Round Table: Marvel’s Women (Part 2), Black Widow

Gatto di Sangue: Today. we’re continuing  our multi-part series on the Women of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Last time, we discussed the newest member of the Women of Marvel, Hope van Dyne. Now, let’s talk about the character most people would consider Marvel’s strongest female hero, Black Widow.

Black Widow looking seriously kick butt in Avengers promotional material.

Road-sine: Black Widow was actually a really strong female character.

Gatto di Sangue: Agreed. She definitely drove the plot in Winter Soldier just as much as Captain America.

Feral Atom: It could have easily been called “Captain America and Black Widow”.

Black Widow from Winter Soldier movie poster. Just spray paint her name in the title:)

Gatto di Sangue: It was her movie just as much as it was his. Early on, she even had her own agenda.

Feliciteri:Yes, that was cool. She had her own mission and was driving her own sub-plot.

“What am I doing, Cap? Oh nothing much. Just having my own movie within your movie…”

Road-sine: And in Avengers, her role was just as prominent as the other characters.

Feral Atom: Not in Age of Ultron. In Ultron she was a damsel in distress.

Road-sine: And I really didn’t understand the romance.

Gatto di Sangue: Yes, that felt unnecessary. Part of her coolness was her professional detachment.

Road-sine: She didn’t have to have a romance in order to be connected to the plot. That happens so much in movies, where typically their female characters will either be a romantic interest or a damsel in distress.

Gatto di Sangue: She wasn’t really connected to any of the other characters in the the movies. She wasn’t emotionally invested in them. Which felt realistic for a spy. It’s a positive trait in her line of work.

Feral Atom: Well, she was a little invested in Hawkeye. But it was more of a professional relationship.

Gatto di Sangue: Definitely. She even said to Loki in Avengers, putting to rest all misinterpretations of their friendship, “love is for children.” That was her line.

If I was a human villain, I wouldn’t want to mess with her. She looks like she wants to hurt somebody soon.

Feral Atom: Right. And that is an awesome line!

Gotto di Sangue: Then she turns around and falls in love with Hulk.

Feral Atom: Yeah, she’s “like let’s run away together!”

Gatto di Sangue: They turn her into a hypocrite. I mean, in the first Avengers movie, she was terrified of Hulk. She was running away from him. How does that transform into a romance?

Feral Atom: They’re showing that now she can calm Hulk down, but they established in the first movie that he can control his anger–turn it on and off.

Gatto di Sangue: Well, I don’t know. Maybe he can only turn off the change if he instigates the transformation into Hulk. Not if it’s unintentional.

Feral Atom. But in Age of Ultron, it was in the battle with Hydra where they introduce the plot device.

Gatto di Sangue: I don’t understand why that didn’t work in the movie. When Loki had the shuttlecarrier attacked and Black Widow and Bruce Banner fell, she tried to calm him down. That didn’t end up working.

Feral Atom: Supposedly, there is an hour of film on the cutting room floor. And all I can imagine is that in there, Joss Whedon made a more believable romance between those two. It’s not like him to do something completely out of left field like that.

Feliciteri: The motorcycle scene is her best action in the movie.

Feral Atom: Maybe Joss Whedon sidelined her from the action to account for Scarlett Johansson being pregnant during filming.

Gatto di Sangue: Before Age of Ultron, people were clamoring for a Black Widow movie. Now, not as much.

Road-sine: Because she was so poorly portrayed.

Feliciteri: I still want to see a Black Widow solo movie!

I like her better with straight hair, but no one can forget her first action scene in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Iron Man 2.

Feral Atom: Personally, I would still like to see one too. Give her a chance to redeem herself.

Road-sine: They just have to patch her back up and forget about her sub-plot in Ultron. I mean, the Incredible Hulk movie is completely ignored. None of the actors are even connected to the other movies.

Gatto di Sangue: It’s like Marvel Cinema buried it and is hoping no one will look for it.

Feral Atom: I know you guys didn’t like Incredible Hulk, but I did. We are in agreement that Betty Ross needs to be recast.

Gatto di Sangue: Back on Black Widow, before this turns into a Betty Ross thread…

Feliciteri: Yeah, let’s not talk about her.

Gatto di Sangue: I think that Widow played a strong role in Iron Man 2, but she wasn’t as prominent in that movie as I would have liked. I suppose that, seeing as it was her debut, it is a very minor complaint.

Road-sine: Well, yeah, she contributed to the plot, she wasn’t a damsel, and she wasn’t connected to the plot via romance, so seeing as this was an Iron Man movie, I don’t think prominence is a big deal.

Gatto di Sangue: Agreed. That is very near the definition of a strong female character. The scene where she infiltrates Justin Hammer’s base with Happy was my favorite scene in the movie.

Feliciteri: It was cool that she took out those guys so fast while Happy had so much trouble with one guard. I liked how they showed that a woman can be such a good fighter and use speed and skill to take out several people bigger than her.

Feral Atom: She was the best part in my least favorite MCU film.

Black Widow from Iron Man 2 movie posters. Marvel knew they had a hit even before the movie’s release.

Gatto di Sangue: Black Widow had a very strong and likable character and role in Winter Soldier. If Marvel would just take her portrayal in that movie and apply it to future movies then it would be easy to make a Black Widow movie that people would want to see. And it would prove that superhero movies starring women can be successful.

Feral Atom: Right, and not put so much pressure on the Captain Marvel movie.

Feliciteri: And we don’t even know who’s going to be the actress. Scarlett Johansson is a high quality actress and she has a great profile with fans right now.

Road-sine: What they did in Ultron was a big mistake with her character.

Gatto di Sangue: Yes, but they could easily redeem that if in future movies she’s as stong as she was in Avengers or Winter Soldier.

Feliciteri: Definitely. Let’s start a petition for a solo movie!

“Kevin Feige, give me my own movie or someone’s going to get hurt.”

Gatto di Sangue:Well, that wraps up our discussion on Black Widow. Let us know if your thoughts on Black Widow. Next time, we’ll talk about Peggy Carter and Pepper Potts in a two-for-one round table on the Women of Marvel.


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