Yet another thing about CA:CW


The Sokovia Accords were, ultimately, a response to the Avengers operating on their own orders without any supervision, right?

So, why didn’t they write Accords that dealt with the Avengers as an organization, a non-state entity operating outside the bounds of international law?

Because instead of creating a registry of powered people that is then controlled by the UN? the Security Council? some unnamed IGO? (which has a pretty severe “uh oh” factor), it would have accomplished something similar while still maintaining international diplomacy and cooperation and holding up international law as the goal and guide, rather than Ross’s weird vendetta against people with powers.

Not to mention, Tony Stark, Sam Wilson, James Rhodes, Scott Lang, Clint Barton, and Natasha Romanoff (at least as far as we know) are not “enhanced.” They wear suits or are very highly-trained, but it’s their position within the Avengers organization that places them under the jurisdiction of the Accords.

It was the actions of a private citizen that created Ultron, and it was funding by a private citizen that operated the Avengers. And when the Avengers went out and fought after the fall of SHIELD, there was no organization or government or any sort of entity overseeing their actions. So, in theory, these private citizens with unlimited resources could go anywhere in the world and wreak havoc, but there was no international law that could deal with the organization because it was not a state, and there was no one state that could deal with the Avengers because they were privately owned and operated, not representative of any government.

So, by framing the Accords as an agreement between a non-state party and the international community, the Avengers would have been put in check and given the opportunity to work within the system but not be controlled by it. Plus, it would have normalized enhanced individuals internationally as participants in the same institutions and norms that non-enhanced people value.

  • fun fact: Natasha hacks into any official document that says “captain america” and puts in “grandpa frisbee” instead
  • On more than one occasion, Steve has woken up in the morning to find himself behind the glass in an exhibit of the smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and looked over to see Nat laughing on the other side.
  • Nat makes a very official-looking sign for Steve’s fridge that says, “ICE MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO SUPERSOLDIERS”
  • Nat buys Steve LifeAlert
  • Whenever Steve says something about patriotism, America, or freedom, Nat plays the national anthem on her phone 
  • Nat has a huge poster of george washington on a dinosaur printed out and puts it on the ceiling above Steve’s bed
  • when Steve is trying really hard to concentrate on something, Nat comes behind him and pops bubble gum right next to his ear
  • Nat gets steve a shirt that says “specimen”  on it
  • Natasha uses Steve to open jars 
  • Sometimes Natasha asks Steve if he wants to go to the gym with her partially because she likes seeing the looks on the other buff guys working out there who Steve makes look bad
  • When the avengers go hang out at the beach, Steve nods to Nat in her bikini and says, “hey. you look terrible,” with a grin, and Nat smiles back.
The More I Think About It

the angrier I get.  Why isn’t there a Black Widow movie yet, and why have no concrete announcements been made?

This is Black Widow:

As of August 2014, she has been in no less than three mcu movies (that’s as many as Thor, and one away from the tally of Steve Rogers and Phil Coulson appearances–one-shots and tv shows excluded).

Unlike Bruce Banner, her character has been played by the same person in each movie.  Unlike Hawkeye and Coulson, her involvement always means at least one creative action scene with her playing a part that is larger than a cameo.

She’s a spy, an assassin, and an avenger, among other things.

Her tools include guns, knives, and Widow’s Bites to name a few.  But her greatest asset is her intelligence.  She has tricked Georgi Luchkov, Jasper Sitwell, and even Loki, a master trickster, into confessions.

She helped arrest Justin Hammer and Whiplash, bested Loki (twice!), stopped a Chitauri invasion, and kept the Winter Soldier and H.Y.D.R.A. from murdering thousands of innocent civilians, effectively saving the world twice in two of her three appearances.

She has an intriguing and mysterious backstory involving the Soviet Union, the K.G.B., and S.H.I.E.L.D./H.Y.D.R.A.  Her past has been teased in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  Her backstory deserves more development than dialogue explanation in someone else’s film.

Her solo movie has a wide array of genre possibilities.  To name a few:

  • Espionage
  • Thriller
  • Drama
  • Action/Adventure

Marvel has not released an espionage movie, so that’s a definite option.

