Jul 24

Stealing Commas: The giant plot hole in the Avengers -

omnicat:

So, to recap, antagonist comes to Earth through a portal and kidnaps one of only two people on the planet to understand portals even a little. Given that information, what would you do if you were concerned with the fate of Earth.

You’d say, “Get me Jane Foster,” is what you’d do. As the only non-brainwashed portal scientist in existence, as one of the few non-brainwashed people to have first hand experience with portals, as someone who is at this very moment studying portals she is the person you want.

She’s got to be at the top of your list. There’s no other place for her to be.

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Okay, I’m just gonna -

There is a giant fracking plot hole in the Avengers, a largely good movie which I recommend.  I mentioned it in passing before, but at the time I was talking about something else.

The movie, for those who don’t know, is about assembling a team of superheroes to combat an unprecedented menace.  To spoil the first few minutes (and only that much) what happens is this:

A glowing cube called the tesseract which holds within it the potential for unlimited power is used by Loki to open a portal to Earth through which he passes.  One of the first things Loki does is mind control one of only a handful of people on Earth to have experience with portals, and one of only two people experienced with portals who can actually understand them.  This person and some other people he mind controlled become his servants and the race is on.

So, to recap, antagonist comes to Earth through a portal and kidnaps one of only two people on the planet to understand portals even a little.  Given that information, what would you do if you were concerned with the fate of Earth.

You’d say, “Get me Jane Foster,” is what you’d do.  As the only non-brainwashed portal scientist in existence, as one of the few non-brainwashed people to have first hand experience with portals, as someone who is at this very moment studying portals she is the person you want.

She’s got to be at the top of your list.  There’s no other place for her to be.

The movie is about assembling a team of superheroes so clearly superheroes, which Jane Foster is not, must be recruited.  But that can only reasonably occur after Jane Foster has been recruited, or there has been an attempt to recruit Jane Foster, because at this point in time the only thing the people doing the recruiting know for sure is, “This has something to do with portals,” and if it has something to do with portals your options are Erik Selvig and Jane Foster.  Erik was just brainwashed into joining the other side.  Jane is all you’ve got left and, so far as anyone in or watching the movie knows, Earth’s only hope.

Basically, as soon as you learn the premise of the movie you know, “This looks like a job Jane Foster,” (said in “This looks like a job for Superman,” tones) and have a reasonable expectation that Jane Foster should play a prominent role in the movie because she is basically the only character with a compelling reason to be there.  That’s not quite true when one considers Thor who has oodles of compelling reasons, but until Thor arrives the audience didn’t know he could make it to Earth.  Even so, perhaps an exception should be made.

Jane Foster is the only person on Earth with a compelling reason to appear in the movie the Avengers given its premise.

Steve Rodgers (Captain America) has a loose connection to the events going on.  Bruce Banner (the Incredible Hulk) has an even looser one that didn’t exist until it was introduced by a line mentioned in passing by Erik early in the movie itself.  Everyone else, not so much, none of them have a reason anywhere near as important as Jane does.

The Avengers is the story of portals.  This calls for Jane Foster (and Erik Selvig if he hadn’t been brainwashed.)
The Avengers is the story of Loki.  This calls for Jane Foster, Erik Selvig (if he hadn’t been brainwashed), and Jane Foster’s sidekick (Darcy Lewis.)
The Avengers is the story of the brainwashing of Erik Selvig.  This calls for Jane Foster.

And that, basically, covers it.  The Avengers is not the story of mechanical battle armor (which would call for Tony Stark) it is not the story of something that has a metamorphosis between forms (which would call for Bruce Banner) it is not the story of secret WWII era technology that is very advanced even by today’s standards because it goes outside the bounds of currently understood science resurfacing after being lost and subsequently falling into the wrong hands (which would call for Steve Rodgers) it is not a story of spies and intrigue (which would call for Natasha Romanoff (the Black Widow)) it is not the kind of story where a special agent with a unique weapon can get the job done (which would call for Clint Barton (Hawkeye)) it’s not a story that actually calls for any of these people.

All that the plot of the Avengers calls for is Jane Foster.  Jane Foster, her sidekick, Thor, and any of his sidekicks if you want to be totally inclusive, but Thor and sidekicks weren’t on Earth and if you’re getting Jane’s sidekick you’d be getting her too.

