Okay. So I see a couple arguments against Natasha’s characterization over and over again. One is: “How did she go from ‘love is for children’ to ‘I adore you’???” The answer is character development and the key is Captain America: The Winter Solider. I talk about that at length here (x).
The argument that really leaves me confused is the one that says Natasha in TWS is a feminist ideal and the Natasha in AoU is The Worst. It just completely baffles me. Because Natasha in TWS in is a hell of a lot closer to Natasha in AoU than she is in The Avengers.
I personally think Natasha is great and multidimensional the way she’s portrayed in TWS. But you can EASILY make the same reductive, bullshit feminine = antifeminist arguments about TWS.
Love is for children? Let’s spend the entire movie finding Cap a date because if anyone cares about dates it’s the Lady Avenger, amirite???
Sick of seeing female characters reduced to their sexuality? Here comes Black Widow driving up in a sexy car making flirty faces at a man she’s never met. Why? To make Cap look cool in front of his new bro.
Don’t want Black Widow turned into a love interest? We’ll cut the original plot that had her jumping in bed with Cap, okay, but here’s a bonus fanservice kiss that contributes nothing to the plot or her character development. *giggles*
Hate that Natasha is captured and/or used to give Bruce a hero moment (laugh) when he blasts open her cage? How about knocked unconscious and carried out of the flames by Cap like the picture of a damsel in goddamn distress.
Worried that Natasha needs her feelings validated by Bruce in the farm bedroom scene? Let’s have Natasha, who yesterday said she couldn’t care less if people trusted her as long as that kept her alive, seek validation from a man the very next morning. The very next morning, people.
Concerned that Natasha’s pain is being used as fodder for someone else’s noble quest? Look no further than Natasha dumping all her secrets onto the internet to demonstrate that, once again, Captain America was right about everything.
Oh, are you worried that Natasha is walking away from the mission? At the end of TWS she walks away from Fury and Cap to go take a goddamn vacation, with HYDRA full on the loose.
Oh, what’s that? You don’t think my characterization of those events are fair? No shit!
All that said. I think Natasha’s character in The Winter Soldier is great. I also think her character in Age of Ultron is great.
Do I think her character in either one was perfect? No. I don’t want perfect characters.
Do I think her character in either one was perfect from a representation standpoint? No. Tropes for female characters are thorny and triggering in a lot of different ways.
But. What I am saying is that the argument that Natasha’s character is completely unproblematic in TWS and the Russos will save her from the evil Joss is completely ridiculous.
The Love is for Children Natasha? Yeah. Joss wrote her. I am not a Joss apologist. I liked Buffy, but I also didn’t a lot, too, especially as I got older. He is flawed, but so is everyone else. Particularly other men — I don’t hear anyone calling for female writers to save Black Widow from antifeminism. No. I hear calls for two more men to save her.
Isn’t it strange how when Marvel fans ask for the Punisher to have his own show, Netflix/Marvel answered pretty much immediately, and now we’re getting a Punisher show from the guy who made the Hannibal show 1 year after Daredevil Season 2 was released?
But Black Widow is a character who fans have been demanding a movie for since the Avengers, Scarlet Johansson wants her own movie, the Russo’s would be on board with it, even her cast mates (Chris Evans & Sebastian Stan) want her to have a solo movie. And Marvel’s answer has been ‘we’ll get round to it‘ for 4 years straight.
tony is so underrated in this movie and kind of comes off as the bad guy but seriously he had so much shit going on. pepper, anxiety, guilt, his parents, possibly losing his friends because of the accords, fucking steve lmao oh steve, and the issue of all this responsibility. ofc hes gonna explode at the end when he finds out who kills his parents. damn i would too. but serious kudos to the russo directors “saving” tony from becoming a (sorta) bad guy. so much better than that ultron trash. petition to get the russo bros to direct all other marvel movies?