By Lena Shareef, Co-founder of #GIRLWITHABOOK
You may have heard the news already, but Marvel is bringing Peggy Carter from Captain America back to the screens with her own TV series to be aired in January 2015 on ABC. This is (to say the least) incredible! It’s a huge, bold step for a studio to take and it just goes to show that better opportunities and better representations of women are happening on TV way more than in films.
We live in a world where even Wonder Woman, the most famous female super hero, can’t even get her own movie. We live in a world where there are so few leading women on screen. The Women’s Media Center cites in their Status of Women in U.S. Media 2014 Report that, “In 2012’s top 100 films…females snagged only 28.4% of roles with speaking parts.”
It’s important that Marvel is making a show about a woman from the comic book world/superhero universe. For so long, this space has been dominated by boys and men, both as the characters and the fans. But Marvel has finally taken note of the multitude of female fans and they recognize that plenty of girls have something to say about these superheroes. They are just as much a part of this world.
So far, it looks like Marvel is making an active effort to change their whole universe has looked like for decades. There’s a new Ms. Marvel in town who is a 16-year-old Pakistani-American girl from New Jersey. Her name is Kamala Khan and she’s Muslim. How to describe this? It’s a BIG DEAL.
Marvel also announced the following a few weeks ago: “This October, Marvel Comics evolves once again in one of the most shocking and exciting changes ever to shake one of the ‘big three’ of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. No longer is the classic Thunder God able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, and a brand new female hero will emerge worthy of the name THOR.”
And the day after that announcement, they stated in a segment of the Colbert Report that the Steve Rogers (the Captain America we all know and love) will hand his shield over to Sam Wilson (Steve’s friend and previously known as the Falcon) , who will then become the first black man to hold that title.
Mind you, these last three changes mentioned above are only taking place in comic books, not in any movies or on the big screen. But representation anywhere can still have an impact everywhere. It still matters.
In the meantime, at least we can watch Agent Carter as we wait for the rest of the movie industry to get used to the idea that women (and anyone besides straight, white men) have stories to tell too.