By Aislinn De'Ath

By Aislinn De'Ath
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Friday, 4 May 2012


Reader, as you can probably tell from the title of this entry, I recently saw Avengers Assemble. And it was bloody brilliant. What is there not to love about a superhero movie featuring Mark Ruffalo (BEST HULK EVER!), Robert Downey Jr. (I want to steal him away so he can sit in my room being snarky about everything), Tom Hiddleston as the lovably naughty Loki (you just can't hate him. He's too funny...) and Chris Hemsworth (...dribble...)?

Oh yeah. Scarlett Johansson playing Black Widow. Bleh. Ok, so I know some of you will be going 'you're just jealous' and to an extent, you'd be right. I am extremely jealous. I mean HELLO best superhero movie ever? I'd KILL to do that! But there's also more to it than that. Firstly, why does the only female Avenger have to be-let's face it-not a real super? She is essentially a ninja/spy who's a bit crap at hiding who she is. Plus, there's all the 'oh yeah, she's a girl, she's sexy'. Ok. We get it. Ladies have curvy figures. But how insulting that she once uses the tear ploy (my superpower is pretending to be sad!) and once uses letting people beat her up to get information out of them? And how comes she doesn't get to be funny? Every other character has humour to them. She gets one, really pathetic line about parties. Some could say that's the Russian sense of humour. I say it's poor female character building. One more piece of criticism before I move on: The American accent. Maybe fanboys/girls of the comics can help me out here as Black Widow is a relatively unknown character to me, but she's supposed to be Russian, right? So where's the accent. There's mention of her having her brain messed with, was it a side effect? So yeah, not terribly impressed by that element of the film. Also, I met her once and she's kind of bitchy in real life.

Not all women in the film are irritating though. Gwyneth shone (hurrah! An intelligent female character!) as Pepper Potts and Cobie Smulders was a delight every time she spoke (So much so that I wanted to see her on screen much much pandering there!)

The thing is, I'd really like to see a female super on screen that isn't entirely crap. Let's face it, Wonderwoman as an idea is wonderful but is essentially all about the body, although I'm completely intrigued to see how they'll handle that one (if it's made into a respectable character that at least nods towards her feminist, Amazonian past and doesn't use her feminine wiles constantly, I'll be satisfied). Personally, I want to play SheHulk. Now THERE'S a character I can get my teeth into. Just to say 'SHE HULK SMASH!'  I'd also love to see Zatana hit up the big screen, her comics always seem to hit the perfect balance.

To be honest though, all the feminist stuff didn't distract that much from the utterly brilliant filmwork going on. I loved the interplay between the characters, the one liners were spectacular, it was fabulous for a relatively superficial comic geek like me but also for The Lad, who prays at the temples of Forbidden Planet and Orbital comics every Wednesday to get his fix. I came out with a massive smile on my face, quoting lines and still drooling a bit from Chris Hemsworth. The Lad is convinced that I am, much like Chris Evans, someone sent from the past, because I understood all of the same references that he jumped on, and I needed to pee for the final half hour but didn't leave the screen. For me, that's pretty much a first. Usually I'm not that fussed about missing two seconds of a film, but with this one it would have felt like a real loss.

Now, this was just going to be a blog about the film, but given that today was the elections, I can't go without mentioning how ashamed I am of my generation in terms of voting. There are countries out there where people don't have the chance to vote, or where their voting is completely disregarded. In some, women aren't allowed to vote yet, in others people are killed for their political beliefs. And here we have one of the lowest turn outs for years. I mean seriously?! Are our citizens that disillusioned with democracy? Ok, so we didn't have an Obama standing for Mayor of London this year (I wish). But at least vote to make sure UKIP don't get it. The BNP featured a racist reverend talking about 'fighting the threat of Islam' for goodness sake. At least vote so THAT doesn't get in! And I'm sorry, but you can't complain about the cost of the tube, or congestion charge, or your STREETLIGHTS not working if you don't vote for your local MP. Who do you think is in charge of this stuff? We vote them in. By majority. I know who I voted for, I know if they got in and did a crap job, I'd only have myself to blame. I also know that if a party I didn't vote for got in, I'd at least feel like I'd done all I could by voting for someone I believed in. But the crap I've heard over the past month or so about the elections really beggars belief. Here are a few titbits, overheard from strangers, friends and (oh lord) family,

