Iron Man 2

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.