Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-04 03:08am

AniThyng wrote:
2019-04-30 07:12pm
EnterpriseSovereign wrote:
2019-04-30 01:37pm
Meanwhile, Hulk gets a "Nice Job breaking it, Hero" moment when in effect, 3.5 billion people are sent 5 years into the future. You'd think that with all the time travel shenanigans, going back in time to when the snap first happened would have been trivial with the time and space stones. Mind you, considering the set also included the mind and soul stones, wiping out not just half the people in the universe but all knowledge of them should also have been a possibility.
Tony explicitly did not want to do that either though, since that would have unexisted his daughter. Which is actually a pretty good hint at the true horror of even undoing a great tragedy. You could prevent 9/11 and save thousands, hundreds of thousands even, but you will erase the existence of everyone born since then as the cascade of minor changes rolls down.
Which is somewhat undercut by the lack of clarity the film had regarding how its time travel worked, and the fact that if you by the "butterfly effect", the consequences to the timeline of their clumsy bumbling would have unpersoned her and everyone else born in the last few decades anyway.
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-05-04 03:24am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-04 02:29am
Basically, what I'm saying is that that scene would have probably 90% worked in a different context, but that it carries some really unfortunate implications, and compounds the prior waste of a good character, in the context that its in.
Here's the problem with Black Widow, in the comics, she's meant as a Honey trap for Hawkeye, who convinced her to defect and she came over to SHIELD. We never see that, because she's already gone through that in the MCU. Her big story arc from the comics is already over. They also ran into the same trap as many characters with mysterious backstories. While it could be potentially satisfying to get all the puzzle pieces of why the character is the way it is. They come off as more intriguing if the mystery about them is still there.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-04 02:27am
It's true, Black Widow has been a sidelined character for most of the movies. And her arc in Age of Ultron was mishandled. Probably mostly because Black Widow isn't really a character you can make a normal Marvel movie about just as much as it's because she's a woman. (Can you picture a spy movie and the ambiguity that would be involved? It goes against the standard Marvel formula)
I actually disagree quite strongly with this. Why can't she? Because she doesn't have powers? Tell that to Batman. :)
Batman is a very different character, one who's whole point is that he's the uber potential of the normal human(Disregarding how he would need to have really good genetics and a ridiculous bank account to finance it), later mixed with tragedy and pathos of his past traumas. Black Widow is mysterious person who knows things because of her past, but knowing what she knows would make her less mysterious. Think of Garak from DS9. The more we know about him, the less intriguing a character he is.

Without that, she could be replaced with random Shield agent #5209357234 for all the difference it would make.
You can do a straight up spy drama.
Not with Marvel's cookie cutter Marvel hero first movie formula that they use for everybody you can't. See Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Thor, Captain America, etc.
You can do a story about her fighting lower-tier street-level bad guys.
That's an action scene, not a movie. That doesn't tell us anything about her. And they've been doing that with her since Iron Man 2. It would also be out of character for her to be stopping muggers when she's been acting, even in an extra-official capacity, as a spy and assassin.

Or replace her with Shield agent #5209357234 and see how that person fares in the same situation. Hell, Peggy Carter was much more entertaining because it was all about her being a capable woman in a man's world, and how people underestimated her.
You can do a tie-in with Agents of SHIELD to bring Coulson back into the films in the process.
And treat the TV series as if they are in the same continuity? Perish the thought.
Seriously though, it would also sideline her and be more about The Search for Spock, I mean Coulson.
You can show her being out of her depth dealing with Superpowered villains and having to win through cunning and intelligence and technology.
This would be a good one. Present us with a normalish human having to face off against a supervillain. Does Black Widow have the charisma and sympathy of the audience for the two hours to have us care? As mostly she's person with mysterious past. It's like making a movie about Garak. You can do it, but you'll lose something in the process by removing all the ambiguous character about him. See Winter Soldier, in which she worked because she was bouncing against Steve, the straight laced hero, and her role as mysterious spy veteran slot she had.
And frankly, Marvel's best films tend to be when ones where they stray from the formula a bit (GotG, Winter Soldier, and Infinity War top the list for me). The franchise probably would have benefited from being outside the box a bit more.
Yes, but they want guaranteed money makers when they do a solo project on one of the Marvel heroes. They don't have the stones to do that.
But, and this is key here, her story in Endgame is rather good. She's the one who took the reign of the Avengers while everyone else was falling apart, and we finally got to see some compelling scenes from Black Widow. The weight of the world is on her shoulders, and it's crushing her. We finally got a compelling character with Black Widow. To paraphrase the villain of Green Lantern, all it took was the end of the world. How wonderful
Oh, I agree that her characterization and leadership role at the start of the film were good. Its just that the pay off for that is that the only contribution to Thanos's defeat that she's allowed to make is killing herself half-way through the film, with an undercurrent of "she has to die to atone for her past mistakes", and possibly (likely unintentionally) of "she's less valuable because she's sterile". And that this is done in a film which gave Captain Marvel a minimized role as well after all the build-up to her being in Endgame (and all the whining from Alt. Reichists about how she was ruining the franchise). And all sorts of other stuff, like Hawkeye's family being basically fridged to motivate his character development in the very first scene.
The difference is, that scene was rather even on who was going to bite it. Both characters are rather tertiary, both are shades of grey, and both were going for redemption/sacrifice so that the other could live. It was an open contest of who would bite it. About as good an ending for either a murdering vigilante or a redeeming assassin.
Her fight against Clint on who would be sacrificed was showing how deep their friendship ran, and that she won. From a narrative standpoint, it makes sense, as it's her journey of both balancing the ledger, doing what's needed to be done, and making sure Clint gets his family back. It's a heroic sacrifice. Choosing to have any woman's death viewed as fridgeing due to her being a woman makes it to where only men can die in such stories, Because in fiction, men are viewed as the expendable gender.
I did not say that only men can be allowed to die, or that any woman's death is fridging. In fact I explicitly noted that Black Widow's arguably wasn't, technically, because fridging has a specific meaning. Please don't straw man my arguments so you can play the male persecution card. Whether you agree with them or not, I have specific reasons for my objections to this particular scene, both from a political/gender equality perspective and from a general writing perspective, which I have tried to lay out.
I'm mostly targeting the article, as it pointed out how fridging works, how technically she's not being fridged, and then said fridging applies anyway because she's a girl.

