how (not) to corrupt your female characters
Starring the women of of Marvel television.
The films in the MCU have had a few female antagonists by now. There’s Hela (Cate Blanchett), of course, the most fabulously demented scenery-chewer. The Guardians films gave us Nebula (Karen Gillan), though she only held the villain title tentatively and only for about one and a half films, and they also wasted Elizabeth Debicki on that gold-painted eugenicist Ayesha. The Supreme Intelligence in Captain Marvel isn’t technically a woman, but it often appeared looking like Mar-Vell (Annette Bening) since that was how Carol saw it so she got to do some villain acting, and Minn-Erva was technically a villain too (they also wasted Gemma Chan, though in this case just because she was such fun in this part but had no screentime; they at least cast her as the lead in Eternals).
The TV shows have given us a lot more female villains, though. Sometimes this is straightforward (SHIELD‘s Lorelei [Elena Satine], Ellen Nadeer [Parminder Nagra], Izel [Karolina Wydra], various Chronicoms; Alexandra [Sigourney Weaver] and Madame Gao [Wai Ching Ho] on The Defenders; Alisa Jones [Janet McTeer] in Jessica Jones; Mariah Dillard [Alfre Woodard] in Luke Cage; Morgan le Fay [Elizabeth Hurley] on Runaways) and sometimes it’s #complicated (the mothers of Runaways come to mind, because the show did this thing of trying to make them sympathetic but only sometimes and I really only bought it with regards to Janet Stein [Ever Carradine], #justiceforjanetstein). The best and worst cases, though, were the characters whose roles and allegiances shifted during their arcs.
Am I bringing this up now because people (even on the website I write for) are having discussions about who might be the villain of WandaVision and I’m getting heated about it? Maybe probably yes.
Full story here.