Marvel Studios: 2022 was the year of women in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
The women of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ruled 2022. Here are the best of the best and how they carried the MCU in 2022.
In 2022, Marvel Studios produced eight projects. Each of them were more different than the previous one. In order they were Moon Knight, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Ms. Marvel, Thor: Love and Thunder, I Am Groot, She-Hulk, Werewolf By Night, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.
With the exception of I Am Groot, each of the projects had one thing in common: They featured a woman that helped make their respective movies, shows, or specials a success.
Not all of them were leads or even secondary characters. Some of the women who took over made an impact without a ton of screen time. Ayo from Black Panther 2 is a perfect example. She was funny, tough, and left a lasting impression. The latter being crucial to any performance. That’s not an easy thing to do. Coming up are the women of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and what made them great in 2022.
Side note, the list isn’t in any order.
Honorable mentions: Captain Carter, Captain Marvel (Maria Rambeau), Nakia Bahadir, America Chavez
Iman Vellani, Ms. Marvel
While some heroes are too serious for their own good, Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) added sweetness, dedication, and heart. When Kamala got her powers, she trained as hard as possible to get better. She got so good at it that she helped save the planet. This all while being a teenager in high school, embracing and learning about her Muslim heritage, and finding out that she comes from a line of people from another universe. One of those is enough. All of them together is more than any one person should have to handle.
Iman Vellani was the best thing to happen to the MCU. Hopefully, she stays for a long time.
Danai Gurira, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Okoye never disappoints. While Shuri and Ramonda are royalty, Okoye is the country’s heart. Even after being stripped of her title, Okoye remained Wakanda’s protector.
Seeing her fight to save people when Talocan attacked wasn’t shocking. And making her a Midnight Angel made sense as well. It helped with her growth as a character and showed that Okoye doesn’t need accolades to be a hero. She’ll do whatever is needed to defend Wakanda and its people. Even if it means getting past her disdain for certain technology.
Tatiana Maslany, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
Jennifer Walters and her Hulk side were flawless. A comic book fan couldn’t ask for a better representation. If you didn’t know her from the comics, she was still a fantastic character.
Watching her hit on points like misogyny, learning to love yourself, and embracing your sexuality were important life lessons. It was better since the progression wasn’t instant. It made Jennifer’s journey relatable. It wouldn’t be believable if she woke up one day and was perfect. She worked at it and became a better hero, lawyer, and person for it.
Zenobia Shroff, Ms. Marvel
Iman Vellani was great in Ms. Marvel, but the show isn’t a triumph without Zenobia Shroff playing Muneeba Khan. Everything about Muneeba screamed mom. Overprotective, but saw enough to let her daughter spread her wings. Compassionate, but also very stern.
Kamala wouldn’t be the hero she is if she didn’t have her mother’s support, critique, and words of wisdom. Muneeba Khan is the most underrated character in Phase 4 of the MCU. It’s not even close.
Tessa Thompson, Thor: Love and Thunder
Valkyrie is the MVP of Thor: Love and Thunder. The entire cast spent a good amount of the movie being too goofy. Meanwhile, Valkyrie’s character didn’t overdo it. Sure, King Valkyrie had scenes where she made jokes. The difference is they never felt forced or over the top. It was the same kind of feeling from Thor: Ragnarok. Without King Valkyrie, Thor: Love and Thunder would have been a failure. Maybe it’s time to give Valkyrie their own spin-off.
Jameela Jamil, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
The creative team behind She-Hulk recreated the Titania character. Instead of her being a random villain with super strength, she had an updated backstory. Titania was a super-powered social media influencer. It may not seem like something you’d see in a comic book, but why wouldn’t there be a person with powers using their fame on Facebook and Instagram to make money? It only makes sense that this would eventually happen. On top of that, Jameela Jamil was cast to play her and nailed the role. There definitely needs to be more of her in the MCU.
Dominique Thorne, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Riri Williams didn’t have a lot of screen time in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Nevertheless, she shined whenever she was seen. People can critique her saying that she was only in the movie to promote her upcoming show and they’d be right. However, it doesn’t mean much if you flop. That wasn’t the case here.
