Why Black Widow Sucks (and How She Can Be Fixed)

Ever since the first Avengers film I've never understood people's obsession with Black Widow. She was never particularly interesting to me and seemed to have very little, at times shifting, personality that mainly seemed to consist of dry jokes and generic spy skills.

I've seen Vision less than I've seen Black Widow and I care more about him than I do her. Why is that? The problems go hand in hand: personality and backstory, two important character devices that Black Widow has very little of. We need to see how her personality developed before we can say that she even has one.

I'll explain what I mean: in the scene of the Avengers where she meets with Loki there's a shot where it shows her breaking down. This was used to fool Loki into giving her his plan, but was there any actual heartbreak used to make it convincing? If not, why wasn't there? Why doesn't she feel any emotion towards her past anymore? What happened to make her such a hardened assassin? We get a little bit of this in Age of Ultron, but it didn't pack an emotional punch. Yes, it does add a tragedy that's she'll never have kids, but it doesn't reveal anything other than that. With the other Avengers, they delve into their minds, revealing their desires and fears. With Black Widow, it just kind of adds backstory. And the bigger problem is that we never really see how the experience affected her as a child. All we see is adult Romanov, what she grew into, but we've yet to see any of her growing pains in becoming the Black Widow.

How do we fix this? It's so simple I'm surprised Marvel hasn't jumped on this yet: we need a Black Widow Netflix series, or at least a series on HBO for those who don't have Netflix. Only these networks would be able to show the parts of Black Widow's dark backstory that they would never get away with on ABC. Show us her intense training, the hospital fire Loki mentioned and the first time she met Hawkeye. Then, show us how she changed from then on. Did she fall in love with him? Was she like a big brother? What exactly is their relationship beyond a partnership? She knew about his family, so they must be close.

This character need fleshing out and we've got the tools to make it happen. So, for the love of God, let's make it happen!


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