Image taken from https://www.insider.com/avengers-endgame-why-black-widows-hair-changes-2019-3

The Appeal of Black Widow in Avengers: Endgame

I’m genuinely confused by a lot of the online reaction to Natasha Romanov in this film. I loved her performance; I felt she exuded nothing but strength. Some armchair critics have decided, however, that the character was “fridged,” and that her death was ultimately meaningless. 

First off, the concept of “fridging” a woman in comic book properties refers back to the death of Alexandra Dewitt, an early girlfriend of fourth human Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner. The 90s were a weird time in comics, and in this instance they saw a weird, body-suited, genital-less government villain called Major Force wanting to get back at Kyle Rayner by going to Rayner’s apartment and killing Alexandra Dewitt and stuffing her body into his refrigerator. You following so far? Good, because this story was bizarre. Basically, when the term is used now, people want to say a female character has been murdered just to motivate male characters. I really do not see Black Widow’s noble sacrifice in this light.

In Avengers: Endgame, we are shown that Natasha has effectively become leader of the Avengers (whatever form existed at that point) during the period after the Snap, and unused or unfilmed threads also refer to her personally caring for vast numbers of children orphaned by the Snap. She is kind, she is thoughtful as she pushes her uneaten sandwich to Steve Rogers when he comes to visit, and she continues to do her best to keep what’s left of the world safe. This is how I’ve always seen her, and her positive, heroic traits are only enhanced as the film goes on.

Natasha’s sacrifice for the soul stone came down to a 50/50 chance between her and Hawkeye. They were each other’s best friend and closest family left in the world, and either one dying for the other would be a suitable loss to acquire the stone. Additionally, either one of them would also be giving up a chance at seeing the rest of their families return. I feel that Natasha being the one to make the final plunge adds even more strength and respectability to her character. I just can’t see any negatives. Her sacrifice secured ultimate victory.

Either way, in the comics there is an entire universe inside the soul stone. I like to think that Natasha and Gamora both are somehow in that world, and that it endures even with the stone destroyed, if that one truly can be. Black Widow has a solo movie coming up soon, and that will likely either play into this idea, or be an origin movie that finally explains all those Budapest references.

What do you think? Let me know! I’m always eager to converse on these topics.

 

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Image taken from Pixabay @ https://pixabay.com/illustrations/batman-vector-clipart-symbol-2330021/

The Appeal of Batman as a Timeless Figure

And here is the third post for today, as promised. This is the 75th anniversary retrospective I did on Batman for Sourcerer back in 2014. I hope you enjoy my words even now, five years on!

Batman Turns 75

 

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Image taken from https://pixabay.com/photos/garage-batman-door-unique-urban-265669/

The Appeal of Batman as an Instructional Figure

How did Batman become the Dark Knight? Here’s a post I did at Sourcerer a few years ago detailing his early years training under a number of masters around the world.

Batman’s Six Masters

 

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Image taken from Pixabay @ https://pixabay.com/vectors/batman-bat-signal-black-yellow-312342/

The Appeal of Batman as a Mythic Figure

Good day, everyone! Been a busy week, so much so that I messed up and completely lost track of my blogging schedule. To make up for that, I’ll actually share three older posts today that sort of represent a beginning, middle, and ending for Batman over at Sourcerer. Here’s the first!

Blogging A to Z Day 2: Batman (2015)

 

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Image of the Batman symbol taken from Pixabay @ https://pixabay.com/illustrations/batman-3d-logo-symbol-superhero-1387347/

The Appeal of Damian Wayne as Batman

Here’s another Sourcerer throwback. The character of Damian Wayne, son of Batman, has certainly undergone a lot in the past five years, but I think my ideas still hold some weight. Check them out at the link below!

Batman: The Beloved and Reviled Damian Wayne

 

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Image taken from Pixabay @ https://pixabay.com/photos/comics-comicshop-superhero-read-495258/

My Favorite Comic Book Series, 2000-2012 Part 1: Marvel

A disclaimer, since I have had to address silly complaints on posts like this before: What I am saying here is that these comics are my personal favorites from this era. I am NOT saying they are objectively the greatest comics of this era. Loosen up and enjoy! 

 

Part 1: Marvel Comics

Image of the cover to Vol. 1 of The New Avengers taken from My Comic Shop
Image of the cover to Vol. 1 of The New Avengers taken from My Comic Shop

The New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis and various artists

This is what made Bendis’s name at Marvel, and this coupled with his runs on Daredevil and related books from the same era likely represent the peak of his comic book work. This book also helped get me back into comics in college after I’d been off the wagon for a short time.

