Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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

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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.

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.

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

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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.

The Women of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

As I wrote last week, I love me some Peggy Carter, and worried about how ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ would fare (mostly) without her. So I was pumped that Peggy not only appears from the past (interviewed in a video presentation in the Smithsonian exhibit on Captain America), but as an ailing nonagenarian Steve still calls “his best girl.”

And even better, the other women in the film are all some shade of awesome. I wanted more from all of them, but I’m greedy like that.