The character going away isn't that bad for me. Mostly because Natasha hasn't been that interesting a character, more of a foil or mystery box for other characters to interact with on-screen. And due to how that's how the character is in-general, and what framework Marvel allows itself to play with, that's all she could do without Marvel putting her in an R-rated action movie. Though now that we see that those can be profitable, they could pursue it. Only problem is that it runs into the same problem as the Netflix Marvel shows, and that at times, they can hardly be considered Marvel at all.
What this is saying is that a woman can't go through the same stories as men, because they have to be protected. That's just as insulting, and makes it to where writers can never win when trying to appease their audience, so they'll take the attitude that they shouldn't even try.
I absolutely agree, but I don't really feel that its germane to my objections, which is how Natasha's death was handled and the context in which it occurred.
I still think the scene works, as it's the end of the road for one of them, and we knew death was coming because that's THE cost of the Soul Stone, narrativium says so. Sure, they could cheat, but then they run into the same problem as Marvel comics, in which death is just a revolving door. Better to make what deaths they do have seem permanent. This is why present day Gamora is dead, Yondu is dead, and Peggy Carter could only be with Steve through time travel. This is why Coulson hasn't appeared in the movies aside from when he was younger in Captain Marvel. For the people who don't watch Agents of SHIELD, his death still seems real and permanent, rather than another cheap resurrection.
Objectively, in medical calculus, Clint does have a family, Natasha doesn't, so he should survive. It's the same sort of cold decision making someone like Natasha would make.
I suppose. It probably wouldn't bother me so much if that article hadn't pointed out the AoU context.

And to be clear, I absolutely agree that it was in-character for Natasha. Of course she would have done that. So would probably any of the Avengers have laid down their life for a team mate, for that matter. I just wish she hadn't been put in a position by the story where she had to.
I think it's mostly due to her and Hawkeye being rather weak characters, we knew at least someone big was going to bite it, as was someone from a lower level of importance(the big three being Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America) to hit us hard, and possibly a newbie bite it as well because this is the last one of this era(See past version of Nebula).
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-04 03:36am

My main problem with all that is that the main crux of your argument seems to be "You can't develop Black Widow into an interesting character because she's a flat character." Which seems rather circular and frankly lazy, from a writing perspective.

Edit: And the thing is, there is really a lot there that should make her interesting, in the hands of a competent writer. She's a former villain trying to atone, but its also debatable how much of that is really her fault (she's essentially a child soldier). She's a trained liar, so you can't be sure how much of what she says is real and how much is a mask. She's a relatively "normal" character suddenly thrust into a world of super powers, and trying to keep up. All of that is compelling material. If they can't make that work (or don't care to try), its not because Black Widow is impossible to make interesting as a character- its because they're shitty writers.
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-05-04 04:02am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-04 03:36am
My main problem with all that is that the main crux of your argument seems to be "You can't develop Black Widow into an interesting character because she's a flat character." Which seems rather circular and frankly lazy, from a writing perspective.

Edit: And the thing is, there is really a lot there that should make her interesting, in the hands of a competent writer. She's a former villain trying to atone, but its also debatable how much of that is really her fault (she's essentially a child soldier). She's a trained liar, so you can't be sure how much of what she says is real and how much is a mask. She's a relatively "normal" character suddenly thrust into a world of super powers, and trying to keep up. All of that is compelling material. If they can't make that work (or don't care to try), its not because Black Widow is impossible to make interesting as a character- its because they're shitty writers.
A lot of it is also corporate mandate. Marvel, with their films at least, can't go too far from the box they put themselves in. They can't go too serious into the themes they're presenting, and having a film about child soldiers and being forced to do that from birth wouldn't be family friendly. More importantly, it's so risky that it might not get butts in seats. This has also led to odd character development with some of the characters.

