Maria Rambeau And MotherHood In The MCU
Maria Rambeau And MotherHood In The MCU
I was raised by my mother. Now don’t get it twisted, I grew up in a relatively stable two family home, with both of my college educated parents working full time and doing their best to raise two unruly children. Ask anyone who remembers me as a child, they will tell you it was my mother who influenced me, who inspired me, who taught me to dream those dreams, and live them.
Now imagine that same kid, the one who would hide behind his mother’s legs when he was introduced to people, sitting on the set of Captain Marvel, listening to Lashana Lynch speak about her character, Maria Rambeau.
Yes that Maria Rambeau, the mother of Monica Rambeau aka the Captain Marvel most of us grew up on. The same Maria Rambeau who is about to redefine motherhood in the MCU, and for that matter superheroes in general:
I would say that her being a fighter pilot along with a single mother is her superhero quality. That is absolutely her superpower. Being a single mother, especially a Black single mother , having been raised by one and my grandmother, I know that there’s just a certain type of strength that comes ancestrally that you wouldn’t have been able to portray. That’s just a certain way we portrayed in this film that isn’t labored, but also was very much conveyed in…I actually don’t even have the words for it. I feel like nothing…you know what I mean by nothing’s labored? It’s just she’s strong, she’s bold, she’s a Black single mother. She doesn’t argue about it. She has raised an amazing child and now this child is probably going to turn out to be a superhero because she’s been raised by one.
Can I get an amen?
A common, at this point even tired trope in genre fiction is that a character has to have lost their parental figures at some point in their origin. How many superheroes can you name that have living parents? I’ll wait.
While you’re counting on one hand, let’s talk about what it means to have the power of Black Motherhood portrayed in an MCU film. Black Panther laid the groundwork with the relationship between Queen Ramonda and T’Challa, but the focus was on fatherhood and its effect on a son. Not to take away anything from Angela Bassett and Chadwick Boseman, but there is also something special about the relationship of African-American women and their daughters. Lashana also spoke about why it’s not needed to harp on the fact that she is a single mother, because Maria isn’t some struggling stereotype. Far from it, in fact:
We don’t need to apologize or explain ourselves with the film. It just is what it is, and also to know that we’re flipping the Black single mother idea on its head and being like, oh, she’s a fighter pilot and a Black…yes. I’m so glad she’s a Black single mother. She don’t need a husband. She doesn’t need a boyfriend and she doesn’t need many males in their life because you’ve only got one male that’s probably the best one, that’s her father. Everyone else has been the males at work who have given her a freaking hard time for just existing. So she’s all right.
If I could have stood up and cheered at “She don’t need a husband” trust me I would have. Monica Rambeau has always been a favorite character of mine, and she never needed a relationship in the comics to define who she is as a person. Getting to see the foundation laid for Monica in Maria’s character is one of the main reasons why I’m so hype for Captain Marvel. That, and the cat, but that’s another article.
While the Monica of the MCU is still a child at this point, Lashana did drop a couple of hints about the future of the Rambeaus in the next phase of Marvel films. Lashana is asked about how Maria reacts to meeting Nick Fury, and she had this to say:
Cooly. Literally. One thing I noticed when I read the script is that she doesn’t flinch. She has stillness about her, which is so attractive in a woman and in a human being, I feel like because of her, work, she doesn’t really, she’s just doesn’t flinch. She really takes new experiences and just makes it work for her. There’s some situations that she encounters on the way, throughout the film and she never argues, she never asks questions. She’s a bit like me when there’s something new, she’s like yeah, this is an iPhone. Never seen an iPhone before. I can work it. Yep. Use the buttons, but I’ll make it work.
Never seen an iPhone before? But if Captain Marvel takes place in the nineties, how does Maria ever see an iPhone? Judging by the beeper that Nick Fury hit Captain Marvel on, he’s still using cornerboy tech to keep in touch with Carol. So how does our favorite MCU mother get up on Apple’s latest and greatest? I guess we have to wait until March 8th to find out.