Brad Beidman ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Writer
With The Wolverine hitting theaters next week, let’s look over at the often-overlooked women of the genre. Superhero movies may not be known for addressing social issues or complex character development, but they certainly give a strong voice to their female characters, though they usually only allow them to use that voice to yell “Save me!” Let’s think back to see exactly how tough, brilliant, and inspiring these women can be.
5) Lois Lane, Superman
This career driven, empowered journalist is seen as one of the best in her field. She then spends the rest of the film falling out of helicopters, screaming, challenging Superman to guess the color of her underwear, and dying. This savvy newswoman is a clear role model to anyone who aspires to get rescued by a big strong man every ten minutes or so.
4) Pepper Potts, Iron Man
Utilizing Gwyneth Paltrow’s acting skills (mainly “making a worried face”) to bring this character to life, Pepper Potts is crucial to the story of Iron Man. Accomplishing important goals from copying a file onto a flash drive and being quickly discovered to memorizing Tony Stark’s social security number, but she truly proves her worth at the climax of the film, where she pushes a button when her employer tells her to.
3) Rachel Dawes, Batman Begins
Rachel is an appropriate match for the physically, mentally, and technologically enhanced Batman, in that her greatest strength seems to be owning a taser, though the first time she uses it she must be saved by Batman. A clever lawyer investigating the Scarecrow, Rachel gets to the bottom of things when she finds his hideout and is quickly poisoned and left to die, showing the clear point about what happens when a woman tries to do something. After being saved by Batman again, she stands up for herself by finally tasing the bad guy, then getting saved by Batman for a third time.
2) Jane Foster, Thor
Jane is a brilliant astrophysicist who studies how Thor is able to travel between worlds and begins a romance with him, shortly after hitting him with her car. Twice. She teaches him many things, like what coffee is, she tells him to not die when he is critically injured and that works somehow, and then he leaves her to return to the important, exciting part of the movie.
1) Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man
A waitress, struggling actress, and woman who wins Peter Parker’s affections by living near him and being pretty, Mary Jane is a true feminist icon. Whether Spider-Man is rescuing her from a robber, falling off a balcony, or being kidnapped, she is always quick to repay him with a kiss, often upside down, despite being in a relationship with someone else. When she says things like, “You have a knack for saving me,” and “Do I get to thank you this time?” it becomes clear how self-sufficient and capable she is.