For instance, Steve is someone who can't leave the fight, due to him having nowhere to go if he's not in a fight. It becomes questionable about whether or not if Steve could have retired in 2022 if he didn't retire in the 1950s with Peggy. That has the unfortunate connotation that veterans can't really go home, that they HAVE to fight when the world changes without them. But people wouldn't really want to pay for a movie in which Steve is adjusting to being a civilian and dealing with PTSD, so Steve has to be a fighter, and drawn to it to perhaps an unhealthy extent.

Part of it was also sexism from a decade ago. Joss Whedon had to fight to even get Black Widow's dream sequence in Age of Ultron, and had to pay for it out of pocket.



They didn't want her to be a big character, and thought focusing on her characterization wasn't a big deal. Whedon botched delivery when it came to sterilization, but he was trying to make her more than a one-note character.

Another part of it was also that Black Widow's character is a relic of the Cold War, so they had to make her a child soldier just to justify her presence. This is also why a lot of Iron Man's villain gallery haven't really made an appearance in the MCU as their comic version, due to them being past enemies of US foreign policy, and a bit racist. And Marvel's relations with actual history is best left alone most of the time, as the big reveal that SHIELD were Nazis the whole time rather simplified the issue of US foreign and domestic policy and kindly sideswiped any issues that could have come up with the DoD's contributions to the film.

Especially since SHIELD/Hydra doesn't make a lot of sense regarding the Cold war, and whether the two superpowers competed and/or cooperated. Hell, SHIELD has never made sense, period. Something Agents of SHIELD has had to dance around their entire history. A Black Widow storyline would have to put a spotlight on whether or not SHIELD is supposed to be NATO, the UN, the US, or something in-between.

SO, they could make a film about the horrors of Natasha killing people since she was a little girl, with us seeing how she took part in killing the USSR's enemies, killed Americans, wooing men to the bedchamber as a teenager, etc., but nobody at Disney probably wants to show it at the movie theater. Because they don't know if it's worth the risk, and it's definitely not part of the brand they want to have in mainstream theaters. At least, for now.
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by GuppyShark » 2019-05-04 04:16am

Does that mean Agent Coulson's death in Avengers was a "fridging"? He only existed to bring together and motivate the Avengers.

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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-04 04:54am

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-05-04 04:02am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-04 03:36am
My main problem with all that is that the main crux of your argument seems to be "You can't develop Black Widow into an interesting character because she's a flat character." Which seems rather circular and frankly lazy, from a writing perspective.

Edit: And the thing is, there is really a lot there that should make her interesting, in the hands of a competent writer. She's a former villain trying to atone, but its also debatable how much of that is really her fault (she's essentially a child soldier). She's a trained liar, so you can't be sure how much of what she says is real and how much is a mask. She's a relatively "normal" character suddenly thrust into a world of super powers, and trying to keep up. All of that is compelling material. If they can't make that work (or don't care to try), its not because Black Widow is impossible to make interesting as a character- its because they're shitty writers.
A lot of it is also corporate mandate. Marvel, with their films at least, can't go too far from the box they put themselves in. They can't go too serious into the themes they're presenting, and having a film about child soldiers and being forced to do that from birth wouldn't be family friendly. More importantly, it's so risky that it might not get butts in seats. This has also led to odd character development with some of the characters.

For instance, Steve is someone who can't leave the fight, due to him having nowhere to go if he's not in a fight. It becomes questionable about whether or not if Steve could have retired in 2022 if he didn't retire in the 1950s with Peggy. That has the unfortunate connotation that veterans can't really go home, that they HAVE to fight when the world changes without them. But people wouldn't really want to pay for a movie in which Steve is adjusting to being a civilian and dealing with PTSD, so Steve has to be a fighter, and drawn to it to perhaps an unhealthy extent.

Part of it was also sexism from a decade ago. Joss Whedon had to fight to even get Black Widow's dream sequence in Age of Ultron, and had to pay for it out of pocket.



They didn't want her to be a big character, and thought focusing on her characterization wasn't a big deal. Whedon botched delivery when it came to sterilization, but he was trying to make her more than a one-note character.

Another part of it was also that Black Widow's character is a relic of the Cold War, so they had to make her a child soldier just to justify her presence. This is also why a lot of Iron Man's villain gallery haven't really made an appearance in the MCU as their comic version, due to them being past enemies of US foreign policy, and a bit racist. And Marvel's relations with actual history is best left alone most of the time, as the big reveal that SHIELD were Nazis the whole time rather simplified the issue of US foreign and domestic policy and kindly sideswiped any issues that could have come up with the DoD's contributions to the film.

