Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wonder Wednesday - Top Female Avengers Who Deserve To Be In The Avengers Movie Over Black Widow

Marvel released the above image, I suppose to get fans pumped at the idea that The Avengers movie is inching closer to reality. I'm going to be in Chicago next week when Thor opens. How's that for shitty timing? Maybe I'll squeeze in a viewing when David and the boys are at the Reds/Cubs game, because I just love going to the movies by myself. But I feel like I need to throw my nerd dollars behind this movie as a show of support after what happened in Australia. Of course, I could see it anytime after I get back, but we all know it's opening weekend that makes the real statement and I hope Thor opens huge!

As for The Avengers, notice anything? Thor, Iron Man, Cap, Hulk. No mention of "the girl" Black Widow (or Hawkeye for that matter). But really? We're making this a boy's club? And as for their pick for "the girl," like I've said before, Black Widow is just one of those characters that I don't really care anything for. I've never really been into the spy thing, for one. She doesn't have any powers. Her only weapons are those wrist "venom" shooters. Okay, I get that she wears a sexy leather catsuit and is a redhead. (Trust me, I get the redhead thing. Ginger hair makes even a marginal guy hot. I'm still smarting that that cute ginger cowboy got kicked off The Amazing Race this weekend. Anyone?) I suppose she was used to good effect in The Ultimates. And I can see how she would appeal to filmmakers because... she has no powers, less CGI. They appear to be borrowing heavily from The Ultimates, with both she and Hawkeye being government super agents.

But if there's just going to be one "girl" on the team, the character Black Widow doesn't deserve to be the one.

First of all, this was the point during which she joined them... alongside Jocasta and the Two-Gun Kid and The Guardians of the Galaxy. And then she quickly got booted when the government initiated a seven member limit for the team. Long run there, honey. She's never to my knowledge returned for a lengthier membership, minus a recent gig on The Mighty Avengers pre-Secret Invasion.

On the other hand, there are more than a handful of female heroes who are synonymous with The Avengers! I could even make a case for Tigra, who isn't a major character and whose initial run on the team was only slightly longer than Black Widow's, but when the team set up a West Coast branch, she joined up and was a fixture for years and has constantly popped up whenever the call went out for reserve members to join in on whatever adventure required ALL the Avengers. When people look at Black Widow, they think, "That's the Black Widow. She's a secret agent. She dated Hawkeye and Daredevil. She was in The Champions and I think she was an Avenger at some point." When they look at Tigra, they think, "That's Tigra. She's an Avenger."

But Tigra's not on my list. I tried to whittle it down to just a Top Five, but I couldn't, so it's a Top Six.
6. Spider-Woman - Let's see, shady secret agent past, unclear alliances, spider-theme... notice any similarity to anyone? Yep, close to Black Widow, except, y'know with an awesome yellow and red super suit and super powers! Spider-Woman is a relatively recent addition to the Avengers, but she kicks ass and fans have embraced her. She can fly, cling to walls, fire venom blasts, has super strength and emits pheromones that can subtly influence people. Plus, her name is SPIDER-Woman. Spider-Man is already a household name and piggy-backing on his success gives her added cache. Except then you have to clarify that she isn't actually in any way related to him. But by then, you'd already have the movie-goers' money so shame on them for not doing their homework ahead of time.

5. The Scarlet Witch - In the comics, the second woman to join the team's ranks, she was also the "token female" for a number of years. She's been with the team off-and-on for DECADES and is one of two women most closely associated with the team. (You'll see who the other one is, but if you know anything about the team, you already know.) Drawbacks? Lengthy back story (she was secretly Magneto's daughter and served in his Brotherhood, battling the X-Men before she and her brother Pietro/Quicksilver joined the Avengers), unclear powers ("Hexes" she can affect probability) and kinda icky love-life (in the real Marvel Universe, she married an android, The Vision, in The Ultimates, she was romantically involved with her own brother, barf!).

4. Ms. Marvel - One of the most successful Marvel heroines in recent years, she co-led The Mighty Avengers alongside Iron Man and starred in her own series. A former Air Force colonel, trained spy and head of security for NASA, Carol Danvers has a government background which would have made it super easy to integrate her into the movie! And her powers, super strength, invulnerability, flight and energy projection would have really added some BAM to the team dynamics! Her "Ms. Marvel" identity was inspired by deceased male hero Captain Marvel, but her connection to him was tenuous and easily overlooked. Really no drawbacks, other than the fact that she first joined the team in the 70s, so having her appear in the movie as a founder is a bit of a stretch and might upset some die-hards. (Well, I'm a die-hard and I'd have been okay with it.)

