Following complaints about the lack of Black Widow merchandise after the release of Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron film, it seems Marvel has finally responded: the company will offer more merchandise for women with the release of Captain America: Civil War.
There's just one problem: most of the merchandise the company plans on releasing in coordination with the film actually features its male characters.
That's right: instead of getting more Black Widow merch, or a Black Widow movie – something many Avengers fans want – we're getting products targeted at women featuring male characters from Captain America: Civil War. Even though it's likely that the company's new strategy will include some Black Widow merchandise, Marvel has entirely missed the point with this one.
Marvel made the announcement at Licensing Expo 2015, explaining that the merchandising for Captain America: Civil War will include "more female apparel and a focus on new and supporting characters."
Marvel also said that merchandise for Captain America: Civil War would have "a big focus on adult female apparel."
Marvel has received criticism in the past for overlooking women, although most of the criticism comes from its exclusion of Black Widow among its Avengers-themed items. During the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the company even took some of Black Widow's items used in the film and gave them to her male counterparts in the accompanying toys.
It seems that Marvel and Disney have really screwed up on the merchandise Marvel fans wanted to buy. And although seeing some of the new characters – such as War Machine, Falcon, Vision, Black Widow and Black Panther – on merchandise geared toward women is an improvement, this move is still a misstep.
Meanwhile, Warner Brothers understands the need for better representation of female superheroes in film-related merchandise. The company plans on releasing plenty of items revolving around Wonder Woman – for both men and women – when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice comes out next year.
At this point, we can only hope that a lot of this new merchandise from Marvel does, in fact, feature Black Widow. That said, we still want a solo Black Widow film (and we want it to look something like this fan-made trailer).
At least we're getting a young adult book telling the story of Natasha Romanoff, right?
Captain America: Civil War comes out in theaters May 2016.