Round Table: Marvel’s Women (Part 3), Peggy Carter and Pepper Potts

Gatto di Sangue: Last round table, we discussed Black Widow. After Black Widow, I would cite the next strongest female characters as Peggy Carter and Pepper Potts.

Road-sine: In Mavel’s TV series, Agent Carter, you could see that she was a strong female character. She moves the plot forward, she does things, she actively contributes to the plot line. I mean, the focus of the show is on her, so she kind of has to do that.

Gatto di Sangue: She’s intelligent, realistic, likable and she definitely drives the plot. Those are all attributes that characters like Hope van Dyne lack. They don’t show Hope as dumb, but she isn’t super smart. Whereas, with Peggy, you can tell that she has formidable intelligence. She acts smart.

Feral Atom: Well, she’s a detective.

Gatto di Sangue: But in Ant-man, Hope is in this high position at Pym Tech. She has to have some technical know-how. She’s one step under Darren Cross, and he’s developing something akin to what Hank Pym created. She should be portrayed as at least as technically intelligent as Scott Lang. That didn’t show her as idiotic, but she didn’t apply her intelligence to anything.

Evangeline Lilly’s Hope van Dyne had potential, but she played a very weak role in Ant-man.

Feliciteri: It was cool that she worked at a technical company like Pym Tech.

Feral Atom: Yeah. It would have been cool if they had shown her smarts when Scott stole the little thing from the Avengers base. The little machine that was supposedly so critically important. It would have been cool if they had to adapt it somehow and she worked with her father to adapt it.

Gatto di Sangue: Agreed.

Feral Atom: And I know that Scott Lang is an engineer, not as smart as Hank Pym, but still really smart. It would have been cool if he was more engineer intelligence and she was more like researcher intelligence.

Road-sine: Of course, at the end of the movie, they managed to throw in some romance.

Gatto di Sangue: And there was potential for them to be friends. It was like they were just starting to not hate each other. And then they kiss! What? Where did that come from?

Feral Atom: I think we’re spending too much time criticizing Hope…

Gatto di Sangue: Yeah, I know.

Feral Atom: Let’s talk about Peggy. What about Dotty? I think that she as a strong character.

Gatto di Sangue: Yes, but her neurosis kind of screwed that up.

Feral Atom: I think that the fact that she wasn’t big enough to rise above her own weaknesses really took the character down.

Gatto di Sangue: She was a great adversary for Peggy, though.

Peggy wasn’t the only one that knew how to use a gun. Dotty made a killer sniper.

Feliciteri: Peggy’s fighting scenes with her were really cool.

Feral Atom: Yeah, it was nice to see a strong female hero against a strong female villain.

Gatto di Sangue: I thought that her oddities took away from her character, but it was interesting too see someone who wasn’t perfect. Far from it, really. And you see less extreme versions of imperfection in characters throughout the Marvel Cinema movies.

Feral Atom: Peggy Carter was really strong in First Avenger, and I loved seeing her interactions with the Howling Commandos. Just how much respect they showed her was nice to see.

Gatto di Sangue: And she carried–and used–a gun. She wasn’t just there doing nothing and looking pretty.

Peggy doesn’t just watch from the sidelines, she takes control of the situation.

Feral Atom: She had some really good hand to hand combat scenes in her show. And that one-shot with Scorpio was one of my favorite one-shots.

Road-sine: I thought that Angie was a pretty good supporting character.

Gatto di Sangue: I thought she was really good. She was a strong female character in that she handled the odd situations that she was tossed into really well. She had a believable personality, and had a believable friendship with Peggy. Angie was likable. She felt like she could be a real person. Just like Peggy.

Lyndsy Fonseca as Angie looking awesome.

Road-sine: Yeah.

Gatto di Sangue: And you cared about her character, too. A lot of female characters (especially love interests) are far too underdeveloped for you to care about what happens with them. It’s not like you want them too die, you just don’t feel the same kind of suspense when their in danger. Whereas a character like Peggy is fleshed out enough to feel like a real person. So it feels like a real person with a psychopath in the apartment next to her, rather than a flimsy, flaky character.

Feral Atom: The whole show really put you into the world of 1946.

Feliciteri: I loved Peggy’s brown suit. She’s always wearing such great outfits, but that one is the best. Bold clothes for a bold woman.

Feliciteri’s favorite Peggy outfit.

Gatto di Sangue: I think that Pepper Potts is a great female character, too. Although in my opinion, Peggy had a stronger role. They have equivalent brains, but Peggy can get more physical.

Gatto di Sangue: I thought that it was really cool when in Iron Man 1, Pepper when into Obadiah Stain’s office and downloaded the information onto that hard drive. I liked how cool-headed she was when Obadiah came into the office. She handled the situation well.

Feral Atom: Yes, with the newspaper. So slick.

Gatto di Sangue: Definitely well for someone who has never been in a situation like that before.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts had some real promise. I think Marvel Cinema underestimated her impact on the viewer.

Road-sine: I liked her a lot more in the first Iron Man movie compared to the second and third ones. And she played the role of a damsel in distress for most of the third Iron Man movie.

Gatto di Sangue: She was pretty weak for most of that movie.

Feliciteri: It was really cool when she beat Killian at the end of the movie.

Gatto di Sangue: Although, I have to say, that was kind of out of character for her. She’s more of a professional businesswoman type than the kind of girl that gets to the nitty-gritty fighting stuff.

Pepper looking clean and professional; precisely in character.

Road-sine: It was still nice to see, though.

Gatto di Sangue: That’s the end of today’s round table. Please give us feedback on what you thought of this and other posts. Next round table on Marvel’s women will be about Nebula and Gamora.


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