Contemporary Superwomen: Black Widow's Representation within her Cinematic and Graphic Worlds: Feminism-forged Heroines in a Post-feminist World
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(2016) Contemporary Superwomen: Black Widow's Representation within her Cinematic and Graphic Worlds: Feminism-forged Heroines in a Post-feminist World, no. 35.
Introduction (part): Over the past two decades, comic book film and television adaptations have gained traction within a mainstream media-dominated world, earning millions as blockbuster hits and forming new and influential identities to well-known and well-loved heroes and villains alike. Superwomen have been, as with superheroes, changing with the times, influenced by the social and political mythos of various time periods. What was paved by Wonder Woman in her first appearance in 1941; to the many superwomen and supergirls that inherited the feminist undertones these representations carry, both superwomen representation and feminism is ever-changing. Using the most recent and apparent 'superwoman', Natasha Romanov, better known as Black Widow within her cinematic depictions by Scarlett Johansson: 'Iron Man 2' (2010), The Avengers (2012), 'Captain American: Winter Soldier'(2014) and The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), as well as the comic book series written by Nathan Edmondson which was birthed from this cinematic world, 'Black Widow (2014); many of these shifting and varied feminist agendas can be brought into a contemporary focus. As Hopkins addresses; "A girl hero is literally a sign of the times" (HOPKINS, S. (2002) 'Girl Heroes: The New Force in Popular Culture' Pluto Press, Australia pp 5.) To deconstruct the modern superwoman is to unveil the feminism of the time, just as 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' ( 1997-2003) has come to encapsulate the agendas found in 3rd wave feminism of the 1990s and early 2000s; it is not unreasonable to suggest that the Black Widow has characteristics of a 'post-feminist' shift in mainstream media.