What could happen in it?

  • Natasha faces the consequences of releasing her past (complete with plot-related flashbacks) to the world.
  • A mission with Clint Barton goes awry and now it’s up to the fandom-favorite master assassins to save the day and reveal what actually happened in Budapest.
  • Natasha teams up with Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers again in a hunt for Barnes.
  • Two words: Red Room.

The Black Widow has a long and rich comic history that includes super-soldier experimentation, mind-wipes, romantic relationships with Clint Barton (Hawkeye), Matt Murdoch (Daredevil), and James Barnes (the Winter Soldier), and coming into her own as a spy and avenger able to take her own missions and form her own persona.

In pop-culture terms, she is Batman and James Bond rolled into a commentary on the Cold War, sexism, and Intelligence.  Her character has been introduced (Iron Man 2), fleshed out (The Avengers), and complicated (Captain America: The Winter Soldier).  Now it’s time to let her show us her own story and be the official heroine we all want.

To quote Natasha, this woman has blood on her ledger.  We deserve to see her wipe it out.

**Addendum 2015: Because I fear some people have misunderstood me, I want to stress that this is not to say I don’t want other Marvel movies.  I am definitely going to see Ant-Man & Wasp when it’s out.  I am looking forward to Black Panther and Captain Marvel. My wanting a Black Widow movie does not negate my excitement for other films and other characters lined up.**

Okay but can we talk about the beautiful symmetry of the Captain America movies for a second

Steve picks up the shield and becomes Captain America because of Bucky

Steve lays down the shield and stops being Captain America because of Bucky

so hey i was looking through screencaps from the first avenger because im a loser with no life and noticed something

yep, bar scene, peggy looks killer, everything’s as i remember it


look at that clenched fist

that clenched jaw

interesting body language there bucky

and like a few seconds later

wow look at that face

its almost as if you’re jealous or something

  • natasha vandalizing clint’s quiver WITH pi ctures of clint as a bird 
  • natasha using bucky’s arm like a whiteboard and writing the grocery list on it (“james don’t look at me like that look at how useful this is we can go shopping and don’t have to worry about misplacing a piece of paper”)
  • natasha calling Steve “старпер” (old fart) and when he’s asleep she outlines his abs in permanent marker
  • natasha dressing as a nesting doll for halloween 
  • natasha buying all of them socks with the russian flag on them for christmas.
  • natasha texting tony in the middle of the night just with the poop emoji
  • natasha sending bruce a complex coded message and telling him that she needs to figure out what it says because it’s urgent and lives depend on it, and he stays up for two nights to solve it and when he finally does, it spells out ‘lol sucker’
  • natasha telling sam she spent days making him a really good mixtape and the only song on it is “i believe i can fly” 10 times

S.T.R.I.K.E. is probably similar to DEVGRU (aka the guys who killed Bin Laden.) This means, that they are most probably hand picked agents, best of the best, proven in combat, speak several languages, good at blending in, even better at negotiations, and extremely mentally tough (it is said that when people are testing for DEVGRU, it s not their body but their minds tested.) 

And all these people are lead by one guy: Brock Rumlow. 

Most army higher ups are extremely smart and I doubt Rumlow is an exception. They are well versed in a lot of subjects, tactics being probably the main one. During WWII, a lot of military tactics were used for the first time. And boy, you bet your ass that Steve Rogers and his Commandos pioneered a shit ton of small unit, close combat and assault tactics in his time. And Brock Rumlow has studied them all. And knows exactly who the mythic Winter Soldier is. And now that Steve Rogers knows who The Winter Soldier is, Brock Rumlow knows whats coming for him and what he will have to answer for.

LOOK. Despite all the pushing, grabing and shoving, Thor NEVER beats Loki.  [Gif from my post here]
Yes they fight each other all the time, and there are lots of punching and hitting between the two, but when you think about it, never once you see Thor beats Loki up even when he is given the chance (like the scene above). 

He never starts a fight with Loki, every single time it’s Loki who picks the fight, verbally and physcially. Thor would defend himself and fight back, but only when Loki is armed, not defenseless. Those fights that took place in Thor and the Avengers, you can see the two of them were pretty much equal, Thor was undoubtedly stronger but Loki wasn’t weak, and he had Odin’s spear in his hand, and the power from the tesseract.

