Maybe I’m remembering the movie wrong

Remember that scene in Avengers 2 where the plane swoops in and opens a door it its belly and Black Widow comes barreling out on a motorcycle, scoops up Captain America’s shield where he lost it on the road, and flings it to him? Very badass. Don’t you want the toy? Every kid wants the toy! Here it is!

Something seems to be missing.


  1. Saad says

    Also, isn’t that a gigantic amount of packaging for a small toy?

    It looks like the plane is in there too. They’re just displaying the bike for some reason.

    It says children as young as 4 can play with this. So they had to leave the woman out otherwise children might grow up with the wrong ideas about women.

    I looked closely at that plane drawing to see if maybe Black Widow was flying it. Nope, it’s a generic-looking man (surely meant to be Hawkeye). Looks more like Adam Jensen from Deus Ex.

  2. thelastholdout says

    As if the movie didn’t downplay Black Widow’s role enough as it is.

    (I actually don’t think her portrayal was as bad as it’s made out to be. It’s not necessarily misogynist for a female character to be upset about infertility, especially if it’s forced on her. I don’t see anything wrong with Black Widow kicking all kinds of ass and still wanting children.)

    Being forced into a D-I-D role was unnecessary, but that may not have been up to Whedon. Marvel is pretty famous for exerting a lot of control over the production of its movies. There’s a reason why they had to go with Mark Ruffalo instead of Ed Norton for the Bruce Banner role. They also referenced Jeremy Renner’s dissatisfaction in the first Avengers movie with a meta joke: “I did the mind control thing. Wasn’t a fan” was a reference to Renner being absolutely pissed that he was nothing more than a mind controlled stooge for half the film.

  3. anteprepro says

    1. Focus product on Captain America, the blandest and least interesting Avenger.
    2. Make toy replicas of a generic ship and motorbike that are maybe in the film for a solid 7 minutes.
    3. Erase the only female Avenger, who happens to be several times more interesting than Captain America (and, in fact, kicked far more ass than him in his most recent movie).
    4. ?????
    5. PROFIT!!!

    (I think the toy industry might have some overlap in thinking with the gaming industry here)

  4. Peter Shanks says

    I’m beginning to doubt the total commitment of capitalists to profit-seeking. /s

  5. doubtthat says

    I was thinking about this when I read this post:

    As a kid, I had the Teela and Evil Lynn (great name) characters. They were necessary to the cartoon, ergo they were necessary to whatever stories I wanted to create. I also saved up my allowance to buy the Princess Allura toy because she piloted the Blue Lion.

    All of that seemed perfectly natural. I had progressive parents and a mom with a great career, but even so, I think it had more to do with the integral role the women characters played in the story.

    That’s a long way of saying that it’s important to offer those toys and more important for women and minority characters to have a significant part in these fantasy tales.

  6. Pteryxx says

    thelastholdout #4:

    It’s not necessarily misogynist for a female character to be upset about infertility, especially if it’s forced on her.

    Sure it isn’t *necessarily*. IMO the situation crossed that line at jet speed when infertility made her a quote “monster” unquote. I’ve heard enough times from fundies, conservatives, anti-abortion state legislatures and abstinence-only sex ed that a woman who doesn’t have babies may as well be dead and good riddance to them, in practice as well as rhetoric. The audience watching this show didn’t need to have that message tied to the lone female character – that no matter how badass she is, infertility makes her less than human even in her own eyes.

  7. says

    Yep, the He-Man series were notoriously short on female characters (which series isn’t), but at least they were there. We played for hours with my friend’s action figures and nobody questioned our right to be there as girls and there was no demand that we clean up the fucking castle.

  8. hoku says

    @ thelastholdout
    I actually saw her role as more of a subversion of the DID trope. It’s kinda her thing in the movies: she pretends to be helpless and weak, the bad guy give her info, she wins. Here she legitimately got captured, and turned that to her advantage, by sending a signal to let the other Avengers find Ultron.

