A Young Natasha Romanoff Could Soon Appear In the MCU

Ever since audiences first met Black Widow nearly ten years ago, audiences have been eager to see more of her. Fans finally got their wish: A stand-alone Black Widow film starring Scarlett Johansson is hitting theaters in May.

By now, it is well known that the film will explore Natasha’s past. But just how far back will it go? We know the main action of the film takes place in between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, when she tried to settle accounts of her past life. But the movie drops tantalizing hints that it will go way back into Natasha’s childhood. 

What happened to Black Widow in the comics?

Scarlett Johansson attends the Premiere of Fox Searchlights' "Jojo Rabbit" at Post 43.
Scarlett Johansson | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Black Widow has a very different history in the comics than in the movies. She first appeared in 1964 in an issue of Tales of Suspense, where she was a villain to Iron Man, and at that time she could be truly worrisome since this was not long after the Cuban Missile Crisis when the Cold War was at its most intense. 

Natasha ended up defecting to the United States and becoming a member of the Avengers. But that’s about where the similarities between the movies and the comics stop.

In the comics, she was brainwashed by the Russians to battle the Avengers, but she found her way back to the good side and had adventures with, among others, Spider-Man and Daredevil, forming a romantic attachment to the latter. In more recent years, she had left the Avengers and became a member of another team, The Champions, which also counted among its members Ghost Rider, Hercules, and onetime X-Men Angel and Iceman.

Most notably, in the comics, she has not perished, as her film counterpart has. 

How much will the movie reveal about Natasha?

We saw a very, very brief glimpse of Natasha’s past in Avengers: Age of Ultron when Wanda hypnotized Natasha. We saw what appeared to be her assassin training, including  a final trial where she must shoot someone, then we see her rolled down a hallway on a gurney. 

The solo movie’s trailer hints at another look at Natasha’s past, where we saw other scenes of her past. Screen Rant pointed to an interview with makeup artist Paul Gooch, who worked on the movie. He said: “We’re going back in time to when they were much younger. We have actors playing even younger than they are, the same characters”.

Does Black Widow have a future?

The other big question that may or may not be answered by the new movie is whether we’ll see more of Black Widow or not. The obvious answer would seem to be no, considering Natasha famously died in Endgame. Thing is, there’s more than one Black Widow. 

In the comics, one of the other Widows was Yelena Belova, Natasha’s sister played by Florence Pugh in the film. The obvious route would be for Johansson to pass the torch to Pugh, whose star is rapidly rising.

However, another Screen Rant piece has Pugh herself saying: “No, I actually will say when we were making it, it wasn’t anything like that at all. And I am saying it very honestly, it certainly didn’t feel like a passing of the torch kind of film when we were making it.”

This sounds like it could be a bit of double-speak. Pugh said it didn’t feel like a passing of the torch but that doesn’t mean the final product will turn out differently. If Pugh does not pick up the torch, that will be a missed opportunity, but the movie should still stand as a curtain-closer on the original widow.