Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Death of Clintasha (And Why I Like It)

In Fact: Age of Ultron spoilers, for definitely sure. You have been warned.

I was never a hardcore Clintasha shipper. I mean, it was cute, but I wasn’t an “I will go down with this ship” shipper. I just thought the headcanons people came up with were amusing. If you’ve watched Age of Ultron, you know that Clint lives in a farmhouse with an agent of some kind and their smaller agents, and Natasha is running with Bruce Banner.

via Celene Kim
Going into it, I wasn’t sure I’d like this setup. Watching the movie, I was a little concerned. But leaving? I really liked it, and the new dynamic it brings to Clint and Natasha’s relationship.

Number one, if Clint is Natasha’s friend and not her lover, there is at least one person on the team who has no sexual expectations of her. When Tony Stark first meets her, he says, “I want one.” Steve sees her flirting up-close-and-personal. She’s actively developing a relationship with Bruce. (I can’t think of anything for/against Thor—thoughts?)

via doesnotloveyou
After Natasha reveals her “initiation,” we know she’s been enabled to use even her own body as a tool, immune from consequences and distractions (unless she gets an STI, in which case moving on).

Black Widow is a weapon. Black Widow was designed to be a weapon. Black Widow is a more efficient weapon when it’s attractive, available, and can entice men to kill them in their sleep. But making Natasha a weapon dehumanizes her. A weapon is a thing, not a person, even if you give it a name. If the guys on the team only recognize her weapon, they don’t see that it’s only one facet of the human being she wants to be.

via Buzzfeed
Unlike the other guys, Clint is married. Now, marriage doesn’t keep you from noticing, or wanting, other people. However, knowing who he is, Clint’s marriage signifies a loyalty and commitment to his family. He already has someone that he loves, a lot, and because that position is filled, he isn’t asking Natasha to fill that slot for him. Instead, he looks to her as a partner, a confidante, and most of all, a friend.

On that note, making Natasha and Clint friends probably makes them better at what they do. Of course, I only assume it’s in movies where the action pauses to accommodate romantic moments (hi, Ron and Hermione), but I imagine it’s the superheroes’ equivalent of office romance. People can make it work, but when you’re dealing with life and death and explosions, I’ll bet couple drama gums everything right up. It causes collateral damage—and the Avengers are responsible for enough of that without help.

via MovieWeb
Lastly, I love exploring friendships. This is actually one of the things I truly dislike about the shipping culture of fandoms—taken as a whole, you can bet there’s no character left shipless by the time the fans are through with them. It’s fun, I get it, but it undermines the value of normal friendships and staying single if sexual or romantic relationships are patched in at every turn. Romance is nice, but it’s not for everyone—sometimes a good friend who listens is better than a boyfriend who just wants to get lucky.

This is what I want to see in Clint and Natasha’s relationship. I love that Natasha already seems part of the family, knows the kids, is friends with Laura. Clint tells her all about his home renovation plans, and then they go fight bad guys. Most of all, I’m glad that Clint always had one person on the team who knew his life meant more than just his life. When he was under Loki’s power in Avengers, Natasha certainly hit him really hard on the head because he was her friend, but she also knew Laura wanted her husband home in one piece and there were kids who needed to be tucked in at night. Being an Avenger is Clint’s job, and he’ll die for it if he has to, but I’m sure they could both think of four good reasons why he wouldn’t want to.

via bartons
And, you know, Natasha is the cool and crazy aunt who comes over and fits right in with the family—so there’s a reason the Bartons wouldn’t want to lose Natasha, either.

All in all, Natasha and Clint’s friendship is an awesome staple in the Avengers legacy, and I’m curious to see where it goes next! (And, how it came to be; Alyssa advocates a Black Widow movie for many awesome reasons, but I’d love to see how Natasha went from killer to confidante—I can’t imagine it was an easy switch, for either of them!)

Did you like the Claura plot twist? How do you feel about Hulk and Black Widow together? And, what do you like best about Clint and Natasha’s friendship?



So, what do you want to talk about next week? (You thought I'd be nice and reveal the fandom? HA!)

12 comments :

  1. At first when I saw the movie, I was like WHAT??? And then, when I sat and thought about it for a bit, I came to pretty much the same conclusions as you. While I'd thought the whole Clintasha thing was cute, I think he and his wife and their family is even cuter. I just loved the dynamic with Natasha as the assassin aunt. I mean, who doesn't want an aunt like that? And I liked what the movie did to add some vulnerability to Black Widow. I've heard a lot of complaining that she just wasn't as hard core, but I felt that her weaknesses made her stronger because they made her more real. And more relatable. And while I'm not sure how I feel about the whole Natasha/Banner thing, I'm open to it. And I liked the way Age of Ultron ended, the way it left some things unresolved in that area. I definitely look forward to the next one. Over all, I think I liked the spirit of the original Avengers more, and I felt that the idea of a sentient robot taking over was a rather tired trope, but I really did enjoy a lot of bits about Age of Ultron. At some point I want to do a review, but it's been months and I'm still mulling.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. Yeah, when you initially hear it you're like, "What?" because I don't think it's anything we could have put together on our own. But I agree! Clint's family was adorable! I would totally enjoy having an assassin aunt (although I'm content with the aunts I have now, of course) and I'll bet she would be fun to shop with, for some reason.

