As Marvel Studios' "The Avengers" continues to soar in its success, many continue to discuss the possibility of new superhero films and what other characters might appear and pave the way for a sequel. Garnering particular buzz among fans has been the portrayal of the Black Widow by Scarlett Johansson, with many saying this is the strongest portrayal of a woman hero in a comic book adaptation movie and that it should be seen as an example to follow. However, some nay-sayers have stated that women superheroes wouldn't be able to carry a solo film. We disagree.
The Marvel Universe is vast, populated by any number of female heroes who could certainly entertain a wide audience with the right story, director and actor in the role. It should be obvious to anyone by now that the Black Widow could command her own film, and so we're looking beyond the Joss Whedon blockbuster for other Marvel ladies who deserve a movie.
In the Marvel Universe, Thor is not the only warrior of Asgard. The lady Sif has fought alongside him and the famous Warriors Three on many adventures. Despite the fact that women do not usually fight in Asgardian society, Sif's determination, cleverness and talent for combat made her one of the most formidable warriors in her native land.
Sif was already introduced into the Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe in Kenneth Brannagh's "Thor" and has also appeared in the popular cartoon series "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes," "Hulk Vs. Thor" and "Thor: Tales of Asgard." With all that exposure, it's about time Sif got her own film. Thor introduced us to Asgard and the Frost Giant realm of Jotunheim in his movie. While he's dealing with Loki or aiding the Avengers on Earth, Sif's film could let the audience explore the other mythical realms connected to Asgard, giving us a fantasy epic part "Star Wars" and part "Lords of the Rings."
Jaimie Alexander did a great job as Sif in "Thor" (and voiced the same role in the video game). There's no reason she shouldn't be allowed to headline her own movie as she reprises the warrior who loves a challenge, a woman so good with a sword that she's sometimes referred to as the Asgardian "goddess of war."
9. MONICA RAMBEAU
Monica Rambeau was a lieutenant in the New Orleans harbor patrol when a strange encounter gave her the ability to convert her body into nearly any form of energy. She initially sought help and training from the Avengers, joining the team and becoming the second Captain Marvel. She even became leader of Earth's Mightiest Heroes for a while before losing her powers and retiring.
Monica later regained her abilities and since then has been an on-again, off-again superhero. She used the new name Photon and later called herself Pulsar. In the film, Monica would be a woman already in a position of authority who suddenly has to deal with more power than she could have imagined. We could then see her life change from a realistic setting to one of high-flying adventure and thrill to how she steps up to the challenge.
Monica Rambeau has a gentle soul and a big heart, but can also instant command respect with her presence. She didn't become leader of the Avengers by accident. For such a lady, Gina Torres seems the appropriate choice in the role considering her fine character work as Zoe in "Firefly".
8. WHITE TIGER
In the Marvel Comics Universe, the original White Tiger was Hector Ayala, Marvel's first Hispanic hero, who used the mystical Amulets of the Tiger to fight crime. Later on, he was tragically shot and killed. Hector's teenage sister Ava Ayala recently took up the mantle of the White Tiger. With the magic amulets, she has increased strength, reflexes, coordination, agility and an innate talent for martial arts. Yet, she still has a lot to learn and currently appears in "Avengers Academy."
Ava Ayala is a very spirited and outspoken woman who is known for criticizing other Hispanic heroes whom she feels don't do enough to act as role models for their community. Ava takes her role very seriously and is sometimes a little too confident in her abilities. She's already a major character on the new cartoon series "Ultimate Spider-Man" and a movie based on her would be a coming of age story focused on family legacy.
Francia Raisa has been entertaining people with her roles in "CSI," "In Plain Sight," and "The Secret Life of an American Teenager." Adept at playing tough, opinionated characters, she would be a fine fit for the outspoken White Tiger.
Born a mutant, Angelica Jones learned she could harness and manipulate ambient microwave radiation, allowing her flight and the ability to disperse microwave blasts. The initially shy and insecure Angelica served on the New Warriors team for a few years, maturing into a confident hero and joining the Avengers.
Unfortunately, Firestar learned her repeated exposure to microwave radiation had made her infertile and given her cancer. Fortunately, she had support from her friends (including Monica Rambeau) and later went into remission. Even when she felt ill, she's continued to work as a hero. Such a character would make for a new kind of superhero film. Angelica's illness is far more grounded in reality than most superhero curses and would emphasize her as a hero due to her character and optimistic spirit rather than her powers alone.
Alicia Witt has shown a versitile ability to play vulnerability, humor and strength, particularly with her roles in "Cybill," "Playing Mona Lisa" and "Friday Night Lights." She would no doubt bring out Angelica's humor and clear courage in someone who deals with cancer while still putting her life on the line for others.
Allison Blaire always wanted to be a professional singer. A mutant able to create her own special effect light shows, Allison began a career as a dancer, songwriter and singer under the stage name Dazzler. But after a few adventures, she publicly came out as a mutant, only to suffer a media backlash that ended her music career. This led to her becoming an on-again, off-again adventurer sometimes working alongside the X-Men.
A movie with Dazzler could be a fun new style of superhero film, one that shows someone more interested in their career than in being a hero. The media backlash of coming out as a mutant can certainly mirror the experiences of contemporary celebrities who have come out. The movie could show Dazzler as a very human character who has to reassess what she wants out of life when everything seems to crumble.
Dazzler would begin as an already-successful music artist for several years before things start crashing. Someone who's confident, sexy and professional yet has a mischievous streak and enjoys the spotlight. Leslie Bibb has played similar characters in "Kings" and "GCB" and can also certainly bring the vulnerability of someone who is forced to find a new path in life.
