Podcast Reaction: The Black Widow And Boba Fett Edition

From this angle, I have no idea why she is so popular with various men.
From this angle, I have no idea why she is so popular with various men.

This week on the podcast, Jenny and the guys discussed grievances and Age of Ultron.  Now, in the private editorial meeting that came about between the recording of the podcast and my ability to listen to the podcast, Jenny expressed hopes I would not be too hard on her.

Never fear, Jenny.  No matter how much quacking is going on, I think you may be more right than wrong this week.

This week.

Some SPOILERS after the cut.

The bone of contention here for me comes down to two things:  Boba Fett and his questionable awesomeness, and Black Widow’s portrayal in Age of Ultron.  Let’s start with Boba Fett.

Seen here not at all concerned about peripheral vision.
Seen here not at all concerned about peripheral vision.

Now, it is true Boba Fett’s death certainly does make him less impressive.  Never mind he actually was the guy who held the Jedi Knight at bay the longest when the fight broke out…which isn’t saying much, but it happened.

But forget Return of the Jedi for a moment and take a look at Boba Fett in Empire Strikes Back, AKA the movie where he actually talks.  And you know what?  He’s a lot more impressive in that movie.

For starters, he’s the only one Vader singles out for special instructions when the bounty hunters are summoned to find the Millennium Falcon.  Most of those guys don’t even get to speak.  One slobbers.  That’s about it.  The guy already has a rep bad enough that a Sith Lord has to tell him not to do something.

Then, with all the resources at their disposal, it isn’t the Empire that finds the Falcon and everyone onboard.  It’s Boba Fett, being the only one smart enough to figure out Han’s trick and follow him to Bespin.  Maybe blind Han could accidentally take the guy out, but fully-sighted Han was caught by the guy.

On a final note, while he was less impressive in Return of the Jedi, Boba Fett does one little subtle thing.  When R2 is going up to the top deck to deliver Luke’s new lightsabre, Boba Fett is the only one to watch him go.  Everyone else is totally focused on the upcoming execution of Luke and Co. to bother watching the droid make a move.  Yeah, he doesn’t do anything about it, but he’s alert and suspicious enough to keep an eye on things.

That alone makes him the single most competent guy hanging around Jabba’s palace.

Now, Boba Fett has been overexposed since then, but he was a fairly capable guy originally.

OK, on to Black Widow, and not a missing action figure.  Mild SPOILERS below.

See, here, I think there’s something missing from the guys’ analysis.  Now, I personally found Age of Ultron disappointing.  Not bad or anything, just disappointing.  I think it reminded me of why I’m not really a Joss Whedon fanboy (like Watson, I really can’t bring myself to finish Buffy the Vampire Slayer).  I was very pleased by the first movie, but the second had some problems I won’t get into here.  I discussed a bit more on sequels in general earlier today anyway.

But I really think that Black Widow’s dream was tied solely to her being sterile.  As much as Ryan and Watson both insist otherwise, it seemed as if her dream was based around every awful thing she endured to become the super-assassin she is today.  Wasn’t there a moment there when she was required to kill a man in a hood?  As much as the sterility was a factor in her past, the entire thing seemed to be as much about a lack of a childhood and dreams of being a ballerina (cannon from the comics) being squashed as it did her inability to have children.

By the way, that children thing didn’t come completely out of nowhere on Banner’s side.  Go back to the first movie for the scene where he and the Widow meet.  He says he can’t have a normal life.  What is he doing at that moment?  He’s giving a baby’s crib a little push.

If we really want to fault the Hulk/Widow subplot, why not ask the big question:  what happened to Betty Ross?  I realize the Hulk’s solo movie is somewhat forgotten, referenced a couple times in the first Avengers film, but since Banner got recast, not that much.  Betty is supposed to be the love of Bruce’s life, and probably the reason the Hulkbuster’s name was Veronica.  I am sure the Betty character could have been recast, or even discussed in some way.  She never came looking for him after he resurfaced with the Avengers?  Did she assume some other giant green monster was stomping around during the battle of New York?  I’m not saying the two still have to be an item, but something should have been done there.

And why wouldn’t Black Widow see something in Banner?  Ignoring that Tony, Thor, and Clint are all spoken for, and Steve is Steve, who’s left?  That poor, sensitive man who walks around with the puppy dog eyes and is afraid to lose control while trying to help people.  He might be the best man in the bunch for someone like her.  He’s not righteous, arrogant, married, or a god.  She’s a woman trained to lie and kill on a regular basis.  That makes them both monsters.

But yeah, still a badly done subplot.

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