    @ Pteryxx
    The infertility isn’t what made her a monster, the years of killing and doing everything to be a better killer did that. That said, the whole scene was strange.

    @ OP
    It’s not just Marvel, Disney as a whole refuses to market female toys and characters. I don’t get it.

  9. jerthebarbarian says

    Pterexx @8

    Hm – my wife and I both thought the “monster” comment was directed at the fact that she was a highly trained assassin who had killed a whole lot of people over the years for no reason. Much like the Hulk. If Bruce was a “monster who couldn’t have children”, well so was she. It was a parallel that she was trying to make to change Bruce’s mind.

    That said – if a whole chunk of people missed that parallel, that’s a sign that the director/writer didn’t communicate it well I guess.

  10. happyrabo says

    I think what’s actually going on is that Black Widow is too smart to ride a motorcycle that has missiles attached right where the road needs to go when she’s performing crazy sliding-sideways-under-a-semi stunts, and that would cook her leg if she ever fired them.

    So she gave the job to Captain America since he’s apparently not that bright.

  11. Pteryxx says

    hoku: if that’s an accurate reading, then nothing would’ve been lost by simply leaving the infertility bit out completely, much less juxtaposing it with the “monster” discussion. I might argue it’d be a *stronger* story if the various nods to family and kids surrounded her *decision* to never have children because of what a (morally) horrible person she thinks she is, not the other way around.

    jerthebarbarian: that’s true, but from a writing standpoint there isn’t a lot of reason to introduce infertility, specifically, as a driver to Bruce’s character *except as* an excuse to introduce it for Natasha’s. They both have plenty of reasons to be considered monsters without that. First off, infertility does not actually correspond to lacking a family – adoption is a thing and so is medicine, which will have played a role in the lives of many kids in the audience. They could have talked about never having families without bringing forced sterilization into it. Second, infertility has MUCH stronger implications for a female character than a male one, though I’m glad to see male characters allowed to want a family without being less badass themselves. (Especially infertility has implications for a female character who uses sex as a weapon. ‘Sex is meaningless without kids as a possibility’ comes into play there.)

  12. doublereed says

    This is the sort of thing that would confuse me as a child. Like she was on the motorcycle in the movie. That’s what I want in a toy.

    Though it confuses me as an adult too.

  13. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    re: Black Widow and infertility

    The segue was directly from infertility to “who’s the monster now”, it was really really easy to take that as implying that infertility made Widow a monster.

    I actually don’t think anyone wanted to imply that, but it can’t be denied that the chunky dialogue made that one of the obvious interpretations, regardless of intent.

  14. doublereed says

    @13 I agree, the infertility thing was just kind of random and unnecessary. I felt like they threw it in to add extra drama and shock.

  15. says

    I seem to rwecall seeing somewhere that Marvel has a rule (possibly unwritten) about no female action figures. so….

    as to the BW infertility thing; it was poorly written and communicated, but the deal *wasn’t* that infertility made her a monster, it’s that it made her similar to Banner and the REST of what she went through made her a monster. But it was still poorly written and handled, and the same event from the comics was used to show Widows anger and rage at having the choice of reproduction taken away from her and the destruction of her agency (she never wanted kids really, but it was still her choice until the operation). So it’s something that *can* be handled well when nto in the hands of Joss “Totes a feminist check my action chix” Whedon.

  16. hoku says


    Agreed, it was a weird scene. I’m certain it was in there for benign reasons, but it was just such a strange character moment for both of them.

  17. Pteryxx says

    So it’s something that *can* be handled well when nto in the hands of Joss “Totes a feminist check my action chix” Whedon.


  18. drst says

    FWIW the infertility conversation occurs in the bedroom of one of Clint’s kids in his house that he shares with his wife and family that nobody but Tasha appears to have known about. Bruce is arguing that he can’t ever have a home like this, with kids and a dog and a picket fence, or any semblance of stability, due to the Hulk. To him that means he can’t be in a relationship. And fresh off his Scarlet Witch-induced rampage where a lot of people probably died, he’s still pretty freaked out and wanting to be away from everyone.

