Black Widow: Audiences’ Expectations for Female Superheroes

Scarlet Johanson as Black Widow in The Avengers
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in The Avengers

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed the way we look at comic book movies and Hollywood blockbusters in general. That is simply a fact, whether you love the film series or not. Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, all comic book movies had their character’s in a separate stand alone universe, meaning other heroes from the comics would never be seen or acknowledged. For example, the movie Daredevil does not take place in the same universe as the Spider-Man trilogy, yet both characters still live in New York City in the comics and in the films. With that in mind, trying to have a cinematic universe where characters would each have their own stand alone films, and then meet all together in one huge film seemed crazy back in 2008 with Iron man. Nowadays, when looking at the intense popularity of the 12 Marvel Cinematic films, one cannot help but wonder why movie studios have never done this with other properties. Some of the appeal towards the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the well-written dialogue, meticulously crafted story arcs, and the simple childhood joy of seeing comic book character like Captain America and Thor on the big screen.

Even though Marvel’s films are enjoyable, they are not perfect; some flaws become more noticeable with each entry. Most of the villains are not very interesting, a lot of the characters feel unkillable, and the sheer amount of films being made in the future is overwhelming. Yet the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most addressed flaw is the lack of diversity for heroes in the main role. It is true that we are getting a movie about Black Panther, an African king, and a movie about Captain Marvel, who has been rebooted as a woman, in 2-3 years from now. However, these two films are getting pushed back for other films. Spider-Man (July, 27 2017) pushed Black Panther from its original date and Ant-Man and The Wasp (July, 6 2018) moved Captain Marvel even further into 2018 . It is not that Marvel wants to prolong the Captain Marvel or the Black Panther movie, but the fact they keep getting pushed back is disappointing.

When it comes to female characters in the Marvel universe, the character that fans often rally behind is Natasha Romanova a.k.a Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson. The Russian Shield agent started out in a small role in Iron Man 2, but grew into one of Marvel’s best characters in The Avengers and in Captain America: The Winter Solider. Black Widow was at best a C level character in the comics, so it is a true testament to Marvel Studios for propelling the character into the main stream. However, her character has always been in a supporting role, and this has left fans wanting more. If there is one thing fans want in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is for Black Widow to have her very own movie. The most recent example of vocal Black Widow fans is when a group of women in Black Widow costumes protested because of the lack merchandise for the character, and also to hopefully inspire a solo movie to be made; The popular hashtag they used was #WeWantWidow. Kevin Figgie, the head producer for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has said there was a script being experimented with, but that’s about it. Audiences are already familiar with Black Widow, so giving her a solo movies seems like a great idea, at least theoretically. The fact Black Widow does not have a stand alone film in not necessarily because Hollywood is sexist, but it may be because fans are trying to turn the character into something she is not, a leading character.

Black Widow’s Utilization in The Films

Black Widow after fighting Russian mobsters
Black Widow after fighting Russian criminals in The Avengers

One of the most fundamental reasons Black Widow works among the Avenger line up is do to her being human. Along with Hawkeye, Black Widow stands out immensely from a tech savvy billionaire, a muscle bound super-solider, a near invisible monster, and a literal god. With all the gods and aliens invading earth, Black Widow and Hawkeye are both avatars for the audience because we can related to just how crazy their world has become. In The Avengers particularly, Black Widow strikes the right balance of relatable attributes and strong independence; she is tough, but also shows signs of vulnerability. In the beginning of the film, Natasha shows her competence as an agent by getting intel from a group of Russians and then taking them without a sweat. In contrast, she is ungodly terrified when she is chased by an enraged Hulk, encountering something she knows is out of her control. Black Widow is an interesting character in her own right, but one of her best aspects is how she cleverly works off the other Avengers.

Black Widow and Captain America in Captain America : The Winter Solider
Black Widow and Captain America in Captain America : The Winter Solider

Hawkeye, for example, has been through the thick and thin with Natasha when it came to being Shield agents, and their devoted partnership is obvious by the way they exchange dialogue. In Captain America: The Winter Solider, Captain America sees her as a worthy ally, but he cannot help but feel her constant secrecy makes her hard to read. She is not simply a sheep when it comes to Shield, yet the instructions she is given in an operation are not always the popular ones. In The Avengers, Natasha is intimidated by the Bruce Banner/The Hulk, but she also treats him more humanly than others. Shield is either trying to contain the Hulk or trying to use him as a weapon. Because Natasha is kinder to Banner, she becomes an emotional anchor for him. This is developed further in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where they are romantically interested in each other, until they soon come to realize that their relationship is simply doomed to fail. Black Widow does offer interesting dynamics with other characters, But does that mean she could manage a full length movie?

