Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Tony Stark: Iron Man

Flamboyant. Captain to industry. CEO to a weapons firm. The self-centered Tony seems he can conquer anything. His ego is larger than life. So what is this genius doing held captive in an Afghan cave while everything around him collapses?

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man

Wednesday Warriors presents Iron Man (a.k.a. Tony Stark), the industrialist who makes creating weapons technology look easy.

[Spoilers lie therein.]

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is a daily headline. He along with the rest of the other superheroes protect the world from criminals determined to destroy the innocent. But with great power comes great controversy. Eventually, the superheroes would fight among themselves to produce one the greatest civil wars in comic book history.

Tony is one of those superheroes.

Dressed in designer suits, fashionable glasses and sporting a sarcastic wit, Tony can’t imagine a better place to be than performing research for his late father’s weapons company, Stark Industries. As the cliché goes, he has the bull by the horns and isn’t about to let go for anyone—especially not for anyone who dares threatens his livelihood.

Iron Man
Iron Man

Tony’s life from jet setting entrepreneur takes a turn for the worse when a mission to demonstrate his latest weapon throws him behind enemy lines—a place, days earlier, he wouldn’t have imagined possible. Compounding his problems, he creates a heart out of a car battery to keep himself alive while he devises an escape plan.

Soon, what becomes his scheme to survive transforms him into a superhero of reckoning. The classy super suit is all Tony needs to defeat his enemies and anything else standing in his way. Even if Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), his father’s former partner, attempts to stand in his way to uphold justice, Tony will do anything to ensure the super suit will not fall in the wrong hands.

The film Iron Man highlights what happens when an ordinary man comes to acquire superhuman strength. Among the funny scenes resides a powerful story built on the simple premise that good overcomes evil. Within the sarcastic dialog comes the character Iron Man. He’s strong, resilient and difficult to get rid of. His power though, does not come from his super suit but his will to do good, even if it means dying for what is right.

That is the mark of a true hero.

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Have you seen any of the Iron Man movies? What did you think of Tony Stark?

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?