trooper6
 member, 139 posts
Tue 22 May 2012
at 21:57
Re: The Avengers
Werehunter:
If they had switched Hawkeye and Widow's roles in the movie.  We'd be getting people saying that they are showing that women are weak willed and easily controlled.


I certainly wouldn't say that, and I'm a die hard feminist. Why? Because there were multiple people (including the scientist doctor who was a major character in Thor) who had also been controlled. If the only person to be controlled were a woman...then yeah, I'd start calling foul. Alternately, if they showed Black Widow being so scared and teary eyed, but there were another female member of the team who wasn't...that would also be okay. But there is only one female Avenger and they made her a damsel in distress vs. the Hulk in ways the didn't with other characters.

Also, I didn't read Tony Stark as being afraid with Loki at all, we was all cocky bravado...as usual.
Wyrm
 member, 116 posts
 Age 31
Tue 22 May 2012
at 22:16
Re: The Avengers
So Maria Hill falls where? I would put her in the same scope as Natasha, even if the skill set is different, yet she never shrivled. Maybe she never went against the Hulk, but she did go through some pretty equally terrifying bits. And I qualify that being in certain doom in any situation.
katisara
 member, 5593 posts
 Nazis. I'll Godwin
 if I want to.
Wed 23 May 2012
at 01:36
Re: The Avengers
I enjoyed it for the humor and the explosions. But the team dynamics felt forced. Some of the characters were just goofy (I know, it's comic book characters, but still, someone give that woman a real-sized gun already). And I never felt in anyway worried or tense. It's a light beer & chips movie.

Favorite comic book movie was probably The Watchmen.
trooper6
 member, 140 posts
Wed 23 May 2012
at 04:51
Re: The Avengers
Maria Hill is not currently a full fledged character. In the film, she's still an NPC rather than a PC.
Mad Mick
 member, 327 posts
 Keep Calm
 And Carry On
Wed 23 May 2012
at 06:03
Re: The Avengers
Mariah Hill is pretty ok, I think.  She dealt with Loki pretty well, she didn't lose her cool, but she didn't really do anything, either.

It would have been nice to have had her and the Black Widow talk a bit.  They are the two major female characters aboard the helicarrier, so surely they would have had something to say to each other, if only a "what's up" head nod or something.

Wheedon writes excellent female characters, he really does.  He just likes to have them freak out when horrible things happen.

Tony Stark's reaction to Loki is a good contrast.  He clearly has reason to be afraid of a god, and I think it shows, but he stays calm, outwardly, anyway, and Loki's as big a threat as Hulk is.

My son actually got a trading card of Maria Hill in his first Marvel Attax card pack.  He asked me who she was, and I didn't know (I hadn't seen the movie yet).  I told her she was a member of SHIELD, and that was enough for him.  She doesn't get a spot on any of the movie posters, so she's a secondary character, but still a named one, so she's one step higher than just a Female SHIELD Agent.  Speaking of which, where are the rest of the female SHIELD agents?  Besides BW and MH, are there any others on the helicarrier?  I think I might have seen one more, but the camera tends to linger elsewhere, like on Gwyneth Paltrow's shorts and Maria Hill walking away from the camera.  (In fairness, the dudes were hot, too, but Joss Wheedon knows his target audience).

Edit: here's the Bechdel Test page for The Avengers:  http://bechdeltest.com/view/3205/the_avengers/

This message was last edited by the user at 06:05, Wed 23 May 2012.

praguepride
 member, 457 posts
 Asker of Questions
 Finder of Answers
Wed 23 May 2012
at 15:22
Re: The Avengers
Maybe I missed something but I don't recall Black Widow being "terrified" so much as "oh crap, things just got worse, time to leg it"

Yeah, Thor had to come in and save her, but it's the hulk, he's thor. There wasn't any macho one-liners like "never let a woman do a man's job" or anything silly. And then thor had to get saved by the fighter pilot...who had to be saved via parachute.

I think the purpose of that scene wasn't so much to portray Widow as a damsel in distress but to provide the escalation of the conflict. Iron Man was vital to be removed from the scene as he had to fix the rest of the ship.

Granted Black Widow could have gone with Iron Man instead of Captain America, and given that role reversal I think Cappy would have been booking it in terror until Thor came along to knock some sense into hulk.


Accusing Joss Whedon of portraying women poorly is a very difficult arguement to be on given his history of work.

This message was last edited by the user at 15:24, Wed 23 May 2012.