So basically, everything about the movie screams out, “GET JANE FOSTER ON THE CASE!”

Yes, the all-caps was justified.

Once you have the premise, Loki comes to earth through a portal and brainwashes people including Erik Selvig, Jane Foster is the only earthbound individual with a reason to be called in, and that reason is super fucking strong.

So, where is that giant plot hole mentioned in the title?  You know who isn’t in the movie?  Jane Foster.  The only earthbound person in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe we can honestly say has a reason to be in the movie.  The only earthbound person in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe we can honestly say ought to be in the movie.  The only earthbound person in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe we can honestly say should be on SHEILD’s list of people to recruit.

Where is Jane Foster?  On an island.

In a short, easy to miss, scene it is explained to Thor that as soon as it was discovered the fate of the universe Earth might well depend on getting Jane on the case (when Erik the only person who could possibly take her place was brainwashed into joining the other side) SHIELD, in its wisdom, got her as far away from the case as possible.

For her own safety, of course.  The life of one woman or the future of France? What would you do if you were in my position? The safety of one woman or the fate of the Earth, which would you consider more important?  And while pondering that realize that she was shoved out of the way through deception.  She didn’t get the facts presented to her (Portals are involved, Erik has been brainwashed, Loki did it, the fate of the Earth may well hang in the balance.  We could use your help but it would place you at risk, what’s your decision?) she got lied to to trick her into going to an out of the way island for her own safety.  (Never mind that if there isn’t an Earth there probably isn’t an island either.)

Thor appreciates this because he cares about Jane being safe.  The people of Earth, if they were let in on this, probably wouldn’t appreciate it because while they doubtless care that people stay safe as well, they’d probably be a little peeved that the person who, all available evidence says, was most likely to be able to save the planet was shoved out of the picture while they were left in harm’s way.

In real life the reason for Jane not appearing is that Whedon didn’t want any secondary characters from any of the other movies showing up.  Erik, who was working on the glowy cube, and Loki, who was the antagonist, he was presumably stuck with.  Robert John Downey, Jr. insisted that Pepper Potts be included and managed to convince Whedon, other than that secondary characters do not appear.  Title characters do.  Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk.  Hawkeye, the Black Widow, Coulson, Fury and such aren’t really attached to any movies, they just sort of are.  Floating out there in the space between single hero movies.

The trouble here is that real life doesn’t change the plot.  The plot is one that calls, first and foremost, for Jane Foster.  Any realistic recruitment starts with her.

This is a believable way for things to go down:

"Get me Jane Foster!"

"On it, Sir!"

Musing to self, “Who else could be helpful?  Steve Rodgers did have some contact with the cube more than 50 years ago, even if it was very limited.  I suppose we could get him.

"Shortly before everything went kaplouee the cube started putting off very low levels of gamma radiation, but our people haven’t been able to make any sense of the data, maybe we need a gamma radiation expert.  So Bruce Banner."

*pause*

"Who else?  There must be more than three people who could be useful here.  Well if Foster and Banner come up with something then there’s a possibility we’ll need to build something.  We could use an inventor who works well under pressure and can make do with limited resources since we might not have time to have all the best stuff shipped in.  So Tony Stark.

"Stark, Banner, and Rodgers in one room is a powder keg.  We should have one of our agents involved so things can’t get too out of hand.  Romanoff has had experience with Stark."

And then you’ve got the team as it’s assembled in the movie, but it only makes sense because we start with the one person most called for and then, with her out of the way, can move on to assembling the B-team who will end up stealing the show for themselves.

This is not a believable way for things to go down:

Fury: A portal between worlds.  Who ever heard of such a thing?

Coulson: Jane Foster.

Fury: With Selvig taken by the other side we don’t have anyone who can approach this from a scientific side of things.

Coulson: Well actually Jane Foster has been working on this exact area, with our full support, since the last time one of these things happened.

Fury: Right, the last time, that was Loki too, wasn’t it?

Coulson: Yes.

Fury: Who do we have who knows about Loki?

Coulson: Jane Foster.

Fury: Maybe science can help us with this.

Coulson: Well Jane Foster is-

Fury: I like stuff that goes boom. That’s what science is for. We should get Tony Stark in on this.

