie out of the water. So I decided to watch the full-length trailer…

…and I was blown away. This is a movie worth seeing – a strong, smart, capable heroine who uses her brain instead of her body to help save the world. It reminds me of the good old Alias days, where every week I could watch an awesome lady kick some serious ass.

Jennifer Garner aside, most superheroines are more recognizable for their outfits than their crime-fighting abilities. But as Lucy shows us, the tides seem to be turning. I’d even go so far as to call this the season of the female superhero.

Just look at the news lately – Marvel recently announced that Thor will no longer be male in the comic books. And now there’s already strong speculation that Katee Sackhoff – everyone’s favorite badass fighter pilot from Battlestar Galactica – will take over the role in upcoming movies. Even Joss Whedon, director of The Avengers, added to the hype by tweeting about Sackhoff as Thor. And speaking of The Avengers, it’s been widely circulated that Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow will have a much larger, more complex role in the new movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron. Not bad for someone who started as little more than window dressing in Iron Man 2.

But it’s not just that roles are opening up for superheroines; it’s that the heroines themselves are changing. Gone are the cheesy, over-the-top supergirls of the past. These new women are a grittier, darker kind of female hero. Think of them as the counterparts to Christopher Nolan’s edgy Batman – women with developed histories, desires and skills. They’re heroes in their own right, without ever being relegated to arm-candy. When Marvel announced the new female Thor, they also promised a dark, epic storyline, and the artwork they released certainly seems to support that vibe. Likewise, Lucy’s trailer promises a gritty fighter who works her way through the underbelly of society. No room for shiny capes or unrealistic cleavage here.

With all this new superheroine mojo in the air, it seems like the perfect time to finally launch a new Wonder Woman movie. And after a failed TV pilot three years ago, we’re finally getting close! San Diego Comic -Con goers were the first to see a new image from the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where Gal Gadot is taking on the iconic female role.  Just like Thor and Lucy, her Wonder Woman is darker, edgier, and basically dressed like a kickass warrior. I, for one, can’t wait to see her in action. And since this is clearly the season of the superheroine, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before she gets her own film. Minus that pesky Batman and Superman, of course.

Rachel Carter grew up surrounded by trees and snow and mountains. She graduated from the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction writing. She is the author of the So Close to You series with Harperteen. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont.

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