SHIELD is on a mission to stop a global terrorist organization, Leviathan, at the same time that The Punisher is on the trail of an arms dealer. SHIELD needs intel form the dealer, and Punisher just wants to …uh, punish him. Black Widow interrupts Punishers mission and he winds up in SHIELD custody. The Punisher, not the bad guy, who escapes while SHIELD agents, including Nick Fury, Black Widow AND the Punishe all bicker and brawl. Kinda stupid.
Anyway, there’s a lot of “we do this my way” tug of war between the spy and the vigilante as they investigate what Leviathan is up to. Which is, specifically that Leviathan is creating programmable super soldiers with stolen SHIELD technology. Strike two when it turns out to be all Natasha’s fault.
SPOILERS AFTER THIS GIF- not that you should care. I want to save you from this movie.
The former SHIELD scientist was in a relationship with Natasha Romanoff. But she was always going on missions and he wasn’t a powerful hero and therefore felt inferior… so he faked his own death and started working for the enemy AND experimenting on himself so that he would be super enough for Widow. Oh, fucking spare me. This is just another one of these “working women make men feel inadequate” shit shows. STAHP. How would this woo her? And you faked your own death, how does this establish trust? And if your response is “well, I can understand feeling inferior next to Black Widow, she’s a fucking bad ass.” I feel you. But think about it. They were already in a relationship. He doesn’t do it because he might be a liability to her, like that enemies might get to her because he’s weak and that would put them both in danger. He does this because he can’t compete with her work schedule and he’s not as bad ass as her and her coworkers. Would Pepper Potts fake her own death and conduct risky experiments on herself? Would MJ? Would Lois fucking Lane?! Fuck to the no. Why? Because in the patriarchal system that we live in, the dude is supposed to be tougher anyway. So the fictitious women and the folks who write them understand that this wouldn’t be impressive. It would be deranged. And Widow’s former fling is portrayed as deranged… but also a terrorist org has supersoldiers because Widow wasn’t a doting housewife. Oh fuck off.
There were fight scene between Widow and the traitor AND Widow and the Punisher where she didn’t land a blow. So she was so badass that she earned this tragic and twisted love story… but not bad enough to actually.. you know, hold her own on her own.
Aside form that the art was underwhelming, the voices were poorly selected and the music was tacky. I was actually surprised at how much I hated this. It’s written by Marjorie M Liu who recently provided a “legend” for Red Sonja and notably the X-23 series.
The whole “reprogramming heroes” has been done before. SO MUCH. They’re powerful, what if their powers fell into the wrong hands?! DC is a little more infamous for that overused plotline, but come on. We get it. Being a human weapon is a huge liability. And that Widow was dispatched to save the entire Avengers from becoming unstoppable killing machines SHOULD have been badass… except that it was her “fault” for not making her man feel like the man? BOOOOOO
There were good things: Amadeus Cho, a young prodigy with a pet fox and a crush on Black Widow was a fun character for a bit. Fury admitting that Widow and Fury were dispatched because he could cut them loose. The good guys not always doing good things.
There’s a video where everyone makes it clear what they thought they were doing. But I can really only give this 2/5 Stars.