Originally Posted by DrCosmic
Hmmm... good points all around.
And while Rhodes was absent, he doesn't work for Fury, so he's not as egregious at all, assuming Sharon works for SHIELD. And that kinda highlights my point too. Different personalty + same skillset = redundant. Yes, Rhodes could have had all sorts of depth, but in the end, the action as so much a part of the character moments in a film like this that dividing up the action *is* dividing up the character development.
Forgive me, but I feel your declaration that Rhodey's absence is not egregious is a tad arbitrary. Admittedly, he doesn't work for Fury but Tony is fully aware that his well trained military disciplined friend has a suit of armour and could help but doesn't reference or call him. Not to mention that SHIELD monitors people with such offensive potential and they make no attempt to contact him independently? The major difference between Sharon and Rhodes though would be that in a sequel to Captain America, Sharon's personal relationship and connection with Steve is more important to that story than Rhodes is to the story of how the Avengers are formed. It's different needs for different purposes. I don't necessarily think Sharon is needed myself but I don't think the comparison is particularly sound.
Originally Posted by DrCosmic
For Lorus, yes they could say she's on assignment, but unless she's an unremarkable agent, it contradicts with what they did in Avengers 1. Clint qualifies Tony's statement in that Clint is a Soldier (and a bad guy for most of the film) while Natasha is not (presumably, she's a spy). They're different archetypes, but even his redundant modern human perspective requires he be removed from the story and team for an extended period of time. How do Natasha and Sharon fall under different archetypes?
To start with, I would imagine Sharon is a pretty unremarkable agent. Her importance comes from her relationship with Steve, not her immense skill like Natasha. Like Maria Hill, she's a decent SHIELD agent but that doesn't make her anywhere near Natasha's league as she qualifies as an Avenger. It's not that Sharon or Maria are unremarkable so much as it is that Natasha is that good
The point I was trying to make with the Natasha/Clint comparison was that although they have essentially identical skills (secret agent/assassin) they still fit into the narrative independently and without compromising the other because of their characterisation and how they were used. They're arcs are different and they contribute to the overall theme of the film separately. The example isn't perfect because of Clint's predicament during the first half, but again, that predicament is an external representation of one of the film's themes which Clint's character is used to explore. Meanwhile, Natasha can be used to navigate different waters and thus,two character which could supposedly make the other redundant are used to benefit the narrative without doing so.
As for the differences between Sharon and Natasha: From what we can see of Natasha's characterisation so far, she is very much a woman of the world. She has clearly watched the world burn a dozen times over and be rebuilt and now cannot see the individual for the system. She's become detached and clinical in her methods which offers room for all sorts of development of themes like the importance of symbols and history in a finite existence or heck, even anarchism. That's ignoring all the obvious redemption stuff that comes with her past atrocities. Sharon has none of these qualities going for her as a character, she is more idealistic and on a broader scale possibly represents something along the lines of letting go/moving on. It seems to me that looking at the characters, you would tell vastly different stories with each. At least, I couldn't tell some stories with Sharon that I could with Natasha or vice versa.
I certainly think characterisation and archetypes are far far more important than you give them credit for. They determine the story told, not arbitrary skills or techniques that writers manipulate and alter at whim. All that said, I'm not a huge Sharon fan and don't really care about seeing her so I hope I don't come across as arguing this aggressively