While the female team-up sequence at the climax of Avengers: Endgame served as a tribute to the various women of the Marvel franchise, one notable absentee from the action was the original MCU heroine Black Widow, and if you ask concept artist Andy Park, it’s a real shame that she couldn’t be included.
In the new book Avengers: Endgame – The Art of the Movie, Park reflects on the film’s “A-Force” sequence, saying it’s a moment that makes him proud:
“The theme of this whole moment, the idea is something that I can be very proud of—women gathering together and just showing how powerful they are in the MCU.”
Park then elaborates on his praise and explains his role in bringing the moment to life:
“And this is just a showcase of ten years of developing these characters from all the movies that we’ve had and seeing them all banded together to take on a greater threat. I was very proud to be able to portray that in this image, and it was very challenging because this is definitely one that took me a long time because I wanted to showcase each of these characters in the best light possible and come up with a cohesive image that shows off each of them and their powers. It’s not an easy feat, but it was very fun.”
Nonetheless, the sequence still left the artist with one regret:
“It was just so sad that I couldn’t include Black Widow.”
The decision to kill off Natasha Romanoff halfway through Endgame remains one of the film’s more controversial developments. While Scarlett Johansson herself has argued that Black Widow died with honor, many have accused the movie of short-changing its main female character, and even co-writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have expressed mixed feelings about her demise.
But while Nat was sadly absent from the climax of Avengers: Endgame, the heroine will be getting the spotlight to herself in the long-awaited Black Widow solo pic, which is scheduled to hit theaters on May 1st, 2020. After that, Marvel has plans to expand the MCU’s roster of female leads with various upcoming projects, including the She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel TV shows, and Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder.
Whether or not the MCU will ever deliver a full-on female team-up movie remains to be seen, but like Captain Marvel’s Brie Larson recently explained, the more people express an interest, the more likely it is to happen.