    Tasha is pointing out that he’s assuming she wants that life, and then informing him that she already knows she can’t have kids and a picket fence and all of the package so his excuses won’t fly. The fertility issue is also on her mind due to Scarlet Witch messing with her head and reminding her of how entirely her agency was stripped away from her in the Red Room. Tasha has had to fight every inch to get control of her life and her choices back, and even now she’s still paying for things she’s done before. Bruce is basically making a choice for her and she’s not having it. It’s written badly and it’s confusing, unfortunately, but that’s what’s going on in that scene.

    (I also notice nobody seems to recognize the gender role switch of the scene. Tasha is fully covered while Bruce is half naked and wet. That still amuses me to no end.)

  19. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Yes, I’d rather see her movie than another Captain America or Iron Man.

  20. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    [confession, my imagination, based on these comments. is running wild.]

    I can see how the dialogue, might have been:
    ~BW: I’m infertile.
    ~Hulk: good to know! We know you’re a monster, so it’s good you won’t have babies.

    I really hope they didn’t go this route:
    ~Hulk: Those gamma rays made me infertile.
    ~BW: I am too.
    ~Hulk: That makes you a monster!

    I like to imagine that they were just sitting around, getting drunk, and commiserating about everything wrong in their lives, that being a superhero won’t fix. When Hulk says the Gammas made him a rage monster but also made him infertile, BW empathizes by stating her infertility, and did so only in a “passing comment” tone of voice. No drama, just a sad ‘welcome to the club’ kind of style.
    [enough ‘armchair scriptwriter’ thoughts]

  21. says

    It seems most likely that Banner isn’t infertile in the sense of defective sperm, but rather that activities that elevate his heart rate are liable to end badly for anyone he’s physically close to. It actually came up in a scene in the Edward Norton Hulk movie.

    C.f. Larry Niven’s evocatively titled essay, “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex”.

  22. microraptor says

    My understanding of the no female Avengers action figures was that Disney was vetoing releasing any so as not to compete with their Disney Princess merchandise. Don’t know how true that is, though: Marvel has released female superhero action figures many times, but never in the numbers of their male lineup.

  23. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    Sure, it makes as much sense as Disney not allowing release of male Avengers figures so as not to compete with their Star Wars merchandise. Oh wait, that didn’t happen.

  24. vaiyt says

    I’ll be the first to confess I’m no fan of Natasha as an Avenger. I’m hoping against hope we get a Ms. Marvel or Spider-Woman in the team… maybe even Wasp! /sarcasm

  25. microraptor says


    Hey, I never claimed it made sense, that’s just what the stated reason for no female Avengers action figures I’d heard was.

  26. nutella says

    You all know that the reason that Joanne Rowling’s name is on the books as JK Rowling is that her publishers insisted because boys would never read books by female authors (or with female protagonists), right? It’s all over kid’s merchandising.

  27. Menyambal says

    Wow. That is a poorly-designed package, in every way. Yes, the jet is in it, with some assembly required. The motorbike is all that you can see, and Cap’s head is hidden. The bike is poorly-designed – as was said, it won’t work for sliding under semi trucks. The action figure is not a standard size.

    And oh my fucking god, why would they do anything that brings to mind Cap’s motorcycle from that ’80s movie? He carried it around in a van, and kept launching it out of the back of the van in a way that was so damn obviously a motorbike being driven through a dummy van at high speed, that it punched suspension of disbelief right in the face, and that was during the ’80s, for Christ’s sake. And the shield, that hung on the handlebars like that, was clear where it wasn’t painted, and was so flexy that it was obvious they hadn’t even tried to find good plastic. God, it was awful, and that is what this thing is referencing.

