I really only have one problem with Age of Ultron. Whether I liked what they did with the ships is my personal opinion, and it’s not Marvel’s responsibility to cater to me.
What’s wrong is that they decided to give Clint Barton, their least developed Avenger, more characterization and sympathy by adding more underdeveloped characters, not by actually developing him. They rejected sixty years worth of rich comic history, character development and a hilariously nuanced personality to turn him into a cardboard cutout family man so the other Avengers had a point of contrast.
If, say, Tony had died, the audience would have said, “Not Tony, we love him.”
If Clint had died, the audience would have said “Not Barton, his poor family.” Within the MCU, we’ve been presented with no reason to care about him beyond the mere presence of a family.
Even though he was in the movie a lot more and had some great lines, we were forced to sympathize with his position, not his personality, which is a real storytelling cheap shot.
Honestly, as much as I love him and I’m glad for any screen time he gets, if the powers that be didn’t actually want to use Clint Barton as a character, it’s sad that they used him at all. He’s not really an Avenger in this one either, he’s plot fuel just like before. It’s an insult to Marvel’s own character that they won’t use him for real, and it’s an insult to the fans that they think the audience won’t like his actual character because he’s “just that idiot with the bow.” His status as a non-powered “everyman” actually makes him one of the most potentially relatable characters in entire MCU. They don’t think people are capable of liking him for any reason beyond general parental sympathy, and that’s disappointing and insulting on all fronts.
(And don’t tell me it’d be too hard to do. After three movies as not much more than an humorous suit, Agent Coulson was given a few brief scenes of character development in Avengers revolving mostly around trading cards, and everyone loved him so much that he got his own TV show)
(And there’s that little problem of Natasha being only a love interest, and considering the worst part of her horrifically tragic backstory to be her inability to have children. Put that on the list too.)