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– by David Kozlowski

Marvel is still quite a ways off from debuting their first female-led MCU film, Captain Marvel in early 2019. However, the studio has developed several important female roles, from Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) to Gamora (Zoe Saldana), who each exhibited agency and propelled narrative in their respective films. 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy stood out with four developed female roles, which were all pivotal in bringing that story to resolution.

Director/writer James Gunn’s sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, apparently delves deeper into its female characters, bringing back fan favorites Gamora and Nebula (Karen Gillan), and investing heavily in their family conflicts. Star-Lord‘s mother Meredith (Laura Haddock) also returns and the empath Mantis (Pom Klementieff) is introduced as a new team member.



Continuing our series of reports from the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 press junket, we gain some additional insight on the topic of female characters from Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. One reporter posed the following question to Feige:

“I’m really appreciative about the amount of women or female characters in the film. I just think it’s great, you don’t see that very often in anything. Kevin, I was wondering if there was a discussion about that, if you were trying to do that or if there was there any push back?”

Feige provides a rather broad response that speaks to his vision for the entire MCU, as much as it addresses his specific goals for this film:

“No push back… There are lots and lots of great female characters in the comics that we want to bring to life on the screen, and it’s very important to James [Gunn] to include these characters. And more than just include them, give them their own storylines, and have it be more than just their ability to fight or their romance with a male character. And that’s why I think Nebula and Gamora are a high point for the movie, and that relationship is one of the biggest and best arcs in the whole movie, is that sister relationship.”

Drax actor Dave Bautista leans in and offers his own perspective, which elicits a nice chuckle from the attendees:

“I keep hearing over and over again, women are so happy to see these strong, sexy female characters. And trust me, that the men are happy to see them as well.”

Early indications are that Feige and Gunn have delivered a fantastic sequel that builds upon the first, develops its characters, and expands on the fun and sense of adventure from the original film. I’m excited to see how these characters grow and where the franchise takes each of their storylines.

Who’s your favorite female character in Guardians of the Galaxy so far? Let us know in the comments down below!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters on May 5, 2017.

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David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.