how (not) to corrupt your female characters

Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker in Jessica Jones, Lyrica Okano as Nico Minoru in Runaways, Elodie Yung as Elektra Natchios in Daredevil.

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.



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