VIDEO: Analyzing the Avengers: Black Widow

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She’s as broken and scarred as the rest of the Avengers, but it’ll never prevent her from doing the right thing. Black Widow: She’s Ursa’s favorite Avenger. And now, she gets character development, and a plot arc to boot!

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  • edharris1178

    Nice overview as always.

    • Thomas Stockel


      • Jill Bearup

        Thanks guys. :)

  • Tim Terrell

    No character had any development except for Tony and some minor character development for Whiplash. I don’t think Black Widow particularly cares about saving the world or being a good guy. I think she just wants to do her job.

    • Jill Bearup

      Ah, Iron Man 2. Screw character development, we have explosions and CGI!

      “I think she just wants to do her job.”Ok, but why? Why does she want to do her job? I think that’s the interesting question: she’s chosen to do this whole world-saving bad-people-fighting job instead of any other job? My theory is: as penance. As redemption; to wipe out the red. That’s her damage, and what makes her so broken and gives her character and motivation. It’s a fairly typical trope – I did bad things, now I will use the skills I learned doing bad things in order to make the world better – but I’m hoping it’s going to be a compelling one.

  • MephLord

    Actually depending on the interpretation of Black Widow you believe (as it’s alluded to here), Natasha was part of a program called Black Widow Ops, in a facility called Red Room.  (Hawkeye even references it in Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes when the password to Widow’s computer was Red Room).  That’s what she was alluding to with the “Do you know what it means to be unmade?” “You know I do” comment, since she was orphaned at a young age, and conditioned in the facility.  She also received enhancements to make her more or less a super soldier, which explains some of her incredible physical prowess and combat skills. 

    Considering that the next Captain America movie is titled “Captain America: Winter Soldier” and Winter Soldier was also trained and conditioned in the Red Room, it’s likely we’ll get more backstory into her origin.  I’m so looking forward to that, and also to see Crossbones in the movie.  I’m hoping that they include Swordsman as well in the movie.  That sounds like a good segue into the next review, and I’m looking forward to that review as well.

    • Jill Bearup

      I would say I have high hopes for Winter Soldier. Honestly, I’m trying not to have any hopes and wanting to be pleasantly surprised. 

      And I hope, for the sake of the people who’ve read the comics, that they manage to integrate elements of the comic continuity. But not so much that people whose comic collection consists of: 
      – 6 issues of Astonishing X-Men, 
      – 2 issues of Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, and 
      – 3 random Star Wars comics
      will be horribly confused. 

      Not that I know anyone like that.


      • Zekk_Jedi_Knight

        First of all your Avengers videos (actually all your vids [not just those on agonybooth]) are awesome, and Black Widow was my favorite character in the film, hands down!

        Also I would recommend you read/consider adding Black Widow: Name of the Rose by Marjorie Liu to that list. I just finished reading the 5-part story on MDCU (Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited) and immediately added it in to my Amazon order. It seemed clear to me that at least Joss and maybe Scarlett had read it, given what we saw. (Although just as a warning it is more graphic [literal guts and semi-nudity] in places than the comics you listed [can’t get into specifics w/o spoilers, but (at least to me) all of it just shows her as more of a badass, never a victim])

        Also Kelly Thompson has a good list of good Widow Comics (w/the above at the top):
        I’d further add to her’s that anything I’ve read by Ed Brubaker involving Nat or Cap is gold

        oh also, even though we’re now talking at least 3 years away :(
        hopefully this happens:

        • Jill Bearup

          Thank you! And thanks for the recommendations too, which I shall be adding to my birthday list. 

          Glad you’re enjoying the show!

          • Zekk_Jedi_Knight

             You’re welcome on both counts. Though I should probably add that while Homecoming is good; tiny and non-important SPOILER: its probably best to try to forget/ignore the dumb and kind of silly stuff about aftershave in the last issue. You’re sanity will thank you [grimace]

            on a fun note: I read on Marvel’s site a Wolverine, Jubilee, Psylocke and Black Widow team-up w/flashbacks for Logan and Widow to WWII including Cap: Uncanny X-Men (1963) #268 by Chris Claremont
            don’t think it’s included in any of the trades on the list, but I liked it [I’m a sucker for all the ways Cap and Logan have
            run into people during WWII, though them saving a young Magneto from
            Auschwitz is my favorite :) ].

