‘Black Widow’ Is a Prequel — and Some MCU Fans Don’t Like That

The MCU has gone backward, forward, sideways, and diagonal through time since 2008.

We’ve seen characters grow old, regress into a past state, and muddy the line between what was, what is, and what is to come. As such, the timeline can be hard to follow. However, with Black Widow, fans are getting their first official prequel to an established character who has been around since the early years, and some don’t like that.

Time in the MCU 

The MCU was relatively grounded when we first set eyes on it through Iron Man’s lens. However, since then, the series took on a more fantastic realm that traveled through the earth, space, and time. Starting with Captain America: First Avenger, which brought the action back to World War II, albeit with a science fiction lens. 

The passage of time in the MCU, as the Time Travel section of its Fandom page notes, goes far beyond our human understanding. Anyone watching the current season of Loki can tell you that its time is less a measure of seconds and minutes and more a collection of simultaneously unfolding events. As such, when the MCU goes back in time, it can change things entirely while moving the story forward. This is the case with Black Widow

Marvel is going back in time to tell the unheard stories of a character who passed away in Endgame. However, some fans are worried that an outright prequel could fall into traps laid out by previous movies, too.

What is Black Widow about? 

Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Black Widow sacrificed her life for the betterment of not only humanity but the universe as a whole.  In a universe where death is less a permanent state of nothing and more a break between one’s heartbeats, fans may assume the new movie tells of her resurrection. After all, while the Soul Stone allegedly required a permanent sacrifice, Gamora’s past form already made a comeback after Thanos sacrificed her in Infinity War. 

According to IMDb, Black Widow tells stories that we didn’t see about Natasha Romanoff’s origins. After all, she didn’t have any radioactive spiders, nor was there a super-suit and a trust fund that could fund it. She had to get by on her brain, her skills, and her physical gifts. The film shows her origins in 1995 and tells of an adventure that took place between Civil War and Infinity War. 

This type of storytelling is nothing new, but every time the MCU goes back, they risk accidentally poking holes in the lore they already wrote. As such, some fans are scared about what a Marvel prequel means.

Fans are not thrilled

Prequels can run the gamut. The Godfather II, which operates as both a sequel and prequel, is considered one of the greatest movies ever. On the other hand, Star Wars and The Hobbit took a significant step back by going back in storytelling time. Because of this, many fans are cautiously nervous about what Black Widow will do. 

“I hate prequels, and I hate that we’re seeing more and more of them,” u/DxGator wrote on the oft-opinionated Reddit fan forum.  

Other users chimed in about their thoughts. The MCU is hard to gauge from one project to another. Some exist on their plane with only one detail or two connecting with the greater universe. Others change the fiber of its very being. Noting the current Marvel television show that’s tackling time more overtly, 

With this in mind, u/PrsTgs_Chaos is just intrigued by whatever Kevin Feige and company cook up. 

“I originally thought it would have nothing to do with the grander MCU since it’s a prequel. But I also thought this Loki show would be a one-off with no implications either, so f*** me. Might be meaningful,” they wrote.

With the film out now, fans will have to wait and see if this is a case of Godfather glory or Star Wars level failure. However, anyone who is still on board with the MCU likely trusts them to give fans something entertaining, meaningful, and overall profound to the entire story. 

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