What a time to be a Marvel fan. Not unlike the conclusion of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the seeds for bigger stories and a much larger universe continue to be planted. Without further ado, here are 3 things we’ve learned after watching Black Widow! MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
#1 Welcome to the Big Leagues, Yelena
Let’s be real, this movie was never really about giving Natasha Romanoff a solo film. The goal of this Black Widow movie was to set up Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova in the MCU.
Yelena Belova didn’t just steal the show… she stole the props, the cameras, the sets and perhaps even Kevin Feige’s “Producer” chair! I absolutely loved Yelena in this film. She is such a welcome addition to the future of the MCU. First of all, Florence Pugh put on an acting clinic in Black Widow. For a marvel movie, the scene where she’s going through her all her emotions at the dinner table was an incredible display of her acting abilities. In that dinner scene, she was able to go from comedic relief to the most dramatic actress in the room, and then back and forth again. Yelena saying it was all real to her at the dinner table has got to be one of the most gut wrenching scenes from the MCU.
There were even times where a good chunk of this film felt like it was solely her film and not Natashas.
It’s incredibly exciting for the fact that the entire film was setting up Yelena as an antagonist for the upcoming Hawkeye show, which will in turn likely set her up as a member of the Avengers. I’m just glad the MCU will get her more exposure compared to some of the more indie films she’s done. If you haven’t seen Midsommar, then what are you waiting for? It was personally one of my favorite films of 2019.
Yelena and Natasha’s chemistry was hands down the best part of Black Widow. Their bond was beautiful. Their banter even better! I’m beyond excited to see her in Hawkeye and whatever other project she appears in the MCU moving forward. Yelena calling Natasha a poser, especially on the bridge, was also one of the better laugh out loud moments of the MCU period. Absolutely hilarious. Welcome to the MCU Florence Pugh, you are awesome.
#2 Contessa has a HUGE role moving forward
The post credit scene truly let Marvel fans know that Disney Plus shows will be so incredibly important to watch moving forward. Contessa clearly wants Hawkeye out of the business as well as being set up as the female Nick Fury. The parallels between her and Fury are going to be a blast to watch down the road.
It’s beyond clear that we’re getting an MCU version of the Thunderbolts or some organization owned Avenger team such as the Dark Avengers. It’s also clear that Yelena has been working for Val but we don’t know how long. If I were a betting man, I’d say she’s Madam Hydra manipulating the board much like Fury did years ago only with her own unique agenda in play. So far she’s got Yelena and John Walker working for her and I suspect she’s got operatives in play that we aren’t even aware off.
The Thunderbolts are not dissimilar to DC Comics version of the Suicide Squad.
They are a government-controlled team of villains, some new and some that have already been established in the MCU. Expect Abomination and possibly Justin Hammer to join the team in the near future. The big name I cannot wait for here is Baron Zemo, who stole the show in Falcon and the Winter Soldier. I could not be more excited to see how Zemo shakes things up in Wakanda for Black Panther 2. I think it’s a very solid bet that Contessa will also be there waiting and smiling as she attempts to bring Zemo onto her squad.
#3 Stop complaining about Taskmaster… Dreykov was AMAZING
There is a lot of hate going around with Taskmaster. Personally, the Taskmaster twist actually worked thematically for the story they were telling. Since Dreykov was the true villain of the film, I had little problems with the liberties they took with the character. I didn’t see the twist being on a Mandarin scale of terribleness like the one seen in the previous Iron Man film. For me, Taskmaster was a perfect device used for Natasha to confront, accept her demons and move forward.
It’s also important to note that a similar hero with similar abilities is getting their own spinoff in the MCU down the line. Echo, whose real name is Maya Lopez, will have her MCU introduction when the Hawkeye series debuts in late 2021. Echo also has the ability to perfectly copy another person’s movements or fighting style, making her a formidable opponent. It’s not completely out of the picture that Taskmaster won’t return for Thunderbolts or Dark Avengers, but it makes sense to create some kind of separation between the two moving forward.
But lets circle back to the I think they knocked it out of the park with Dreykov…
I haven’t seriously disliked a character this much since Hayward back in WandaVision, but Dreykov was an effective antagonist for this movie. I mean think about it. This is a villain who turned innocent girls into killers, manipulated them and had them act against their will (even his own daughter). Dreykov was a different kind of sinister. I think people will appreciate Dreykov as the main villain more so down the road.