            Some of the MDCU online catalog is, or at least used to be, free w/o subscription so you could always try just searching it on their site and seeing if you can get passed 4 pages before Deadpool pops up to say preview over.
            It’s also collected with other stuff in the book “Marvel Visionaries: Chris Claremont”

  • There’s a theory based of Natasha’s behavior that at some point in her past she, or someone very close to her, was actually a rape victim. The way she let’s men have their way with her (not in THAT sense of course, but the symbolism is there) and feigns physical & emotional vulnerability in order to deceive them, the way the Hulk freaked her out so much (that was the one point in the movie where she was very much NOT in control of the situation). You can can of see now that may be implied, and it definitely accounts for the way she acts.

    • Jill Bearup

      …interesting theory, and it doesn’t seem implausible…

      That said, I really, REALLY hope that’s not the angle they take with her, because rape as backstory and cheap drama points is something I find both overused and fairly tiresome.
      Doubly especially because Black Widow’s the only female Avenger, which adds another level of Unfortunate Implications, as in: ‘Ooh, she’s a woman and a superhero, she must have been raped!’ Which makes me want to headdesk.

      • I understand, & I’m not sure it’s the best angle to take with her either. That said, if there’s any writer I would trust to handle rape with the sensitivity the subject warrants, it would be Joss Whedon, so we’ll see where he goes with her character.

        • Sofie Liv

          And just on that note, we should think Josh Whedon is actually a smarter writer than that!

          That he can write some-thing else about her and make that interesting, he should be capable of that shouldn’t he?

          It would be nice with a female super-hero in whom is a fun super-hero that just happens to be a woman, would be really nice.

          • Zekk_Jedi_Knight

            This^, I agree completely with this. (Thank you for voicing that Sophie)

  • Sofie Liv

    Hopefully her character will get more attention and become more fleshed out in future Marvel movies, I mean there is certainly potential.
    One thing is having a competent woman present, that’s easy enough, another thing entirely is to make her an genuinly interesting character.

    And all-though there’s potential here.. i’m sorry, at this point she just palls and drowns in comparison to every-body else, at least in my eyes. But then again, every-body in avengers seems to be interesting characters in their own right, so it would be hard for any-one to stand out at all!

    I hope we’ll get some back-ground story on her in the future, that would be very nice. 

    • Jill Bearup

      That’s kind of what I like about the movie. Nobody stands out as the Most Amazing Avenger and Everyone Else Sucks. Everyone gets their chance to do stuff. Even Hawkeye and Widow get to be badass, in spite of the fact that they’re the most normal-ish. :)

      • MephLord

        Also, their backstory was also touched upon (unlike the rest of the Avengers, they already had a history with each other) whereas the others are “meeting for the first time” so Hawkeye and Widow’s story can easily be a backdrop during other Avengers movies. 

      • Sofie Liv

         Not like Justice League where Batman is the one standing out as the most amazing man and every-body else sucks.

        Which is funny to me because he aint the guy with ice-breath X)

        But yeah.. we’ll see, hopefully they’ll manage to introduce some more women in a near future, with that upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy” happening.. do you know what that smells far away of? … Miss Marvel! seriously, that entire movie could genuinly be an excuse just to introduce Miss Marvel!

        oh, and it did happen, Ant man has been announced, so well.. the wasp.

        • Jill Bearup

          I have very little idea who these people are. But regardless: yay! I think!

          • Sofie Liv

             They are competent super-heroes (especially miss Marvel.) they are heros, they have characters.

            What more do we really ask for at this point?

            Incidently.. I really like Miss Marvel as a super-hero, I think she’s absolutely fantastic and very ideal to bring into this.

          • Jill Bearup

            Awesomeness. :)

  • Sand Ripper

    The only reason Black Widow is in this movie is because Marvel doesn’t have the film rights to Wolverine and Spider-Man.

    • Necroglobule

      No, the only reason Black Widow is in the movie is because Joss Whedon. Don’t get me wrong, Scarlett was awesome and one of the highlights of the film.

  • Jeremy Clegg

    Oh Black Widow.  Some of the best Marvell stories I have read centered around her.  There are two Graphic Novels out (names skip me mind) where the story was people gunning for her.  They make a point of setting her up, going after her past and attempting to bring her down though extreme measures.  But at the end of each, we find that everybody was already her pawns.  No matter how well thought out there plans were, they never actually stood any like a chance. 

    I chalk that up to good writing, but it helps to have a character that you can pull that off with.  One reason I always liked Marvell.  The brains always win. 

    • Jill Bearup

      I’m quite fond of that characteristic myself! :) And who doesn’t love a good Xanatos Gambit?

  • Cristiona

    Can’t wait for the Coulson episode.  Please tell me there will be a Coulson episode!

    • Jill Bearup

      :D Your wish…