Marvel Comics’ best female superhero? It’s not The X-Men’s Storm, The Avengers’ Black Widow or The Fantastic Four’s Invisible Woman and it’s certainly not Elektra. It’s the one non-comic fans probably think is a guy — Captain Marvel.
Carol Danvers has had a long history in the Marvel Universe dating back to the 1960s. As a security chief on a military base, she is caught in an explosion, which merges her DNA with that of the Kree hero Captain Marvel. The incident makes her a human/Kree hybrid and grants her the deluxe superpower package of flight, super strength, a level of invulnerability and energy projection. She went on to become a member of The Avengers and became a regular supporting character in The X-Men for awhile.
But like most things involving an Avengers-related character, Kurt Busiek wrote the definitive take on Ms. Marvel, who he named Warbird, during his stint on the title where he showed her struggle with alcoholism and ultimate recovery. Now calling herself Captain Marvel and again a key member of The Avengers, Danvers is currently one of the A-list heroes in Marvel Comics.
There’s been strong rumors of Marvel Studios deciding that after its massive success with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, it’s time to have a film featuring one of their female characters with Captain Marvel being the heavy favorite.
Female superheroes haven’t exactly had a lot of success at the box office. Despite a spectacular costume, Halle Berry couldn’t get audiences to the theaters to see “Catwoman” in 2004 as it only managed $40.2 million against a $100 million budget. Why a movie starring Catwoman needed a $100 million budget is another question.
At the peak of her “Alias” popularity, Jennifer Garner failed to make “Elektra,” a 2005 spin-off of the financially disappointing “Daredevil” a must see either. “Elektra” fared even worse than “Catwoman,” earning a pitiful $24 million of its more sensible $43 million budget. That was the last year we’ve seen a comic book-based film starring a female lead. Care to take a guess as to how many comic book movies there have been since “Elektra?” Try 50. That’s a pretty shocking number.
So if it does happen, a “Captain Marvel” movie has a lot riding on it, not just for Marvel Studios, but the future of other female superhero films as well.
That said, I figured it was time to get my Junior Casting Agent cap back on and see who would make the best Captain Marvel. Joining me on this little endeavor is Michelle Alexandra of eclipsemagazine.com and Julian Lytle.
Here’s what we came up with: