@colonyofcells: @fodigg: I liked this version of the Outsider as well and I would like to see Michael Desai return. I think he did have a ton of potential as a villain and would like to see more of him. I would also like to see more of his powers explored. While I didn't like the way he defeated the likes of Isis, Black Adam, and Martian Manhunter, I still think that with a little more character development, he would make for a great villain.
One of the big problems in critiquing female representation in the superhero genre, and something this article is guilty of, is that when most people talk about wanting better female characters in the genre, they usually mean that they want what I call Strong Women. Strong Women are present in almost every genre outside of "female" genres(i.e., rom-coms and Lifetime movies). The Strong Woman is, typically, a "bad@ss" woman with extensive combat training, to the point of probably being the best fighter among the main characters; she is emotionally cold, which is almost always a defense mechanism to hide a tragic event in their past; she speaks in short, clipped sentences and has a charmingly sarcastic sense of humor; and, despite her tragic past she usually has almost no emotional depth whatsoever. The Strong Woman is easily identified in many of the MCU's female characters (Black Widow, Agent May, Hope van Dyne).
We shouldn't be asking for Strong Women, we should be asking for Complex Women. This article applauds characters like Agent May for being a Strong Woman, while stating that Agent Simmons is finally becoming worthwhile as a character now that she has "started venturing out into the field". Why is this the defining factor in Simmons's worth as a female character? Simmons is a scientist, not a field agent, she would have no reason to be in the field in the first place. Besides that, Simmons is leagues ahead of Agent May in terms of character depth and complexity. Her relationship with Fitz has been one of the core emotional plotlines of the show's entire run so far. Despite that, this article boils her worth or interest down to whether or not she gets to go on field missions? Despite the fact that Fitz, a male character with much the same role as Simmons (both being scientists), has probably never been criticized for rarely leaving the lab? The same goes for the comments made about Caitlin Snow on the Flash; she is maligned in this article for never leaving STAR Labs, despite the fact that she has regularly been instrumental in saving the day, and despite the fact that she serves almost the same purpose as Felicity on Arrow. It doesn't make sense for Caitlin or Simmons to leave the lab; they're scientists, that is where they can be the most helpful.
The Strong Woman stereotype has also reflected on the perception of the Black Widow as a character. In her first three appearances, she was criticized for her lack of depth as a character, and then when Joss Whedon actually developed her, he was maligned as a misogynist. And let me clear this up right now, Natasha's comment about being a monster in Age of Ultron had nothing to do with her being unable to have children, and everything to do with the fact that she spent the majority of her life as an assassin and a murderer. That is the kind of monster she was referring to. Luckily, Marvel has been taking their Strong Women and turning them into Complex Women. Black Widow, despite complaints from many, is finally getting character development; Agent May started out as a Strong Woman stereotype but slowly became much more than that; Peggy Carter and Scarlet Witch are both blessings; Hope van Dyne... well, they've laid the right groundwork. Her single minded fury and indignation throughout Ant-Man were well deserved, and I wish she would have gotten her suit after the training montage instead of after the entire movie was already over, but they have put her on the right path the being a Complex Woman instead of just a strong one.
TL;DR: I don't want Strong Women, I want Complex Women, and you should too.
Good post. Also, as others have mentioned this article completely ignores the various X-women like Storm, Jean, Rogue, Mystique, and Shadowcat who have appeared in film. Not to mention that when people talk about female representation, the dialogue seems to revolve around heterosexual white women.
I think at a distance they are both equally dangerous to one another as they both have decent ranged abilities. However, if Korra can get in close then I think she can win with her superior h2h skills. I wonder if Scarlet Witch could use her powers to take away Korra's bending abilities.