Author Topic: Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher  (Read 902 times)

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher
« on: June 07, 2014, 01:45:33 PM »


Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher
Year of Release: 2014
Directed By:  Kenichi Shimizu
Starring: Jennifer Carpenter, Brian Bloom, John Eric Bentley, Grant George
Genre: Action, Animation

Overview:
After interfering with a top secret mission, THE PUNISHER is taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D. AGENT and AVENGER, BLACK WIDOW.  At the orders of Director Nick Fury, Punisher and Black Widow are sent on a mission to stop LEVIATHAN, a global terrorist organization, that plans to sell stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. technology to the highest bidder.  Now, the vigilante and spy must work together to prevent this technology from falling into the wrong hands.  The fate of the world, and of the AVENGERS, hangs in the balance.

My Thoughts:
It's a pretty standard comic story, and makes for a pretty decent superhero tale. It's made by the same folks who did Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore, and has much of the same look and style. I liked the character designs, the animation was quite good - except for a few closeups of Natasha's face, where they didn't get the expressions right, and the big battle scene at the end where the CGI was super-fracking-obvious.  If you liked Technovore then you'll like this - and if you haven't see it, do you like anime style?  Normally I'd say if you enjoy superhero fare then you'd enjoy this, but the style is very anime, so if you don't like that style then don't watch this or Technovore.  Also this is a bit violent for the younger set - this is definitely aimed at teen and up.

However, the most interesting thing to me was the (subtle?) critique of traditional romantic tropes. Natasha has a love interest here who didn't feel worthy because she was strong and powerful and he wasn't. So he set out to change that about himself. It's a problem we see in comics (and paranormal romance) regularly - how to write a romantic story for a strong, powerful, independent female character. Inevitably we get either the female character pretends to be less than she is, or she has to go out with someone who is a bigger BAMF than she is (in which case she loses independence), or he occupies a weaker position and the story ends tragically. We are only just beginning to see partnering of these women with men who can hold their own with them without the ladies giving anything up (Wonder Woman/Superman). Or, here, Punisher - no there's no romance between Frank and Natasha, but Frank doesn't treat her any differently because she's a woman. He treats her as an equal, and she is shown to match him. And that's good to see no matter what.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 3/5
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