    Yet all that pales compared to dumping the action female. Black Widow rocks!

  28. Menyambal says

    embraceyourinnercrone, it is indeed ridiculous to give Iron Man a motorcycle. Some toy line supplied the Flash with a motorbike.

  29. busterggi says

    Am the only one here old enough to remember when Iron Man had rocket powered retractable roller skates in his boots?

  30. mykroft says

    Regarding Natasha being a monster, as I remember the context she was made infertile to make her a more effective assassin. She was raised/programmed to take life, and the ability to create life was taken from her in the process. In my opinion, that was why she called herself a monster. Monsters destroy people, they don’t make them.

  31. says

    Having been in the toy industry, I wonder how much has to do with “we have 138 existing molds for male body parts that we can easily and cheaply repurpose for this new movie figurine, but we’d have to create a new mold from scratch for the female character – the only female body part molds we have on hand are in chain-mail bikinis” etc.

    Could explain the motorcycle-coming-out-of-plane bit too… if you look back and find out that there was a GI Joe set or something 10-20 years ago that had that feature, you have your answer.

  32. direlobo says

    It’s not necessarily misogynist for a female character to be upset about infertility, especially if it’s forced on her.

    Sure it isn’t *necessarily*. IMO the situation crossed that line at jet speed when infertility made her a quote “monster” unquote

    I think you are mis-reading that scene. When she says she is a “monster” she is referring to the fact that she was trained to kill people, not that she was sterilized. The point of the story was not ONLY that she was still disturbed about being forcefully sterilized, but that it was done specifically in order to make her a monster, ie. to make it easier for her to risk her life and kill people.

  33. sempercogitans says

    About Disney and female action figures: their princess dolls are even worse than the movies, too.

    My daughter’s favorite princess is Mulan (probably in part because I didn’t let her watch most of the other ones). But the most popular Mulan doll has her wearing a dress with her face made up like when she was on her way to visit the matchmaker. You know, like she hated, and which prompted her to sing about not knowing herself from her reflection? Her skin looks much fairer than it was in the movie, as well.

    I ended up finding an older one on ebay that had her hair short and face make-up free. She had a sword, too, but she was also wearing a purple outfit that really had nothing to do with the movie.

    The Disney store version of Merida had her wearing the blue dress that she hated and her mother forced her to wear. And they gave her boobs and a skinnier waist.

    Even the more interesting princesses get all of their personality stripped away.

  34. kaleberg says

    The Black Widow ditched her fertility the way she would have trimmed her nails. It was something she did to get that little extra edge as a killer. Maybe I took the scene differently because I remembered Dorothy, another graduate of the Red Room, in the Agent Carter series. It wasn’t about cute babies of families. It was about the monstrous extreme of her focus. It was like Odin taking out one of his eyes in pursuit of wisdom, something I hope we won’t actually see in the next Thor movie. It was a monstrous, inhuman thing to do.

    Then again, I find Captain America to one of the most interesting characters in the movie. He’s a man out of time. His world has long vanished, but he is still fighting for his moral code. He was chosen for his powers because of his essential decency. Now, everyone has compromised, but he still has to fight the good fight, and he knows it. Unlike every other character, he cannot go off to cultivate his garden. (That was a big contrast between him and Hawkeye.)

  35. microraptor says

    @Menyambal- As ridiculous as the Flash-on-a-motorcycle action figure was, I think the old G1 Transformers playset of a Transformer who turned into a jet coming with a miniature aircraft carrier that turned into a large jet that the robot (who turned into a jet) could ride.

  36. says


    Monsters destroy people, they don’t make them.

    Because mothers are all sweet and loving and caring and never do their very best to fuck you up in every way, shape or form possible. Because they’re mothers. Women. You gotta be a really not woman to be like that, am I right?
    Apart from the whole moster-othering bullshit.

  37. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    They’ve put Captain America on the toy? Why? Why have they done that? When I was a kid, I’d have wanted to reenact the cool scene from the movie. How am I supposed to do that with the wrong fucking character?