Especially since SHIELD/Hydra doesn't make a lot of sense regarding the Cold war, and whether the two superpowers competed and/or cooperated. Hell, SHIELD has never made sense, period. Something Agents of SHIELD has had to dance around their entire history. A Black Widow storyline would have to put a spotlight on whether or not SHIELD is supposed to be NATO, the UN, the US, or something in-between.

SO, they could make a film about the horrors of Natasha killing people since she was a little girl, with us seeing how she took part in killing the USSR's enemies, killed Americans, wooing men to the bedchamber as a teenager, etc., but nobody at Disney probably wants to show it at the movie theater. Because they don't know if it's worth the risk, and it's definitely not part of the brand they want to have in mainstream theaters. At least, for now.
The point is that there are a lot of things you could do with the character that they didn't. I'm sure Marvel has many business reasons for why they do what they do, just like I'm sure they had business reasons for whitewashing the Ancient One to pacify Chinese government censors who might not approve of a positive portrayal of a Tibetan person. Doesn't mean it isn't shitty, or that we can't criticize the resulting writing quality.
GuppyShark wrote:
2019-05-04 04:16am
Does that mean Agent Coulson's death in Avengers was a "fridging"? He only existed to bring together and motivate the Avengers.
There is a history of marginalizing female characters, so the context is different. By essentially asking "why isn't it wrong when it happens to a man", you're frankly coming off a LOT like the people who respond to Black Lives Matter by saying "All Lives Matter" and think they're being clever, instead of missing (or deliberately obfuscating) the point, or who say "Why can't I have a Straight Pride Parade?" The answer- because straight white men don't have the same history of being culturally marginalized and having to fight for ever moment of recognition.

Of course, Coulson didn't actually stay dead and was subsequently developed much more as a character as well, so I'm not sure its really the best comparison anyway. Nor was he ever as major a character to the films (for the first ten films or so, she was the ONLY female super hero the MCU had).
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2019-05-04 05:51am

Wow this thread exploded again. Only skim read the articles so forgive me I miss anything.

Does Natasha's death count as Fridging? As I understand Fridging is killing off a love interest to trigger plot/character development in the main character. The main characters react to Natasha's death but it doesn't trigger plot or character motivation or development, they were already damn motivated nothing really changes because of her death, they just gain the soul stone. It's a heroic sacrifice that is atrpe of it's own and is not out of character for any of them.

As for contrived. Perhaps but they wrote themselves into a corner with the first film and then the time travel plot. It would have felt more contrived for to cheat the requirement for the sacrifice. In and out of universe Black Widow and Hawkeye are the perfect pair of Avengers for that mission, I can't think of another pair that love each other to qualify for the sacrifice. (and this says dark things about Tony and Nebula's calculus of mission assignments)

Now yes, It's very dodgy that it's a women that it sacrificed in both films.And that's sexism that cuts way like a lot of sexism. implying both that all women re good for a sacrfice and that men are not good as a sacrifice that wouldn't be sad and is expected of them. That all said, I feel like I would be equal upset if Hawkeye had died at that point of the film because he's pretty undeveloped himself. BW having much more appearances under her belt than him.

Like I said, they'd written themselves into a corner on that one.
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-04 06:16am

Yeah, that's part of it for me as well. Two characters get sacrificed to that fucking Soul Stone, and they're the two biggest female characters (well I guess maybe Pepper counts depending on your point of view) that the series had prior to Captain Marvel's introduction this spring. Its always got to be a woman who gets sacrificed. I'm reminded of a Cordelia quote from Buffy/Angel:

Cordy: "Why is it always virgin women who have to do the sacrificing?"

Wesley: "For purity, I suppose."

Cordy: "This has nothing to do with purity. This is all about dominance, buddy. You can bet if someone ordered a male body part for religious sacrifice, the world would be atheist (snaps fingers*) like that."

I would have probably avoided the time travel plot altogether, frankly. They are so hard to do well. Or, if I had done it, I would have done it as a self-contained loop, no changes to the time line. Any other route involves either creating a new timeline and abandoning the original one, or a shit load of paradoxes and/or contrivances.

I'd have likely had the first third-half of the film be about the chaos after the finger snap, the world sinking into post-apocalyptic despair. Bring in a cross-over with Agents of SHIELD, too, as the survivors struggle to hold the world together. A longer journey in space for Tony and Nebula. Probably have the Ravagers pick them up (after coming looking for Quill), rather than Captain Marvel, and have them make it back to Earth after a long odyssey through space. Probably with Nebula developing an (unrequited, because Pepper) love for Tony. Maybe they could meet Captain Marvel during this trip and return to Earth with her. This could ram home the point that Thanos wasn't right, that he didn't make the universe a better place, as we see world after world in ruins due to his actions. Then the heroes go after Thanos about the half-way point, or a little after, and its just Avengers vs Thanos rather than the huge final battle we got. Marvel takes down Thanos with help from the others (maybe her and Thor together). Finger snap the dead back, with Cap or Tony (I can see arguments for either one, though I suppose practically it might be dictated by who's contract is up) being the one who snaps and dies in the process. Alternatively, have Nebula be the one who snaps, completing her redemption arc while echoing the comics, where she did get the Gauntlet. Gamora gets brought back too, and Loki. The Gauntlet is damaged, and destroyed after its final use, preventing anyone from using it again. Less awkward humour, and a smaller, more personal battle.

