Comixology is offering Black Widow #1 as a free download! This is the first issue of my most recommended Natasha stories, and a great issue to check out while you wait for the new series to drop next week.
I’m not linking to this @entertainmentweekly article because of the quote they share (I’ve already reblogged it, or something like it), but for the context included in the article:
Black Widow is a popular character played by a popular actress in a popular series of films that prides itself for establishing the cinematic universe model of development. Giving the character her own movie should be a no-brainer, right? Instead, it’s newsworthy when anyone from Marvel Studios acknowledges the obviousness.
While the compliments are undoubtedly appreciated by fans and bode well for Natasha’s role in Civil War, they don’t move the ball much in terms of getting them closer to a Black Widow movie. With word coming that the future Avengers films will focus on newer characters, a solo film is looking less and less likely. And even if the film got the greenlight today, it wouldn’t hit theaters until late 2019 at the earliest.
The truth is, none of the encouraging quotes we all share are indications we’re actually getting a BW movie, and I think we all know that. But these quotes are a way to keep the conversation going, and loudly, such that Marvel knows it’s there. Their answer to any question is saying “be vocal,” and it’s easy to get discouraged when we’ve been vocal and nothing’s happened- but the second we stop being vocal, it becomes the excuse for why nothing’s happening: fans didn’t care anymore.
And no, it’s not our responsibility, exactly, but if we want to advocate for something we need to focus on what gets positive attention. Which, thus far, has largely been asking questions to anyone at conventions who stays still long enough for us to be asked.
So yeah, I’ll continue to reblog these quotes, even though they aren’t any indication we’re actually getting a Black Widow movie. What they are instead is an indication that we’re not shutting up, which is the most that we as fans can do.
There’s lot a whole lot new in this interview, if you’re like me and have been pouring over all the previews and solicits, but I really appreciate that a lot of the interviews for this book have included Wilson and Caramanga. As a fan of the character, I appreciate the extra insight, and as a fan of the medium it’s really easy to attribute whole comics to one or two creators (e.g. “Waid’s run”) which can render some major contributers invisible.
“As disappointing as it was to see Rey left out of the Target six-pack of The Force Awakens figures, it came as an even bigger shock when fans discovered Hasbro’s popular Star Wars: The Force Awakens Battle Action Millennium Falcon set comes with a light-up Millennium Falcon, a BB-8, a Finn, a Chewbacca…and no Rey. [Hey, she’s only the PILOT – PF]
“Command the Millennium Falcon and strike against the formidable power of the First Order,” reads the Hasbro product description, accompanied by the image of a young boy playing with the set. “Imagine its amazing stealth as it dodges asteroids and blasts enemies. Its movie-accurate decoration helps capture the excitement of the latest saga.”
The omission of Rey from the Millennium Falcon—the ship that she flies in several key Force Awakens scenes—drew sharp criticism from fans. It reminded them too well of how Star Wars studio Disney similarly treated Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow this year in its male-centric rollout of Avengers toys. Despite playing a crucial role in the Avengers team of superheroes, Black Widow was included in only a fraction of Disney and Marvel’s official merchandising.
More problematically, like Rey, Black Widow was rewritten out of her out of her own scene in Age of Ultron products depicting her motorcycle-flying sequence, replaced by Captain America and Iron Man. Toy partner Hasbro did the same to Gamora, the lone female hero of Guardians of the Galaxy, who could only be found on a handful of officially licensed items despite the fact that 44 percent of the Marvel ensemble’s opening weekend audience were female.
“It’s frustrating and stuff, and it bums me out,” added Guardians director James Gunn of the Gamora toy snafu. “I had a big conversation about this yesterday with one of my producers at Marvel about trying to make sure, especially, that Gamora is represented more in [merchandise] and all the Guardians toys.”
But the difference between Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Force Awakens is that in the Star Wars sequel Rey isn’t just one member of an ensemble of heroes: She’s literally the lead character.”
You may remember Ike Perlmutter as the guy who doesn’t believe female superheroes can be successful. You may remember Kevin Feige as the guy who’s said he wanted a Black Widow movie but in vague ways that never led to accountability.
This may be a perfect time to start campaigning again.
Of course, it’s not just Clark Gregg asking #WheresNatasha, but his voice certainly helps. The Agents of SHIELD star took to Facebook and Twitter to help push a petition by author and Women’s PowerStrategy Conference founder Patricia V. Davis to get the female Avenger the recognition she deserves. The petition reads:
Girls need strong and capable female role models. Please sign my petition asking HASBRO to add more of the the female AVENGER movable action figures to the boxes of pre-packaged action figures for the growing number of girls for whom just dressing up a fashion doll doesn’t cut it anymore. Please promote the female action figure along with the other four Avenger action figures.
Generally, toy and clothing companies who license children’s merchandise tend to lean on the excuse that “boys don’t like shirts with girls on them/girl action figures,” but we’d like to think that putting Black Widow in the action figure pack with the rest of the Avengers is exactly how that self-fulfilling prophesy gets broken.