But when Loki is vulnerable, Thor never takes advantage of him. 

when Thor finally got the upper hand in the fight, instead of bashing Loki with his hammer, like what he did to most people, he placed it on Loki’s chest to immobilize him. Thor was mad, because his brother was fighting him for a reason he couldn’t understand, but he didn’t want to hurt Loki, he wanted to talk to him, he wanted to understand. 

Thor tossed Loki hard onto the ground, but that was it. With all his anger and pain (having to bear the ‘death’ of his brother for I dont know how long only to find out he’s alive and trying to subjugate Earth), he could at least give Loki a punch in the face and no one could blame him. Yet he didn’t, he still wanted to talk him through, he still wanted to take him home.

Both of them were suffering from the loss of their mother, they both felt responsible of her death. And when Loki childishly blaming Thor for like everything, Thor lost his temper. Though, he couldn’t bring himself to take it on Loki, especailly when Loki was handcuffed and he was absolutlely defenseless, so he stopped.

I’ve seen many films and shows featuring two brothers, brothers always fight, and it’s very common that one ends up beating up the other.
But I doubt could Thor ever bring himself to lay a hand on Loki, and in fact, I wonder could he ever win a fight over Loki, because soon as he gains the upper hand, he stops.


Look at how Steve holds Bucky’s face in the first gif; making sure he’s real, he’s alive. We always talk about Bucky in this scene, but there’s so much emotion in Steve’s face. He barely dared to hope Bucky was alive; and yet here he is, broken and bruised but still Steve’s Bucky, and Steve just reaches out and touches him as if he’s scared he’ll disappear.

MCU Winter Soldier’s Arm

So, it’s at three in the morning that, after seeing a gif, I begin having revelations/disturbing thoughts/deep contemplations about the bionics and biology of the Winter Soldier’s arm. And, of course, at three in the morning, that’s when I start assembling pictures and diagrams. 

Here’s a normal shoulder, and then the Winter Soldier’s. What gets me is that it’s not just a plug-in prosthesis that joins neatly up with his shoulder joint and the bone structures there. 

As seen here, all of these muscles: 

are what you need to actually move an arm and shoulder. With structures even as far down and centralized as the pecs, the muscles there bunch up in the shoulder region. As seen on the Winter Soldier, all of the places where his upper chest/pectoral, and shoulder muscles should be bunched up are (whether partially grafted with or entirely) metal. 

Here, (on my phone) I drew out how more natural muscle patterns would be going without the interruption of the prosthetic. And here’s what looks to be going on: 

At the seam of the prosthetic, we can see a glimpse of material that seems to extend down, following the basic lines of where musculature would need to be to support movement- which leads me to believe that at least in the front, that metal had to be extended (or at least extended by way of more flexible wiring to at least graft and connect to existing muscles and nerves) down through his entire pectoral muscles. Sure, his entire pec might not have to have been recreated/replaced by metal and wiring, but I’m getting the feeling that the lighter colored metallic structure at the seam continues farther down into his chest in order to connect to existing muscles and nerves. Depending on how far down they had to take things, they may or may not have had to anchor the pec and under arm metal structures to his ribcage. 

Now, onto the back. 

The scapula and other skeletal structures in the shoulder area are all pretty necessary for movement, and although Bucky only seemed to lose below the upper bicep after the fall, the scapula alone couldn’t support the weight and power of his new arm. So, I’m guessing that they left both the scapula and collarbone, but would have needed to reinforce both bone structures with metal (this includes shoulder joint and socket, if they were still intact enough); and all of that, they’d need to anchor to his spine/rib cage to keep the weight balanced and make sure the muscles and cartilage didn’t rip and tear with the weight of the arm during standing and fighting and such. 

As for what they’d do about the muscles needed for arm movement in the back, I don’t have a clue- for weight and efficiency’s sake, they probably would have done their best to preserve and connect existing nerves and musculature on his back to the arm, after reinforcing bone structures. Given that the muscles in the back and shoulder connect to the spine and neck, that would be a whole lot of metal to try and anchor down if they replaced everything back there with straight up metal (as opposed to connecting wiring and such to the muscles already there). 