Would that have been a better movie? I don't know. They came up with some good stuff that I never would have, too. But something like that's probably how I'd have written it, before seeing this film. After seeing it... I'd keep the idea of Thanos deciding to destroy the whole universe and remake it after realizing that the cosmos isn't lining up to kiss his ass for committing genocide. It really drives home what a petty, narcissistic fuck he is. And I might try to contrive a way for Cap to end back in time with Peggy (maybe he uses the Gauntlet, appearing to tie in the process, but somehow gets sent back in time).

Edit: And I'd try to keep hybrid Hulk/Banner, because I genuinely liked that. Probably have Hulk and Natasha get together after all, because why not, especially now that Hulk has solved his Hulk problem.



*And now I have a sudden impulse to write a fic where Cordy gets the Infinity Gauntlet.
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-04 06:58am

I will note that I was rather amused by Steven's "Hail Hydra" bluff to Rumlow, which was pretty obviously a sly nod to/refutation of the "Steve Rogers is secretly Hydra" idiocy Marvel Comics pulled a while back- ie Cap would only be Hydra as a ruse.

Also, all through the drunken fat Thor scenes (which went on well past the point of still being at all funny, if they ever were), I kept thinking "So Thor's gone full Robert Baratheon."
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-04 07:11am

Reading commentary on the film online, I just had it pointed out to me that Cap would have run into Red Skull when he returned the Stone to Vormir at the end. Which means they had Cap encounter Red Skull again, as a footnote, off-screen.
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2019-05-04 07:12am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-04 06:58am
I will note that I was rather amused by Steven's "Hail Hydra" bluff to Rumlow, which was pretty obviously a sly nod to/refutation of the "Steve Rogers is secretly Hydra" idiocy Marvel Comics pulled a while back- ie Cap would only be Hydra as a ruse.
That was a fun moment and a dig at the comic yes.

Though as to that comic. despite stupid press releases at the time it was obviously a story that was written in full knowledge that would be undone. Like that time Cap was a werewolf.

The idea was never 'it makes sense that Steve was hydra all along' it was 'how did this happen?' and as it turned out some messed with Steve's history via a cosmic cube iirc and they got the original Steve back in the end.
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-05-04 07:24am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-04 06:16am
Its always got to be a woman who gets sacrificed. I'm reminded of a Cordelia quote from Buffy/Angel:

Cordy: "Why is it always virgin women who have to do the sacrificing?"

Wesley: "For purity, I suppose."

Cordy: "This has nothing to do with purity. This is all about dominance, buddy. You can bet if someone ordered a male body part for religious sacrifice, the world would be atheist (snaps fingers*) like that."

*And now I have a sudden impulse to write a fic where Cordy gets the Infinity Gauntlet.
Further proof that Cordy is rather book-dumb.
Genesis Chapter 22, verse 2 wrote:2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Exodus Chapter 4 verses 24-26 wrote:24 On the way to Egypt, Moses stopped at a place to spend the night. The Lord met Moses at that place and tried to kill him.[a] 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife and circumcised her son. She took the skin and touched his feet. Then she said to Moses, “You are a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26 Zipporah said this because she had to circumcise her son. So God let Moses live.[c]
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-04 07:27am

In fairness, God didn't actually make him go through with the sacrifice of Isaac.

But yeah, circumcision does technically qualify as a religious sacrifice of a male body part.
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-05-04 07:34am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-04 04:54am
The point is that there are a lot of things you could do with the character that they didn't. I'm sure Marvel has many business reasons for why they do what they do, just like I'm sure they had business reasons for whitewashing the Ancient One to pacify Chinese government censors who might not approve of a positive portrayal of a Tibetan person. Doesn't mean it isn't shitty, or that we can't criticize the resulting writing quality.
Complain all you like. Just know that the main reason Black Widow isn't as well developed is that her character, like Nick Fury's, like Clint Barton, even like Agent Coulson, is a government spy, and it's hard to write lighthearted entertainment about that unless you're going for a Bond-style farce.

