The first Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice reviews are rolling in. Surprise! It's bad. Really bad, apparently.
As of Wednesday afternoon, it's rocking a 41% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Those who liked it called it "not bad" at best, while those who didn't like it said it's "overlong, underdeveloped and almost entirely humorless." It's worse than even the critically panned Superman movie Man of Steel, which managed a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes in 2013.
Yet the one part of the movie critics can agree on, it seems, is Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman. One self-professed superhero movie fan who didn't like the movie, called her "the best thing in this movie" and the part that "almost saves the entire picture." In a movie about two male superheroes, a woman shines brightest. Natasha Romanoff can relate.
Unlike Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, who can't seem to get her own movie, Gadot will be playing Wonder Woman in a solo outing come 2017. But superhero movies with women at their core are still too few and far between, particularly as these new Superman movies draw routinely bad reviews.
So to DC, Marvel and the other studios producing superhero movies: Take a chance on some women in the lead. Movies about women make money — a lot of it! — and there are plenty of choices well within their own repertoires. If Ant-Man can get his own movie, certainly Ms. Marvel deserves one. Here are seven suggestions.
It's surprising that 20th Century Fox, which owns the rights to the X-Men characters, never thought to spin Storm off into her own movie when Halle Berry played the character. The franchise is no stranger to character-focused spinoffs, after all, though perhaps they were scared off by the underperformance of Berry's Catwoman movie.
Regardless, Storm is still one of the most iconic female superheroes, what with her platinum hair and control of the weather. Perhaps with a new actress filling out her mohawk — Alexandra Shipp as of this year's X-Men: Apocalypse — 20th Century Fox will be more tempted to throw caution to the wind.
Not only a female superhero, but a Muslim superhero, Kamala Khan is a Pakistani-American who threw on the cape and title that formerly belonged to her personal hero, Carol Danvers, in 2014. Because of her identity, Ms. Marvel is one of the most modern properties on this list. In a time when presidential frontrunners are demonizing Muslims, it would be a refreshingly progressive choice to see Kamala Khan on screen.
As played by Katie Cassidy on the CW's Arrow, Dinah Laurel Lance (known on that show as Laurel) is a vigilante known as Black Canary. The character has a rich history in the comics, and her "outside the lines, for the right reasons" approach bears many similarities to Batman himself. Given a unique treatment (and with the right actor in the part), Black Canary could be a huge hit.
Storm's not the only X-Woman who deserves her own movie. Jubilee (full name Jubilation Lee) is the kind of neon-colored superhero, with a past much darker than her look, that regularly makes for some of the most unexpectedly compelling superhero fare. (Hello, Deadpool.)
There's lots about Jubilee that would make her a great addition to any cinematic universe, from fans' familiarity with her, thanks to the X-Men animated series, to her Chinese-American identity. She's also notably close to Wolverine; could we see a buddy movie where Hugh Jackman teams up with a new superhero star?
A superhero named Raven who has psychic powers? That's so... interesting.
Rachel Roth is part of the Teen Titans, who you may remember from their self-titled animated series on Cartoon Network in the 2000s. That show had a remarkably sarcastic, self-knowing sense of humor, which means Raven could be taken a couple of different directions. Could this empath be DC's best answer to Guardians of the Galaxy? Or a potential movie could play her more dour mood straight, as best fits the Batman v Superman/Man of Steel universe.
Yes, calling for a Black Widow movie is a bit like beating a dead horse at this point. But why is the horse dead anyway? Revive that horse! A Black Widow movie is just as good an idea as it's ever been, and Johansson is a total star. Marvel's indifference to doing this is the most bizarre part of their operating model. Time to let this spider out of her web.