Let’s start by saying, I reject the notion that because Carol Danvers is female, I, as a female, have to like her, nay, fawn over her, like she is the end all be all of comic book heroes. The idea that I don’t support females or feminism because Carol Danvers isn’t my new favorite superhero is ridiculous.
In the last year, Marvel has given us two female superheroes in two new movies (I’m not counting Endgame), Hope Van Dyne, aka The Wasp, and Carol Danvers, the one and only Captain Marvel. One can’t help but make comparisons between the two, not when we so infrequently get a female superhero worthy of our attentions.
I, for one, love Hope Van Dyne. She’s strong, yet vulnerable, wicked smart, sassy, irresistibly loyal, and, in my humble opinion, gorgeous. She was all of those things in Ant-Man, but she took it to a whole new level in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Hope doesn’t take any crap off of anyone, not her father, not Scott, not even Sonny Burch, who treats her like she’s no better than the table salt at his fancy restaurant. She is confident in her abilities, knows that she can do what needs to be done, and she gets it done. She uses her vulnerabilities to make her better, stronger, to drive her. She’s not afraid to go after what she wants and she’s not afraid to let others know how she feels. She doesn’t hide her feelings or bury her emotions under mountains of “I don’t give a shit” attitude. Hope Van Dyne is the hero I can get behind.
“What about Carol?” some of you may be asking. I haven’t forgotten the newest hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Carol Danvers, Vers, or Captain Marvel, is the most recent entry to the superhero world, a female superhero in a world that badly needs them. She is one of the most powerful heroes Marvel has introduced, with abilities not seen before, including the ability to fly and shoot photon blasters from her hands. She may be just what the Avengers need to save the universe from Thanos.
Now comes that unpopular opinion I mentioned. I’m not a fan of Captain Marvel. I like my female superheroes to be emotional, to show a sense of vulnerability, to be relatable. I didn’t feel that with Carol. I know that part of her storyline involved her squashing her emotions in order to make herself stronger, but that is a fallacy used far too often in far too many stories. I strongly believe that it’s okay for female characters to be emotional, shoot, it’s okay for all characters, male and female, to be emotional. Humans are emotional, all of us, it’s what makes us human, and sometimes, being emotional is what makes us strong. Fighting your emotions to make you stronger actually makes you weaker. Give women, even super women, the freedom to use their emotions to make the world better. For me, taking that away from Carol made it hard for me to like her.