Fans Just Discovered a Surprising Connection Between ‘Little Women’ and the Marvel Universe

Writer-director Greta Gerwig introduced Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women to a whole new generation in 2019. The Lady Bird director’s film presents an ensemble cast featuring Oscar-nominated performances by Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh. But fans might not know Marvel Comics’ Deadpool previously crossed paths with Little Women‘s March sisters.

Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan, and Timothee Chalamet
Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan, and Timothee Chalamet | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

Deadpool journeyed through classic literary works

Before we get to Little Women, it’s time for same setup. The character — played on the big screen by Ryan Reynolds — is known for leading some outrageous story arcs. But the Deadpool Killustrated miniseries published in the mid-2010s took the Merc with the Mouth to some really bizarre places.

Thanks to the Marvel multiverse, readers often follow alternate versions of famous heroes and villains. Because they don’t exist in the primary timeline, the creative team can push the envelope without contradicting canon. And Deadpool’s irreverent sense of humor lends itself particularly well to such off-the-wall storytelling.

After all, Deadpool is known for acknowledging his existence as a comic book character. So fans knew not to worry when Wade Wilson set off on a quest to off every other Marvel character. Realizing the enormity of this task, Deadpool eventually takes a different approach. Instead of taking out every hero throughout the multiverse, he targeted their inspirations.

The story arc connects ‘Little Women’ to four huge female heroes

That’s the path that leads Deadpool to a series of confrontations with characters in classic literature. And ultimately, he winds up bloodthirsty and at the March family house. But what was meant to be an easy job turns serious fast as Deadpool is attacked and nearly bested by the March sisters.

Little Women fans know Jo, Amy, Meg, and Beth are strong female characters. And though they take different paths in the story, Marvel Comics unites them against Deadpool himself. In the end, he wins, thanks to an explosive device. But before Deadpool’s victory, the story draws a parallel between Little Women and Marvel’s own super-powered ladies.

The March sisters briefly transform into the Marvel heroes they supposedly inspired. Of course, there’s no direct link revealing Little Women‘s influence on the creation of Black Widow, Elektra, Mockingbird, and She-Hulk. Yet, it’s an unexpected combination that no doubt took readers by surprise.

Florence Pugh technically walks in both worlds

Given the renewed interest in Little Women, its reference in Marvel Comics takes on new meaning for fans. Moreover, the fact that Pugh appears in both stories deepens the connection between the two. The actress had a tremendous year in 2019, earning rave reviews for Little Women, Midsommar, and Fighting with My Family.

In Gerwig’s Little Women, she landed her first Oscar for playing Amy March. Later in 2020, she will star opposite Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow. Pugh will play Yelena Belova, a fellow graduate of the training program that made Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff an assassin. Fans are already speculating Yelena could become a major player going forward.

There’s no indication whether Ronan, Emma Watson, or Eliza Scanlen will also join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But given how pervasive the franchise is, it honestly wouldn’t surprise us. If it does happen, then the Deadpool arc will be even more prescient. If not, it remains a fun way to cross-pollinate the worlds of modern comics and classic literary works.