Anya Corazon was just a teenager from Brooklyn when a clan of magic-users called the Spider Society decided to make her their champion. Given a tattoo that grants her spider-based abilities, Anya wound up becoming a crime-fighter, first under the name Araña and later taking on the mantle of Spider-Girl.
Anya is a jokester at heart, going so far as to create a Twitter account for her heroic alter-ego to update followers on her strange adventures, but she's also a passionate person who wants to help and is deeply troubled when she sees the suffering of others. A movie showcasing this teen hero coming into her own would be fun to see, particularly when audiences realize just how different she is than Peter Parker. In the comics, she briefly worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. and was trained by Carol Danvers. This angle could be explored in her own movie to then bring her forward into the world of the Avengers.
For the teenage Latina hero, you need someone earnest and with a sense of humor with no qualms being tough and cute all at once. Victoria Justice has certainly won herself a few fans with similar roles in such shows as "Victorious," "iCarly" and "Zoey 101."
4. MISTY KNIGHT AND COLEEN WING
For several years, the Colleen Wing and Misty Knight (also known as the “Daughters of the Dragon”) have fought various criminals in the Marvel Universe. Colleen Wing's father was Columbia university professor of Asian history and her mother was a descendant of a long line of Japanese warriors. Trained by her grandfather, Colleen is a modern day American samurai. Her partner Misty Knight was once a member of the NYPD but lost her arm due to a bombing. After getting a new cybernetic limb courtesy of Tony Stark, Misty left the force and eventually met up with Colleen Wing. The two started a private detective agency and have rarely been out of each other's company since, fighting evil both on their own and in the company of various superheroes.
What you have here is a potential action/buddy cop film. As full-time heroes, these two don't have separate jobs to support their activities and can entertain the audience with arguments about bills and who grabs the dinner check even while they're fighting gangsters or ninja assassins. Misty's connection to Iron Man also makes a movie with these two an easy fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, setting them up for a possible cameo in an Avengers sequel.
Emma Caulfield and Tracie Thoms would be a great choice to play the Daughters of the Dragon. Both have utilized great humor and toughness with roles in shows such as "Leverage," "Life Unexpected," "Cold Case" and "Wonderfalls" as well as in movies such as "TiMER" and "Death Proof." On top of that, the two co-stars of "Bandwagon: The Series" have displayed strong on-screen chemistry that proves they would be perfect to portray Colleen Wing and Misty Knight.
A transfusion of irradiated blood from her cousin, Bruce Banner, left Jennifer Walters with the ability to transform from a human attorney into a taller, stronger, cockier version of herself with green, bulletproof skin. Unlike Banner, she retains her intelligence and memories when she transforms and rather likes her altered state. Balancing a superhero life with her career, she's been an Avenger, a stand-in member of the Fantastic Four and even an agent for S.H.I.E.L.D.
Once again, we have a film where the character genuinely enjoys her abilities with a sense of humor. At the same time, She-Hulk would have to address the addictive nature of the ability to transform into a taller, stronger version of herself as she starts leaving little room for her role as a normal, intelligent human being.
Angie Harmon is an outspoken fan of the She-Hulk and voiced Barbara Gordon on the cartoon "Batman Beyond." Along with a career where she's certainly played both lawyers and cops, her geek passion makes her an excellent choice for this role.
2. THE WASP
Wasp's first appearance was as a new partner to the superhero Ant-Man, but many fans would argue that she overshadows him. A good-natured scientist who enjoyed the occasional adventure, Hank Pym was usually reluctant to use his advanced technology to act as a superhero. Janet Van Dyne, however, insisted on not only getting powers from Pym's technology but in using those as often as possible to help people. She was not only a founding member of the Avengers, she came up with the team name.
A movie with the Wasp could show her enjoying her double life as a superhero and fashion designer, having recently parted ways with Hank because he just doesn't get it. The two could reunite before the movie's climax as Hank helps defeat whatever strange villain comes their way, but this would be Janet's film with her humor, tenacity and talent for improvisation driving the story. Despite her seemingly flighty attitude, the Wasp was leader of the Avengers and has a deep passion for justice, making her an incredibly complex character.
"Firefly" alum Jewel Staite seems a fun choice for the part. With additional roles in "L.A. Complex," "Stargate: Atlantis" and "Wonderfalls," she has certainly shown herself capable of portraying many kinds of people, each of whom has multiple layers -- and with her killer smile, she'd bring the perfect amount of "cute factor" as well.
1. CAROL DANVERS – CAPTAIN MARVEL
Carol Danvers was a respected member of the U.S. Air Force and ran security at a NASA facility when she first encountered the alien warrior Mar-Vell, the first Captain Marvel. After sharing several adventures with the hero, an encounter with strange alien technology imbued Carol with some of Mar-Vell's genetic traits, giving her similar powers. In the comics, she's worked with the Avengers (even acting as leader for a time) and took on the moniker Ms. Marvel. After Mar-Vell died of cancer, a few others tried taking up his legacy. Now, a new "Captain Marvel" ongoing series due in July sees Carol finally assuming the mantle of Captain Marvel, directly picking up her friend's legacy.
Carol is someone whose power puts her on par with Superman. She would give us a confident, super-powered woman on screen that we haven't seen recently; one who has the power to handle alien threats with the military training to make her even more formidable. It's like giving powers to Ellen Ripley. The movie could begin with her aiding Mar-Vell and then have her assume his role halfway through the film after gaining similar powers.
There's talk now of a possible "Ms. Marvel" movie in the works. If it does happen, Marvel Studios should seriously consider Charlize Theron. A true chameleon when it comes to acting, Charlize has wowed audiences with roles in "Young Adult," "Arrested Development," "Monster," and "The Italian Job" and is set to impress again in the upcoming sci-fi epic "Prometheus." Theron could truly make Carol a formidable force on-screen.