As Marvel Studios expands into its Phase 4 story, and onto Disney+ through series storytelling, the MCU's roster of characters hasn't just grown but advanced due to an impressive number of new female characters. In fact, in just 2021 alone, Marvel introduced audiences to Black Widow's Yelena Belova, Loki's Sylvie, Kate Bishop from Hawkeye, the trio of Sersi, Makkari, and Thena from Eternals, and more.
This change is also taking place behind the camera as well, as many of the Disney+ series films that featured those female heroes were also directed by women. That group boasts Black Widow's Cate Shortland and the Eternals' Academy Award-winning Chloe Zhao.
Considering how long Scarlet Johansson's Natasha Romanoff was the only MCU heroine, and that 2019's Captain Marvel was the first Marvel film directed by a woman, it's clear that the studio has been intentional in making a change and in featuring characters and filmmakers that fans can connect with.
And in a new video honoring Women's History Month, Disney+ included many of the MCU's past and present female heroes, as well as those to come.
Disney+ Highlights Kate Bishop, Sylvie, and Ms. Marvel for Women's History Month
In celebration of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, Disney+ shared a video on Twitter honoring the company's roster of female characters, including those who belong to the MCU.
The Disney+ Tweet was captioned as follows:
"Effortless. Relentless. Fearless. Let’s celebrate the women who bring our favorite stories to life on #DisneyPlus. #HonorHerStory"
The compilation video not only highlighted familiar Marvel characters like Captain Marvel and Black Widow, but also Marvel Studios' new female heroes, including Ms. Marvel, Sersi from Eternals, and Hawkeye's Kate Bishop.
Interestingly enough, the first MCU character featured in the video was Iman Vellani's Ms. Marvel, whose series is set to debut on Disney+ this summer.
She was followed by Gemma Chan's Sersi from Eternals, who served as the ensemble film's lead and who was directed by Chloe Zhao.
The compilation also featured a super quick shot of Sophia Di Martino's Sylvie from Loki, who appears again later in the video. Loki is another Marvel project that was helmed by a female director, Kate Herron.
Danai Gurira's Okoye is another who appears twice. In fact, she aptly concludes the celebratory compilation with the Black Panther quote, "We are home."
Several different shots of Meng'er Zhang's Xialing from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings were included, especially notable since she's set to receive her own Disney+ spin-off series.
Letitia Wright's Shuri was featured as well and is expected to have a larger role - if not the leading role - in this year's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Okoye and Shuri weren't the only members of the Black Panther's female cast to be featured. Lupita Nyong'o, who's also set to star in Black Panther 2, was included as well.
As the star of Marvel's first female-led film, Brie Larson's Captain Marvel received considerable focus, along with a voice-over of her stating, "We're heroes," which was later followed by footage of her saying, "Noble, warrior heroes."
Of course, it wouldn't be right if Scarlett Johannson's Black Widow wasn't included, especially after her long-awaited solo film kicked off Marvel's Phase 4 in 2021.
And, as a proper follow-up to the MCU's original heroine, the video included a shot of Marvel's newest female hero, Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop from Hawkeye.
In addition to these female Marvel characters, the compilation also included shots of Zoe Saldana's Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy, Shang-Chi and Xialing's mother, Ying Li, and Alaqua Cox's Echo from Hawkeye.
The full video can be seen below:
Marvel's Future Plans For More Female Characters
It's truly incredible to see just how many women are now part of the MCU, but this effort is only expected to continue.
In addition to Ms. Marvel, the studio is also set to introduce America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, She-Hulk on Disney+ starring Tatiana Maslany, and Riri Williams in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The franchise will even revisit Natalie Portman's Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder as the Mighty Thor.
Still, that's not all. As the sequel to the MCU's first female-led film, Captain Marvel, The Marvels will feature a trio of female heroes. Alongside Carol Danvers, fans can expect to see more of Ms. Marvel and WandaVision's Monica Rambeau. Plus, the film is directed by Nia DaCosta.
Clearly, Disney+ will have plenty of other new female characters to feature in 2023's Women's History Month celebration; however, it's worth noting that several MCU women characters were not included in this year's compilation.
In addition to Karen Gillan's Nebula, Colbie Smulders' Maria Hill, and Evangeline Lilly's Wasp, Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff was surprisingly absent.
While it's true that Marvel fans haven't seen Nebula or Maria Hill in recent projects, Wanda Maximoff kicked off Marvel's Phase 4 with WandaVision on Disney+ and is expected to be a major player in Doctor Strange 2.
Since her nosy neighbor nemesis, Agatha Harkness, was also absent, does this mean the lack of Wanda in this Disney+ video due to the fact that she is, or is about to become, a villain?
No doubt fans will find out in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is set to launch Marvel's 2023 theatrical slate while also ushering in America Chavez and possibly a live-action Captain Carter, on May 6, 2022.