If you're wanting to take the characters seriously, you have to show or reference that they do some shady-shit when you don't see them on-screen. That's half the point of the boat sequence in Winter Soldier, aside from being an action scene. Cap saves the hostages, and is being used for government wetwork to an extent that he's comfortable with, while Widow pursues her side mission, showing that Cap maybe can't trust her, as she and Fury have their own agenda that might be above the law and a shade of gray.
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-04 08:36am

Actually, Winter Soldier is a good indicator of how to do a Black Widow movie.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by AniThyng » 2019-05-04 09:15am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-04 03:08am
AniThyng wrote:
2019-04-30 07:12pm
EnterpriseSovereign wrote:
2019-04-30 01:37pm
Meanwhile, Hulk gets a "Nice Job breaking it, Hero" moment when in effect, 3.5 billion people are sent 5 years into the future. You'd think that with all the time travel shenanigans, going back in time to when the snap first happened would have been trivial with the time and space stones. Mind you, considering the set also included the mind and soul stones, wiping out not just half the people in the universe but all knowledge of them should also have been a possibility.
Tony explicitly did not want to do that either though, since that would have unexisted his daughter. Which is actually a pretty good hint at the true horror of even undoing a great tragedy. You could prevent 9/11 and save thousands, hundreds of thousands even, but you will erase the existence of everyone born since then as the cascade of minor changes rolls down.
Which is somewhat undercut by the lack of clarity the film had regarding how its time travel worked, and the fact that if you by the "butterfly effect", the consequences to the timeline of their clumsy bumbling would have unpersoned her and everyone else born in the last few decades anyway.
Regardless, the point remains that Tony explicitly told his friends whatever solution they come up with must not affect his daughter, so ruling out the "let's just undo the past 5 years" option, which they really could have done with the time stone if they wanted to
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2019-05-04 09:26am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-04 03:08am
AniThyng wrote:
2019-04-30 07:12pm
EnterpriseSovereign wrote:
2019-04-30 01:37pm
Meanwhile, Hulk gets a "Nice Job breaking it, Hero" moment when in effect, 3.5 billion people are sent 5 years into the future. You'd think that with all the time travel shenanigans, going back in time to when the snap first happened would have been trivial with the time and space stones. Mind you, considering the set also included the mind and soul stones, wiping out not just half the people in the universe but all knowledge of them should also have been a possibility.
Tony explicitly did not want to do that either though, since that would have unexisted his daughter. Which is actually a pretty good hint at the true horror of even undoing a great tragedy. You could prevent 9/11 and save thousands, hundreds of thousands even, but you will erase the existence of everyone born since then as the cascade of minor changes rolls down.
Which is somewhat undercut by the lack of clarity the film had regarding how its time travel worked, and the fact that if you by the "butterfly effect", the consequences to the timeline of their clumsy bumbling would have unpersoned her and everyone else born in the last few decades anyway.
What lack of clarity? The movie is pretty explicit about how it's time travel works. Alternate timelines are created when you time travel but you can get take objects from the past back to the present.

They promise the Ancient One they'll return the stuff they take out of compassion to those new timelines not because it will affect their's.

Tony didn't want his daughter taken out of existence but that was before he figured out how time travel work. He also reminds Bruce not to change the past with the IG but that's different to their quantum time travel.

The only thing that apparently breaks the rules in old Cap. And the director's have clarified that he went back ,created a new timeline where he lived with Peggy to old age and then returned to the original timeline.
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by Knife » 2019-05-04 11:57am

I think a lot of what could have been done with the Black Widow was absorbed by Bucky.
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-05 10:54am

Knife wrote:
2019-05-04 11:57am
I think a lot of what could have been done with the Black Widow was absorbed by Bucky.
Maybe, but that doesn't really help with the "Marvel sidelines its female characters" complaint.
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-05 12:20pm

Russo brothers have spoken out defending their choice to pseudo-fridge Black Widow:

https://ew.com/movies/2019/05/02/avenge ... dow-scene/
Black Widow has forever questioned whether she’s doing right or wrong.

Now moviegoers are having the same debate about the superhero’s choices — especially over one crucial scene in Avengers: Endgame.

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo told EW why they felt Scarlett Johansson’s hero does what she does, and why they think it brings her some resolution.

***Spoilers Below***

In Endgame, Black Widow is paired with a longtime partner in special ops, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, as they venture back in time to seek the Soul Stone on the planet Vormir, where Red Skull stands as a guardian who will release it as part of an irreversible trade.

The cost: “You must lose what you love.” After all that they’ve been through together — most recently her rescuing him from his bloodthirsty path as the vigilante Ronin — there’s little doubt that Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton love each other.

Now it’s a question of who will go over the cliff’s edge so that the survivor may claim the Soul Stone. Black Widow and Hawkeye find themselves on opposite sides — each wants to be the sacrifice to allow the other to continue.

“It’s a fight to see who’s going to kill themselves,” Joe Russo told EW. “It’s a crazy concept for a scene. And as you’ve seen in The Avengers, she’s a better fighter than he is. So when it comes down to a fight between the two of them, she wins.”

But it’s close. They’re both hanging on the edge after a knock-down, drag-out when Natasha finally does what she has previously been unable to do to her troubled past as a child assassin — she lets go.