So, whether or not this taught anyone new, I feel it’s certainly an interesting line of thinking, to consider just how far and how deep the socket, reinforcement, and overall prosthetic goes into the musculoskeletal structures of his chest, torso, and back. As for the wiring required to get the level of responsiveness and finesse that his arm has, I can’t begin to imagine how they had to integrate their technology into his nervous system- that might be a post for another day, and possibly by someone who has more than a basic understanding of anatomy (that’s what degrees are for!). Are there any more lessons to this? Well, I’m a biology geek and a Marvel geek, for one, and once more, we can reinforce that Hydra is fucking terrifying and horrible organization- albeit, one with surgeons that had remarkably, ridiculously, spectacularly advanced technology and understandings of bionics even in the 40s. 

tony takes it upon himself to aggressively set Steve up on dates because he thinks Steve spends way too much time by himself or doodling. Obviously some of Tony’s ideas of a good ‘match’ for Steve are pretty off, but Nat, who has been crashing at Steve’s more and more frequently, is delighted to help Steve by weeding out the awful ones. 

These potential “dates,” more than happy to go out with a gorgeous blonde and not seeing him for much more than that, come to Steve’s door to find a snarky, gum-chewing redhead. 

All of them tell different stories to their friends afterward:

“his CRAZY lesbian roommate told me 'i want to have your adopted babies’ and tried to shave my head”

“He has this weird younger sister who i think is part of a cult; she said she only eats 30% post-consumer recycled fiber and was tap dancing to swedish death metal”

“This lady dressed like Jessica Rabbit was sitting on top of his refrigerator talking about how she used to be a police officer in Transylvania, then fell in love with a boy named Jesse and burned down a fish farm?”

“I mean she would’ve been gorgeous but she had about twenty ponytails on her head and wouldn’t let me in while waving a fake lightsaber and making 'vwoom’ noises”

“She tried to convince me she was Jareth, the Goblin King? she had all this weird makeup on and told me my new name was Sarah.”

“I don’t look anything like Vladimir Putin but she just wouldn’t let it go and then stopped speaking in English entirely and switched to Russian or something.”

“She threw a dead fish at me”

“She told me that steve isn’t a real person and that he’s actually a man that lives in her finger? and then asked me a lot about pirates?”

“Whenever i tried to talk she would just start laughing really loud.”

“I know steve is like, you know gorgeous and tall but honestly reenacting star trek episodes with his weird friend for hours isn’t worth it”

Can I just say kudos to Jessica Jones for the most realistic portrayal of White Dudes TM on a TV show yet. And by most realistic portrayal I mean the main white dudes are basically all various level of creeps. 

Kilgrave is obviously #1 AKA THE WORST DUDE EVER OMG, the most fucked up, entitled, manipulative, gaslighting, abusive rapist there is, with the additional tasty layer of never really realising/believing that what he does is wrong. The personification of everything women are afraid of in men, basically,so I don’t think I even need to go into that any more, we’ve all met at least one (hopefully less intense) Kilgrave in our lives.

Will Simpson takes the silver medal, does he ever. After the mind-control, when he gave Trish the gun so she’d feel safer I was almost starting to belive he was a good guy, but he just rubbed me the wrong way the entire time he was on screen. Like, literally, alarm bells going off in my head, and I couldn’t explain why at first, because when he’s not on drugs or under Kilgrave’s control, he seems to be a nice dude at first. I didn’t realise until going back to, like, the scene where Jessica interrupts him and Trish having sex why I couldn’t warm up to him, and then I realised a pattern in his behaviour: his creepiness is far more subtle. It’s the everyday kind of dude entitlement that he displays: he interrupts Jessica and Trish constantly, thinks he always knows better, thinks he’s the man for the job, has to protect the fragile women (despite the fact they are willing, and in some ways far better qualified than him, to take out Kilgrave), he doesn’t respect Trish’s boundaries.. So yeah, Simpson is obviously not a totally bad dude when he’s not on drugs that make him violent and lose his mind (and oh god, the lurking in front of Trish’s apartment, so creepy), but he very obviously thinks he’s better than women in every way and good god, yes, he is a creep.

