Document Type



The goal of this project is to determine the manner in which female superheroes Natasha Romanoff and Wanda Maximoff are portrayed by Marvel Studios’ depictions. These portrayals will help us understand if Marvel reinforces or challenges sexism placed upon female superheroes, given that their role as leaders in the industry influences other media. The following questions guided my research process: What does the physical appearance of this superhero say about her character? How does her appearance speak to how she is viewed as a woman? What is in the significance of the relationships this hero has with others? How does this help her story or help the stories of male characters? How has power and identity shaped these female heroes? What do their identities tell us about how Marvel sets the stage for female heroes going forward? Over the course of the subsequent sections of this project, I will address the impact of Marvel Studios and why their company matters regarding female superhero representation, the history of mistreatment for female heroes, the linear progression of the two female heroes, and what these two characters’ depictions throughout multiple Marvel productions tell us about the future of heroes.


Communication Studies

Thesis Comittee

Dr. Jessica Birthisel, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Michele Meek, Committee Member
Dr. David M. Sutera, Committee Member