Dominique Thorne made certain that people would want to see what else Riri Williams can do. She was smart enough to impress Shuri. That should be more than enough to get people pumped for her show. Here’s more good news. We haven’t seen the best of Riri Williams and can’t wait to see the armor she makes without Wakandan technology.
Pom Klementieff, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special had all of the heart you’d want from a holiday project. It only made sense that Mantis would be front and center. She’s the person that best epitomizes joy and happiness. Seeing the lengths that she’d go through to make her brother (Star-Lord) happy proved that. Beyond the happiness, her interactions with Drax made the special that much better.
If Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the last time fans will see Mantis, it’s good that she has this special. It could become a holiday classic in households for years to come.
Ginger Gonzaga, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
Everyone needs a best friend that will call you out when you make a mistake. It’s also a staple in comedy shows. Nikki Ramos was that and more. She helped Jennifer throughout her transition from regular law to super-law. Nikki was also crucial in helping Jennifer with her dating life. It’s doubtful that Jennifer would have made it without her. She was present for almost all of Jennifer Walters’ biggest decisions.
Harriet Sansom Harris, Werewolf by Night
Verussa Bloodstone was exactly what Werewolf by Night needed. Someone that was pure evil. This way, no one would care when she was killed. In fact, it was satisfying. It was very much like the classic monster features. You couldn’t wait for the baddie to get what they deserved.
The creative team made it easy to hate Verussa in the end. She was willing to kill an innocent being (Man-Thing), her daughter-in-law (Elsa), and Jack Russell (Werewolf by Night) for no good reason. In a universe where some villains are relatable, it’s refreshing to have ones that are easy to despise. Verussa Bloodstone was that villain.
May Calamawy, Moon Knight
Layla El-Faouly was the toughest person in Moon Knight. Up until the end of the show, she didn’t have any powers, fancy armor, or a deity to protect her. She relied on her wit and skills.
As you could see throughout Moon Knight, she is every bit as dangerous as Marc. When Taweret did give Layla a suit and weapons, she could have been more dangerous than Moon Knight. Layla also proved that she didn’t need Marc or his protection. She stayed around and with him because she wanted to. A lesson that Marc didn’t learn until the end.
Laura Donnelly,Werewolf by Night
Most of the hunters looked at Elsa Bloodstone as easy prey. They soon found out how wrong they were. One guy learned the lesson late when Elsa cut his arm off, shot him with his own weapon, then choked him out.
If fans never see Elsa again, it would be disappointing. Elsa is Jessica Jones if she hunted monsters with an assortment of weapons and magic. Who wouldn’t want to see more of that? Laura Donnelly doesn’t need to star in her own show or movie. Another special like this would work.
Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Panther
Angela Bassett gave the greatest performance of the year and made Ramonda the best character of the year. She was powerful in front of a world that wanted to steal Wakanda’s resources. Seeing her silence ambassadors from all over the globe was awe-inspiring.
She was loving to her daughter who was dealing with grief in a different way. Ramonda never pushed the issue. She just offered comfort and advice. And when Ramonda spoke her mind after she thought Shuri was dead, she was intense. An emotional scene that hasn’t been seen in any comic book project. It will be a long time before anyone can do what she did.
Elizabeth Olson, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
One word describes Wanda Maximoff in Phase 4, dominant. In WandaVision, it was stated that the Scarlet Witch can be more powerful than the Sorcerer Supreme. Wanda confirmed that theory in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. She beat the current Sorcerer Supreme (Wong) and the previous one (Stephen Strange). Then she went to another reality and defeated the best that the universe had to offer. When it was all said and done, Wanda wasn’t defeated. She gave up and the multiverse should be thankful.
Letitia Wright, Black Panther: Wakanda Panther
Shuri may have had the most important role of the year. She had to become the Black Panther. To top it off, she was picking up where her brother left off. It’s doubtful that everyone was happy that she became the Black Panther. That must have made the job more difficult. However, she didn’t let any negativity bring her down.
Instead of trying to fill her brother’s shoes, she became her own woman, hero, and leader. Without that mentality, Wakanda would have been buried under water. Shuri took a job she didn’t want and saved her country. Depending on what N’Amor did next, she might have saved the world.
What do you think, readers? Who was your favorite woman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2022? Let us know in the comments below.