The last major main white dude is Reuben. He follows quite far behind the first two, because he’s obviously not a threat; mostly, he’s just too socially inept to take a goddamn hint, and his puppy-like crush on Jessica is awkward rather than dangerous, but lbr, we’ve all dealt with a Reuben at some point in our lives, too, and it’s really fucking uncomfortable.

tl;dr: all white dudes on the show made me super uncomfortable and I’m so happy that all the MOC characters were the exact opposite of that, bless this show.

“Let's find out what the ghost wants.” Why Captain America: The Winter Soldier is Gothic Fiction

“Going after him is a dead end. Like you said, he’s a ghost story.”

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of the most popular marvel movies and probably the most popular in female driven fandom circles. It features a lot of pretty actors and thrilling action but probably it’s greatest success is in the narrative satisfaction of its plot, a twisty intriguing mystery that has seen the film repeatedly compared to 1970s political thrillers. And sure, why not? There’s Robert Redford, there’s Washington DC, there’s the contemporary fear of the surveillance state.

But I think this explanation of the appeal of the the plot of CATWS misses a big chunk of why it works so well. The emotion and personal horror of the story. Elements which owe more to an older genre: the Gothic.

Gothic Literature was hugely popular in the 18th and early 19th century and although the genre can be hard to define, so many elements of gothic fiction are present in CATWS it’s hard to ignore. CATWS is the Mystery of Count Udolpho, it is Dracula, it is Jane Eyre, it is The Turn of the Screw. It is a story about a pure, virginal ingenue protagonist trapped in a strange world of intrigue, horror and patriarchal authority.

In Jane Eyre Mr Rochester has a secret in his attic that causes all kinds of mysterious happenings. In Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde a man’s body changes and he becomes a monster he can’t control or remember being. And in Dracula Lucy Westernra dies, but a mysterious deathly force stalks the night. Meanwhile her friend Mina Harker is falling under the influence of the same demon that took Lucy and turned her into that very monster.

Gothic fictions are romantic ghost stories. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a deeply romantic ghost story.

Keep reading

There are some characters that can’t exist without another. Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (way to drop the ball on that one, Bryan Singer), Luke Cage and Danny Rand, Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson, and most importantly, Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym. So why isn’t Jan in the movie?

Probably one of the most infamous moments in comic book history is when Hank gets angry and hits Jan, his wife. Despite how long ago this happened, there’s zero excuse for his spousal abuse. This one panel is basically the entire reason that Jan isn’t going to be featured in “Ant-Man”. Marvel’s idea of ‘redeeming’ Hank was to not only ignore the entire issue of him being a wife beater, but also to just completely ignore the idea that Jan even existed.

Jan is a very important character to the Marvel universe. Not only was she an original Avenger, but she was also the one to come up the name “Avengers”. Hank Pym is nothing without Jan. Ant-Man is nothing without Wasp. The MCU needs her. Having characters like Black Widow and Storm are great, but they aren’t enough. How great would it be for a little girl to go see “Ant-Man” and see Wasp flying around in her brightly colored costume, zapping bad guys and still being interested in feminine things, like fashion and make-up? Marvel missed an opportunity to finally reel in the audience of little girls that they so desperately need.


Is it too early to start talking about mid credit Bucky and what it all means? Because, honestly, some people seem to be uncertain about his future, but I don’t think there’s any need to be.

Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier is all chrome and black leather, a range of colours associated with weaponry, the bad guys. Not white. Never white. That is, until the scene where we leave him. SERIOUSLY, LOOK AT THE SYMBOLISM OF THIS OUTFIT HERE.

White trousers, white shirt, someone remarked he’s got bare feet in the opening scene, if the camera had panned back a little on the end scene, I’m fairly certain he’d be barefoot here as well.. He’s in ALL WHITE, the colour of innocence and purity and in western religious circles a colour symbolising the washing away of one’s sins. Renewal. I don’t know what’s going on behind him, but it’s giving off a golden glow, I swear they couldn’t have made him look more like an ACTUAL SAINT if they tried. You think this is the end for him? White is for new beginnings, not endings. Watch this scene again, the white, the gold, the serene smile. This scene is the baptism of Bucky Barnes. The boy is getting REBORN.

