A-Force B Minus

Momentum! First you had a bunch of Marvel women — Zoe Saldana, Brie Larson, Tessa Thompson, Scarlett Johansson — pushing the idea of an all female Marvel movie. Then you had Kevin Feige saying “It’s just the Marvel heroes, more than half of which will be women.” And then Evangeline Lilly: “God, I want to do that! I want to do an all-female Avengers film.” And just like the Last Jedi remake, the female Avengers movie now has a fan-made poster.

Excellent! Mostly. I mean, good effort. Only, well, let me tell you how it should be done.

The poster calls it A-Force and, sure, why not, even though the superheroes on it are almost entirely absent from the 2015 comics series of that name and the plot of the latter would be pretty difficult to work with in the MCU context. Still, decent name, we can go with it, it’s better than All-New, All-Female Avengers or She-Avengers or Avengers Who Probably Won’t Punch Each Other So Much.

And the poster puts Captain Marvel in the center, presumably as the team leader, and why not. If any of the Marvel women is a team leader, she is. So far so good.

Where we start running into problems is around the edges.

Valkyrie? Well, for a start, is she even still alive? She was on that Asgard ship that got slightly destroyed and we never saw her in Infinity War. I hope she’s alive and had a good reason to be elsewhere, but that remains to be seen. She’s Asgardian, though, and has no known connections with Earth. Maybe she’ll get some in Avengers IV. Maybe not. If not, putting her on the A-Force — which I am assuming is Earth-centric, like the Avengers and the comics A-Force — would be a bit of a strain.

That would also be the case with Mantis. And Gamora. And Nebula. Which are about half the Guardians of the Galaxy, incidentally. They’re already on one team, and you’re putting them on another? Pretty doubtful.

Scarlet Witch, yeah, okay, I guess. I mean, I find her a remarkably uninteresting character in the MCU, but if you can do something with her, why not.

And Black Widow?

Please.

She was in Iron Man 2. She was in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. She was in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War. She’ll be in Avengers IV. She’ll almost certainly have a solo movie.

Can we maybe have a movie she’s not in? I get it, she’s a popular character, I like the character, I’d like to see that solo movie. Though maybe with the role recast, giving the part to an actress who is less toxic. But look, she’s already an Avenger. She doesn’t need to be A-Force too, and A-Force doesn’t need her.

Okoye is a fine choice. Of the Wakanda women I’d kind of rather see Nakia in the ensemble; the spy rather than the soldier I think works better, but Okoye’s good too.

So’s the Wasp, I think. I haven’t seen Ant-Man and the Wasp yet, so I don’t have that to go on, but I liked Hope in Ant-Man and I have good expectations.

Now, who to add? There aren’t really any candidates to add from the movies so far, unless it’s maybe Pepper Potts as Rescue. So far the TV and movie casts have been mostly separate, but ignoring that, can we mine TV for anyone good? I don’t see Jessica Jones as the Avenger type. Misty Knight and Colleen Wing, no: They’re going to be busy as the Daughters of the Dragons in a future Netflix series. Or should be.

There’s Trish Walker, though. Not a superhero yet, but she will be. They’ve already set up her evolution into Hellcat. Put her on the A-Force? It could  work.

From future movies? Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider is in Into the Spider-Verse and Silk is maybe getting her own movie; whether Marvel can put them into A-Force is another question. Cool if so, but probably not.

How about characters who have not been and are not so far slated to be on the screen?

There’s She-Hulk, who was on (in fact leader of) the comics A-Force. Good character, and hey, female Avengers need a female Hulk? Well, maybe not. Still, in the comics, she and Hellcat are close. Bring one, why not the other.

Also from the comics A-Force are Dazzler, Medusa, Nico Minoru, and Singularity. Who? Right. Maybe not. Maybe some more popular Marvel women, more prominent ones whose absence from the screen needs to be addressed.

Like Ms Marvel (Kamala Khan)? Maybe. She was an Avenger for a little while, after all. But I don’t know… would she really fit in here?

Maybe Ironheart, Riri Williams, would work. Then again, maybe Ironheart and She-Hulk would be a little too much female Avengers. Go in that direction and pretty soon you’re talking Ironheart, She-Hulk, Thor (Jane Foster), Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), and… uh… Black Widow? And, well, Samantha Wilson, the Earth-65 Captain America. All good characters but as a team, too cute. Feel free to give every one of them a solo movie or TV series though.

As for the A-Force, one Marvel woman who might be in a future TV series (though it got dropped by one network and hasn’t yet been picked up by another) has so far gone unmentioned but absolutely ought to be in anyone’s A-Force roster. Yep, Doreen Green, the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. They’ll need someone who can put Thanos down when he inevitably comes back again.

There you have it:

  • Captain Marvel
  • Nakia
  • The Wasp
  • Hellcat
  • She-Hulk
  • Squirrel Girl

A-Force, A+ edition. The all-female Guardians of the Galaxy is left as an exercise for the reader.

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