Super-Heroines In The Media, or Lack Thereof

We live in an interesting day and age when it comes to entertainment. With most big feature films starring white male leads, audiences start to wonder if it would be so hard to mix up the gender, race, or sexuality. Audiences should not hate a film just because in has the typical white male in the starring role; however, the world is so diverse that people want a little more variety. For women in particular, the lack of good female driven superheroes films is an unavoidable issue. One of the reasons may be because super-heroine feature films like Supergirl, Electra, and Catwoman were box office bombs, therefore justifying the lack of representation with poor ticket sales. Because of this, movie studios assume that audiences do not want female-driven comic book films.

It is an unfair statement because a movie bombing at the box office should not be blamed on a whole gender, but instead on the quality or film itself. Supergirl, Electra and Catwoman were simply awful films, and it was not because they starred women. With that said, could Black Widow be the answer to this problem? It is hypothetically possible, but let us honestly ask ourselves a question: do audiences really want a Black Widow movie, or do they just want a female lead comic book film? When getting right down to it, people really just want the latter.

Black Widow and Hawkeye in The Avengers
Black Widow and Hawkeye in The Avengers

Because there is such a lack of super-heroines in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fan are trying to take anything they can get and Black Widow seems like the easiest way out. Don’t get me wrong; If Marvel were to announce they were making a Black Widow movie, it would hardly be the worst thing in the world. A director could do an interesting spy thriller with Black Widow taking down a faction of Hydra, or something to that extent. However, lets ask an opposing question: why is there no Hawkeye movie?

Think about it; anything that could be said for Black Widow getting a feature film could also be attributed to Hawkeye. A filmmaker could make an interesting spy thriller with Black Widow; a director could also make an interesting spy thriller with Hawkeye. We do not know much about Black Widow’s past; same could be said for Hawkeye. Black Widow having no powers would bring more relatable stakes than a Thor, or Iron Man movie; The whole character arc for Hawkeye in Avengers: Age of Ultron was how he did not fit in with a team with such powerful members, but stilled tried his best regardless. Black Widow and Hawkeye are both good supporting characters because they fulfill their required roles to propel the story along, and that is what supporting characters do. So why are people not clamming for a Hawkeye movie as much as a Black Widow Movie? Because it would be another white male superhero in the main role.

Where is Black Widow's action figure
Where is Black Widow’s action figure

To be fair, there are a lot of understandable reasons why fans would want a Black Widow movie besides wanting a female in the main role of a film. The most recent controversy revolving around Black Widow is how toy distributors left her out in a lot of the toy packages, fearing boys would not want to play with a “girl’s toy”. The idea that only boys play with action figures is sexist and leaving out the most prominent female character in the toy line is far too convenient. It is true that movies and toy distribution are completely different, but this controversy certainly puts fuel to the fire. The toy controversy highlights one of the biggest reasons why fans want a Black Widow movie, and that is how she was “misused” in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Natasha and Bruce Banner’s Relationship

Black Widow and Hulk showing a connection in Avengers: Age of Ultron
Black Widow and Hulk showing a connection in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron was certainly an enjoyable film, but it had the difficult task of topping the first Avengers film, which was practically lightning in a bottle when it came to comic book movies. Out of the many flaws that Avengers: Age of Ultron had, one of the biggest complaints was about how Black Widow fell into three common stereotypical roles often given to female characters. The first was how Natasha became a forced love interest for Bruce Banner, giving the false illusion that every female character needs a man in her life. The second stereotypical role was in Natasha’s past (small spoiler alert) where it was revealed she was made infertile after working under a secret Russian spy organization. This makes it seem that the only tragic element of Natasha’s past her inability to become a mother. The last stereotypical role given to Black Widow was being a damsel in distress by getting captured by Ultron, only to have Hulk save her in the climax.

The third role in particular seems unnecessary for Black Widow’s character because her being captured did not largely affect the film and seemed pointless. However, Natasha being viewed as a love interest and a mother figure works in the context of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Natasha’s gaining feeling for the Hulk could have been by the numbers, yet the relationship they share is a classic Beauty and the Beast story, but without the happy ending. Bruce Banner has lost a lot of people in his life as the Hulk, and Natasha represents a glimmer of hope for Banner’s hopeless future. Natasha herself is willing to look past Banner’s flaws, and legitimately wants a future with him. Sadly, no matter how hard they look past it, both their pasts withhold them from having a future together. Not only can Natasha not bear children, but Banner cannot even make love to a women without becoming the Hulk because of his rapid heart rate.