Is all this deliberate? I think it is, consider the juxtaposition they’ve given us in the opening and closing scenes of this film. The beginning, pre title scene of a man, Bucky Barnes being awoken from the ice, dressed in black, cloaked in darkness. Not yet the soldier, just the man, being dragged into a place of darkness and screaming agony and forcibly turned into the Winter Soldier, against his will. The ending, the man who was the Winter Soldier, dressed in white, bathed in light. Not being dragged, but choosing to go back into that ice to become Bucky Barnes again. The scenes mirror each other in every way, not just in the motions, but the lighting, the costuming, the tone; darkness and light, black and white, piercing screams and hushed, peaceful tones, coercion and free will. I know it’s just a silly superhero movie, but this is beautiful stuff right here.

Look, okay, I see Bucky as the heart of this movie, Bucky’s my fave, so maybe I’m biased, but I can only see a new beginning here. But you know what, even if this WERE the end of his story, I’d be happy with this. I couldn’t have asked for a more respectful treatment of my baby. And I think he’s going to be just fine.


Okay so I don’t know if someone has talked about that yet but this morning I thought about it so here it is.

From what I know and remember, it has been said, by the Russos and/or Renner, that Clint had mostly joined team Cap because “he was the first to ask”. It had always kind of bugged me, and now I’m convinced that Clint had actually been against the Sokovia Accords all along.

The gifset I made is here to proove my point. First I want to say that I know most people think Clint was already retired, and I agree that it might be the case. During Age of Ultron, he says, through a metaphora about house renovations, that battling Ultron is his “last project”. Then, he went back to his family and hasn’t been shown to come back, though being still in touch with at least Natasha.

But remember when Laura says “Then you’ll find another part of the house to tear apart”? Sure, Clint says after that that it’s his last project, but the fact that Laura mentions that she knows he’ll find something else after the current situation means he’s done that already. The very fact that he comes out of retirement to help Cap is a proof that he can’t stop, he always needs to help. But yes, maybe Clint went into retirement back then, right after Ultron. Makes sense considering he was to be a dad not long after. But then… Why would Steve ask if Clint signed the SA? If he’s already retired, he isn’t an Avenger anymore and don’t need to sign them. So this is where my theory (because let’s face it, that’s a theory and no less) lands, Clint didn’t retire after Ultron. He took vacations, some paternity leave maybe, but didn’t leave the Avengers for good.

Now I’d like to come back to the gifs. In the ones on the left, Secretary Ross mentions that if you don’t sign the Accords, or if you do something that doesn’t please the ones in charge, then you’re send to retirement. And on the right, Natasha mentions that Clint “says he’s retired”. Now if we consider he was already retired, there’s nothing about it. But if you consider he wasn’t, then it means something else entirely.

Clint says he’s retired. What a strange choice of words from Natasha. She doesn’t say he consider it’s not his business, nor that he puts his family first. She doesn’t say he’s signed nor that he hasn’t. She doesn’t say “You know he’s retired”. No she specifically quotes him saying “I’m retired”. Exactly what happens when you don’t sign. Now one can only imagine Clint asking Natasha what happens if he disagree, and upon hearing the answer, saying something like “Then I’m retired.”

I’ve seen a lot of people saying that Wanda is the reason he’s team Cap and I agree with them, but I also think that he wouldn’t have been that involved if he hadn’t share Cap’s opinion. Getting out of retirement, compromising himself, risking not to see his family (including a baby possibly not one year old yet) only because someone “asked first” doesn’t makes sense to me.

(++ When Tony comes to the Raft, Clint welcomes him with a great speech that includes “He knows what’s best for you, whether you like it or not”. Wait a minute. Knowing what’s best for someone, making them do things they might not want? Doesn’t that sound like what the Sokovia Accords are proposing? Yes it does. That’s a clear criticism of Tony agreeing with the Accords and what they imply, that would seem a little off coming from someone who came because “Cap asked first”. Clint isn’t some guy you feel with your opinion and he takes it, he makes his own opinions and he’s clearly against the Accords.)