Coulson: Ok, but I really think you should consider a scientist like Jane-

Fury: I like scientists who turn into unstoppable green monsters when they get angry. Get me Bruce Banner.

Coulson: I’ll get agent Romanoff right on it, Sir, but I think you should consider bringing in someone with past experience with-

Fury: Past? Blast from the past. You’re right! Captain America had contact with the cube, he’s got just the past experience we we need.

Coulson: I do so like Captain America.

Fury: You get Stark, I’ll get Rodgers.

Coulson: Do you think he’ll sign my cards?

Which is what appears to have happened in the movie.  Except I forgot to sneak Jane being sent off to an out of the way island in there, and her name should probably be brought up as, “This is the person we really need,” a lot more than I did in the above.

Assembling a team should have the answer to, “Who should we get?” be, “Jane Foster, Jane Foster, Jane Foster, Jane Foster…” until either she’s recruited or it becomes repeated so often that it eventually becomes a part of the background noise of the universe to the point that, “I think therefore I am,” is considered to be at best a second principle with, “Jane Foster should be called in to work on this,” superseding it as an absolutely true and undeniable facet of reality.

Gravity is less self evident than the fact that Jane Foster should have been called.

And yet, she was sent to an island.

And that is the giant plot hole in the Avengers.  The 800 ton Cthulhu in the room that threatens to drive you from this thing called sanity.  They should have called Jane Foster They should have called Jane Foster They should have called Jane foster… Gurl fubhyq unir pnyyrq Wnar Sbfgre — or is that Wnar Sbfgre fuhtine?

I can never quite remember ‘cause I’m not in my right mind
Since I met you
No one corrupts the way you do.
You know it’s true

(Song those ending lyrics come from here.)

- copy the whole thing over, Mojo Jojo speak and all, because goddammit it DESERVES to be repeated ad nauseum. I mean yeah, yeah, there were practical IRL reasons, Jane and Thor weren’t allowed to see each other again until the non-crossover sequel, Natalie Portman was unavailable due to her pregnancy, bla bla bla, but fuck it, that doesn’t make the in-universe inconsistencies any less frustrating. The total lack of communication between Thor and Jane ended up making no fucking sense anyway, which the TDW prequel tie-in comic tried to address only to make it make even less sense, and the grumpy old male sidekick (one of FOUR male and SIX total sidekicks the first Thor film had, I might add) stealing the spotlight from the hot, smart and (sometimes hilariously) passionate female lead doesn’t seem like a particularly smart marketing strategy?? NOT TO MENTION a fictional male scientist being given all the narrative attention and recognition for a fictional female scientists’ achievements is all kinds of BAD DOG that just reinforces unfair practices and bias that harm real female scientists and girls who could have become scientists and given the world god knows what knowledge and wonder but didn’t because the scientific community is such a woman-hating shithole and has been since the dawn of fucking forever, and just. UGH.

They couldn’t have, I dunno, had a video conference scene where Jane A) doesn’t have to show any body parts below the shoulder, B) gives SHIELD all the help, information and pointers she can without examining the Tesseract and/or Loki’s staff in person, which was obviously impossible (that tidbit about low levels of gamma radiation and how “that can be dangerous”? she could’ve pointed that out looking at the data afterwards! she could’ve given SHIELD their non-green and rage-y reason to bring Bruce in in the first place AND given the audience another reason to believe that yes, these movies really are all happening in the same universe!), C) have Jane and SHIELD come to some kind of non-deceptive and mutually benefitial agreement to make her disappear for the forseeable future so Loki can’t get his hands on her as well, but SHIELD can keep providing her with the means to continue looking for some way to help and - in an emergency but not for frivolous reasons like romance, yadda yadda yadda - keep her posted on relevant developments on their end. And last but not least D) not have SHIELD put entirely unneccessary new strain on their professional relationship by lying to Jane’s face for no good reason. Because what was the point of that even, jfc, this is a grown woman you’re dealing with, not some horny teenager without a shred of sense in life-or-death situations… or Tony “Unmanageable Manchild” Stark, for that matter.

I mean I came up with that in five minutes fueled by nothing but righteous nerd rage, imagine what a determined writer/director could’ve done in a whole year and on a bazzillion dollar budget, if only they gave half a damn.

