‘Black Widow’ Brings Back a Controversial ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Problem

After nearly two years without a new Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Black Widow has arrived. The film centers on the titular hero, Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, before her death in Avengers: Endgame. And some feel the movie shares something negative in common with its predecessor.

‘Black Widow’ depicts Natasha Romanoff before her ‘Avengers: Endgame’ death

The 'Black Widow' poster art, featuring Scarlett Johansson in a black bodysuit, and the supporting cast
The Black Widow poster art, featuring Scarlett Johansson and the supporting cast | Marvel Studios

In Avengers: Endgame, Black Widow leads the Avengers and their allies in the years post-Blip. She helps assemble the team again, specifically Clint Barton (Hawkeye). The two old friends travel to Vormir to collect the Soul Stone. After a battle, Natasha sacrifices herself for the cause.

Black Widow takes place in the time between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Though she was a member of Team Stark in Civil War, Natasha lets Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes go, putting her in trouble. She goes into exile and finds herself reunited with her former “family.”

‘Avengers: Endgame’ faced criticism for Thor

Though it set records, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time and earning praise from critics and audiences alike, Endgame wasn’t without its flaws. Among the most critiqued elements of the film was Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. The actor wore a prosthetic suit to play the ordinarily muscular character.

Endgame shows how Thor has coped in the years since the Blip. Though he killed Thanos, he feels responsible for not stopping the Titan before he snapped his fingers. Thor gained a lot of weight, spending his time drinking beer and playing video games before the Avengers bring him back on.

The ‘Avengers: Endgame’ writers on Thor’s weight

The reactions to Thor were mixed. Some said the movie made his weight the butt of the joke and specifically disliked the prosthetic suit. But Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely disagreed, stating it was part of his arc as someone who used alcohol to cope.

“The weight gain was just part and parcel of that state of mind. We didn’t go, like, ‘Let’s chunk him up, it’ll be hilarious,'” Markus told Vulture. “… I think he is the ideal Thor at the end of the movie, and he’s carrying some weight. … Thor became human, for the first time.”

Is David Harbour the ‘Fat Thor’ of ‘Black Widow’?

Despite the justifications, weight gags don’t always land. Ahead of Black Widow‘s July 2021 release date, writer Linda Holmes warned viewers. “Black Widow is fun, but gird your loins if you weren’t into the Fat Thor joke, because the spirit of the Fat Thor joke is alive and well and living in this movie,” she tweeted.

From a previous trailer, it appears Holmes is referring to David Harbour’s Red Guardian. The actor did not wear prosthetics for the role, but the character’s weight is played as a joke. “You got fat,” Rachel Weisz’s Melina Vostokoff tells him in the clip released in January 2020. “It’s mainly water weight,” he responds.

RELATED: ‘Black Widow’ Is an ‘Origin Story’ — but Not for Natasha Romanoff