So yes, things works well without this theory, but it had always bugged me, and I think it had always bugged some other Clint fans, so I tried to think about why it bugged me so much. I think I might have found it. At least it works for me.


“Peggy’s fighting style is BRUTAL. It’s scrappy, and incredibly violent and I love it. This is how real people fight. Well trained real people. She uses her elbows a lot, they’re the hardest part of the body and make an excellent weapon, which she clearly knows. She’s uses her environment, fridges, staplers, briefcases, anything she can turn into an advantage. Peggy Carter is a woman in heels fighting large rough men and she wins because she is nasty and rough and smart.”

quote from obsessionexpression ’s text post


There’s a lot of talk about the fact that Hawkeye is canonically deaf in the comics (and uses hearing aids), but there’s rarely any mention of how this happened.

I think it’s important to remember Hawkeye didn’t just lose his hearing. He sacrificed it. It happens in the panels from the comic above, final issue of Hawkeye’s first solo limited, published in 1983 (written and penciled by Mark Gruenwald). In this comic, Hawkeye and Mockingbird (who he would marry at the end of the issue) are subjected to a sound that makes them go into a violent, uncontrollable rage. Hawkeye knows there’s a very good chance if he listens to this sound, he will beat Mockingbird to death.

This is a man who watched his father beat his mother. Who lost both his parents when his father forced his mother to drive with him when he was drunk. So when he’s faced with the possibility of becoming like his father, whether it’s of his own choice or not, and turning that kind of violence on a woman he loves, what does he do? He makes the decision to risk his own well being, to sacrifice one of his senses without knowing what the long term consequences will be, to prevent hurting her.

This is part of what makes Hawkeye’s deafness so important. It’s representation, yes, and we always need more of that in media. But it’s also a symbol of who he is, of who he’s willing to be. Yes, Hawkeye is the guy without any “real” powers, the guy who stands with the Avengers because he practiced until he got really, really good with arrows. But he’s also the guy who will put others first, who will do whatever needs to be done no matter the personal cost. Hawkeye’s deafness is a symbol of what makes him a hero, even without the powers.

Because that’s who Hawkeye is–the guy who shows that it doesn’t take a serum or a robot suit to be a hero. And his deafness is a reminder of that.

let's talk about Bucky’s brain

I dunno if anyone’s done this before but whatever. Specifically, I want to talk about Bucky’s brain in relation to the cannibalized MRI thing they strapped on his noggin in CA:TWS. Like what the hell is that thing, how old is it, what are you trying to do HYDRA, is this one of those weird dryer things you stick your whole head in at the hairdresser’s? They have had 70 years to perfect this technology and it looks like a high schooler’s science fair project. There aren’t even any electrodes. Seriously there should be electrodes not only because they’re kind of necessary for this sort of thing but also because who would object to Bucky Barnes looking totally punk rock with a partially-shaved head? No one, that’s who.

But I guess let’s just assume the plate things themselves are in contact with his head and transmitting the charge themselves. Okay. That’s a big area they cover and approximately zero opportunity for finesse, so they can’t localize the damage at all. And there’s still all that hair in the way. But whatever, I’ll shut up about the hair.

So the plate things are basically concentrated on the prefrontal cortex, which is at the very front of the brain, behind the forehead where the plates are located. I mean there looks like there are plates going around around the back of the head but if it only goes as deep as the cerebrum they don’t want to damage anything back there because it’s all motor skills and balance and sensory perception and language centers, all of which were vital in the Winter Soldier’s functioning. 

So yeah, the prefrontal cortex seems to be what they’re targeting, and the prefrontal cortex is for short term memory and decision making. However, it would be indescribably stupid to damage short term memory retention, so I don’t think they’d just fry the entire prefrontal cortex. Especially if it could compromise his ability to make quick, logical decisions in the field because the prefrontal cortex is important for logic and impulse control. So I would assume that they’re targeting the connections between the short term and long term memory storage systems rather than taking away his short term memory altogether. 

Basically, recalling a memory that’s stored in long-term is just the brain returning it to the short-term memory center, or the working memory, concentrated in the prefrontal cortex. From there your brain literally refires all the neurons that fired during that experience, without compromising awareness of current circumstances. So severing those connections between long and short term memory would not only stop him retaining new memories, it would stop him recalling old ones.

