Female Superheroes Still Have Cooties, By The Looks Of Disney’s Latest Avengers Merchandise

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avengers lunch boxMarvel and Disney are gearing up for the release of their newest cash cow, the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie debuting next month. Ahead of the film’s premiere, they’ve announced their new tie-in line of superhero-plastered merchandise, which should provide some great shopping to anyone who really thinks the problem with Marvel’s movies is that there are just too many girls in them.

As The Mary Sue reports, the character of the Black Widow doesn’t fare so well in terms of the movie’s official merchandise. On t-shirts, backpacks, and other items that include the full Avengers team, she’s missing; on one shirt, the place she should have taken up is instead occupied by the Vision, a new (male, obviously) robot character who will be debuting in the movie. One mug even features TWO pictures of the Hulk rather than a single picture of the Black Widow. Because drinking your morning coffee from a receptacle with a woman’s face on it would be a betrayal of your comic book nerd principles, apparently?

Also worth noting–the only item that features the whole team including the Black Widow is … a reusable grocery tote.

avengers reusable tote bag


Female superheroes have their place, and that place is at your local Piggly Wiggly or Kroger. Can’t wait to see their follow-ups in this line of merchandise: a Black Widow oven mitt or apron would be just the thing.

There are also a few pieces of merchandise for sale that feature the Black Widow all by herself–a mousepad, a mug, and a woman’s shirt–but that’s only a minor step forward. Segregating female characters into a tiny little corner so that you can only buy stuff with a girl on it if stuff with a girl on it is all you’re want to buy? Reducing a major part of the team and one of the most important characters in the last Avengers movie into a second-tier player who can be omitted from team line-ups without a problem? Sorry, no.

Superheros are for girls, too. Or they should be. And saying “girls don’t buy merchandise!” is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy when you relegate the single token female character to the background. “Girls aren’t buying Avengers t-shirts that make it look like female characters are second-rate human beings!” Wow, no kidding? And what’s more, superheroines can also be for boys. If you think there’s something weird or wrong about a boy having a badass trickster acrobat super-spy for a favorite character, you need to re-evaluate your life to this point. Did a superheroine t-shirt kick your dog when you were a kid?

If your son does develop a case of cooties from wearing a Black Widow t-shirt, be on the lookout for symptoms, which may include comments about how “Black Widow really kicks butt!”, looking forward to the Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman movies, and a general acknowledgement that female characters are not inherently inferior to the male ones. There is no cure for the cooties, but sufferers can expect to live a long, normal life and experience just as much enjoyment of geek culture as the No Girls Allowed brigade.

(Feature image: Marvel)