In the latest and best yet installment of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, our heroes —
Tony “Iron Man” Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve “Captain America” Rogers (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Clint “Hawkeye” Barton (Jeremy Renner), Bruce “the Hulk” Banner (Mark Ruffalo), and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) — face off against Ultron (motion-captured and voiced by James Spader), the brainchild of Stark.
This is writer/director Joss Whedon’s second and last Avengers film (based on comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby). We see the Avengers team refreshingly in unity, despite being pulled apart by Ultron. Likewise, Spader’s Ultron, in his teenager-like mindset, is an interesting villain and like the evil twin of Iron Man. He’s got all of Iron Man’s arrogance and love of being part of a group. But, he’s twisted in that he has a “by any means necessary” philosophy and willing to do anything (read: kill, steal, destroy) to bring about his most important cause: peace on earth. Ultron is prone to throwing tantrums and has a major God complex.
Proceed With Caution
Spoiler alert: if you have not seen Ultron, please skip the next three paragraphs.
After the Avengers defeat Ultron, everyone goes back to their respective corners of the world, and S.H.I.E.L.D. springs up anew with Fury back at the helm. This gives Whedon a chance to build the set-up for the 2016 release of Captain America: Civil War; which will feature a new batch of Avengers recruits.
Of the new Avengers assembled, so far, audiences will see Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Sam “Falcon” Wilson a.k.a. the original Captain America (Anthony Mackie), James Rhodes in his War Machine suit of armor (Don Cheadle), and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman who will bring his origin story to life in 2018). It’s nice to see that the Marvel Universe is widening its scope for a more diverse and female cast.
After all, they’re trying to reach a female base of paying movie goers. Fifty Shades can’t have all of the fun. For diversity, we’ve got Falcon, Fury, Rhodes, Black Panther, and Luke Cage (Mike Colter will bring him to life on Netflix in 2016). But, what about us black females who want to see more of ourselves in the Superhero-verse?
Black (Female) Power
Thinking about an expanded, diverse Avengers team to rival the Fast & Furious cast (they finally integrated a black female into their ranks), I did some digging into the Marvel-verse and found a few worthy black female candidates who could join the proposed Avengers 3: Infinity War, Part 1 (set for release in 2018).
Misty Knight is the best candidate to add to the Avengers collection, for her great investigative skills from her NYPD days and her Stark-created bionic arm to crush the bad guys. She’d also bring what colorless focus groups call “sass” (read: stereotypical black woman) to the Avengers in a hilarious way. As a bonus, since Iron Fist (whose original story will debut on Netflix this year) is Misty’s lover and Luke Cage’s good friend, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to introduce the character. And, if that’s not enough, Misty has appeared in 534 Marvel issues.
Storm (already played by Halle Berry) of the X-Men franchise is a proven fan-favorite having appeared in 7,281 Marvel issues. She would make a great addition, as well, because of her uncanny ability to affect the weather and her nurturing disposition. She and Thor would make a great team and she would keep the Avengers in line.
Original Captain Marvel a.k.a. Spectrum a.k.a. Monica Rambeau would make a great leader of the Avengers team once Fury finally decides to retire and since she’s already stepped into that capacity within the comic book series. She could also be introduced to the team via Luke Cage, as she and him are pretty good friends.
The Marvel Universe, which keeps churning out great films, is expanding at a rapid speed in film, TV, and digital format and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. This means the comics giant has nothing but space and opportunity to open its arms and nurture a few good black female characters for their various formats. Now that TV is embracing us, it’s time for the Marvel-verse to do the same.