Whenever I opted to play "superheroes" with neighborhood kids, I was often assigned Catwoman, since other gals had already called dibs on Batgirl, Superwoman, Mary Jane (didn't realize she was a superhero) and Wonder Woman. Backyard rules apparently dictated there could only be one of each female superhero, but had no prescriptive on the number of Batmans, Supermans and Spidermans battling the faux forces of evil in one backyard at any given time. Initially, I would rebuff the assignment, opting instead to battle the forces of evil as Chaka Khan. While being a superhero in my own personal world, Chaka Khan was not recognized as such by the Neighborhood Children's Superhero Committee - a governing body with chapters all over the universe - and therefore was prohibited. Despite its rather sexist and draconian guidelines in the case of female superheroes, the Neighborhood Children's Superhero Committee was rather flexible with male superheroes. Anyone - and I mean anyone - could be Batman, Superman or Spiderman. Though the first one calling dibs on Superman was the leader and free to restrict the number of Superman also-rans under his/her command. As Catwoman I was tasked with reconnaissance and retrieval; as children we were well acquainted with the naughtiness of theft, but not acquainted with the concept of moral ambiguity. My job was to find object and information - by any means necessary, even a tap dance (the "sexiest" interrogation tactic we knew) - and report back to the primary Superman, who often ate cookies and stabbed holes in his spent Capri Sun drink.
Superhero movies have looked an awful lot like fraternity row the past couple of years, and lotsofbloggers (including this female gazer) have been vigorously calling for more celluloid superheroines. And we're not talking about more characters like Halle Berry's Catwoman. No way. We want some quality super women. But despite the generally underwhelming news on this front as of late, I'm crossing my fingers that the latest casting news about Iron Man 2 might include some promise for all of us.
Last month, rumors started started popping up that super spy Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) might be appearing in Iron Man 2. Yesterday, Variety reported that Emily Blunt may be a frontrunner for the role, lending a whole lot of credence to earlier conjecture. This is potentially great news, because Black Widow might actually be a female comic book character who filmmakers can't screw up when they bring her to the big screen!
After the jump: a list of reasons why Black Widow might just avoid the pitfalls of shoddy screenwriting and stereotyping that have befallen other superheroines on screen...