Posted in Freedom Friday

The Avengers

Who is ready for the new Avengers movie? I know I am. I’ve been waiting for it ever since the studio announced it. It’s the summer go-to movie, which I also suspect will break every conceivable opening day record known to humanity—not that I’m making a big deal out of it or anything.

The Avengers
The Avengers

Freedom Friday wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t tell you which character of the team I love the most.

Okay, forget about the suspense. My favorite Avenger has to be Captain America. I like him because he stands for good. When I say that I don’t mean he represents good, but sometimes does bad things for the benefit of the good. He genuinely represents the crystal clear interpretation of virtue. He attempts to stay within the confines of the law, and he sticks to decisions that will not compromise his character.

My second favorite is Thor. He’s great. I love the character to death. In the first Thor movie he announces an awful lot. He announces when he’s hungry. He announces his intention to leave. And he announces his glorified ego as the God of Thunder. Like I said, he announces a lot. But you know what? I love that the most about him. There’s no lying in him. He says what he’s going to do, then does it. No second guessing.

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron

Iron Man is my third favorite. Gosh, and here I thought Thor had an ego. Iron Man takes the prize for the most befitting rendition of a contemporary AC/DC song ever. Whenever his alter ego Tony Stark walks into a room, it’s all about him. And why not? He’s earned it. He’s saved the earth a few times in the comics, so a little hero worship does Iron Man justice.

Rounding out my favorites is Black Widow as the kick-ass martial arts expert. Does anyone get excited whenever a gang of thugs has her surrounded with an impenetrable wall of bodies, six-packs and all? I’ll be the first to put up my hand. Then there’s Hulk—oh, yeah. Whenever I see him on screen all I can hear in my head is: Hulk. Smash. I don’t think you need me to explain what that means.

Of all the villains The Avengers have fought Loki is best of all of them. This is what a true villain is all about. He stands for evil, but he does it such a way that it’s difficult to hate the guy. He has a certain appeal with the audience, and I’m one of those guys he has a fan for life.

Now, what would I love to see in future Avengers movies? This is an easy question to answer. Spider-Man. Oh, what an amazing movie to have Spider-Man in the midst of all those superheroes. His sarcastic remarks would play well against Captain America’s matter-of-fact approach to situations. Hey, wouldn’t it be even more awesome if Wolverine were thrown into the mix? Wouldn’t that be something? Imagine the banter that would go back and forth between Spidey and Wolverine. I’d go see it, and I’m pretty sure the entire planet would, too!

Jack is looking forward to Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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Who is your favorite Avenger and why? Are you going to see the new movie hitting theaters today?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Black Widow

Making her first appearance in the film Iron Man 2 as Natalia “Natasha” Alianovna Romanova, also known as Natasha Romanoff, and reappearing in The Avengers, Black Widow dominates the screen as the female superhero with a dark history.

Black Widow
Black Widow

Past Women Who Wow Wednesday posts have focused on female characters that could empower women into becoming better in whatever position life has given them. But after having thoroughly researched Black Widow’s record, this writer is at odds with placing this woman on a pedestal.

What can one say of Black Widow’s behavior that in some form or another wouldn’t cause someone to cringe? Definitely not the following:

  • In Ultimate Marvel, Romanova is a former KGB spy and assassin
  • Genetic or cybernetic implants make her a formidable combatant
  • The woman is known for killing her ex-husbands
  • Responsible for the death of Hawkeye’s wife and children
  • Publicly revealed Bruce Banner’s connection to the Hulk
  • Collaborated with the Liberators in their invasion of the U.S.

There’s more, yet that would involve divulging major plot points in Black Widow’s history. Suffice it to say she leaves much to be desired on the honor and trustworthiness scale.

Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff

However, when she appears in Iron Man 2, she’s Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson), Stark Industries’ replacement for personal assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) who moves into the company’s CEO position. No one knows what to make of the redhead until S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury reveals Natalie Rushman is covert operative Natasha Romanoff, planted to monitor Iron Man, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). You see, Tony’s dying, and she needs to keep him from harm’s way. Natasha also injects Tony with a special serum to slow the palladium poisoning he’s been experiencing due to his use of the arc reactor that keeps him alive.

In the movie The Avengers, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind where Black Widow’s loyalty lies. From the very first frame, we see her in a quandary. A Russian general is about to interrogate Natasha as three soldiers stand in the wings. She dispatches them whole—tied up, no less. The information flows from the general’s mouth.

Yeah, but can anyone trust her? Nick Fury can. He trusts her with the most important assignment of all—bringing in Bruce Banner. No other Avenger can do what she can. Nick doesn’t trust anyone else to do what she can. One wrong move and Bruce turns into the big green guy. No doubt, she did it. She brought him in without a fight.

Once on the helicarrier, her next assignment gets more complex. Interrogate Loki. What’s your plan? Of course she didn’t ask the direct question. Through subterfuge and ploy, Natasha discovers Loki’s nefarious design to deploy Hulk to do his dirty work. One problem, though: When Bruce Banner does turn into the big green guy, Natasha is the only one to delay the inevitable—the absolute destruction of the ship.

When the final battle occurs in New York City, Black Widow’s the only one who understands someone has to close the portal spewing the Chitauri upon the earth. Iron Man’s pathetic attempt at brutal stoppage does not work. Thankfully, she follows through with her genius plan and saves the city from destruction.

No matter what her past, Black Widow has redeemed herself with The Avengers.

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Have you seen The Avengers? What did you think of it? Do you know of Black Widow’s past?