Natasha's flashbacks to when she worked under a secret Russian organization
Natasha’s flashbacks to when she worked under a secret Russian organization in Avengers: Age of Ultron

They are both lost souls who grew tired of their lives as superheroes, yet the sad truth is Black Widow will always be a Shield agent and Banner will always be cursed with the Hulk persona. From a story perspective, Natasha’s romance with Banner does not necessarily make her a forced loved-interest because she accepts her lonely life as a Shield agent by the end of the film. Also, Natasha being infertile is not the only tragic attribute to her past, as there are still many things we do not know about her and the Russian organization she worked for. Should Natasha wanting a relationship or even a family be seen as a bad thing? On one hand, not every women character needs to be a love interest or a mother, and they should be allowed to be independent characters. On the other hand, stripping away a woman’s feminine qualities do not inherently make them more interesting as characters; in fact, it in some ways robs them of any interesting character development. Part of the reason fans were upset with Black Widow showing more feminine characteristics is partially because she falls into a trope known as the “smurfette principle.”

The Female Lighting Rod

For those who don’t know, the “smurfette principle” addresses how many forms of entertainment have a cast of characters prominently being men, yet only having one woman character along side them. True, Black Widow is not the only female character in the Avengers team anymore, as Scarlet Witch became an established member of the Avengers at the end of Age of Ultron. However, Black Widow has been in 4 Marvel films, while Scarlet Witch as only been in 1 so far, so only time will tell if she becomes as popular as Black Widow. What is often overlooked with the smurfette principle is how a single female character, such as Black Widow, often become a figurative female lighting rod. Essentially, because there is only one prominent women character in a story, she becomes a lighting rod of how good female character should be written.

For example: fans were not upset that Black Widow got a love subplot; it was the fact that she was the only female Avenger and being romantically involved slightly took away her independence as a strong character. The female lighting rod highlights the problem with the lackluster amount of dominate roles for super-heroines. The only problem that can arise from the female lighting rod is that it can make a female character impossible for viewers to compare to livable standards. With the evolving amount of voices on the internet, practically everyone has their own perceptions of how to write strong women in film, and Black Widow is an example of how not every character can live up to everyone’s standards. In many ways, for every stereotype a female character avoids, another one will reappear to take its place. Black Widow represents the way we analyze and criticize female character is constantly evolving, with more and more voices popping up everyday. It is important to understand that there is no one right way to write a good female character.

Fans attach themselves to Black Widow because they do not want her to go down the road so many other female super-heroines have gone. Black Widow is also not a spin-off character based on a previous established male hero like Spider-Women or She-Hulk. There is no inherent reason why a Black Widow movie would be a bad idea, but the reason why it will likely never be made is because it would not be entirely beneficial to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As previously stated, she has already been in 4 movies, so giving Black Widow her own movie would be less about expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe and more about wanting to appease the fans. Besides, spin-off films are rarely ever good, as films like X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides were critically hated. That is because secondary characters that worked greatly off other characters were given the spotlight, and then the story had no idea what to do with them. Black Widow is beloved by many, but that is because she is perfect as a secondary character. She may be a secondary character, but it should not take away how she has become one of the most inspiring super-heroines in recent memory.  

Work Cited

Storm, Marc. “Marvel Studios Phase 3 Update.” Marvel Studios Phase 3 Update. Marvel, 8 Oct. 2015. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.

“Tropes vs. Women: #3 The Smurfette Principle.” Feminist Frequency: Tropes vs. Women: #3 The Smurfette Principle. Feminist Frequency, 21 Apr. 2011. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.

Bui, Hoai-Tran. “Black Widow Fans Rally for Better Representation and Maybe a Movie.” Black Widow Fans Rally for Better Representation and Maybe a Movie. EntertainThis!, 8 June 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

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  1. I have recently been getting more into the backstory of the Avengers but wasn’t very clear on many of them so this worked as a nice lead in to the franchise. Keep up the good work!

  2. Hedy Cash

    It’d be awesome for her to have her own film! I would enjoy seeing a kick ass woman in any film.

