The name Natasha Romanoff still means something back home.
Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is featured at the heart of Marvel’s new Russian poster for Avengers: Endgame, showcasing the former Soviet assassin in all her deadly glory.
Soon, we’ll get a movie that does the same. Marvel Studios plans to release a Black Widow standalone film from Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland, which is in the works and expected next year.
It’s not clear what part of Natasha’s life it will focus on, but her past is fascinating, and so far we’ve only heard about it in 2012’s original Avengers and seen glimpses of it in Age of Ultron. Her fearsome skills led her to be recruited as a child into the KGB’s killer squad, and she was trained in the fine arts of disguise, infiltration, and murder in the elite Red Room academy.
She was so effective that S.H.I.E.L.D. marked her for elimination from the planet, but the assassin’s assassin — Hawkeye, a.k.a. Clint Barton — “made a different choice,” as Natasha said in The Avengers.
He helped her defect, and Nick Fury allowed her to begin working for their side. She has been trying to clear her “ledger” ever since, still broken over what she did before she found her true calling.
That’s why it’s especially interesting that she’s the one who finds Barton in the Endgame trailer when he’s in the guise of Ronin, now a vigilante fighting amid the chaos caused by Thanos erasing half the life in the world (and the universe).
In some ways, they have switched places. Now he is the one who’s alone, empty, and unleashing his rage on the world without a clear purpose. And she’s the one who goes to give him a home again.
As part of the run-up to the April 26 debut of Endgame, Marvel has been blanketing the world with posters this week, including one for China with haunting imagery of The Fallen — the heroes who turned to ash at the end of last year’s Infinity War.