Recently, I stumbled upon this panel from "Avengers" #83 (1970), drawn by the legendary John Buscema, where Valkyrie, Wasp, Medusa, Scarlet Witch and Black Widow form a temporary alliance known as the Liberators. The team turns out to be part of an elaborate duplicitous scheme by the Enchantress against the Avengers, but that is beside the point. Seeing these characters at one table hit my eyeballs like a freight train and made me realize that the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs some more dynamic leading ladies. Granted there are signs already that Marvel is rectifying this situation. Black Widow became a much more nuanced character in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", Gamora looks absolutely fierce in "Guardians of the Galaxy", and I expect that Elizabeth Olsen and Joss Whedon will come up with something compelling for Scarlet Witch in "Avengers: Age of Ultron". That said, Marvel Studios has a problem where many of their great female characters like the Invisible Woman, Storm, Black Cat, Rogue and Jean Grey are trapped at other studios for the foreseeable future. My suggestion is that Marvel need look no further than the above image in order to bolster the ranks of female superheroes in the MCU.
One of my personal favorite creations of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, Medusa (Medusalith Amaquelin) first appeared back in "Fantastic Four" #36 (1965) and she has the potential to be the standout of any movie that deals with the Inhumans. The Queen of Attilan is a striking character visually and she boasts a set of powers that has never before been seen on screen except for in giant octopus and squid movies from the 1950s. Her relationship with her husband Black Bolt and his mad brother Maximus has the potential for some of the best royal intrigue we've seen since "Game of Thrones". For anyone interested in reading up on the character, Matt Fraction and Mike Allred recently breathed new life into Medusa in their brilliant run on "FF". Just give me a movie where the secret city of Attilan is discovered by a hostile outside world forcing the Inhumans to relocate their city to the moon and I'll be very happy.
We know for sure that Edgar Wright's "Ant-Man" is coming our way in the summer of 2015, but it remains to be seen if Evangeline Lilly will be whipping out the spandex to play Janet van Dyne, a woman comic book fans know and love as the Wasp. I'd love to see the Wasp brought to life on the screen. In the comics, she debuted waaaay back in "Tales to Astonish" #44 (1963). She was also a founding member of the Avengers and has evolved from a superficial wealthy socialite to a seasoned veteran who has occasionally taken on the mantle of leadership for the world's mightiest heroes, in particular during the famous "Under Siege" arc (one of my favorites) from "Avengers" #270-277 (1986-1987). More recently the character was used to great effect by Brian Michael Bendis and Frank Cho (see illustration below) in "Mighty Avengers". With Edgar Wright choosing a very different direction for his movie from the comics, it remains to be seen if Wasp will play an essential role in the story, but she is without question one of the most established female superheroes in Marvel comics and would be a worthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I get a little sentimental about Brunnhilde aka Valkyrie. Some of the first comics I ever owned as a little kid showcased Valkyrie as a member of the Defenders and I've always loved this one-woman wrecking machine who is capable of waging war side by side with the likes of Thor. Technically she's one of the many Valkyrior from Asgard, the chooser of the slain that guide the souls of valiant warriors to Valhalla. Her look and style of fighting might too closely resemble that of Jaimie Alexander's character of Sif to appear anytime soon but if Marvel Studios were to expand the world of Asgard dramatically in the movies, Valkyrie would be an excellent addition to the cast. Perhaps if Surtur or Ymir and their giants ever lay waste to Asgard we could see Valkyrie make an appearance in the aftermath guiding the souls of dead Asgardians into the afterlife. At any rate, one look at the drawing below by Milo Manara should make her appeal obvious to anyone with a pulse.
With the recent announcement that we can expect a movie featuring the "Justice League" in the next few years, the rivalry between Marvel and DC on the silver screen should quickly reach a fever pitch. I sincerely hope that this competition will work to the advantage of the fans as the two entertainment giants slug it out in the multiplex much as they have for decades in the comics. If I had to choose sides in a fight to the death, I'd be in Marvel's camp all the way, but I hope these two companies continue their rivalry in comics, movies and games for many decades to come. DC has the potential to whip out a variety of amazing female superhero icons with their Justice League franchise, characters that I love like Black Canary, Zatanna, or Hawk Girl. But if suddenly actresses like Natalie Dormer were to show up as Medusa or MMA stars like Ronda Rousey made an appearance as Valkyrie, the Marvel Cinematic Universe would have some powerful weapons in their arsenal for the media war to come.