I love Black Widow as much as the next red blooded American.
She’s a sultry femme fattale with killer assassin karate chops, a set of futuristic wrist guns, and a clearance level that would turn the President green with envy… but does she really deserve more screen time in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON? Well, we’ll have no say in the matter, because our great ginger overlord, Joss Whedon, has decreed this latest clash of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as a Black Widow mini-fiesta.
“Natasha is a huge part of the sequel because you do want to concentrate on the people who don’t have their own franchises,”
I’m assuming “huge” is a jump up from her “unreasonably large” role in the first Avengers. Listen folks, I love Black Widow (especially her much more intimidating, much more ruthless comic book iteration), but I have to disagree with Whedon. I don’t shell out $60 for a pair of 3-D tickets, a large popcorn, and that oddly delicious radioactive nacho cheese to watch a $200 million spectacle comprised of B-list heroes.
(By the way, did you know that Black Widow received more screen time in The Avengers than Thor? Thor! The very guy responsible for Loki’s invasion of Earth!)
The Avengers is marketed as the clash of the largest superheroes in the Marvel Universe, and unfortunately for Black Widow (and even Hawkeye), only four titans comprise that group: Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Sure, if Natasha Romanoff received her own standalone flick, I’d allow her to stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the Manvengers (especially since the absence of female heroes is an unreasonable and unrealistic slight in the modern world), but she’s simply not that important in the grand scheme of things. Marvel created 5 origin films (I’m tossing Iron Man 2 in there) to prepare audiences for their eventual battle against Loki, and to artificially emphasize Widow in order to diversify the sausage fest of a flick is a vanity move by Whedon. I can’t help but suspect that his desire to incorporate female leads in projects equates to some misplaced notion that he’s a master in the field, which his recycled character archetypes in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD plainly refute.
Alright, alright, that’s a tiny bit mean. I love Whedon as much as the next guy, but I love Thor Odinson infinitely more, and I’m still miffed that he was cinematically castrated in The Avengers. All I’m saying is… don’t exploit The Avengers movies to expand a personal favorite’s screen time, or provide further history. That’s why we have solo movies. And if research dictates that audience members won’t support a solo Black Widow movie, then they probably wouldn’t want to see her role increased much more in Age of Ultron… after all that’s what Captain America: The Winter Soldier is for.