    Also, isn’t that a gigantic amount of packaging for a small toy?

    I had assumed that the plane was in the box. That can’t just be the bike, surely? I mean seriously, that’d be fucking ludicrous.

  38. Menyambal says

    The plane is indeed in the box. Usually, it would be showing through clear plastic, but this one requires some assembly – decal stickers and the wingtips – so it is hidden. Also hidden, if you look closely, is the head of the action figure on the motorcycle.

    I dislike the design of the jet, too. Its streamlining is horrible.

  39. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    The plane is indeed in the box. Usually, it would be showing through clear plastic, but this one requires some assembly – decal stickers and the wingtips

    That is what I had assumed; thanks for the confirmation. If it had turned out that the entire ginormous box was just for that little bike, I would have been exceedingly angry. I get unreasonably pissed off about unnecessary packaging.

  40. mykroft says

    @Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-:40
    I have no illusions that all individuals within any group of people have specific attributes because of a label.

    I was only trying to lay out what I thought was the motivation behind the dialog in the movie. Sorry if it triggered anything.

  41. says

    Take a look at the cover of the latest “Movie Magic” collector’s edition (about making The Avengers 2) … It’s missing one of The Avengers. Maybe she was doing the laundry or something and couldn’t make it to the photoshoot.

  42. Janus says

    If I remember correctly, Captain America drove the motorcycle in the opening-scene assault on the Hydra base. That aside, I’d still rather they used BW in the toy, as her scene on it was more memorable.

  43. anteprepro says

    No matter what interpretation you take of the “monster” scene, the one thing that is undeniable is that associated being a “monster” with infertility. Which is just awesome, obviously. (I interpreted Black Widow as saying she was a “monster” because she was an assassin, but bringing up the sterilization to show that she is also a “monster” who can’t have babies just like the Hulkster. It is a damn shame she didn’t spend more time talking about the actual things that supposedly made her a “monster”, and then dealing with her desire to repent for the people she killed, rather than talking about how she is infertile, but that’s yet another reason why that scene wasn’t thought out very well).

  44. Menyambal says

    And why would they put missiles on a motorcycle? Aside from the obvious problems of launching the damn things from right beside the driver, I mean. Why drop a motorcycle armed with missiles out of a perfectly good airplane?

    An airplane is mobile as hell, and fast. It has problems with not being able to stop, but it can get above anything, and it carries missiles to precisely compensate for its shortcomings. (A missile-armed airplane gives not one fuck what kind of pistol you are packing.)

    A motorcycle, on the other hand, pretty much has to stick to roads, and to ground level. But it can get up close and personal. The driver carrying a pistol, or a grenade, or even a bundle of dynamite with a timer and a suction cup, those make sense.

    But an airplane handing off its missiles to a motorcycle?

    “So, Maverick, on this mission you are going to fly your Quinjet in through hostile airspace, drop the captain on the motorcycle onto a heavily-defended road, then fly air support while he goes through roadblocks and slides under semis until he rides into the approach road to the villian’s castle, where he will fire the missiles at the gate. Then he will ride through the entrance, and cruise around inside the castle until he finds the villian, and hope he can get a clear missile shot without being too close for the missiles to arm. For your close air support, you will have this pistol, these grenades, and a bundle of dynamite with a suction cup and a big red LED timer. And after the captain fires the missiles, his legs will be too badly burned to ever repair, and he may not be close enough to the blast to die instantly, so here’s a knife.”

  45. chigau (違う) says

    Menyambal #49
    I think you may have problems selling that as a screen-play.

  46. microraptor says

    Remember, “logic” in action movies is based on how cool something looks, not whether or not you’d burn your face off if you actually tried to do it.

  47. Menyambal says

    Turns out the Lego version of the Quinjet also has Catpain Amerika on the bike. Black Widow gets to be the pilot, though.