It took a while, but Marvel is finally giving their female characters the runway the deserve.
Actress: Danai Gurira
Bio: Okoye is the general of the Dora Milaje and the head of Wakanda's armed forces and intel.
Why we love them: Okoye is a fierce and loyal warrior, but she also surprised us with her timely comedy. Although she is loyal to her king, she isn't afraid to call him out when necessary, especially when he freezes like an antelope in headlights. If Wakanda ever gets that Starbucks, they'll have Okoye to thank.
Actress: Tessa Thompson
Bio: Brunnhilde is an Asgardian Valkyrie who was part of an elite group of warriors called the Valkyrie, and the Queen of New Asgard.
Why we love them: She can fight. She can drink. She even managed to befriend the Hulk. Definitely doesn't care what you think. Valkyrie was entertaining right out of the gate, but it was great to see her overcome her self-pity and help form the Revengers. Don't worry, she didn't give up drinking.
Actress: Karen Gillan
Bio: Nebula is a Luphomoid assassin, an adopted daughter of the intergalactic warlord Thanos and adopted sister of Gamora.
Why we love them: She was a villain in her first appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, and even then, we still respected Nebula for her abilities as an assassin. However, moving forward from there, Gamora started to get through to her sister and eventually convinced her to stop obeying their insane father. The character really took off as she learned to embrace more of her human side to work with her new family. Nebula showed us there is much more to her than what Thanos saw and she even has some great comedic moments. We much prefer having her on the good side.
Character: Carol Danvers
Actress: Brie Larson
Bio: Captain Carol Danvers, also known as Captain Marvel, is a former United States Air Force pilot who, upon being exposed to the energy of the Tesseract, obtained cosmic powers.
Why we love them: We have a feeling Carol will eventually move up this list once we get to know her better. Even after just meeting her in her origin story, she is clearly a force to be reckoned with and deserving of a spot on our list. She was a great pilot in the Air Force before she had any of her powers and still proved capable when the Kree were secretly suppressing her powers. Now that we know the potential for the character, we can't wait to see what Carol does as she is sure to be a major player for the Avengers moving forward.
Character: Scarlet Witch
Actress: Elizabeth Olsen
Bio: Wanda Maximoff is a native of the Eastern European country of Sokovia who grew up with her twin brother, Pietro. In an effort to help purge their country of strife, the twins agreed to undergo experiments with the Scepter under the supervision of Wolfgang von Strucker's HYDRA cell, and received superpowers as a result, with Wanda attaining various abilities including telekinesis, telepathy, and energy manipulation.
Why we love them: Once she stepped out that door and became an Avenger, Wanda was instantly one of the most powerful members of the team. What we really like about her is that she is relatable despite being so powerful. Cap tried to remind Tony in Civil War that she's just a kid. She lost most of her family before just recently being given these powers, then lost her brother, and is still trying to find her way in the world. Even though Thanos ended up reversing time, Wanda was put through another hardship when she had to destroy the mind stone which killed Vision as a result. She has really brought a lot of emotion to the MCU.
Character: Hope Van Dyne
Actress: Evangeline Lilly
Bio: Hope van Dyne is the daughter of Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne, and a board member of the company founded by her father, Pym Technologies.
Why we love them: The Ant-Man movies haven't gotten as much attention as some of the other MCU films, so Hope might be a little under the radar compared to some of the other characters on this list. That didn't stop hardcore fans from noticing how much of an amazing character Hope is. She's smart, business savvy, and can hold her own in a fight. She quietly became the first Female co-star to title an MCU film. We're glad to see she finally got the runway she deserved in the sequel after spending the first movie wondering why they spent so much time training Scott, when she could do the job better.
Character: Peggy Carter
Actress: Hayley Atwell
Bio: Margaret Elizabeth "Peggy" Carter was one of the most prominent agents of the Strategic Scientific Reserve during and after World War II and one of the founders of S.H.I.E.L.D..
Why we love them: We had a limited runway with Peggy Carter during First Avenger, but the idea of her character ran throughout the entire franchise. We also got blessed with an enjoyable TV run of the character, which only helped fuel her fanbase. Peggy is a character that knows her worth and will not be told differently. This type of dynamic was even more fascinating given the period that her story took place in.
"Compromise where you can. Where you can't, don't. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye, and say 'No, you move'."
Actress: Letitia Wright
Bio: Shuri is the Princess of Wakanda, daughter of T'Chaka and Ramonda, sister of T'Challa, and the leader of the Wakandan Design Group.
Why we love them: Shuri plays the role of the younger sister perfectly. Her character could have easily been built just off of that dynamic. Fans were pleasantly surprised to see how well they developed Shuri in such a limited runway. Not only did we get to see her prowess as an innovator, we also got to see her skills in battle.
Actress: Zoe Saldana
Bio: Gamora was a Zehoberei former assassin and a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. She became the adopted daughter of Thanos and adopted sister of Nebula after he killed half of her race.
Why we love them: Not only is Gamora a certified badass and the only level-headed member of the Guardians, she is also at the core of some of Marvel's biggest relationships. Between her dynamic with Peter, Nebula, and Thanos, this character carries so much weight during the entire third phase.
Character: Black Widow
Actress: Scarlett Johansson
Bio: Natalia Alianovna "Natasha" Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, was one of the most talented spies and assassins in the entire world and a founding member of the Avengers.
Why we love them: It's not easy being an Avenger. Especially, when you don't have any powers. That didn't stop Romanoff from becoming a major player in the franchise. Even when she was surrounded by aliens and gods, you always felt like she was in control of the situation.
Image Credits: Disney