Tag Archives: superheroes

No Superheroes Today; But Some Musings On Gender

I don’t have a post about superheroes chatting it up in a cafe today. The majority of you probably don’t know what I’m talking about, but for the two who do, apologies. Instead, I’d like to link to someone’s breakdown of Iron Man 3 and how its portrayal of Pepper Potts might not be as progressive as in the prior films.

Here’s the link: Is Pepper Potts No Longer the “Damsel in Distress” in ‘Iron Man 3’?

Some points made in the article:

* When Pepper puts on the Iron Man suit, it’s not of her own volition.
* Archvillian Aldrich Killian kidnaps Pepper and ties her up, using her as bait to lure Tony and blackmail him.
*Tony and Killian make all the decisions for Pepper. She doesn’t make any for herself.

Obviously, I’ve condensed the points down to an obscene degree. You’ll want to read the article to get the full gist of what the author is saying. Personally, I think she’s on point with a lot of her criticisms, and it’s a little frustrating that the film kind of backslides from what has been set up before. You get the sense that Pepper is an equal to Tony in every way by The Avengers, but here she’s getting captured and rescued by him and not showcasing any of the agency she was previously given.

Except for a few little moments here and there, which the author points out. Even though Tony rescues her throughout most of the film, she’s the only one who can defeat the villain. And while that doesn’t disappear the tropes she’s mired in throughout the rest of the film, it’s encouraging to see and it tells me that we might be in a transition period of comic book films evolving from a boy’s club to something that both boys and girls can enjoy and be inspired by.

Maybe.

And then there’s good ol’ DC, who hasn’t been able to get any kind of Wonder Woman film or show off the ground. They keep trying, but nothing seems to come of it. Perhaps it’s not only the filmmakers who are to blame and that maybe we as an audience need to start demanding stronger female characters. There’s already a lot of us requesting this, but in the grand scheme of things that might not be enough.