Monday, May 28, 2012

Black Widow, Marvel Avengers

Agent Natasha Romanov, Black Widow, S.H.E.I.L.D

I didn't grow up reading comic books. Wish I had. My experiences with super heroes came form the televised versions of The Super Friends Saturday morning cartoon, Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, Batman and the Superman Movies with Christopher Reeve. They were awesome and I never realized just how deep their past went. I never knew there was an entire universe of super heroes. It wasn't until I started teaching digital art and had a student who introdcued me to the fabulous art of Joe Quesada and the Kuberts that I really began to understand. I read the Death of Captain America and was introduced to Natasha Romanov. I have to admit at first I read it because of the artwork. But, then I liked the story and became interested. It wasn't until Ironman 2 that I realized they were the same character. I didn't like her that much in that movie. I think it was mostly because she seemed to be there to tempt Tony Stark. And dammit he belongs with Pepper. (The chemistry between the two of them is fan-tab-ulous, BTW) So, I ignored her.

Until the Avengers.

She is one badass chick.

Why all of a sudden did I like her? I think it was because she showed her vulnerability. Of course, she kicked ass and took names, but there were moments when her fear got the best of her. There are moments where we see her as a badass agent, gathering intel through an interrogation technique of being captured. We see her nervously retrieve Dr. Banner, the Hulk, with trepidation and concern that he may turn into the beast. And we see her use her vulnerability to get info from the Big Bad. But, what really got me was the friendship and connection she has to her partner, Hawkeye, Clint Barton. They have history. While I'm not sure what the Marval canon is, in the movie, they have been partner's for years, working ops together.

She understands him, calms him and grounds him. He supports her, understands her and respects her. Now, is there something more there? Because I'm always looking for that shipper angle, there very well could be. Right now, it's set up that they have a very close, almost symbiotic relationship. But as us romance writers know, that can easily be tipped in the non-platonic direction. There are a few moments of prolonged eye contact and a nice scene where they have a deeply supportive conversation as he recovers from an incident that took him away from her. There is a distinct connection between them and let's face it, Jeremy Renner is a hottie. I'd be friends with him too!

That said, let's look at her badass ability. What's really cool is that she's a regular human - no super powers. She's just highly trained. She's a skilled fighter. She's athletic, uses gymnastics in her fighting style, and kicks grotesque alien butt, multiple attackers at time. She carries a gun, a pistol and sometimes shoots two at a time. She's exceptionally good at espionage and getting intelligence. And, we can't forget that she wears a skin tight black leather suit and boots. With thigh holsters. Sweet. Signed, sealed and delivered - Total Badass.

To read more about Marvel Canon Black Widow go to the source:

Get your vengeance on.
~Indigo Grace


  1. Jeremy, my love. If you ever come back to Manila, I swear, I'm not going to have that panic attack around you...


    Anyway: Black Widow. I never read the comic books either (though I grew up with Comic Book Guys) but the ScarJo version of her has always been my favorite, and I was blown away by how she evolved in Avengers as a character, after lurking in the scenes in Iron Man 2.

    The film-criticism site IndieWire has an interesting take on Black Widow as well:

  2. I know you have 'thing' for Jeremy. I can't really blame you. He has a bad boy thing going on that is quite intriguing.

    Yes, I like how she's fleshed out as a character through the course of those two movies. And I think that ScarJo does do a great job with her. She has that tough side that she can temper with that quite vulnerability. I'm hoping that Black Widow and Hawkeye will get their own origin story movie at some point. It may not be quite on the scale of the others but i think it would be really interesting to see. I haven't done any serious research into whether or not they will, but I thought I had read something about it once.

    Thanks for the site. Excellent article. I like Gry's last statement that throughout the ending not one man can figure out how to fly one of the alien ships, that Captain America looks to her for strategic planning (though I do have to give him props too for his own command of the situation) and that the greatest power in the universe is female! I agree whole heartedly with his assessment that in light of all of the not so flattering reviews of her as being pretty window decoration, especially in the election year "defined with demeaning treatment of women" that it is encouraging to know that there are Americans out there who are are standing behind their female heroes. Amen brother!