  3. She probably isnt the most powerful, but she is the most interesting.

  4. I definitely think she and Hawkeye should have already had a duo film back in Phase 1 or possibly even in Phase 2 as a prequel. But now, it’s really just too late and it does not fit in with where the universe is headed. With so many new characters coming in and this massive expansive story that absolutely every hero in the MCU is involved in, there isn’t time for Black Widow to go run off and have her own adventure. It’s better if Hawkeye and Black Widow just weave in and out of everyone else’s movies and advance their stories, just like what is happening currently.

    • Aaron Hatch

      I totally agree with you there. Making a Black Widow or a Hawkeye movie now is a ‘too little, too late’ kind of situation.

    • By 2020, Marvel would have made solo movies for 11 characters. In addition to that, Marvel would want to introduce newer characters as well. With phase 3, Marvel has to worry about their universe being bloated with too many superhero films. My theory is that Marvel will do solo movies to introduce the characters only, and focus on more team based movies instead of successive franchises. Considering BW is not a new character and her movie would not expand the MCU, Marvel is never going to make a BW movie.

    • it’d be great to get a Black Widow movie after they replace ScarJo. she was miscast from the get go.

  5. Emily Deibler

    I agree that Black Widow should get more time to shine, especially with, as you mentioned, the Smurfette Principle and the lack of superheroines in the MCU. I was disappointed in how Age of Ultron treated her character. Hopefully, she and Scarlet Witch will become more developed as the MCU marches along. Keep up the good work!

  6. Animated films tend to give more chances for the fan favorites. Black Widow got her animated film(with the Punisher), and Wonder Woman had really good animated film too. I think the producers are too conservative when it comes to big films due to the budget/profit pressure.

  7. A little confused about the position of this article in regard to a Black Widow movie. After spending the majority of the time discussing how there are so few female characters in the MCU, and how much fans want a movie, it ends rather abruptly and anti-climatically with pointing out how bad spin-off movies tend to be. But, it’s not like Daredevil or Guardians of the Galaxy were bad movies/series, even if they are technically a spin-off of some side characters in the larger universe…

    • Aaron Hatch

      My final thoughts in my article is how I would be ok with having Black Widow getting her own movie, but it would just not really be necessary for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Also, I’m not sure if Daredevil and Guardians of the Galaxy are technically spin-offs in the movies because we were never introduced to these character in any other Marvel Cinematic Universe film before.

  8. I think a Black Widow film is likely in the works, at least on paper. After all, while female characters are the minority in the Marvel Universe, there are more than a few strong characters, albeit many being part of a team (but for that matter, when you do the math, there are not that many traditional male solo characters; teams make for the Marvel Universe being what it is: collaboration to derail evil).

    Consider the Resident Evil series of films. While not highly rated, the initial film didn’t do too badly at the Box Office. Counterfactually, if the script had deviated a bit from the actual video game, i.e., had a decent plot, it is likely the film would have earned more money and, perhaps, more positive criticism.

    But, a comic book character turned into leading role for a film is always a dangerous thing. Some critics simply do not like comic-book based movies, partly due to its necessity of being an action film (likely violent), and partly due to the suspension of science/reality that is the reality of the Marvel Universe. Some simply do not like the genre, similar to some critics paying little attention to martial arts films or anime. (One has to wonder what these critics say about Disney animated films.)

    Nonetheless, Natasha aka Black Widow is a strong character, regardless of gender, and that to me is what makes her a contender for a strong box office showing. If a film were to arise, complete with a strong script, I am sure it would do well. Whether that film needs to focus upon her origin (which I envision as akin to the Nakita (1990) film) or simply skips that and focuses upon one of the many Black Widow stories within the Marvel Universe, such as where she keeps Wolverine/Logan from falling into the hands of Hydra (Wolverine #1, 1997).

    • Aaron Hatch

      If they were do, hypothetically, make a Black Widow movie, I would want it to do well at the box office, just to show movie studios that audiences do want female driven superhero films. But, as I said in my article, Black Widow might not be the best way to kick off females superheroes having their own films. That might be saved for the Captain Marvel and Wonder Women movies.

  9. Great read!

  10. Jacque Venus Tobias

    Thanks for your article on Black Widow. I appreciate your addressing the forced relationship between Black Widow and the Hulk. I was very disappointed when the movie went in that direction. The points you brought up about being infertile does not mean she cannot be a mother. The infertility panders to the mainstream traditionalists that women want to reproduce and become mothers. That is not the case of course for many independent females. In addition, you touched on the Black Widow saving the Hulk from himself and in return he rescues her from Ultron. These elements are also disappointing to the advancement of human development; is it difficult to conceptualize the idea that one must “Save Yourself?” We don’t need to see the trope of the feminine energy rescuing the sulking masculine energy anymore than we need to see the masculine coming to the aid of the feminine.

