Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for youth to have said example to follow.

DISCLAIMER: The following article contains spoilers for The Marvels.

The Marvels

Fast Facts: 

The Marvels are a team-up comprised of Carol “Captain Marvel” Danvers (Brie Larson), Kamala “Ms. Marvel” Khan (Iman Vellani) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris). While some super hero teams are brought together by the intentions of an individual, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) wasn’t responsible for assembling this trio. 

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The Marvels came together because of the actions of Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton). In order to restore the resources of her home planet, Hala, Dar-Benn sought the Quantum Bands. With these, she hoped to open portals between Hala and resource-rich planets (like, ultimately, Earth). However, Dar-Benn’s purpose was frustrated by the fact that Ms. Marvel already possessed one of the Quantum Bands.

Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton) shows off the power of her Quantum Band.

Dar-Benn’s use of the Quantum Band caused the abilities of Danvers, Khan and Rambeau to become entangled. Soon, the trio found that any attempt by one of them to use their powers caused them to swap locations with another, via a form of instantaneous and (initially) unintentional teleportation.

Teaming Up is Hard to Do:

There is one member of The Marvels who is immediately excited to be part of the team’s roster: Khan. In fact, the movie even opens with the teen hero’s animated fantasy about teaming up with Danvers.

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The necessities of quantum entanglement bring the three heroes together. However, not everyone is as excited to be on the team as Kamala. Rambeau is still nursing a grudge over the way that Danvers has made herself scarce around Earth since the 1990s, in spite of the fact that she promised to return. This absence was particularly difficult for Rambeau, since it meant she was left alone to deal with the loss of her mother, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch).

Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) fires energy from her hand in The Marvels.

Meanwhile, Danvers has been preoccupied dealing with fallout from her actions on Hala after Captain Marvel. Danvers resolved to destroy the Supreme Intelligence, believing this would free Kree society. Instead, this led to civil war and the exhaustion of vital resources on Hala. Ashamed at her failure to live up to the standard of perfect she set for herself, Danvers has avoided Earth until she can resolve these insurmountable challenges.

The Real Deal:

The Marvels are the real deal. Each member of the trio has a very different path they have walked to reach the team, and each of them has a power set that emerges from an utterly unique source. Danvers possesses her powers due to exposure to an infinity stone, Rambeau’s abilities were gained through multiple encounters with the hex powers of the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Khan’s superpowers are a combination of her latent mutant DNA and her inherited Quantum Band.

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However, each member of the team is able to utilize her singular skillset to serve the team in the showdown against Dar-Benn. Furthermore, while cooperation may not be natural, the trio learns how to work together through trial, error and repetition. This isn’t just true of their latent abilities, but it’s also true of their entangled teleportation powers. During a charming montage, we see The Marvels learn how to synchronize their swapping, allowing them to operate on a whole different level in the next battle against their antagonists.

Why They Matter:

Carol “Captain Marvel” Danvers (Brie Larson) and Kamala “Ms. Marvel” Khan (Iman Vellani) on the porch of the Rambeau house in Lousiana.

Why do The Marvels matter? They show us that reluctant team-ups can prove to be effective and even essential. They demonstrate that individuals of different backgrounds and skillsets shouldn’t avoid collaboration, but should work to figure out they can combine abilities to become more powerful than one might imagine. And they show us that showing up and being our idealized self might be what we want, but just showing up and being our real self can be what we (and everyone around us) needs. 

So, be like The Marvels. Recognize that there’s strength in standing up together, even if you’re used to standing up alone. Work hard to bring those you encounter into the fold, whether they’re reluctant (or overeager) to join. And remember that no matter how strong any given individual may appear to be, no solitary person can ever hope to wield the equivalent force of a team of powerful women!

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The Marvels is in theaters now.

Everything to Remember for THE MARVELS

Avery Kaplan