Listen to this article
The growing trend of the last few years of sagas of superheroes like those of Marvel and DC is to give heroines a special place. Who preceded them?
With the premiere a few days ago of X-men: Dark Phoenix, a new superheroine comes to the big screen as a protagonist. Within the recent universe built by Marvel and DC, the female characters have acquired strength and, although not always, they are beginning to move away from the sexist stereotypes with which they had built them. Not only do we have Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel, but also some that appear as secondary characters such as Black Widow in the Avengers saga or even the antihero Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad.
Leer en español: 3 superheroínas antes de las sagas de Marvel y DC
Before the superhero movies began to establish, both commercially and at the content level, as sagas in which the characters connect little by little, there are some examples of superheroines that achieved certain fame, so much that series and movies were made about them. Of course, some remain stereotypes of women dependent on a man or hypersexualized bodies, but even so they were the ones who planted the field of female presence in the universes of adaptations of comics. Here at LatinAmerican Post we present you five superhero movies before the Marvel and DC boom.
1. Sheena, Queen of the Jungle (1984)
When talking about Sheena, we are basically talking about a female tarzan. The first comics of this heroine came out in 1937, three years before the appearance of Wonder Woman, and then in the 50s was adapted into a television series with Irish McCalla as the protagonist. It was not a great success and the 'queen of the jungle' stayed away from the screen for several years. As the Girls with Guns recalls, it was until 1984, in a boom of fantasy films after the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first installment of Indiana Jones, that he was brought back to the cinema in the hope that it would be a success.
The film talks about the assassination of King Jabalani, the fictitious African country of Tigora, for which they blame the shaman of the Zambouli tribe, Sheena's adoptive mother, played by Tanya Roberts. After she is imprisoned and Sheena rescues her, reporter Vic Cassey follows her and ends up venturing with her into the African savannah while the king's real killers try to exterminate them. As you can imagine, they fall in love and Sheena ends up being motivated by this man to save her people. The reception, contrary to what they were looking for, was not very good and was even nominated in five categories of the Razzie, the anti-oscars that rewards the worst films.
You may be interested: 'Chilling adventures of Sabrina' and the new adolescence
2. Supergirl (1984)
As a continuation of the first three Superman films with Christopher Reeve, the story of Supergirl is a kind of alternate universe in which there are more Kryptonian survivors who live in a utopian society, whose source of power the 'Omegahedron'. At one point, Kara Zor-El, who later becomes Supergirl, played by Helen Slater, ends up teleported to earth with this object and there discovers that she has special powers (there is a scene in which she literally makes a plant bloom with the vision of X-rays). However, the 'Omegahedron' falls into the hands of Selena, a witch who wants to dominate the world, and who will be the main villain.
There are many things that do not make sense in the movie, but that's a comical touch if you do not take it seriously. For example, it is assumed that their society of origin cannot live long without the source of power, but equally she decides to stay on the land, enroll in a school and even have a first love; the sense of urgency does not seem to prevail. And the effects are so bad that even for the same time it should cause laughter. As for the character of her, they build it with such great innocence, that one understands why they put her 'Supergirl' and not 'Superwoman'. Even so, if this 80's aesthetics of special effects amuse you, they can be two hours of much laughter.
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Before the renowned saga in the early nineties with Sarah Michelle Geller as a high school student whose nightlife was killing vampires, Buffy had already had the first presentation on the big screen. In 1992, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer premiered with performances by Kristy Swanson (Buffy), Luke Perry as her human boyfriend and even a small secondary scene with the young Ben Affleck. With an aesthetic between spoof and serious horror film, the film was a failure and it was not until the adaptation years after the figure of Buffy came to fame.
Broadly speaking, the story centers on Buffy's discovery of her destiny as a vampire hunter after her guardian, Merrick, finds her and tells her where she came from. She does not take it seriously and it's not until the vampires start chasing her boyfriend and friends that she starts to hunt them. Thus, in fights that include vampires masquerading as basketball players or sneaking into graduation parties, Buffy is based on stereotypes of popular teenagers against the rare that eliminates all interpretation of a brave woman in control of her life that can be the series. However, like Supergirl, the absurd scenes can make the hour and a half that lasts very funny.
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Gabriel Bocanegra
Translated from "3 superheroínas antes de las sagas de Marvel y DC"