Round Table: Marvel’s Women (Part 1), Hope van Dyne


Feliciteri: Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t seen Ant-man, stop reading this post, run out and get a movie ticket or three, watch another incredibly fun Marvel Studios movie, and come back to read this post:)

Feliciteri: The four of us will take a topic and talk about it. Hopefully this will be a regular feature.

Feral Atom: So in the wake of Ant-man and some of the flak that Marvel’s gotten over the character Hope van Dyne, we’re going to talk about how well or how poorly Marvel’s done with their female characters as we wait for Captain Marvel. In three long years.

So let’s first talk about what you guys think of the character Hope.

hope
Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne in Marvel’s Ant-man, the second best thing about the movie after Luis.

Gatto DiSangue: I think that she had good potential because that scene where she’s training Scott Lang that’s mostly constituted of her beating him up. I thought she was a cool and interesting character at first, but throughout the whole movie she did nothing. What constitutes a strong female character is contributing to the plot in some way–driving it, not just following it.

Road-sine: I mean, she was working for Darren Cross and she’d obviously gained his trust.

Feral Atom: She was the deciding vote in ousting her father. So she was a high-ranking official for the company.

Road-sine: Yeah, she did do that. And at the end of the movie, that helped them with infiltrating the place, but compared with the other character’s actions she didn’t make that much of an impact. And when you think about it, I almost forgot she even did that.

Feral Atom: But Luis would have never been able to punch out that guard unless she’d gotten him the fake ID.

Gatto DiSangue: Yeah. But at the same time it’s almost like all the stuff is behind the scenes. It’s like, in the past she did all these big things but you don’t see it happening.

Road-sine: You really didn’t see her do anything in the movie.

Gatto DiSangue: She mostly was just like: Let me wear the suit pleeease.

ant-man-evangeline-lilly
Evangeline Lilly looking like she’s ready to get down to business as Hope van Dyne in Marvel’s Ant-man movie.

Feliciteri: Evangeline Lilly did a good job with Hope. I thought she was pretty strong and its nice that they showed a woman wearing suits. She looked good in them.

Feral Atom: And I guess too, when her father gets shot it would have been cool if she’d put her martial arts to work and beat up some of those bad guys. It definitely would have been cool to see her in the suit.

ant-man-the-wasp-suit
Hope and the new Wasp prototype suit. Yea!

Gatto DiSangue: Well, I really didn’t mind that.

Feral Atom: But then that would have been a totally different movie. The movie was called Ant-man, it wasn’t called Ant-man and Wasp. It was about his redemption.

antman-hope-van-dyne-posterart

Feliciteri: I would love to see a movie called Ant-man and the Wasp!

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The Wasp from Marvel’s Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Feral Atom: And head’s up Marvel… make her tough and no killing the Wasp or Cassie or there will be an uprising!

Death_of_Cassandra_Lang_(Earth-616)_002
Death of Cassie Lang in Avengers: Children’s Crusade #8. Art by Jim Cheung.

Gatto DiSangue: Yeah, but the scope would have had to stretch too far and wouldn’t have been focused enough on Scott Lang. Maybe that’s part of the reason why her character’s so underdeveloped.

Road-sine: Like even the secondary guy characters, like Luis, seemed to contribute more to the plot then she did.

Feliciteri: Luis was funny. Especially when they dubbed his voice over the other characters when he was telling his stories. Hope didn’t have as cool of lines as he did.

Gatto DiSangue: It wouldn’t have mattered as much if the only other female characters were Ant-man’s daughter and his wife. They were just there.

Feliciteri: It would’ve been nice to see another female character. Police officers, security guards, scientists at Pym Labs, even female Hydra agents. But all we had was Hope. The ex-wife and daughter were really minor roles.

hope-planning-the-heist
Hope, Scott and Hank planning the Heist.

FeralAtom: You can criticize that they weren’t elevated but his daughter was exceptionally cute and didn’t scream and cry when she said, “Are you a monster?” When Yellow Jacket came in her room. She could have screamed and cried, they could have made her seem frightened but she didn’t really act very badly.

Gatto DiSangue: Yeah, I’m not saying that she was a bad character or anything. I’m just saying that as their most prominent female character in the movie, Hope isn’t very strong. They have three female characters in the whole movie.

Feral Atom: Four, adding the original Wasp. And people say women in refrigerators because her only purpose was to die so that Hank Pim would quit being the Ant-man.

Gatto DiSangue: And for Hope to be kinda scarred.

Feral Atom: That’s true, but that’s like saying Uncle Ben did that for Peter Parker. But he wasn’t a female character, Aunt May still survived; it was Uncle Ben that died.

So I think that often heroes have the death of someone as their catalyst. That’s a given. Often it is a woman, but you look at Janet’s death and it was heroic. A lot of times, it’s just being a damsel in distress and the villain takes things too far.

Gatto DiSangue: Like Gwen Stacy.

Feral Atom: Yeah, instead it would have been cool to see Gwen Stacy push Green Goblin off of the bridge.

Gatto DiSangue: Yeah, that would have been cool. The mother could’ve been a strong female character.

Feral Atom: Well, I don’t think that she was strong but I don’t think that she was weak either. I mean, to hold her ground and say “You need to get a job, you need to get an apartment…” I respect that.

Gatto DiSangue: Oh her? I didn’t think that she was a strong female character at all.

Feliciteri: I didn’t like her. We didn’t see much of her.

Feral Atom: Yeah, in here the female characters weren’t strong. They were middling. The physically strongest character in the movie was first probably Luis because he was punching people out but next it would be Hope.

Gatto DiSangue: Yeah, but being kick-butt isn’t what defines a strong female character.

Road-sine: It’s still cool to see.

Feliciteri: Hope punching Scott was one of my favorite parts.

Feral Atom: Yeah, I was cracking up.

hope-van-dyne-body-slam2
Hope kicks Scott’s butt… repeatedly. Still isn’t allowed to wear the suit.

Gatto DiSangue: If they backed that up with a strong, realistic personality, she would be a cool, strong female character. But she just did cool stuff she wasn’t cool.

Feral Atom: Not just listening to her Daddy. That’s basically what she was doing. Her father said “No! End of discussion” and she’s like “Yes, Daddy.”

Gatto DiSangue: It was almost like she was an adolescent.

Road-sine: It kind of counteracted with what you said before about her punching Scott Lang.

Feral Atom: It was inconsistent. She voted her father out, hasn’t talked to him for the longest time. Then when push comes to shove, she backs down.

Gatto DiSangue: And it’s like all to good stuff she did was accidental.

Feral Atom: That’s true.

Road-sine: I don’t want to be overly critical. I mean, it’s still cool that they have female characters at all. And I liked that funny scene where she punches him. I mean, they didn’t have to have that in but they did and it was cool to see.

ant-man-evangeline-lilly
Hope van Dyne power stance. Either Marvel puts her as the Wasp in Civil War or at least have her do UFC for the next movie;)
ant-man-teaser
Hope van Dyne with a kick to the gut. Bam!

Feliciteri: Part two will talk about Black Widow.

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