Avengers Age of Ultron

How ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Crystallizes the Problems with Marvel Movies


I realized that while I had ultimately enjoyed ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ it exemplified the worst tendency of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — namely, the avoidance of dramatic risk and legitimate emotional stakes in order to create and maintain a sense of delight and entertaining status quo.

Women in Science in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Avengers Age of Ultron_Dr Helen Cho

Female scientists are few and far between in the Marvel world. Of the 65 MCU scientists in a live action movie or television show, 18 are women. And of those 18, 2 are women of color… While those numbers may seem a bit low, MCU’s female scientists statistics are pretty much right on target with the national average. Women are greatly underrepresented in the STEM fields in the U.S.

Scarlet Witch and Kitty Pryde: Erased Jewish Superheroines

Scarlet Witch and Kitty Pryde_narrow

Not only is erasing Judaism a disservice to both Scarlet Witch and Captain America, it’s also disrespectful to the Jewish writers who invested so much in making a statement about Jewish resistance in their artistic expression. … What’s aggravating about the omission of Kitty Pryde’s faith is the fact that the filmmakers didn’t do this to Magneto’s character…

Show Me a (Woman) Villain

Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy

Women are generally presented as easily manipulated and too emotional to be true villains. It is yet another characterization of the “soft” woman, dictated by her emotions, propelled by a propensity to nurture rather than destroy. But we need stories of women who hunger for power, who are willingly selfish, and who stick to their principles, no matter the cost. … No more scenes of men talking women into saving the world. Let them try their best to destroy it.

Why Black Widow Is the “Realest” Superheroine of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Yes, Even After All Those Tropes)

Black Widow in 'Captain America: Civil War'

It is this factor alone why Black Widow is so important. She is the longest standing female protagonist within the Marvel film franchise, having starred in ‘Iron Man 2,’ ‘The Avengers,’ ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and most recently, ‘Captain America: Civil War.’ She was the only female Avenger in both Avengers films (until Scarlet Witch switched sides at the end of ‘Age of Ultron’), and as such was subject to being the onscreen vessel of female representation in a superhero super-team otherwise occupied by straight white men.

Why Scarlet Witch May Be the Future of Women in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Scarlet Witch Civil War 3

Having a superhero grapple with the right use of their power is hardly a new theme and it’s central to the broader narrative of ‘Captain America: Civil War.’ But allowing a female superhero to tackle the same dilemma on a deeply personal level feels quietly subversive. …Women superheroes can be inhumanly powerful without being reduced to a boringly infallible female badass caricature.

“Did I Step on Your Moment?” The Seductive and Psychological Violence of Female Superheroes


This style of fighting codes our female superheroes as half menacing and half attractive – we are meant to be afraid of them, but also enticed by them. Their violence is inextricably linked to their sexuality.

Do Black Widow and Scarlet Witch Bring Female Power to ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’?


The scene with her blazing after Ultron on a motorcycle was one of the highlights of the film for me (though I could have done without the “I am always having to pick up after you boys” joke when she grabs Captain America’s shield from the road). Regarding action, super-hero skills, and the ability to banter (an aspect of the film many reviewers like the most), there is not much of a gender differential. The inclusion of a “rape joke” and the perpetuation of the infertile-women-as-monstrous trope detract from this more egalitarian super-hero world, however.

‘Age of Ultron’s Black Widow Blunders

Scarlet Johansson as Black Widow in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ succeeds in all the places you’d expect it to fail, but while Joss Whedon was tiptoeing around all the expected pitfalls of a major franchise sequel, he stumbled over a cliff when it came to the one character I would have most trusted him to get right: Scarlet Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, or Black Widow.