Natasha is “Trying to do the Right Thing”
The biggest take-away from the trailer is Natasha’s opening monologue. She’s on the run because she tried to do the right thing and be more than just a trained killer. Throw that in with the images of her wearing Belova’s vest in Infinity War – it’s clear that the Black Widow has had some adventures prior to the game-changing end of Phase 3. While Belova says that she’ll always be a trained killer, Natasha seems to be working to change that and “not run from her past.”
This presents an interesting potential spoiler with the vest – does Yelena make it out alive? Will Florence Pugh reappear in the MCU at a later date? Only time will tell.
Yelena Belova has been operating as an assassin
Less of a speculation and more of a guess – Yelena Belova seems to have been fulfilling her “sister’s” role of working for the government’s interest, or at least the highest bidder. Fans of the Black Widow comics will know Belova to be Natasha’s successor. Activated in her absence, she is sent to investigate Natasha’s absence. As a Black Widow she’s been a member of HYDRA, AIM, and even SHIELD who has proven not to shy away from black ops projects.
It’s not confirmed that Belova has been operating as an assassin per say. When Natasha confesses her desire to do the right thing however, Belova shares that she was never capable of doing the right thing. In Belova’s actions, as well as the character’s history, there appears to be an amoral nugget of truth the character shares with the audience. While Natasha has saved the world (and may be on the way to save the world again) Yelena is fully a black widow, providing an interesting look into just who Natasha was before she met Clint Barton and joined the Avengers.
The Red Guardian Arrives
David K Harbour’s Red Guardian has been the subject of a considerable amount of debate. First introduced at Marvel’s Hall H panel, Harbour compared him to “Captain America”. The comparison is intentional as the Guardian was created to serve as Captain America’s counterpart. Gifted with similar abilities to Captain America, Alexei Alanovich Shostakov was originally the husband of Natasha Romanoff. A gifted pilot, he volunteered to become the Red Guardian and was ultimately killed during purges of enemies of the state in the 1950s, having been brutally opposed to the experiments the Soviets attempted in order to create his successor.
In Black Widow, it appears as if the Guardian will take on more of a father figure role. Walking into the room and making jokes, he may be serving as the comic relief but further images in the trailer hint that the Guardian may take on Taskmaster, one of the most powerful characters Marvel Comics. It will be interesting to see how the Guardian of the MCU and the Guardian in Marvel comics differ from each other. It can be assumed that the Red Guardian probably won’t return from his fight with Taskmaster, but he appears to have survived quite a bit. Time will tell as far as how their fight will play out.
Introducing: The Red Room
One of the best parts of the trailer was the introduction of the Red Room and it’s collection of female spies in training. It’s clear that while Yelena and Natasha were close, they aren’t the only ones collected by the Russians and trained to go out in the world to serve the agenda of the shadowy organization. With multiple scenes of girls training to fight, dance, and operate heavy artillery. The red room recruits join the Dora Milaje and Valkyrie in the MCU’s growing tradition of strong female teams.
Whatever comes of the new recruits – and if we see more of them again and again – fans have been clamoring for the Red Room’s introduction. First seen in Age of Ultron – the Red Room’s practices were the subject of controversy when it was announced that Natasha was sterilized as a part of her graduation. Thankfully a piece of canon set aside, it’s possible that the film could see the liberation of more Red Room recruits, giving them more freedom just as Natasha managed to discover. One way or another, it will be interesting to see these junior black widows in action – and to see if they stick around the MCU proper.
The second Black Widow trailer gave audiences a better look at the film’s main antagonist Taskmaster. Making his first appearance in May 1980, the mercenary possessed a unique and seemingly not superhuman skillset. After mimicking a cowboy rope trick on television, the boy-who-would-become-taskmaster learned that he had the ability to copy any move he saw with perfect mimicry. Turning this ability to villainy and making money, he has served as a mercenary and been a part of multiple comic storylines as well as made appearances in animated series throughout the Marvel properties.
The character’s origins have also changed frequently. Born Anthony ‘Tony’ Masters, the character’s origins were revealed to have been as a SHIELD agent. After injecting himself with a serum that unlocked the mind’s potential, he gained his mimicry ability (which extends to his voice in addition to his physical skills). Masters has forgotten his SHIELD service and gone under deep cover where his movements are monitored by a SHIELD black ops group. While able to briefly remember his real identity, copying new moves pushes his identity out of his brain. He is similar to Ghost, a villain whose abilities stem from external sources and ultimately results in the loss of personal identity.
From a “supposed” daughter in the young avenger Finesse to his relationship with deadpool (the only person he has been unable to successfully copy due to Wade’s psychosis) – Taskmaster is a fascinating addition to the MCU and poised to become a powerful player if written well in future movies. After all, with the ability to copy someone’s moves from a video tape – or in person – he could mimic anyone, slip in undetected, and cause all sorts of chaos.
What did you notice in the Black Widow trailer? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and get ready to return to the MCU’s past – which will clearly shape it’s future.
Black Widow hits theaters May 1, 2020