Wyrm
 member, 117 posts
 Age 31
Wed 23 May 2012
at 15:30
Re: The Avengers
Even still, I kind of find it a bit perplexing to look for anything serious or deep beyond a good romping in a comic book movie.
facemaker329
 member, 4905 posts
 Gaming for most of
 30 years, and counting!
Wed 23 May 2012
at 15:55
Re: The Avengers
In reply to praguepride (msg #49):

I think any question of whether or not Black Widow was portrayed as damsel in distress has to take into account this scene...


Spoiler text: (Highlight or hover over the text to view)
She and Hawkeye, the two least powerful and most mundane members of the team, holding off the alien invasion while Captain America is helping people out of the bus...


That does NOT sound much like a portrayal of a weak individual, regardless of gender.  As for the issue of being confronted by the Hulk...I'd say she showed a lot of good sense.  I mean, she KNEW that Banner was resentful of being manipulated into showing up.  She knew that Loki was intending for Banner to lose it and wreak havoc.  And she was right there, at Ground Zero, as it was happening.  'Run like hell', at that point, is not weakness...it's just good sense.  She's not Thor, who is arguably the only member of the team who's even remotely prepared to stand up to a rampaging Hulk (Iron Man's suit would get crushed, Captain America is superstrong and all, but let's face it, he didn't quadruple in size from the serum injections...pretty sure that Hawkeye doesn't have anything miraculous up his sleeves that would put him in a toe-to-toe scenario that he'd walk out of...)  Running away is the only response to the scenario that doesn't end with Natasha Romanoff smeared all over the walls...
Brytestar
 member, 381 posts
Wed 23 May 2012
at 16:08
Re: The Avengers
So does that mean that Whedon messed up? This isn't world of darkness here.
Blazeinferno
 member, 65 posts
Wed 23 May 2012
at 16:09
Re: The Avengers
Yeah, with as much as she's portrayed as unshakable (unless she's faking) and fearless in every other scene, I think it's safe to say that the Hulk is likely the ONLY thing she really fears, and for exactly the reasons Xiane stated a few posts up.

Her weapons are agile martial arts, deception, and firearms.

Martial Arts?  Anything short of a literal physical GOD would (and does) get splattered.
Deception?  The Hulk is pure rage and aggression.  We all saw what Hulk did to the one guy in the movie who tried to talk him down.  Hulk would either ignore her (not likely) or smash her.
Firearms?  Banner shot down that idea pretty good with his little story.

So yeah, there is quite literally NOTHING she can do but run from him.  Her ENTIRE arsenal is about as useful against the Hulk as spitballs against a tank.

She's got a ****ing right to be afraid of him.

This message was last edited by the user at 16:09, Wed 23 May 2012.

That Guy With The Face
 member, 13 posts
Wed 23 May 2012
at 16:49
Re: The Avengers
To put in my two cents here... I think the part that people are saying made Black Widow look like the "Damsel in distress" wasn't that she ran from the Hulk so much as it was that she was pretty much reduced to quivering in the fetal position after Thor took over the fight. While I can understand that argument, let's put in perspective that, to the best of the viewer's knowledge, she had never faced anything tougher than a normal person before while everyone else had faced monsters, super humans, gods, etc. I don't care how well trained you were, nothing would prepare you for seeing someone transform into the Hulk... knowing that there's noone else around to draw focus... and especially knowing that he resents you specifically for being there to begin with (which was reinforced by their brief verbal exchange as he was changing). The fact that she was able to pull herself together without years of therapy is a testament to hiw strong willed she is.
praguepride
 member, 459 posts
 Asker of Questions
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Wed 23 May 2012
at 19:08
Re: The Avengers
I'm not going to bother putting anything in spoilers anymore. If you've read this far and are worried about spoilers, the burden of effort is on your part to STOP READING and go see the movie :D


Again, I didn't get the impression of "quivering in fear" so much as "duck and cover to avoid getting crushed while two titans battle it out on a collapsing, exploding airship"

Also there is the thought that Loki DID get to her. She was just super professional about it and clever enough to turn the tables on him. This is somewhat shot down by her using almost the exact same "damsel" act earlier but then again, it IS Loki, the god of lies.

She was unnerved by Hawkeye's betrayel. She was unnerved by Loki's insight. She lost her last nerve when a big green monster and a mythological god starting smacking each other around.
trooper6
 member, 141 posts
Thu 24 May 2012
at 02:50
Re: The Avengers
praguepride:
Accusing Joss Whedon of portraying women poorly is a very difficult arguement to be on given his history of work.


Whedon thinks of himself as feminist, but his history of work isn't as feminist as he'd like to think it is. Whedon has had a number of problematic things in a lot of his work, to be honest.

This message was last edited by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 05:34, Thu 24 May 2012.

praguepride
 member, 461 posts
 Asker of Questions
 Finder of Answers
Thu 24 May 2012
at 14:38
Re: The Avengers
I've read some of those articles about how he's not really a feminist because his "strong female leads" relied upon men, but that theory is trash, in my opinion.

