Can I just say how thrilled I am that Supergirl and Jessica Jones are both a thing that’s happening on TV?
And let me explain this, because I’m personally not that interested in Supergirl (update, it’s not bad), I am for Jessica Jones, but both make me really happy
One of the biggest problems of the Female Superhero on screen was… well, there was exactly 1 of them for soo fucking long.
Scarlet Johansson is great as Black Widow, she is. But the big problem was that she was THE girl. She had to be everything, which of course can limit and damage a character (I’m looking at u avengers2).
For example, Iron Man can be morally devious and snarky. That’s fine! And it’s fine because he’s not the ONLY male hero on screen. He can be that because, for someone who wants a different approach, Captain America is standing there being all Morally righteous and sincere. Was Starlord to Goofy in Guardians of the Galaxy? That’s okay, hop over to Daredevil with Matt Murdock sitting in church with bloody knuckles, wondering if it’ okay for him to murder the villain.
Over on CW, Arrow can be dark and brood, because if you don’t like that, just move over to Flash whose smiling and bright. It’s great! You can pick who you want to identify with, and cheer for that hero.
But Black Widow had to be THE female character. She had to be everything to everyone, which is impossible (all while not having her own damn movie). Yes, I know Scarlet Witch was in Age of Ultron, but she was a villain for two-thirds of the movie, and really wasn’t given that much to stand on her own.
Having one character to represent half the planet is ridiculous.
But that’s why I’m so glad Supergirl and Jessica Jones can coexist. It’s an acknowledgement that no, there isn’t a single type of female character that can embody EVERYONE. It’s impossible. But look, Supergirl is bright and smiling, full of camp and cheese, while Jessica Jones is the grounded, dark and gritty story. They are completely different characters being put in completely different lights, different tones. I would to an extent include last years Agent Carter as well, for helping to flesh out the landscape a little. But again, Agent Carter was only a superhero story in the loosest sense possible, and hell, it had nothing to go up against. The important thing here is that this stuff is happening along side one another
So you want someone smiling and swooping around with a cape? Awesome, go watch Supergirl. It’s got all the bright, charming fun you could ever ask for. You want someone to beat up David Tennant with booze and mood lighting? Jessica Jones drops November 20th, and I’m so excited I can barely sit still. One can have little kids applauding, the other can have adults feeling a bit nervous.
Neither one of these characters has to be everything because their not the only one. Nor are they supporting characters, but the title role. That’s the other thing. We don’t need more side characters thrown in like afterthoughts, we need more of these characters to be the big name on the screen when your title credits are rolling.
Is this enough? No, of course not. I want my Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel movies, I want my She-Hulk, and Kate Bishop, Batwoman, and soo many others, and I don’t want any of them to be interchangeable. I would also like to see two main heroes be women, AND share the screen. (As excited as I am, Jessica Jones will be THE female Defender when that series drops).
It’s not enough. Not nearly enough. But does anybody see what I’m talking about? One character cannot fulfil a whole need, neither can two, to be honest. But hell, I can’t remember the last time we were even close to an improvement on this front. I would argue that the same thing is needed of racial diversity on screen. I am so very, very excited for Luke Cage to get his own series, but I’m also thrilled that Black Panther and Cyborg are coming, but when I say we need more female heroes that are all different from one another, that includes a need for female heroes of colour as well.
But for today, I’m going to politely applaud that there are two female superheroes starring on the small screen at least, and I’m gratified that they are absolutely nothing alike.
Now, If I could address marvels casting obsession with blond dudes names Chris…