I worked at Toys 'R' Us up until it closed. And one thing I always noticed was the DC Superhero Girls. A whole big section of figures, dolls, play sets, vehicles, and Legos. They have a TV show. They have comics. They have toys. My buddy has a daughter, and I'm trying to start her liking Marvel young (because what kind of friend are you if you don't turn your friend's kids into Marvel fans!) I got her a little plush Spider-Man and Black Panther, but in terms of girl stuff, there's not a lot to choose from. Your options are a 0 points of articulation, poorly painted Titan Series Black Widow, or a sexy Spider-Gwen bombshell statue. Even if I wanted to, I can't find suitable Marvel merchandise for a 4-year-old girl. Heck, on Free Comic Book Day 2016 and 2017, I picked up an issue of DC Superhero Girls for her!
That leads me to my next issue. Around the time Wonder Woman was coming out, everyone was making a big deal about the 'first' female led superhero movie. That's when I began to think, really think, where are all of Marvel's female superheroes? They're all on teams; heroes like Jean Grey, Storm, Rogue, and Invisible Woman, in the X-Men and Fantastic 4 (none of which can currently be in the MCU, so... no merchandise). Heroes like She-Hulk, Elektra, Mockingbird, and maybe until recently Wasp aren't recognizable to the general public. The teaser trailer to Jessica Jones literally said "It's time the world knew her name." Because outside of comics, no one knows female Marvel Heroes! Aside from Black Widow...
This leads us to the big resurgence we've seen in the past few years: Spider-Gwen, Silk, Kamalah Khan, Jane Foster Thor, Moon Girl, X-23 Wolverine, the push on Squirrel Girl, and the big, BIG push on Captain Marvel. The comics literaly peg her as the most popular hero in the 616 Marvel Universe. The thing is, you can put out as many new heroes as you want, but Marvel has never had a Wonder Woman. And maybe, with Marvel Rising, they can.
If Marvel Rising can do what DC Superhero Girls has done, I think we all can consider it a success. It spotlights all the female heroes that Marvel has had trouble getting popular outside of the base comic reading community. Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, Ghost Spider, and Quake, who may be more popular because of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but not enough for little girls to want Quake dolls. They just had a comic on Free Comic Book Day 2018, which I was all too happy to get for my buddy's little girl. Once this show premiers, maybe we'll get action figures, and dolls, and play sets, and Legos. This is the first step to getting Quake in the same conversation as Harley Quinn and Gwen in the same conversation as Starfire. Once Captain Marvel comes out (on my birthday!) next year, she'll hopefully be in the same conversation as Wonder Woman. But little girls need more from Marvel than Black Widow and Scarlet Witch. They need dolls. They need t-shirts. They need posters. They need Marvel Rising.