If I’m being honest, I felt minimal excitement at the thought of seeing The Avengers. All I could think was, Yeah, okay Joss Whedon wrote it and he’s basically perfect and Chris Evans is the hottest thing to grace the planet, but isn’t it just another superhero movie? I don’t say this a lot, but I was wrong. The Avengers had everything a superhero movie should have (the punches, the guns, the intergalactic villains, the men in tights – or, in this case, the men in high tech, crimson body armor), with the added bonus of downplayed, but still meaningful insight on human emotion and motivation. Perhaps the best combination of the two can be seen in Natasha Romanoff, aka the Black Widow. I’m no Marvel buff, but it doesn’t take a Dr. Bruce Banner to see that the Black Widow, in her simplest form, has characteristics that are entirely attainable and she should be admired by both sexes.
Though her male counterparts should certainly be admired for their dedication and bravery, the Black Widow raises the bar in terms of maturity, focus, and skill.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but throughout the entire film while other Avengers are squabbling the Black Widow maintains her cool and yes, there is some definite eye rolling. It appears that she took on the it’s-pathetic-that-we-are-world-class-super-heroes-and-you’re-arguing-over-whose-guns-are-bigger attitude. She’s mature and focused even when her colleagues are not, which is something we should all be. Not to mention, because she’s so focused, she can pull her team back together and unlike Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), she does play well with other.
Another killer trait (no pun intended) is her self-confidence. Every action is intentional, no words are fluff, and she holds her self in a chin-up, shoulders back, and eyes forward manner. To walk and talk with purpose is the first step to being taken seriously, and it makes you feel more self-assured. The Black Widow isn’t some ice queen robot, she definitely shows emotion (e.g. her moment with Hawkeye), but actions are decisive and hold meaning. My personal favorite trait of The Black Widow, however, is that she has no real superpower. She’s skilled in the field of martial arts and self defense, and she is clearly a bit of a science nerd, but she’s not artificially enhanced in anyway. Even Hawkeye uses special weapons, whereas Ms. Romanoff prefers two fists and her sharp wit.
I’m not advocating violence, but it speaks volumes about a character who chooses to use her acquired talents and nerves of steal to save the day, and who isn’t ashamed to do so with teammates who have an artificial advantage. It’s difficult to be happy with who we are and what we have, and to not be jealous of others who may have a leg up on us, but developing our raw abilities should not be overlooked.
All in all, the Black Widow is a phenomenal character, and a top-notch superhero who should be admired by men and women alike. She’s not perfect (hey, don’t hold the assassin thing against her), but she does have admirable and attainable qualities that would be beneficial to have if you’re saving Manhattan from Loki, or just dealing with crabby coworkers.