  • 'I'm voting Boris, cause he's SUCH a joker!' Brilliant, well done. That's just what we want. Guess how much your monthly travelcard is? HAHA!
  • 'I'm not voting, because I don't like any of the parties' Really? None of them? Or just the main three? You do understand that one of them will still get in though right? And it might be the one you hate the most!
  • 'I don't really understand why the BNP have such a bad name. My parents vote for them, and they're not racist' Uhm....what?!
  • 'It's just one vote, it's not like it makes a difference' Funny, that's what everyone else said...
  • 'I'm not really directly affected by these elections' Oh I'm sorry, do you not take public transport? Or drive? Or pay tax? Or rent? Or get benefits of any kind? Or LIVE?
Sorry to be a sarcastic susan Reader, but it really does peeve me the way some people throw their vote out the window. People have died for us to have the vote. Why would you be that blasé about it? And on that note, I'm off to go check the election results...gulp...


  1. I think a Zatanna spin-off would've been a better idea for a TV show than Wonder Woman. At least that character appeared twice in the Smallville universe as opposed to the brief reference of a "wondrous woman" from Chloe that probably went unnoticed by most viewers. But then again, even Aquaman didn't do that well in terms of ratings. I know I didn't watch it and I'm a DC fan!

    If they make a Justice League movie - I'm sure WB are planning to since Avengers is cleaning up at the box office, they should come up with an excuse to include Zatanna, at least she has powers unlike the Black Widow, who just uses her womanly wiles to extract intelligence, and the Green Arrow is much better than Hawkeye too. Who doesn't love a billionaire playboy with a conscience, costume and lots of swanky toys! Hmm... sounds familiar :)

  2. I dunno man. here's the probem with voting for the sake of spending your vote - although, yes, you might prevent the greater evil from being realised, you are also propping up the whole atavistic party system merely by playing the game.

    there's not a single party I would see in power.

    to address your worry: the BNP is currently in decline and to be honest there's no real need to act in a preventative fashion towards them. their beliefs are increasingly untenable due to border blurring and global culture. short of occasional sprints of radicalisation, you won't be seeing them around that much in the future. don't believe
    media scaremongering. they are a hugely provincial and unstable group.

    for me personally, the political gesture of not voting is the only gesture afforded to me besides protest that I consider an informed and worthwhile use of my time. certainly many of our brothers and sisters are just lazy, but actively disowning your vote is legitimate and I don't see any other choice. bear in mind that the democratic right at heart is the right to turn away from power structures.

    gud blogging anyhow


  3. Caroline, I so agree, I would pay good money to go see that! I think there's a lot of ground that could be covered in a Zatanna feature or tv show, and OMG so glad that someone agrees with me about Hawkeye. He felt like an entirely pointless character, about which I knew nothing and felt no desire to go find out!

    And John, fair enough if you have a valid reason for it, but I personally think that not voting is a terrible shame. Of course, one of the great things about where we live is that you have the right to decide to vote or not to-bloody brilliant. The system is flawed, granted, and lets be honest here, there aren't any parties that I strongly identify with, but there are enough that I really disagree with on a political level to make me want to do my part into keeping them out of power, even if they're a long way off. Agree about media scaremongering, but the truth of it is that in france only a few years ago a scarily racist party nearly got in because of voter apathy. We may not be at that stage now, but who's to say that that won't be the case in a couple of years?

    Appreciate that your decision not to vote is just that though-a decision. I admire that you're taking a stand towards something you believe in, even though it's not my way of working, it's more the people who don't vote out of laziness or stupidity that I have an issue with.

    Thanks hun! Always good to read someone sensible on the other side of the argument!