Fans of the MCU have been begging for a standalone Black Widow movie for years, but the project kept getting pushed to the back burner as Marvel was so focused on bringing the long-running Avengers storyline to a fitting conclusion. this year’s movie. Avengers: Endgame† We now have the first trailer for Black Widowand it promises to finally give the character the origin story she so richly deserves.
(Some spoilers for Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame below.)
We know that Russian-born Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) was trained as a spy/assassin in a secret academy known as the Red Room, which disguised itself as a ballet school. All “Black Widows” are sterilized, so Natasha cannot bear children. Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, is sent to take her out and recruits her into SHIELD instead. The two become fast friends and both join the Avengers, giving Natasha a kind of family. When the group breaks up Captain America: Civil WarNatasha initially sided with Tony Stark/Iron Man, even though she pits herself against Barton and Steve Rogers. But her loyalties remain divided and in the battle at Leipzig airport, she lets Rogers and Bucky Barnes escape.
After ‘the Snappening’, a devastated Natasha travels to the past and eventually sacrifices herself on the planet of Vormir so that Barton can retrieve the Soul Stone. It turned out to be a controversial decision among fans: the barren Natasha dies so that Barton can return to his (soon to be non-disintegrating) family, as if all her training and achievements meant nothing if she couldn’t have children.
Personally, I understood the character arc. Always haunted by her many past crimes, Natasha repeatedly said she had “red” in her “ledger”, her work with the Avengers is one way to restore balance. What better way to clean up all that red ink by making the ultimate sacrifice? I would argue, however, that her death was handled a little too perfunctorily in Avengers: Endgameovershadowed even more when Tony Stark also sacrifices himself to save the day.