Some (Spoilery) Thoughts on Ant-Man and the MCU’s Female Characters

I just got back from seeing Ant-Man, which is a diverting if lesser film in the Marvel juggernaut. There are, of course, lots of things to pull apart and criticize, which is par for the course with most media. What Ant-Man invites most criticism on, though–at least to my mind–is Marvel’s foot-dragging on giving female superheroes the center stage. The entire film almost feels like a meta-commentary on that precise problem–the woman (Hope Van Dyne, the daughter of Hank Pym AKA the original Ant-Man, and Janet Van Dyne, the missing Wasp) wants to be in the suit; we wonder why she’s not in the suit; we’re given a not-very-satisfactory reason that she’s not going to be in the suit; and in the end, we see that if there’s a sequel, she probably will be in the suit. There is also the suggestion that Janet Van Dyne may not be a closed door in the MCU after all; that she may be retrievable, and that there may be plans to bring the original female Avenger into the films somewhere down the road.

All of which is hopeful, sure, but after all the waiting for a Black Widow film (maybe we’ll do that in Phase Two oh well maybe in Phase Three oh well maybe in Phase Four) and the way Captain Marvel was off-handedly pushed back four months after Spider-Man became available and the lack of merchandising of female characters, it sure makes a person feel like throwing up their hands and saying WHEN IS IT GOING TO BE TIME, MARVEL, WHEN IS IT GOING TO BE TIME?

Sigh. I’ll just be over here waiting for an airdate for Jessica Jones, I guess.