Image of Astonishing X-men Vol. 1 taken from Goodreads
Image of Astonishing X-men Vol. 1 taken from Goodreads

Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday

This comic was a treat, and precedes Whedon’s involvement in The Avengers film by years. It’s sad to think what could have been done if Whedon had had the ability to work with these characters on film as well. I already enjoyed Whedon’s work (Buffy and Firefly, anyone?), so his involvement with another of my favorite properties cinched it for me.

Image of Uncanny X-Force Vol. 1 taken from Goodreads.
Image of Uncanny X-Force Vol. 1 taken from Goodreads

Uncanny X-Force by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña

When this title was around with Remender at the helm, it was the single best book Marvel was putting out. The choice of cast was spot-on, and they were all handled so very well. In particular, this includes enjoyable versions of both Wolverine and Deadpool, if for any reason you find either character tough to read.

 

Image of The Amazing Spider-man Vol. 1 by J. Michael Straczynski taken from Goodreads.
Image of The Amazing Spider-man Vol. 1 by J. Michael Straczynski taken from Goodreads.

The Amazing Spider-man by J. Michael Straczynksi and various artists

Everybody has a favorite Spider-man storyline/writer, and this one is mine. I’ve read other stuff over the years (the more recent Superior Spider-man being a standout honorable mention), but the full scope of Straczynski’s work on the character and then having all of that undone by a single editorial decision at Marvel grant this period a mythic quality.

 

Image of The Ultimates Vol. 1 by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch taken from Goodreads.
Image of The Ultimates Vol. 1 by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch taken from Goodreads.

 

The Ultimates and The Ultimates II by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch

These comics set in a now-dead universe hold a special place in my heart. They provided a well-crafted, action-packed Avengers story in an era that needed it, and it actually held some narrative surprises given the freedoms the Ultimate line afforded. I tell you, these comics had some of the best moments of the entire era, and they accomplished two great feats: 1. They made Captain America a powerhouse badass again, and 2. They presented some ideas that would later be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, such as Nick Fury looking like Samuel L. Jackson. Find these and read them if you never have.

 

Some honorable mentions (besides those mentioned in the post) would include Greg Pak’s run on The Incredible Hulk, Straczynski’s run on Thor, and Fabian Nicieza’s Cable & Deadpool. 

 

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Image of Captain America's shield taken from Pixabay.

The Appeal of Captain America in Avengers: Endgame

Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame ahead! Beware all ye who enter here!

 

Image of Captain America taken from Pixabay.
Image taken from Pixabay.

Good day, everyone! In keeping with my previous post, I want to look at another Endgame character. Not to worry; don’t assume there we won’t be more of these, or that I won’t touch on other characters. I just wanted to address my own personal favorite Avengers first off.

I’ve always felt a strong connection to Steve Rogers, perhaps because the character is supposed to have been born around 1917, the same year as my grandfather who fought in World War II. As an interesting side note, my grandfather fought in Patton’s 3rd Army, just like Jack Kirby. I like to think they may have known each other.

Additionally, I have always appreciated the idea that Cap is the conscience, even the moral compass, of the Marvel Universe. If he is strongly opposed to something or someone, it usually the means the author of the ongoing story intends readers to cast a more critical eye on the opposition.

All of that aside, Cap’s arc in Endgame was satisfying and highly enjoyable for me. Still seen as the leader of the Avengers, as he always was, Cap leads the team-turned-army through the convoluted, but ultimately successful, Time Heist and the final battle against Thanos and his force of planet killers. I could not have derived more joy from his rematch with Thanos, and I literally whooped in the movie theater when Cap wielded Mjolnir against him. That, and the moment every Marvel fan has awaited for years: “Avengers assemble!” That made it all worth it.

Again, considering I sort of see Cap as my idealized fictional grandfather, I loved that he was able to slip off from his time mission at the end of the film to live a full life with Peggy Carter, have children, and grow old. Being as we’ve fully entered the Game of Thrones era of storytelling in movies and television, it was actually refreshing to see a satisfying, rather than ironic or tongue-in-cheek, happy ending for a character. I think the old soldier deserved it.

Thank you all for stopping by! Which Endgame character should I address next? Let me know in the comments below!

 

If you’re a fan of books and hot beverages, check us out at Blue Spider Books. And check out our blog here!