Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame ahead!
After being sidelined for years because she was one of the two original Avengers without actual powers/manifest destiny/enough money to make a super suit, we Widow fans got excited when news broke that she was finally getting a film of her own. We thought that this was the first step towards not just more Natasha in the movies, but more female representation in the MCU, in general, starting with one of the first female heroes we ever got.
For those who have seen Endgame and feel a little sour in the mouth because of what happened to her, you’re not alone. Hardcore Black Widow fans and even casual fans alike agree that her death felt a little cheap and like it was unnecessarily done and sent a very conflicting message to viewers. Let me recap for those who are forgetting: When the team starts to time travel in order to gather the stones, Clint and Natasha head to Vormir for the Soul Stone. Now, we all saw Infinity War and know what it takes to get the Soul Stone. One of them was going to die and after some argument, it was Natasha who was sent to her untimely death.
I say: BS.
Natasha Romanoff has had fluctuating storylines and personalities within the MCU, mostly due to male writers not knowing how to consistently write good female characters. And Natasha has been a constant victim of this. While she made her strong presence known in Iron Man 2 and her stoic but still tender (around the right people) side apparent in the first Avengers film and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, her character was weirdly warped in Avengers: Age of Ultron and ultimately dismissed in Avengers: Endgame.
Black Widow is a strong, independent lady and for them to constantly sideline her for nearly a decade is disrespectful and sends a message to female viewers of the MCU: That women have no place in the spotlight of superhero movies and that heroines come second to heroes. Brushing aside the fact that in the original 6, she was the only woman to carry female representation in the MCU in its early days and the fact that they used to exclude her in all the Avengers merchandise, the way they handled her character throughout these films has been questionable at worst and insulting at best.
These arguments have been made before. My final tirade is how they wrote her death in Endgame. I’ve been ranting about this to friends for days on end and I’m not tired–Natasha Romanoff deserved better than what she got. Period.
Look at her. Just look at her. She tried to keep her family together and what does Marvel do?
They plucked her off the hero roster just like that and it not only makes me angry, it hurts as an MCU fan. The movie opens with a happy Clint Barton (Hawkeye) with his daughter, a clear reminder that this man has a family. So with that strong opening in mind and his want for revenge by eliminating groups of bad guys by the dozens, it only underscores that he’s got a family to live for. But Natasha? It’s hinted that she probably is the one to go because she has no one left to come home to.
Which I, again, say: BS.
Natasha has clearly seen the Avengers as her family. She even says this outright. She’s depressed when they’re gone and she tries to keep them all together, keeps tabs on them, makes sure they’re all okay when both Steve and Tony have given up on leading them. She’s become the de-facto person holding them all together, barely keeping herself together as she holds back tears on her peanut butter sandwich.
First, it makes no sense that her and Clint go to Vormir. It’s like the producers spun a dart board blindfolded and turned around 10 times before tossing the dart at a pie chart which was 90% Clint and Natasha because they’re considered to be the most disposable characters (I can imagine they think this since they don’t have powers or their own movies or whatever–which is BS, too).
Them going to Vormir seems like such a random decision. Natasha figures out that three of the stones will be in New York at the same time so why shouldn’t she be there? Clint, too. And couldn’t Nebula have warned them about how exactly Thanos got the Soul Stone in the first place? It felt like an out-of-place decision to just force one of them dead.
You know who would’ve fit there? Any of the Guardians guys. Or even Steve Rogers. He would’ve faced off with the Red Skull again. What a poignant interaction if that were to happen. And sacrifice is at the very core of his character. It would’ve been a more satisfying end to his being Cap (another thing I have strong feelings about–it makes no sense what he did at the end, it negates his character arc all this time by planting the Peggy seed again and he wouldn’t have grown old with her while ignoring all the bad stuff happening to Bucky and HYDRA since he knew about it by then given how motivated he was in CA:TWS–but anyway).
But no, the producers decided she had to die. And there was this sloppy hint that it was because Clint had a family to live for and she didn’t.
When it comes to the argument of moral grayness, I don’t buy that Nat has to die either. Many people said that she deserved her death because she was a double agent and started off as a bad guy. But don’t forget that the past 5 years, Clint was running around killing groups of bad people because he was completely unglued at the loss of his family. This isn’t how we knew Clint Barton either. But because he has a family, some people believe it’s justified.
She got NOTHING, just two words from her best friend Clint after Tony‘s funeral lumped together with Wanda’s words about Vision. She got one Hulk-broken-bench, one tear from Steve–who’s grown to be one of her closest friends, come ON, Russos, you guys wrote CA: TWS–and that’s it. Her death happened mid-movie so a bunch of MEN could cry and say “we can’t let her death mean nothing.” I cannot.
Natasha was warped in Age of Ultron, put on the back-burner for so many films, and now blatantly killed off because they felt cornered into making her a film and thought it’d be fine to make it a prequel given that they saw no direction for her. They needed some dramatic death of one of the original Avengers and she drew the short straw because they clearly undervalued her character and how she held the Avengers together. It’s not a new thing–like we said earlier, where the hell is our Widow merch?–but this is the final nail to the coffin.
Natasha Romanoff deserved 100000x better after all she’d given the past decade for Marvel. It hurts my heart to know that she was killed off in this manner and then brushed off. While I pray that the prequel is still good, it still feels like an afterthought with all the comparisons to Red Sparrow, like Marvel was just pressured to do it. Gamora came back in a way–couldn’t they do the same for her?
The MCU completely failed Natasha and her incredibly complex, wonderful character. And as a Marvel fan, it breaks my heart.
What do you think of this? Let us know!