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Captain Marvel Makes Film Herstory

Academy Award-winning actor Brie Larsen and Samuel L. Jackson star in the blockbuster film Captain Marvel, the first female-fronted superhero movie from The Marvel Universe, opened this weekend. It raked in $455 million worldwide—the highest grossing solo superhero film opening and the sixth largest film opening in history.

Captain Marvel is empowering for girls (and everyone!) from start to finish. It features women in STEAM, an interracial female friendship, a woman of color as a model parent, and women as effective, compassionate leaders. Female action heroes are often hyper-sexualized, even though research shows this diminishes their power and agency, but Captain Marvel thankfully avoids even a single moment of sexual objectification. Captain Marvel is presented as a full and complex human being.

Similar to the female reboot of Ghostbusters, Captain Marvel was the target of sexist online trolling from incels who especially targeted Larson for being vocal about inclusion in Hollywood. One silver lining is that sexist trolls posted so many negative reviews of Captain Marvel on RottenTomatoes.com before it even opened that the site no longer allows movie reviews prior to a film’s release.