    Moreover, I would support a film with Black Widow as the lead character and I would participate in procuring merchandise centered on Black Widow.

    Thanks for opening up conversation, Aaron.

    • Aaron Hatch

      Thank you very much, Venus. I’m glad you saw my article as more of a conversation because I didn’t want to shove my opinions down people throats. I just wanted to use Black Widow as an example of how the way we analyze female characters is constantly evolving, and I think that’s a good thing.

  11. This was a really interesting read. What are your thoughts on the MCU on other platforms, such as Netflix and cable TV? They’ve given us two female leads, Jessica Jones and Agent Peggy Carter. Though Jessica Jones is almost more of an anti-hero, it’s interesting to note that not only does the show pass the Bechdel test (more than 1 female character, the female characters have conversations about something other than male characters), which is extremely rare, it also is one of the realist representations of sexual abuse on TV since it is used for something other than shock factor. The show also acknowledges other characters in the MCU.

    • Aaron Hatch

      I haven’t watched Agent Carter yet, but I have heard a lot of good things about it. I have watched Jessica Jones, and loved it for the same reasons you brought up. It is really refreshing to see a superhero show to have a predominately female cast. I also really like Jessica Jones as a character, and the fact she has a short temper is an angle we have really not seen in the Marvel Universe so far. Lastly, The Purple Man is easily my new favorite Marvel Universe villain.

  12. I agree that Black Widow should get more time to shine, especially with, as you mentioned, the Smurfette Principle and the lack of superheroines in the MCU. I was disappointed in how Age of Ultron treated her character. Hopefully, she and Scarlet Witch will become more developed as the MCU marches along. Keep up the good work!

  13. Black Widow is Elsa’s long lost cousin from Frozen.

  14. My only complain with Black Widow is that they americanizer her. They took away the Russian accent and gave her an american. Her name is Natasha Romanove for pete sake! i tohugth the accent made her a special characters.

  15. Even though she’s human, her skills are beyond normal human. Black widow doesn’t need super power to destroy evil organization. I believe that she can destroy the avengers if she want to. 

  16. Black widow is old school. she came in the early 40’s in comic.

  17. I like the back-story flushed out like this.

  18. I have been reading Marvel for more than 40 years, so it is very interesting to read these articles. I enjoy the debates, which seems to be the different of understanding of the MCU to the Marvel Comics.

  19. She should get her own movie already!

  20. I suppose a Black Widow film would just be like a female Bourne / Bond movie but hey, that’s not a bad thing.

  21. Widow doesn’t need her own movie. While do dislike her reduction to just a character actor in the MCU. It really would be too little too late.

  22. I don’t get her appeal, she’s boring in the comics and in the movies people only like her because of ScarJo and for her being the first female superhero in the MCU (think tumblr and their obsession with female characters). I do like her in the movies but that’s it. Her fandom is insufferable though. And yeah, i’d rather see other characters getting a movie before her. Shulkie, Miss Marvel, heck even Scarlet Witch would make for a great movie.

  23. Loving how you are tying stuff together. Brilliant!

  24. Great post mate. You made it in a good balance between super-indepth and just the main info, so both first learners about the characters (And especially the extremely multilayered Black Widow) and avid Marvel readers can learn and enjoy.

  25. Black Widows always been one of my favorites.

  26. They do an ant-man movie but they can’t do the black widow even though I dare say she’s far, far more popular? It doesn’t even make business sense.

  27. A BW movie would be good fun and I can’t see why they can’t manage it amongst the glut of superhero movies. Her lack of “Hulk Smash!” superpowers shouldn’t be a problem, as they’ve managed to give Bloke with A Big Frisbee (aka Captain America) a couple of goes on the big screen.

  28. I dont get it. Why people find her interesting and want to see a movie based around her? I mean Avengers movie wouldn’t have been any worse if she wouldn’t be in there.

  29. Black widow should have her own movie, it’s already been too late, but we’ll be happy to get a new adventure with some glances on her origins! Trust me Marvel, its gonna be successful!

  30. One of the only few good things about the recent Avengers was when the witch touched people and you got to see more of their backstory including the widow’s story. I would have preferred if they deal with that more over the boring Hawkeye has a happy family story. I for one would be happy with a solo black widow movie.

  31. Her back ground is a lot different in the comics. She was also born in the 1940s. And had a miner healing factor and barley ages.

