Natasha is dead in the MCU but that doesn’t mean Black Widow can’t live on with Yelena taking the mantle.
Change is inevitable, characters get old, they retire, some die — comic book fans understand that. The difference between Marvel comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is… this ain’t the comics. In case you’ve been living under the rock (SPOILER ALERT!), Avengers: Endgame saw the death of Natasha Romanova a.k.a. Black Widow. Of course, that didn’t stop the First Lady of the MCU Scarlett Johansson from getting her long overdue and highly anticipated Black Widow solo movie.
The hype is real, and the latest trailer for the upcoming film sent shockwaves through the MCU. Johansson appears to be at her best and it’s safe to say fans missed her as the deadly butt-kicking read head. From the looks of it, Black Widow isn’t your typical MCU movie; it feels different — in a good way. The film predates the fatal events that took Black Widow away from us in Endgame.
It’s safe to say that if Kevin Feige wanted to, he could decide to continue to make more Black Widow prequels. A series of films journeying through Natasha’s exploits as a KGB Agent. After all, Scarlett Johansson is an A-list actress with box-office appeal.
There’s another option however. The MCU could use Black Widow to introduce fans to a different Russian Spy; someone with a similar background that could ultimately replace Johansson’s Natasha, Yelena Belova.
For Marvel Comics fans, that name will come as no surprise. Yelena became the second Black Widow in Marvel Comics after her debut in 1999 inside the pages of Inhumans.
In the comics, Yelena’s a Russian agent with far greater potential than her predecessor. The gifted teen was an elite student, dominating her training in the Red Room and garnering the attention of her superiors. Yelena made her comic debut as a Big Bad; she was conditioned to hate her predecessor who betrayed her country. Like Natasha, the former spy would eventually turn over a new leaf.
Enter a new Black Widow
The MCU is in line for a youth movement — the Avengers of old is no more. Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johnson are all out and there’s no telling how many films Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth have left on their contract. With the changes happening and new characters being introduced, the New Avengers will undoubtedly make its MCU debut at some point. In the comics, Yelena joins the New Avengers, so why not replicate what the comics already gave us?
The Black Widow film will introduce Yelena to the big screen with Fighting with My Family actress Florence Pugh playing the role. Although most of Black Widow’s plot is kept under wraps; it’s not unfathomable to think that Yelena could be working as a double agent. From what we can see in the trailers, the young spy is playing the role of a good sister to Natasha. If she is a double agent, we could see her end up turning on her family.
Since we know that Black Widow is dead in the current MCU timeline it’ll be interesting to see how that impacted Yelena. We could see her journey from evildoer to full-on hero in a coming of age story. Maybe even a Disney Plus miniseries focusing on her journey? Pugh is a talented actress with star potential, making her a seamless replacement for Johansson.
Black Widow hits theaters on May 1, 2020. What do you think about Florence Pugh’s Yelena taking the mantle of Black Widow? Let us know in the comments below!