      She did have some vulnerability, but I agree that her weaknesses made her feel more real. In a way, it's kind of like what I said up there: Black Widow is a weapon that Natasha uses, and if people aren't open to letting her act like an actual person, then we're not going to have her act like a real character on screen. :P

      I also liked how the romance was left unresolved between Banner/Natasha. It's tense and it's a little weird, but I can also appreciate that it calls for a lot of character growth and so on.

      I'd agree that the original Avengers was a little better, but I still think Age of Ultron was enjoyable enough. :) I'd love to read your thoughts on the movie, though!

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  2. I think you made a lot of good points, and after reading your post, I especially like Clint and Natasha's dynamic. I still can't ship her and the Hulk, though. Just doesn't work in my opinion.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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    1. Well, so far Natasha and Hulk HASN'T worked, but we'll see where it goes in the following movies! :) But, the point was more about Clint and Natasha, so I'm glad we can agree there.

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  3. I can't say anything about age of ultron or whatever you're talking about, but I've recognized the poll you embedded in you post and I wanted to ask how you did that

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    1. Erm, okay. So, to summarize what I did, I basically made a poll using the poll widget under the "layout" portion of my dashboard, copied the HTML and placed it at the bottom of the post. However, since you may want to try the same thing yourself, I shall direct you to the instructions that have helped me multiple times!

      http://smallbusiness.chron.com/embed-poll-blogger-post-46275.html

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    2. Funny, since I tried that actually once, but it didn't work... but I was in a rush and had no time for experiments, so maybe it would have worked if I had took more time. But cool, thanks. I thought it didn't work but now I see that it does work... good to know :-)

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    3. Huh, that's odd. Maybe playing around with it will be more fruitful this time! I hope you can get it to work. :)

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  4. Awesome post. I always loved Clint and Natasha as friends. Even in the first Avengers, I was hoping the whole time, "They're just friends, they're just friends, they are JUST FRIENDS!" They work really well as friends. They have each other's back in and out of work. And then Avengers 2 came along and I was really hoping Marvel wouldn't turn their friendship to romance. Romance isn't bad. But it's so rare to see a good girl/guy friendship remain a friendship. To be honest, to me, they're kind of like brother and sister. They watch out for each other, stick together, believe in each other, know each others' abilities, etc.

    I love that Clint has a family. It makes him one of the most human of the Avengers. He's just a normal guy running around with a bow and arrow trying to help people. He has an average life outside of the Avengers. He's the most relatable out of all of them. Especially when he's like, "The city is flying. We're fighting giant robots. And I have a bow and arrow!" He said this to help the Scarlet Witch, but also you can tell that he is kind of in shock with the enormity of it all. At how unreal it all is and yet it's real. His reaction is like our reaction.

    Eh, Natasha and Bruce. . . No. Not working for me. It just kind of came out of the blue. It feels like Natasha's just trying to get someone's attention. That and she didn't seem herself the whole movie.

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    1. We all have our hopes for our characters, eh? I know that a LOT of people have been disappointed by the fact that Black Widow and Hawkeye are in fact, friends, but I agree—the rarity of girl/guy friendships makes them precious. Thinking of them as a brother and sister is a fascinating idea! I think it really juxtaposes that of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, come to think of it.

      His family is awesome, huh? I think that kind of humanity was actually the point of the movie—the Avengers have been running around pretending to be gods, and Clint goes and shows them that no matter what they've done, they're still average folks at their core. I think he does a good job of connecting with the audience, just like you said. I love it. :)

      I hear that's a popular opinion, heh. I think the movie was juggling a lot of balls, which is why that may have floundered a little bit. Maybe there shall be a few new movies and things will clear up some?

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  5. This is really important. I'll admit, first of all, that I was never a Clintasha shipper -- I really liked the fics where Clint was dead terrified of Natasha and Nat would do anything to protect Clint. (Have you seen the dodgeball Tumblr post?) Also I am more of a Nat/Bucky shipper.

    I don't think Thor really sees Natasha as a romantic/sexual interest, if only because (1) he's involved with Jane and he's really not the type of person to stray and (2) the situation is pretty comparable to Sif, and it's pretty clear despite Odin's comments, Thor's not interested in Sif in that way. More like comrades-in-arms, and that goes for Nat too.

    But yeah, friendship is so important! And Nat being this crazy old aunt is both so weird and so right at the same time. I love how they framed the family so that it brings humanity to both Nat and Clint, and deepens their relationship in a platonic way. Even beyond Avengers, beyond agents, they're friends. And that's super important.

    I still can't wrap my mind around Nat/Bruce very well, though. It's interesting, but not "I SHIP IT" kind of feel. Also, thanks for linking to my post! :D

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    1. XD That sounds so cute; I think my favorite I've seen lately is Clint being under Loki's power, and when Loki tries to learn her weaknesses Clint just tells him all of his favorite (useless) things about her. XD I haven't seen that, but I need to look it up! I haven't heard of any Bucky ships (aside from Cap), so that's interesting to think about. They'd have much in common.

      That's true! All of my Thor movies have been packed away and I keep getting distracted by Loki, so thank you for those details, because they are right. I like the idea of Thor considering Nat a comrade-in-arms, because I feel like that's not just respectful, but also something that would suit Nat very well. A sign of trust.

      I think we underestimate the ability of childless women to be completely awesome crazy old aunts. They do have humanity, and that is actually what makes them such good friends. :)

      I'm also interested, and we'll have to see where it goes! (And of course. Everyone needs to agree with the Black Widow movie, amiright?)

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