Not surprisingly this caused a wee bit of a stir. The internet rattled off multiple characters and actresses who could do exactly that, the most obvious one that most people pointed to was of course the one female character and actress who had appeared in both Iron Man 2
and The Avengers
After seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the announcement that we were getting a Black Widow at some point in the future (after Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron)
I had to wonder if Marvel Studios was playing it carefully - there had only been one Marvel based film with a female lead character Elektra (2005) and it was not a success.
(A number female characters appeared in the X Men films and Sue Storm The Invisible Woman had appeared in the two Fantastic Four movies but they were part of an ensemble cast) There had been one animated series starring a solo Marvel heroine Spider-Woman which ran for 16 episodes.
So Marvel Studios had little experience with their own properties. How was their largest rival DC handling solo female superhero movies/TV/Animation?
After two failed pilots, Wonder Woman had a TV series that ran for three seasons (1976-1979), Isis (TV series 1975), Supergirl (1984), Birds of Prey (TV series 2002) Catwoman (2004) Wonder Woman (2009) animated film. Wonder Woman had an unaired pilot in 2011. Of all of these only the Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter might be considered a success.
Outside of the big two I'd be hard pressed to think of any successful solo female film or TV series.
So I wonder if Marvel Studios, is carefully introducing us to Black Widow expanding her role just a little bit more each role - A glorified cameo in Iron Man 2, part of the ensemble in The Avengers, almost equal co star in Captain America; The Winter Soldier (at least one review has suggested that the movie should have been called Captain America and Black Widow) so that we as fans actively want a Black Widow film.
I could be overthinking it.