But if we're going with Marvels, I'll go you one better and suggest...

3. Captain Marvel - A lieutenant in the New Orleans Harbor Patrol, she was bombarded with extraterrestrial energy and gained the ability to transform her body into any type of energy from light to x-rays to ultraviolet radiation and so on. She can also absorb and manipulate energy and fire powerful energy bolts. She joined The Avengers as a novice but her natural level-headedness and ability led her to be named leader by none other than Captain America himself! She served very long tenures on the team, leaving only occasionally and returning to assist the team frequently as they needed her.

Originally depicted as being very serious and work-minded, most recently writers have given her a sarcastic sense of humor and a "complicated" dating life. Doesn't every team need a "sassy black girl?" (He said sarcastically... but hell, why not just once have a female be the "comic relief?" Has anyone EVER done that? Make it happen, Marvel!)

Oh, PS... she's AFRICAN AMERICAN, unlike ANY of the other Avengers in the movie!!! Equality, ya'll!

2. She-Hulk - Oh Marvel... how many times will The Hulk fail before you quit trying to make him work? First movie? Failed. Second movie? Failed. (Although, I didn't think it was that bad.) Let's keep milking this horse and see what happens. Okay, like I said, they seem to be borrowing heavily from The Ultimates and of course Hulk featured prominently in that. But in the real Marvel continuity, The Hulk agreed to join the team at the end of Avengers #1 but then... changed his mind and never showed up to any of their meetings or bothered helping them ever.

Fastforward to the 80s and his cousin, the similarly powerful but intelligent She-Hulk joins The Avengers and sticks around for a number of years, with her sassy attitude and tough demeanor making her a hit with fans! She filled in for The Thing as a member of the Fantastic Four for a number of years and during that time continued scoring fan love until she was eventually given her own title, a rarity among Marvel females and, at the time, she was the only one. She became Marvel's flagship heroine, appearing on all kinds of merchandising along side Cap, Spidey, Wolverine and even her own cousin. Through it all, she's remained a constant in the world of The Avengers, returning to aid them on numerous occasions, while also maintaining a career as the (literally) biggest lawyer in New York City. C'mon, government super groups have legal teams, right? Easy in for joining the onscreen team and look Marvel... maybe people just don't care for The Hulk. Try something slightly different... making The Hulk a tough, sassy (and sexy) lady!

And finally, absolutely no surprise...
1. The Wasp - Why look, who is that above on the cover of The Avengers #1? Why the sole female founder of the team, The Wasp! The Wasp served valiantly alongside her male counterparts. When her boyfriend, Ant Man became jealous of the physical abilities of his comrades Iron Man and Thor, he tweaked his size-changing powers to become Giant Man, but The Wasp remained The Wasp, tiny heroine with antennae to communicate with bugs and wings. Yup, that's it! She didn't even have her patented bio-stings yet!

After all of the founders left the team for a time, she was the first to return and was a constant fixture on the team for DECADES, skillfully leading the team for many years.

What I love about The Wasp is she was always a "girlie girl." She was vivacious, flirty, loved shopping... she was constantly designing new costumes for herself. She also just seemed to love adventuring. Who wouldn't? Wouldn't being a super hero be like the funnest thing ever?! But super heroes never really seemed to enjoy it, except maybe Spider-Man. But Wasp clearly loved it and I loved that about her. (I don't know how I managed to type this with Captain America's star-spangled bulge over to the left. Wonder Man's package is pretty impressive too. Oh look, The Wasp is in the picture, too.)

NOT to say she was a ditz or ineffective. I DID say she led the team for years and years on numerous occasions. She was also one of the first divorcees in comics, leaving her abusive husband Hank Pym (Ant Man/Giant Man) after he betrayed the team. And in The Ultimates, she and Hank were both scientists working for the government, so there's your in in the movie universe. She may be flirty and "girlie" but she's a strong, capable woman... and she should be in this freakin' movie!


  1. Monica Rambeau should be in a sequel no doubt. She has a spectacular power set that could be put to great use in the film, great SFX.