The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library
For fans who have been keeping up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2008’s surprise hit Iron Man, it goes without saying that Black Widow is long overdue for her own solo film. A founding member of the cinematic version of The Avengers and a staple of Marvel Comics since 1964, Black Widow has become a star across various media. Prepare yourself for her long-awaited movie with even more exploits featuring some of Marvel’s top action heroines.
Carol Danvers’ long and storied superhero career dates to the late 1960s, when she was introduced as an Air Force officer and associate of the original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell. Part human, part alien, Carol assumed the role of Ms. Marvel (and Binary, for any ‘80s X-Men nerds out there), becoming one of The Avengers’ most powerful members. Finding newfound popularity in the early 2000s, Ms. Marvel would go on to lead her own Avengers team after the fallout from Marvel’s Civil War event. With this collection, Carol finally achieves the prestigious title of Captain Marvel, setting the stage for her on-screen persona.
When the new Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, got her own series in February 2014, it was not only an overwhelming critical and commercial success, but a huge step forward in terms of representation in mainstream superhero comics. As a Pakistani-American teenager growing up in New Jersey, Kamala has enough trouble trying to reconcile her family’s heritage with everyday life as a high school student. When a mysterious fog grants Kamala strange new abilities, she can finally join her idols, The Avengers. Of course, being a teenage superhero is a lot harder than it seems. Along with the new Spider-Man Miles Morales, Ms. Marvel brings a sense of humanity that will endear her to new readers, as well as those who are jaded to superhero origin stories.
Co-created by Stan Lee at the very end of his creative heyday, She-Hulk is idealistic lawyer Jennifer Walters. After being shot by a crime boss, only a blood transfusion from her cousin, the original Hulk, could save her life. With gamma radiation pulsing through her veins, she developed the iconic green skin and super strength you would expect of someone who receives the Hulk’s blood. While her personality and powers have fluctuated somewhat over the years, She-Hulk has emerged as one of the most fun-loving and interesting characters of Marvel’s vast roster of heroes. While the fourth wall-breaking hijinks of John Byrne’s run and the hilarious superhero metacommentary of Dan Slott also come highly recommended, Charles Soule reinvigorates the character for modern audiences in this series that is too often overlooked.
Of course, we can’t leave out Black Widow herself! Just in time for Natasha Romanoff’s solo film debut, Kelly Thompson crafts a story that puts the eternally youthful super spy into an unfamiliar situation: her life is going well! But how long can this strange feeling be sustained? Also check out Mark Waid’s 2016 Black Widow run, if for no other reason than the delightful art by Chris Samnee.