Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lady AVENGERS Week: the Black Widow

I'll start with my thoughts on the most prominent lady Avenger in the public's consciousness (thanks the 2012 film), Black Widow.

First, I admit I like the character.

Next, I admit I like Scarlett Johansen.

But, I do not like Scarlett as the Black Widow, and I think the Black Widow an odd and sad choice for the film.

I get that she was in Ultimate Avengers and all, but in terms of classic Avengers comics, she made very few appearances. Ignoring mainstay and founding member Wasp and awesome early addition Scarlet Witch, still Black Widow made very few appearances. 

Even heavy hitters like "Moondragon," "Mantis," and "Jocanda" made more appearances. In fact, according to issue 300, only one she-Avenger at that time—Hellcat—had made fewer appearances than the Black Widow.

In the world of the super-hero team, there are heroes with high, medium, low, and no powers. In the Avengers film, there are 3 high powered males (Hulk, Thor, Iron Man), one medium male (Captain America...maybe low), and 1 no powered male (Hawkeye). Given Disney's plans to bring Ant-Man into film, it's odd they would drop him (a founding Avenger in the comics) and his girlfriend Wasp (two medium-low powered heroes) in lieu of Hawkeye and the Black Widow. Sure, I get the connection to S.H.I.E.L.D. and that writers not wanting to overwhelm the film with a mega-cast...but seriously, with all that man-power in the film, to not go with a medium or low powered lady feels a bit unfair and sexist.

I recently read a journal post and the reviewer claimed that Scarlett's portrayal of the Black Widow was the best portrayal of a female hero in live-action.


I freaked out at that. Sure, there's not a lot to go on...Jessica Alba as the Invisible Woman had to put on glasses to sound smart...Halle Berry as Storm was bad and as Catwoman worse. I liked Anna Paquin as Rogue, but the film version is such a departure from the comics version, it's tough to even say it's the same character. But goodness, based on casting, costuming, acting, believability, and more, I still rank Yvonne Craig as Batgirl as a close second only to Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman. Despite the camp and the era-appropriate effects, those two totally knocked it out of the park. Eesh. 

Tomorrow, I'll reveal my choice for who should have been in the film. Hint: it's Scarlet Witch


Javier said...

Black Widow always struck me as someone who just kept trying to avoid getting zapped by Ultron or the Dread Dormammu.

Wanda, on the other hand, always got to have fabulous interior monologues about whether she "dare" let loose a hex sphere (bolt, trapezoid, etc), which would moe often than not serve as a wonderful deux ex machina.

Cherie said...

This is great!