Give any media-loving feminist the time of day and they’ll talk your ear off about the representation of women as ass-kicking world savers.
As seen with recent movie release Lucy and Marvel’s oft-problematic portrayal of Black Widow (and the sexualisation of her curves – as presented by Scarlett Johansson) on the off chance that we do see a woman restore hope first and take names later, there’s a good chance that they’ll get it wrong. But in Xena: Warrior Princess there were no such missteps as not only were we given a badass lady to look up to, she was also bisexual and paved the way for same sex fan fiction and queer subtext.
Now, Xena actress Lucy Lawless is set to break ground again, joining Marvel TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D in its upcoming season.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem as though Lawless will completely be nodding toward her heroic roots but her role in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will be a pivotal one nonetheless. Lawless will play Agent Isabelle Hartley as she teams up with Director Coulson to help rebuild the S.H.I.E.L.D organisation after it was revealed at the end of the show’s first season that it had been infiltrated by Hydra, the criminal faction with a goal of global domination.
Dangerous stuff indeed which is why Lawless’ role as Hartley could be so important. Hartley is also said to be a veteran S.H.I.E.L.D agent which makes her inclusion in the upcoming season all the more important and it offers slim hope for those waiting for Marvel to turn their poor history on the representation of women around. Given that Lawless is also known for her roles on other female-fronted shows such as Parks and Recreation and has embraced the sci-fi genre in Battlestar Galactica too, that would certainly be a step in the right direction but as little is known about Hartley’s story line for now, we’ll have to wait until we know much more.
Agents of S.H.I.E.LD season two premieres Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 9/8c on ABC.