  32. Barton Sawyers

    To be fair, both Hawkeye and Black Widow are both really just tagging along. They’re a bit out of their league when you compare them to the rest of the Avengers. She’s not exactly the Scarlet Witch or Jean Grey.

  33. Black widow in comics and animations is mostly a supporting character; a maguffin who setups a story and provides info to give the heroes something to do

    She’s a spy who switches sides faster that a pirouetting ice-skater

    Not a “superhero”.

  34. Cojo

    A black widow movie would have a lot of significance to the DC vs Marvel rivalry. DC has barely even touched their female heroines while marvel has pushed for greater inclusivity of under represented people in superhero movies.

  35. hesylvester

    Interesting article. It is my longstanding opinion that female-led superhero films tanked in the past due to improper handling of a female character. It seems that male writers have a hard time writing a kick-ass female superhero with the same ease as with a male superhero. Thus, there is a drastic need for more female screenwriters for mainstream superhero movies.

  36. I love the “lightning rod” theory. That Black Widow has to fill a dozen different roles because of the lack of diversity in the cast. She has to be the ass-kicking feminist, the dopey damsel, the suave secret agent, the shoehorn love interest, the sensitive confidant, the cold and calculating manipulator all in one go.

    She’s spread too thin. It’s great for a character to have many aspects, to be complicated, but Black Widow shouldn’t have to try and be labelled with the entire spectrum of womankind. It’s just impossible.

  37. Age of Ultron was trying to appease these desires surely? It gave her a history with her flashbacks to Russia, it gave her a present with her love interest with Banner, and this also serves as her future as well as her standing beside Rogers in the final scene. However, as mentioned it also did take a lot : Damsel in distress, Typical love interest and only female (until the end). I can’t help but feeling that her next appearance will either do the character many favours or cause her ending.

    Also, I don’t feel the characters are unkillable: Quicksilver and WarMachine?

  38. This article brings up some very good points about the character of Black Widow, I think. I would hope that if a movie is made for Black Widow, it would be because she is valued as a character and not simply because she happens to be female. I think a possible downside to the progressive agenda in creative content is that it can lead to two-dimensional characters who exist only because of how they serve to expand the variety of the backgrounds of characters. If anything, a movie with a female character should have this aspect as a sort of side quality. Black Widow should be a good, strong character who, as it turns out, just happens to be female.

    If there’s too much of an eye lent toward these issues, we’ll find a hard time looking past anything but the portrayal of genders in movies. Personally, I want movies to be more than that–more than any petty issue related to gender, race, sexuality, or any other discriminating factor.

    I would like a Black Widow movie. But this is because I think the character is an interesting character and because I believe a superhero movie about intrigue (as opposed to mindless, non-stop action) would do well for the franchise. Very much in the same way that Captain America doesn’t deserve a movie just because he’s a man, Black Widow doesn’t necessarily deserve a movie just because she’s a woman. It should be for reasons other than that.

    That being said, this was a good article and I thought it brought up some very valid points about Black Widow and the issues surrounding the character.

  39. Great article! I agree that Marvel is not likely to make a movie for Black Widow as she is, as you said, a great supporting character. It is unfortunate, since I think that a Black Widow movie would have paved the way for more female lead superhero movies in the future. In terms of a cost-benefit analysis for movie studios, they are not likely to invest in a female lead superhero movie until one is very successful which in turn is never going to happen unless a studio is willing to take a risk.

  40. I was searching for her movie status and found your article. Regarding Hawkeye, I find him to be endering because he behaves as a human being. Thor is a god, Cap is a super serum superpowdered man and Hulk is a radioactivity superpowdered being, which explain their resistence. Suspension of belief apart, Tony Stark is a man inside a simple suit. He is never seriously injured. Natasha was thrown in a trunk in Civil War and yet she got up and stayed fighting. Hawkeye broke his arm in the movies. Awesome! He is the one representing people that fight because it is the right thing to do (firefighters, doctors without borders)
    I actually resent WW, Wasp and Cap Marvel because they are going go get movies while we are really clamoring for BW to have hers. Yes, a espionage trIler would be interesting as it could be related to, for example, i) what Hydra is going to do with their knowledge of the cube after Ultron; ii) the stones, iii) something to setup phase 4; iv) Bucky’s cure; v) something that will bring GoTG to Earth (Thanos hee, but ok); so many possibilities. I believe that a BW movie will end up following Deadpool. Marvel will greenlight it just to shut us up, but I have only one word to them. Lucy.

  41. I actually could see Black Widow as a lead. If nothing else, a tragedy would be a befitting motif.

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