Same Image, Different Lens: Revisiting the Critical Reception of Two Different Generations of Cinematic Superheroism
Kaitlyn Adier Cummings
What does a superhero film have to be in order to be celebrated as a ‘feminist’ text? This essay aims to answer that question by surveying the critical reception surrounding four superhero films: Catwoman (2004), Elektra (2005), Wonder Woman (2017) and Incredibles 2 (2018). Each led by female characters, these films received grossly different appraisals of their feminist messages. Close analysis of each film sheds new light on what cultural changes may be responsible for the disparity in reception; bridging the gap through interrogation of the contemporary sociopolitical climate.