“Captain Marvel” is not just another milestone in the Marvel universe: it’s the definitive leap for women to being the protagonists in superhero stories
Nothing will ever be the same again. That’s the idea Marvel based the building of its path that has taken us to “Avengers: Endgame” and that’s turning each new film from the publishing house into a catharsis by instalments. But as much as the segmentation into stages has served to make us aware of where we were each time and with whom, although one thing is clear, and that’s the main story is ultimately the one that affects all the characters in their universe, the secret of Marvel’s success lies in its ability to provide each superhero with a very well-defined identity that directly addresses some of the major issues in contemporary film. To give you just a couple of truly significant examples; “Doctor Strange” explored the horizons of how much of what we see and what we believe is real and how much isn’t, and “Black Panther” is the perfect metaphor for the definitive visibility of minorities in cinema. So, now “Captain Marvel“, far from being just another step in this expanding imaginary, is above all the illustration of female empowerment in a film genre that has traditionally been dominated by men. That’s why it’s no coincidence that her interruption in Marvel’s story comes about just at the exact moment when in fact, nothing will ever be the same again.
Let’s look at the origin of the character. Carol Danvers, a pilot who aspires to conquer the skies, becomes lost in other worlds forced into adopting the role of a powerful warrior destined to bring stability to the galaxy. Her return to Earth is not only intended to proclaim her our saviour in the face of the devastation dished out by Thanos but is also a search for her own identity: hers and ours. Like her, Marvel readers and viewers have long been travellers to other worlds in search of a better understanding of who we are, and like her, we learn to look beyond to discover how to comprehend our closest reality. Captain Marvel represents women’s definitive touch down in the narrative context, who up until now, had been relegated to roles more akin to that of an extra. After all these years in which her colleagues, The Avengers, have been unable to stop the greatest threat, she is the truly chosen one to sort all this nonsense out. That’s why she’s a captain, because she is the leader the world needs right now, and that’s why she’s a woman, because we have come a long way since women’s role in comic books was confined to the realms of ‘the damsel in distress’. “Capitan Marvel” is the result of an evolution of the modern narrative and ultimately follows the same lines as the morphing of Luke Skywalker into Rey, and from Superman into Wonder Woman. Nor is it by chance that Marvel has chosen to explain its origin and set the action in the 90s: after squeezing every drop of nostalgia, to infinity and beyond, from the 80s, films like this demonstrate that it’s the turn of the next decade. And it’s only logical that Marvel are the standard-bearers, as their superheroes have always been transmitted from one generation to the next.