I think the reason I’m so incredibly calm about AoU is that I know that, just like with every other part of the MCU to this point, I’ll find the parts I like and interpret the other parts in ways that will make them work for me. I’ll find a solid storyline for Natasha that has nothing to do with romance even if I have to piece it together from fragments of things left unsaid. I will take the parts they do her wrong and use them to construct treatises on how strong and brave she is even if the writer/director didn’t know that was what he was saying.
You know, the same way we do with white male characters all the time.
I’m seeing a lot of concerns about Natasha’s characterization in the film, and I don’t doubt that they exist. I just don’t care. The MCU is a text with multiple authors, and none of them mean anything when compared to the viewer- each of us piecing together our own interpretation of the narrative, taking what we want and minimizing what we don’t.
I love Natasha in Iron Man 2, I love how she was deepened in Avengers, and I love how she grew even more complex in Cap 2. Joss Whedon can do whatever he wants to her, he cannot take Natasha away from me.