The MCU has earned a reputation for bringing back characters from the dead. And this raises rumors about the return of Black Widow too.
With Loki, the MCU yet again proved its love for the resurrection of its characters. And the latest revival is that of Black Widow who will be returning to the big screen in her standalone movie. This makes us ask ourselves an important question: is death no more than an event in the MCU? Here’s why a nod follows.
Watch: “In Pursuit” Film Clip | Marvel Studios’ Black Widow
Resurrection in the MCU
While we do love to see our favorite superheroes return on screen, the words by Ultron at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron stand true: “There is grace in their failings.” In the same way, there is grace in death. And it should be respected because of that. The death of Tony Stark, for instance, should never be trifled with by the thought of bringing him back, be it from another timeline or anything else.
However, Marvel seems to be slowly turning its head away from this aspect. Time and again, it is slowly reaching out to the core superhero aspect from the comics, that makes the return of a superhero from the dead totally normal. And people don’t mind it because, in the comics, it is just pictures. But this doesn’t work that well for a movie where people are connected to the characters on an emotional level due to movements, expressions, and actions based on reality. A tear shed by a person always affects for than a tear made by hand. And that tear is of no value if the reason it was shed for turns futile. And that is exactly what seems to be happening in the MCU.
Superheroes from Dead to Alive
In Avengers: Endgame, we had Hulk’s snap that brought back all the superheroes who had dusted off. And we must admit, it was nice to see them back. But the only reason for this is because they did not have a proper death.
Next, we had WandaVision where, on one hand, Wanda resurrected her own version of Vision with her pain and torment. And SWORD made its own White Vision from the corpse of the real Vision, to fight Wanda’s Vision. Read the line again and it will not sound confusing.
Finally, we have Loki who is the latest addition to the list of resurrections. Thanos literally broke his neck at the beginning of Avengers: Endgame. He even said the words, “No resurrections this time.” And this time, Marvel itself “failed” him. Loki is back as a variant of himself nonetheless. And no matter how much we tell ourselves that it is a variant, we know that it is Loki because there is no difference, and there shouldn’t be either. And there’s the trick! Bring back a character from the dead without bringing the character from the dead and gain from the audience the same emotional reaction.
Black Widow in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame
In Avengers: Infinity War, we saw Hulk’s snap bring back those who had turned to dust after Thanos’ snap. We did feel shocked and bad when, all of a sudden, one by one many superheroes began to dust off but not Black Widow. It took some time to realize that it was the result of Thanos’ snap. And the fact is we realized it after the movie came to an end with Steve Rogers’s horrific exclamation, “Oh my god…” That scene still gives the creeps, doesn’t it?
In Avengers: Endgame, to collect the stones from various locations in different timelines, the Avengers decide to time-travel. Here is where Black Widow sacrifices for the Soul Stone. It was a painful moment for Hawkeye as well as all Marvel fans. But in our minds, we let it settle that Black Widow was no more.
But with the arrival of Black Widow on the big screen, we might end up struggling to believe that she is dead. Although the movie is a prequel, it doesn’t change the fact that we will be seeing a dead character on-screen. Imagine watching Tony Stark again. Or even Steve Rogers (who is not even dead). We want to but would we like it? Both these characters got the perfect ending and so did Natasha Romanoff. Resurrection doesn’t sound that huge a come-back for such character arcs but more of a ruin.
A Black Widow Sequel
Scarlett Johansson did mention that she is open for a potential return to the MCU after Black Widow. And Black Widow 2 is already in its early stages of development with no news if it will be a prequel or not. If it is the former, then we might see Scarlett Johansson in yet another movie.
But the question is how long will it take for Marvel to stop making death so underrated? Let us hope that Black Widow will do justice to the character and give it the perfect send-off it deserves without ruining it. In an interview in January 2021, Johansson said, “I felt that Avengers: Endgame was so satisfying I wanted to make sure Black Widow would be so satisfying, not just for the fans, but also for myself, artistically and creatively, after a decade of playing this character.” And we do hope so.
Black Widow is due for release in cinemas and Disney+ Premium access simultaneously on July 9, 2021.