Originally Posted by Sneakronicity
The problem is that the odds are already stacked against her. She was amazing in the Avengers. She kicked ass, tricked Loki, saved Clint, fought aliens and closed the portal yet there was still a huge percentage of moviegoers, regular fans and professional reviewers alike, who walked out of the theatre claiming she was useless, just a pretty face and a pair of tits in a tight uniform. I don't know what movie they were watching, but I've seen this stated so many times it's painful. So many people have already reduced her to just a useless sex symbol, they don't need further ammo.
I'm sorry, I'm just very protective of our one female Avenger, how she's portrayed and how she's viewed by others. I maintain my personal opinion that this would be a bad move for her character, but clearly I'm in the minority.
You're preaching to the choir, at least in my case. Natasha was just as essential to the Avengers' victory, and it's beyond tiresome to read continued slams against her as "just a little girl with guns". Or "the Avengers' team bicycle," as has been alleged in this thread.
Where we differ is in whether or not a potential relationship with Steve would somehow diminish Natasha's status. That is a common complaint, that being in a relationship automatically reduces a female character to "just the girlfriend" of the hero. In Natasha's case that doesn't have to be so because she has already costarred in two films where her abilities were showcased. She is also using those skills in TWS, fighting alongside Steve and deeply involved in the story. That hardly suggests that she is being relegated to a lesser status.
The writing for the characters will ultimately determine how well they are portrayed, of course. Markus & McFeeley are the team that created one of Marvel's strongest female characters in Peggy Carter and arguably the best romance in any Marvel film. They are likely to handle all of the relationships in the film very well. It seems highly unlikely that they will treat Natasha as anything other than a highly-skilled assassin, whether she is in a relationship with anyone or not.
It's important to consider the flip side of this argument as well. Part of being a fully human, relatable character is having relationships with others. Not just romances but friendships, working partnerships, rivalries, etc., all of the connections which make a character interesting and well fleshed out. To date, Natasha has had very little in terms of real connections to anyone other than on a superficial level. Her lack of emotional connectedness can be seen as making her a strong woman, but it locks her into an isolated role and also prevents the audience from warming to her as a person. Natasha isn't a three-dimensional person yet.
In TWS it sounds like she is going to develop a friendship with Steve and perhaps with Sam, which will go a long way towards making her seem more human. Her scenes with Clint in TA were a small step in the direction of humanizing her, but there needs to be more work done on that. If Natasha is ever going to rate a film of her own she has to be an interesting enough person to hold the audience's attention. Making her a well-rounded person would help in that.