WON­DER WOMEN

As Diana of The­myscira storms the box of­fice, five fe­male su­per­heroes wait in the wings

Empire (UK) - - PRE.VIEW - WORDS HELEN O’HARA

CAP­TAIN MAR­VEL __ A hot­shot pi­lot whose DNA was fused with that of the alien Kree (think Ro­nan The Ac­cuser), Carol Dan­vers has su­per­hu­man strength, speed, flight, you name it. She’s Su­per­man with bet­ter hair. Of course, she’s al­ready head­ing to screens in 2019 with Brie Lar­son in the lead and Mis­sis­sippi Grind co-di­rec­tors Anna Bo­den and Ryan Fleck set to direct — an emo­tion­ally in­tel­li­gent combo that should fit Dan­vers’ steely charm.

BATGIRL __ Batgirl/bar­bara Gor­don is a stal­wart of the Teen Ti­tans and Birds Of Prey su­per-groups, and proud owner of two hero per­sonae: she was kick­ing ass as Batgirl, be­fore spend­ing years as wheel­chair-bound, anti-crime mas­ter­mind Or­a­cle (...it’s a long story). Get her right — cool, funny, fierce — and you clear a path to a Birds Of Prey fran­chise with Cat­woman and Hun­tress. Joss Whe­don, Jus­tice League-al­low­ing, will be at­tempt­ing to do just that. He was an­nounced as di­rec­tor, writer and pro­ducer of a 2018 Batgirl film in March.

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS __ David Ayer and Mar­got Rob­bie are set to re­unite, post-

Sui­cide Squad, on a for­mi­da­ble girl-gang­ster team-up. Rob­bie’s Har­ley Quinn will be joined by fel­low anti-hero­ines Cat­woman and Poi­son Ivy. With Cat­woman (mostly) work­ing along­side Bat­man while Quinn strug­gles with her at­trac­tion to the Joker and Ivy tries to save the planet, there’s meaty in-fight­ing ga­lore, but strangely touch­ing mu­tual sup­port too. They may have started off as straight-up vil­lains, but they’re com­pli­cated, un­apolo­getic women.

BLACK WIDOW __ There’s one Avenger there’s far, far too lit­tle of, and it’s Natasha Ro­manoff. We still know next to noth­ing about her, so give Scar­lett Jo­hans­son her dues and let her un­leash Natasha on a solo mis­sion. The Itsy

Bitsy comics arc, in which she had to bat­tle a would-be suc­ces­sor to her Black Widow role, would be a good start­ing point. Racked with guilt, and con­flicted about her Avengers role, she’s firmly on Mar­vel’s dance card for the next few years.

SQUIRREL GIRL __ They made Ant-man and the one with the talk­ing rac­coon, so is it too much to de­mand they adapt the girl with squirrel-like pow­ers? Pow­ers such as scam­per­ing, tree-climb­ing and talk­ing to other squir­rels. Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate her, though. In her time, she’s de­feated Thanos with a massed squirrel at­tack (vi­cious claws, you know). She’d be the wit­ti­est, za­ni­est hero of re­cent years, an an­ti­dote to su­per­hero se­ri­ous­ness even more po­tent than Dead­pool.

Diana, aka Won­der Woman (Gal Gadot), is kick­ing box-of­fice ass. Be­low: Cover stars Black Widow, Har­ley Quinn and Squirrel Girl.

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