Do you identify as male? Do you want to see Wonder Woman but don’t want to settle for one of the many screenings that allow women to intermingle with men, and are upset about being barred from the handful of ladies-only screenings, because ladies just get too much special treatment? Boy do we have good news for you! There are plenty of comic book movies that feature female characters, and you can watch them from the comfort of your own home this weekend while reflecting on how women have always been portrayed as powerful, and the industry definitely doesn’t have a problem, ok? So pop some popcorn, invite all your bros, and take your pick from these carefully selected films to enjoy while appreciating women the way only men can!
1) X-Men (2000), X-Men: 2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Remember the golden days when the comic book movie craze was in its infancy, and Wolverine was already standing shoulder to hairy shoulder with characters like Storm and Jean Grey? Sure, Halle Berry doesn’t get to go full-goddess with her take on the silver-haired weather manipulator, but Storm is one of the most powerful characters in Marvel comics and seeing her on screen in any iteration is enough, right? She even zapped Toad, a guy with the power of a crazy-long tongue. That has to be some sort of feminist statement. And Jean Grey was always defined by her relationships with men and their fear of her abilities, which is about all that makes it through in translation. Too bad she went all evil in the end. Women, amirite?
2) Spider-Man (2002), The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), and all related sequels/reboots
Forget Tobey Maguire vs. Andrew Garfield — they both filled out their spandex with aplomb. The real question is, who was the better love interest: Kirsten Dunst’s MJ or Emma Stone’s Gwen? Ok, so they aren’t superheroes, but they do play an important role in the movies. They are the ones from whom Peter has to keep his secret identity, because lying is totes cool when heroes do it. And even when they know they’re dating their friendly neighborhood Spider-man, they still have to deal with near-constant deadly threats because obviously they are pawns to be used to motivate Spidey. And it’s worth it, because upside-down kisses in the rain are all women really want anyway. And why stop with the web slinger flicks? Strong, motivational love interests, often played by award-winning actresses, can be found everywhere! Iron Man has his Pepper Potts. Thor has his Jane Foster. Superman has his Lois Lane. Batman has his Vicki Vale/Dr. Chase Meridian/Rachel Dawes. Ghost Rider has his Roxanne Simpson. Hulk has his Betty Ross. Heck, even Deadpool got Vanessa back.
3) X-Men: First Class (2011), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Mystique! Mystique is a powerful badass lady! And they cast Jennifer Lawrence, so of course they made the most of her contract and made her central to every storyline regardless of the source material! Is she a hero? A savior? A confused villain? Who cares! She’s Jennifer Lawrence, and you can sort of see her boobs but they’re blue so it totally doesn’t count! Besides, it’s not like she was the only super-powered woman in the movies. In First Class there was Angel, who was a stripper. And Emma Frost, who… well, her boobs were usually diamonds and she had fancy bras. But by Days of Future Past you know you’re going to have a strong storyline for Kitty Pryde because it’s based on one of the most recognized comic arcs in history. You know, the one where she goes back in time to change history. Only in the movie it’s Wolverine who goes back in time… while Kitty just sits there and sweats on him. Oh well, at least in Apocalypse two of the four horsemen are women, and that’s pretty rad, right? One of them is a young Storm, and the other is fucking Psylocke the psychic ninja chick. It’s a good thing Olivia Munn trained so hard for that movie, because you can really tell it paid off in the grand total of 4 minutes or whatever she’s on screen. Savor those minutes, boys. Savor them.
4) Elektra (2005)
Remember when Ben Affleck wasn’t The Batman, he was just Daredevil? And then they made a spinoff movie starring his frenemy Elektra, played by Jennifer Garner? So it’s not like Wonder Woman is even that big a milestone — there was already another female-led comic book movie and it came out over a decade ago! I don’t remember what it was about, probably evil ninjas or something, but Elektra definitely kicked ass and looked great doing it. Plots are for ugly people anyway.
5) Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)
Oh goodie, it’s an indie comic book movie! Boy, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) was a real fuck up until he met Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), right? But he tried to pull it together, because he met a woman who was worth it. And he defeated all her evil exes, while contending with his own cheating ex, and the high school girl named Knives who was obsessed with him because he led her on. I’m not sure what Ramona really wanted out of life, but thank god she was there to inspire Scott to grow up while also swinging a giant hammer around at people.
6) Batman Returns
7) That one Batman movie with Poison Ivy
Which one was it? Batman & Robin? The one with George Clooney, and all the bat-nipples. They added a female villain in the form of Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy, who had her own brute named Bane to do all the heavy lifting for her. And that’s not all! They doubled down on the ovaries and added Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl to the mix! Her costume also had nipples. It was equal-opportunity nipples. Nipples. Nippies. Nip-nips. Ok, I’ll stop.
8) Black Widow
Oh wait, never mind. There is no Black Widow standalone movie. Oh well, I guess just rewatch Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Captain America: Winter Soldier, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: Civil War, and appreciate all the ways Marvel has found to include Natasha.
9) Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)
Why even go to the movies when you can support Wonder Woman from home! After all, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Gal Gadot’s take on Diana — she was introduced in last year’s slugfest tentpole extravaganza. It was supposed to showcase the Man of Steel and The Batman beating the shit out of each other, but let’s face it: Wonder Woman was hands-down the best part. A woman stole the show. And it wasn’t even Martha.
10) Tank Girl (1995)
I don’t actually have a joke for this one, I just really love this movie. Lori Petty 4eva!