Scarlett Johanssen has created an indelible performance as Black Widow, the resident spy of the Avengers. After much fan demand she finally has her own solo film released in theaters today. To celebrate the Widow’s highly anticipated big screen adventure, let’s look at the top 5 moments she’s had in her previous MCU appearances.
Natasha did not get a ton of screen time with her screen debut in this MCU sequel, spending much of the movie undercover as Tony Stark’s new assistant. However, the highlight of her time is when she gets to cut loose and take out some bad guys. Clad in her iconic black bodysuit we get to see absolutely lay waste to the villainous Justin Hammer’s army of goons. She employs gymnastic-like fighting moves and a series of gadgets including her classic comic book “Widow’s Sting” electricity weapon. It gives us just a taste of the extreme badass she will prove herself to be in future films.
Natasha’s relationship with Steve Rogers is one of the most endearing in the MCU. Rather than follow the obvious path of a romantic pairing between the two (though there is plenty of flirting) they settle into a sibling-like dynamic. With the two of them on the run from Hydra throughout most of the film we get to see a different side of Natasha. She’s lighter, has a sense of humor, pokes fun at Steve for his boy scout mentality. It’s nice to see Black Widow as more than just the espionage agent who can kick everyone’s ass.
So much of the plot of Age Of Ultron focuses on fear, Tony’s fear of letting everyone die, Thor’s fear of impending Ragnarok, and so on. This allowed us to tap into a more vulnerable side of Natasha, specifically her tragic backstory (something that will no doubt play a major role in her solo film). We get just a few glimpses of the physical and psychological traumas she endured while being trained in “The Red Room.” An experience that molded her into a cold, unfeeling assassin. Presented in a hallucinatory and downright horrific way, the movie conveys the pain that Natasha carries with her to this day.
Black Widow has one of the biggest character arcs in the whole of the MCU, we’ve seen her be the detached badass and the vulnerable woman who was robbed of humanity. However, it’s in Endgame that we really see what the experience of being an Avenger has meant to her. Having lost nearly everything following the events of Avengers: Infinity War we find Natasha doing her best to lead what is left of the Avengers to do what good can be done in this broken world. It’s in this emotional conversation with Steve that she is able to really state what she’s lost, The Avengers are the family she never got to have.
Yes, Black Widow is an incredible fighter but never forget that at the end of the day she’s a spy and a spy’s best weapon is manipulation. We see her insane skills as she is able to outsmart Loki in this interrogation scene. We watch Natasha beautifully manipulate the God of Mischief into revealing his plan by playing to his massive ego and need to hold power over the “lesser humans.” Her immediate snap from emotional devastation to complete calm is one of the most satisfying moments in the movie and shows that leading with your fists isn’t always the way to go.