His characters all rely on each other. Buffy needed her Scooby team and Angel for emotional support, but the vice versa was true as well. Xander and Giles needed Buffy, Angel needed Buffy.

Same thing in Firefly, Dollhouse etc.


He's not a feminist because he writes "women only shows that only have women and only have women as being independent etc. etc."

ALL of his characters end up relying on each other. He builds "teams" of people, each with their own realistic strengths and weaknesses and he does so in a way that makes them equal. It's even dice whether the "muscle" of the group is male or female...the point about equality is that gender doesn't limit the roles.

Equality doesn't mean you make women automatically better then men or vice versa. Equality means you make people, and this is what Joss Whedon does.

Black Widow wasn't a damsel, it's proven time and time again she can handle her own. The fact that she ran from the Hulk makes her A) smart and B) believable.

If she would have stared down the hulk and said something like "I run from NO MAN!" that would be just as terrible as if she had cried out "I need a man to save me"

Overcompensation is just as terrible as undercompensation. They're opposite ends of the same spectrum where the ideal measure is in the middle.
Wyrm
 member, 119 posts
 Age 31
Thu 24 May 2012
at 15:27
Re: The Avengers
praguepride:
If she would have stared down the hulk and said something like "I run from NO MAN!" that would be just as terrible as if she had cried out "I need a man to save me"


That reminded me of the return of the King with Eowyn. I rolled my eyes when I saw the whole interplay between her and hte Witch-King on screen. I then read back and that was in fact legit. Am I wrong to think that was so damn corny?
Brytestar
 member, 382 posts
Thu 24 May 2012
at 15:59
Re: The Avengers
It makes me wonder about the big picture...concidering that it was well received and what appears to be Avengers 2. I wonder how soon they start fliming for that? Or no one wrote the script yet?
Skarlett Spyder
 member, 501 posts
 If you see the Spyder...
 it's already too late.
Thu 24 May 2012
at 16:53
Re: The Avengers
In reply to praguepride (msg #57):

Bravo.
praguepride
 member, 463 posts
 Asker of Questions
 Finder of Answers
Thu 24 May 2012
at 17:47
Re: The Avengers
Wyrm:
That reminded me of the return of the King with Eowyn. I rolled my eyes when I saw the whole interplay between her and hte Witch-King on screen. I then read back and that was in fact legit. Am I wrong to think that was so damn corny?


In his defense Tolkien was the first to do it in recent times, but yes that trope is older then dirt.
"I fear no man"
"Good thing I'm a woman!"

Pass the butter :)
truemane
 member, 1561 posts
 Firing magic missles at
 the darkness!
Thu 24 May 2012
at 17:56
Re: The Avengers
In reply to praguepride (msg #61):

That whole thing worked a little better in the book. When he was defeated at Angmar, he prophesied that 'Not by the hand of man shall I be destroyed." Still hopelessly semantic on a Macbeth-like level, but better than "I fear no man." Or "They say no man can kill him."

At least 'hand of man' implies the gender neutral usage of the word.

I mean, really, if you had a prophecy, and it said that 'No man can kill you' wouldn't your first thought be 'I better watch out for women?'
Wyrm
 member, 120 posts
 Age 31
Thu 24 May 2012
at 18:00
Re: The Avengers
C.S Lewis should have given Tolkien some better pointers.

This message was last edited by the user at 19:50, Thu 24 May 2012.

truemane
 member, 1562 posts
 Firing magic missles at
 the darkness!
Thu 24 May 2012
at 18:35
Re: The Avengers
In reply to Wyrm (msg #63):

More lions?
Wyrm
 member, 121 posts
 Age 31
Thu 24 May 2012
at 18:36
Re: The Avengers
More fur coats. Winter is coming.
truemane
 member, 1563 posts
 Firing magic missles at
 the darkness!
Thu 24 May 2012
at 18:40
Re: The Avengers
C.S. Lewis wrote Game of Thrones?

I do submit that Peter Dinklage is in both.
soulsight
 member, 134 posts
Thu 24 May 2012
at 19:44
Re: The Avengers
Wyrm:
C.S Lewis should have given Tolkien some pointers.

Forgive me if I find this irritating. Lewis and Tolkien were co-workers and close friends. There should be no doubt that they did, indeed, give each other pointers.
truemane
 member, 1564 posts
 Firing magic missles at
 the darkness!
Thu 24 May 2012
at 20:26
Re: The Avengers
Wyrm:
C.S Lewis should have given Tolkien some better pointers.


*clap*
*clap*
*clap*

Well played, sir. Well played.