Natasha tells Clint he needs to live because undoing the Snap will bring back his family, and some critics have complained that this places his life above hers.

It’s not the first time Black Widow has sparked an uproar among fans. Her nascent romance with Bruce Banner in Age of Ultron also angered some moviegoers, particularly a scene in which she calls herself a “monster” because she was forcibly sterilized as part of her Red Room indoctrination as a Russian assassin.

Constance Grady of Vox compared her fate in Endgame to the comic book trope of “fridging,” in which a woman is killed to motivate a male character. (It originates from a Green Lantern storyline that saw his girlfriend murdered and stuffed inside a refrigerator.)

Comics scribe Gail Simone coined the term, and maintains a list of examples at Women in Refrigerators. Although she hasn’t weighed in on this particular instance, her term has been invoked in repeatedly in the past week to criticize the Black Widow storyline. Rosie Knight of Esquire was one of them, writing “it’s hard not to interpret that the character felt Clint had more reason to live thanks to his [kids], whereas she felt her life was somehow worth less because she thought she’d never have one. Natasha Romanoff was a strong character who deserved better than that reductive thinking.”

In an interview conducted before those essays were published, the Russos actually confirm that motivation, but they said they intended it as a last powerful act by a soldier who was willing to give all, not just to save the world but to save a friend.

While the filmmakers don’t necessarily feel Hawkeye’s life is more valuable than Widow’s, the Russo brothers acknowledge that his commitment to restoring his family does factor in.

“We open the movie on [Hawkeye’s] family,” Anthony Russo said. “She reminds him of it in the scene. They both may have the mission in that moment where, ‘I’m not going to let you kill yourself,’ but Hawkeye has mixed agendas there, which I feel takes the edge off his focus in a way that she doesn’t.”

“To me it’s one of the sadder scenes in the movie because it’s really putting two people in a Sophie’s choice, putting two people in the position where, do you let your friend die or do you die?” Joe said.

The Russos say Natasha is definitely not throwing her life away — she’s making a choice to place Hawkeye and the universe at large above herself.

“The theme of the movie is, can you change your destiny, and what does it cost to do it? And are you willing to pay that cost?” Joe said. “It’s a resounding yes from the Avengers. In [Infinity War] they said, ‘We don’t trade lives,’ and there was a desire to protect. And in this movie, there’s now a desire to sacrifice in order to accomplish the goal.

“I think that that’s a natural progression, right?” he added. “‘Well, the first thing we’re going to do is try to protect everybody.’ And then when you realize it can’t work that way, then true heroes step up and are willing to sacrifice for the greater good.”

This raises questions about the supposed Black Widow movie that’s rumored to begin filming soon, with Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland directing. Reportedly Rachel Weisz and David Harbour are in talks as costars, and unconfirmed rumors claim Emma Watson is in consideration for a part.

The project appears to be legitimate, although Marvel Studios hasn’t officially announced it yet.

Will it be a prequel? Set in an alternate dimension? We don’t know.

“Natasha is a character whose identity was as a villain, prior to becoming a hero,” Joe Russo said. “In The Winter Solider, that’s an issue for Cap, because she still dabbles in shades of gray, and he’s a black-and-white guy.”

He continued, “If you go back and look at that film, there’s a scene between the two of them where she says, ‘I’m struggling with my identity, and I want people to trust me because I want to be part of a family,’ and he says ‘I trust you.’ They’re growing, she’s growing to become part of this unit, and I think that she’s learning the true value of community.”

That’s why she can’t move on from the failure to stop the Snap. “By the time she gets to this point in the series, at the beginning of this movie, she’s doing everything she can to try and hold the community together,” Joe said.

That’s why she’s still commanding rapid-response teams from around the world and throughout the galaxy from Avengers HQ. “She’s the watcher on the wall still,” Joe said. “When she gets to that [Soul Stone] scene, I think she understands that the only way to bring the community back is for her to sacrifice herself.”

How does the actress feel about the character’s arc?

Johansson told EW that the hardest thing for a strong person like Natasha to accept throughout her journey is the realization, “Oh, I haven’t really made any active choices in my life.”

In this case, however fans and critics may feel about it, Natasha does make a choice for herself.

“She’s come into her own as a woman, saying, ‘Who am I? And what do I want? And what do I need out of my relationships and also out of my own self?’” the actress told EW in our Endgame roundtable, conducted ahead of the film’s release.

“She’s someone who’s understanding her own self-worth,” Johansson added. “And that is such a powerful journey to see anybody take, but certainly to see a woman on screen represented in that way: a flawed superhero with a gray moral compass coming to terms with what’s happened to her.”
It still doesn't really address the fact that ultimately, the only way in which she can make a choice, and be a hero, in this film is to give up her life for someone's who is deemed more valuable.