Wow, I haven’t ranted about Jane in ages, I guess that wanted out real bad.

(via marvelmeta)

tehnakki:

allofthefeelings:

Petition to start referring to Steve Rogers as “the first white Captain America”

Yeeeesss.

The First Captain America is Isiah Bradley, the white Captain America is Steve Rogers, and the Current Captain America is Sam Wilson. And the Future Captain America will be Eli Bradley =D

(via dammit-mcu)

Reblog if you love Star Trek or are secretly a tribble in disguise

(Source: fluffydragonite, via fuckyeahstartrek)

Jul 22

Ace Spotting

bookjockey:

So, I’m catching up on the sadly soon-to-end The Movement comic book series by the always amazing Gail Simone for my birthday (woo!).  I knew Tremor was an ace, and that it would come up.  But that didn’t mean I was any less excited when I got to these panels, which are short but mean so much to me:
image

image

I love that Gail just has Tremor put it out there, matter-of-fact. No hedging or feeling the need to apologize or explain.  And then you get a classic Gail humorous response because the situation got a little serious.  I love those juxtapositions.  Big reason I love Gail’s work.  

This got me thinking: I wish I could be like Roshanna.  I still feel the need to try and either explain my asexuality or deny it.  I have turned people down, no lie, by saying “I’m just one of those weird people who don’t date.” I’ve explained it away to avoid broaching the subject before.  I’ve made it about how something was wrong with me — probably because for the longest time I thought it had to be. I’ve also had exchanges like this one:

Someone: Do you have a boyfriend, yet?
Me: Oh, no. *awkward laughter* I’m smart.

They laugh along. No follow-up questions.

My birthday is usually a day/time of reflection, anxieties about mortality come out.  Self-assessment and self-criticism take center stage, usually for the worse.  And now I have one that gets worse and worse: explaining my perpetual singledom.  

I come from a place that many people my age are married with multiple children.  And have been for some time.  And I’m just edging out of my mid-20s.  Being young, it’s easy to be make up excuses for asexuality without coming out with it.  ”I’m still young.” “Focusing on school/work.” “I’m smart and taking my time.”  I feel like where I live people are going to be nosy and even concerned sooner — they sort of already are.  I’ve told many of them that I’m not a lesbian.  (To continue to give you a better idea of where I’m from, they were very relieved.  Though, I think they’d understand asexuality even less.)  

I really wish I could just come out and state, “Oh, I’m asexual.”  I feel cowardly at times but then remember the kind of responses I’ve gotten from people I’ve told this to, people I love and who I know care deeply for me.  They couldn’t accept it.  They kept trying to explain it away, and even tell me that it wasn’t real.  I’ve shared links, they’re still skeptical.  It hurts so much more when that happens, even when they seem to be trying.  I don’t want someone to try.  I just want them to be like “Oh, okay.”  

Part of me thinks if I could just move, it’d be easier.  But I’d still be connected to some of these people.  

I didn’t mean for this post to go this long.  I guess I had a lot on my mind about this.  

Anyway, what I just want to say, is that maybe one day I can be like Roshanna.  And thank you, Gail Simone for giving me someone like this when I really needed it — even if the series is going to be short-lived.    

(via queersuperheroes)

sproutkid:

ok but consider this: nonbinary superheroes

(via fandomshatewomen)

mako mori meta; the only unsubtitled japanese phrase in the film

leonardnimoy:

a little bit of culture here for you for the bombing scene and what mako mori said because it was the only japanese phrase unsubtitled and why it makes my heart go doki doki

this is cultural analysis and not just a translation, so heads up for learning something new about japan and word usage

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(Source: leonardnimoy, via nine-worlds-geekfest)

biggoonie:

Avengers #37 by Jamie McKelvie

biggoonie:

Avengers #37 by Jamie McKelvie

(via fuckyeahcaroldanvers)

red3blog:

Anthony Mackie as Captain America, Sam Wilson

red3blog:

Anthony Mackie as Captain America, Sam Wilson

(via dammit-mcu)

[video]

americachavez:

headcanon: tony has tried to buy rhode island and rename it rhodey island multiple times

(via marvelmeta)