They could be messing with his long term memory, except there are no intracranial bits and bobs that could actually penetrate deeper than the cerebrum without frying everything in between, and the hippocampus and amygdala where long term memory is stored are in there deep. 

This picture doesn’t do justice to how deep in the brain the hippocampus and amygdala are, but it works well enough as a visual aid. You don’t want to damage the amygdala in a super soldier at any rate because that’s where the survival instincts are kicking around. Also, damaging the hippocampus on both sides of the brain would turn him into a potato, unable to retain any information at all, not even how to discharge his weapon, so you’d basically have to retrain him anew for every mission. And this contraption has clearly no finesse at all, as stated above, so I really don’t think they’d be able to destroy anything only partially or make any localized alterations.

And sure, maybe they actually opened up his head at some point in the past to get at long term memory storage, and the cryofreeze might stop that from healing, but I think the understanding of the brain was so ridiculously limited at that time that they didn’t really even know how to avoid excessive damage, and I don’t think they would have risked rendering one of their best assets brain dead. Honestly, I think the most likely thing they did was supplement the physical stuff with more traditional brainwashing and conditioning techniques.

So really, all Bucky needs to do is repair the connections between his long term and short term memory. Even with all this damage, the brain is adaptable even in normal humans. When certain parts are damaged, other parts can take over functioning in their stead. Although in this case, if the connections between long and short term memory were cut every time he went into the cryogenic chamber, he never would have stored any of the information gleaned as the Winter Soldier past the short term unless he managed to catch enough sleep to transfer those memories into long term storage before he got zapped or frozen again. So he would potentially remember everything about being Bucky Barnes fairly quickly, assuming his super soldier healing could repair those pathways or create new ones to compensate, and he would never remember most of his time as the Winter Soldier except what they wanted him to remember and let him encode before they took out those connections again. So basically, his combat training, his obedience training, and all that hydra indoctrination crap.

His old memories as Bucky would remain relatively pristine, because the more we view a memory the more current circumstances during the recollection alter it, and what you remember becomes less and less similar to what you actually experienced at the time. So instead of memories slowly changing and evolving as the person themself changes, which is what normally happens as we revisit memories and subtly alter them over time through new perception, Bucky would have this huge, disorienting, sickening divide between the well-preserved, untouched old memories of how he used to be and any new ones he managed to create as the Winter Soldier. The Winter Soldier memories will be less fleshed out, have more holes, be generally more ghost-like because of how they fucked with his brain and memories, so it would be easy for him to dissociate with them and to ignore them, but in order to ignore them Bucky would also have to ignore their consequences. He would be denying a part of himself. And he wouldn’t be able to deal well with their fallout, with the ways those experiences changed him, because he wouldn’t let himself examine them.

Honestly this is horrifying in its own way. All the fic I’ve read talks about how horrible it must be for the Winter Soldier to forget Bucky Barnes, but very little touches on how horrible it would be for Bucky to be all there and have a stranger in his head that he has few, dissociated memories of, but still retains a lot of that conditioning and finds himself acting like someone he doesn’t even remember being. He would feel betrayed by his own body and his own mind, doing things without knowing why he was doing them. I feel like not being the same Bucky as the one who went off to war would be so frustrating to him. Fics paint it as Steve being frustrated by the fact that Bucky’s no longer the same person, but I think Bucky himself would be far more frustrated by that fact than Steve. I think the fact that he’s not the same would bother him more than Steve’s longing for him to be the same, because he would understand that longing, share it even. I think he would dissociate from the foreign Winter Soldier part of himself, would try to bury it or force it out instead of facing it, would hate whatever memories he did retain from that time, because the Winter Soldier terrifies everyone but I think he would terrify Bucky most of all. And it would make sense, too. After all, the winter soldier was always supposed to be a ghost, the unseen threat, the silent killer, and I think, rather than inhabiting Bucky, the Soldier would haunt him, something he can’t prepare for or fight unless he’s willing to look through the dark to find it and confront it.

(All images blatantly stolen)