This all also does beg the question of what the hell is going on with the Black Widow movie that Marvel recently announced. Is it just going to be a prequel?
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by Themightytom » 2019-05-05 01:24pm

I don't feel like Widow was fridged at all, Banner even clarified he tried to bring her back with the Gauntlet. Widow's character fought to sacrifice herself, so her best friend wouldn't have to. That's a character showing heroism, and we didn't think twice when Stony snapped his fingers. It's a double standard claiming women are abused as plot devices, using an example of a female character's intentional heroic sacrifice. She was much more to the story then the love interest of a main character killed for motivation.

This wasn't abandoning a character to move a plot forward, this is building a plot around the developement of a strong character. They might try to bring her back, I am pretty sure the Guardians are going to try for Gammora. Even if Black Widow is a prequel, I'd watch it because Widow has a 007/film noire vibe, in a universe where Thor is real, a talking raccoon probably stole Bucky's arm after he was snapped away by the magic space gauntlet after losing his friend the talking tree.

We really have to give this character more credit for having her own story in the world she lives in. If that story keeps going though, I am down with that too, because I'd love to see what she does in the world she just sacrificed everything to restore.

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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-05 01:33pm

Oh, I'll watch it too, prequel or no (indeed, other than maybe the next Guardians movie, its the only planned Marvel project in which I have much interest post-Endgame).
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by Knife » 2019-05-05 01:54pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-05 10:54am
Knife wrote:
2019-05-04 11:57am
I think a lot of what could have been done with the Black Widow was absorbed by Bucky.
Maybe, but that doesn't really help with the "Marvel sidelines its female characters" complaint.
Oh blah. The so called 3 big leads, one goes to shit and gets a beer belly. One pretty much abondon's the team and goes back in time to live in his own era with the love of his life. And the third dies.

And BW dies too.

Don't get me wrong, I've loved the BW character since they introduced her. I feel she's gone through a huge character arc. And, I'd rather Hawkeye jumped instead of her. But they treated her death well. The other characters responded to and mourned her death, and visibly affected them. It wasn't a one off and everyone moved on. I don't see how this is sidelining her.
They say, "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." I suppose it never occurred to them that they are the tyrants, not the patriots. Those weapons are not being used to fight some kind of tyranny; they are bringing them to an event where people are getting together to talk. -Mike Wong

But as far as board culture in general, I do think that young male overaggression is a contributing factor to the general atmosphere of hostility. It's not SOS and the Mess throwing hand grenades all over the forum- Red

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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2019-05-05 01:57pm

Assuming we do get her movie you can hardly call her sidelined. Sidelined into her own feature film.

Speaking of feature films. Since Far From Home is an epilogue to phase 3. When do we get phase 4 films? I'm not seeing release date for any of them. Is 2020 going to be a break year for the MCU. Or rather a year to funnel everyone to the Disney+ series, whatever they are.
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Re: Avengers: Endgame release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-05 02:04pm

Knife wrote:
2019-05-05 01:54pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-05 10:54am
Knife wrote:
2019-05-04 11:57am
I think a lot of what could have been done with the Black Widow was absorbed by Bucky.
Maybe, but that doesn't really help with the "Marvel sidelines its female characters" complaint.
Oh blah. The so called 3 big leads, one goes to shit and gets a beer belly. One pretty much abondon's the team and goes back in time to live in his own era with the love of his life. And the third dies.

And BW dies too.

Don't get me wrong, I've loved the BW character since they introduced her. I feel she's gone through a huge character arc. And, I'd rather Hawkeye jumped instead of her. But they treated her death well. The other characters responded to and mourned her death, and visibly affected them. It wasn't a one off and everyone moved on. I don't see how this is sidelining her.
The fact that she dies half-way through the film and contributes nothing to the ultimate victory but her death (okay, and backing the plan when it was first proposed), that her death feels contrived (really, the Stones can destroy and make an entire universe with a finger snap, but not bring back one person?), and that makes two of their biggest female characters who've died for that fucking Stone.

Its like, there's no one thing I can point to and say "this is awful." Its the aggregate of details, context, and earlier events in the series that make it not work for me.
Crazedwraith wrote:
2019-05-05 01:57pm
Assuming we do get her movie you can hardly call her sidelined. Sidelined into her own feature film.

Speaking of feature films. Since Far From Home is an epilogue to phase 3. When do we get phase 4 films? I'm not seeing release date for any of them. Is 2020 going to be a break year for the MCU. Or rather a year to funnel everyone to the Disney+ series, whatever they are.
Its nice she's getting a film, even if it should have happened five or ten years earlier. But I have a feeling that its going to be a very depressing film, and that however good it is, a lot of people won't be very invested in it, if its just a prequel. And it would mean that short of retcons or more time travel, nothing she does in that film can really impact the larger universe.

That is strange about the lack of 2020 films. A break year might not be bad, after Endgame. But its odd. Especially since the ST will be wrapped up then, which means it looks like two big Disney film franchises going on hiatus at once. If I were a Disney shareholder, I'd be feeling a bit twitchy about that, probably.
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