|Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, & Hawkeye|
I can say, without a doubt, that I was impressed, blown away, surprised, and pleased by The Avengers. However, as you can see there is only one female superhero in this bunch: Black Widow played by Scarlett Johansson.
When we first see the Black Widow, she is tied to a chair while Russian baddies investigate her. Of course, she outsmarts and outmaneuvers them... and while modestly dressed! I was super excited too when her assassin suit was pleasantly feminine without being overtly sexualized.
For the first part of the film, she is vital in bringing the team together. She is not forced to play sidekick to any of these men, and not once is she caught as the damsel in distress. There is even a scene where she faces off against the Hulk... alone. I mean, yes, I would jump at the chance to be left alone in a levitating warship with Mark Ruffalo (circa 13 Going on 30, obvs), but the Hulk? No thank you this year!
There was one scene where I thought a man had manipulated her emotions to trap her but PSYCH (do kids still say that?) she was tricking him the whole time.
I accredit this achievement to 1. Joss Whedon for writing and directing this movie in such a way that portrayed the Black Widow as a three-dimensional, independent human being and super hero, who happens to be a woman. Whedon is not new when it comes to strong women - Buffy? And 2. Scarlett Johansson for seriously doing an amazing job with the role. Honestly, the last thing I remember her in was In Good Company, back when Topher Grace was relevant. I loved her in that, but then I didn't think twice about her again. Until, now. Check plus. Check plus.
Still, my point was that she is the only woman in this cast, and there aren't a whole lot of other women popping up in superhero movies either. This summer will see the release of The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man (18th sequel), and Men In Black III, none of which are carried by women. The Batman flick has Anne Hathaway in it as Cat Woman, but I don't have the highest hopes for that part. Christopher Nolan makes great movies, but strong female characters aren't exactly what he's known for. In Inception, Juno just followed Leo DiCaprio around the whole time, and this is old Leo we're talking about here, folks.
Anyway, there are talks of releasing a Black Widow movie since the reviews so far around The Avengers seem to be so positive. The Hulk already has two pictures (both unnecessary), same for Iron Man, Thor is getting a second, and Captain America has the one. It's about time.
All I can say is that if and when the movie is released, I pray to the mighty demigod Thor that it is as well conceived, written, produced, and performed as most of the other the films in this franchise. Female superhero movies have, so far, been mostly nothing but camp and sex... Writing down Sex Camp in my idea journal - probably going to be an awesome summer B-movie starring Jonah Hill.
One day down the road, when I am somebody in this business, I would like to write a female superhero movie, or even a series, an original one. Whedon could direct it. I'm not picky.
Well, it's closing in on that magical writing hour, so I'm grabbing some Oikos yogurt, courtesy of John Stamos, and some peach tea, and I'm heading back to my pilot.
Later Days... remember The Weekenders?