Avengers: Endgame features two major deaths. While the second is as final an end as any character can have in the Marvel universe, the fate of the first feels like it exists in much more of a grey area.
I’m referring, of course, to the death of Black Widow, who sacrifices herself so that Hawkeye can claim the Soul Stone on Vormir. Just as we thought about Gamora’s end in Avengers: Infinity War, fans of the character wondered if perhaps Natasha Romanoff could be resurrected, as she died in this slightly mystical way.
Unfortunately, co-director Joe Russo has confirmed that we won’t be seeing Black Widow again, as death by Soul Stone is just as irreversible as Tony’s death by Infinity Gauntlet. The following quote is translated from Chinese, so forgive the clunkiness of the language:
“[The] process is irreversible. Even if you have returned it to its original location, you wouldn’t be able to get the person back. In fact, it’s not really returning the stone, more like put it back properly. The tribute soul for the soul stone will forever be sealed in that place, therefore Black Widow is gone forever.”
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A lot of fans thought a window of opportunity was opened when Captain America went back in time to return the Infinity Stones to their proper places at the end of the movie. After all, maybe it was possible to return the Stone in exchange for the one who died to get it, which in this case is Natasha? Sadly, Russo’s explanation seems to rule out this possibility. The same goes for Gamora’s fate, too, and it looks like we’ll be getting the alt-Gamora from 2014 in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
At least we can take some consolation in the fact that Scarlett Johansson’s Marvel career isn’t over, as she’ll soon star in the Black Widow movie, entering production this year. We were pretty sure about this before, but her demise in Avengers: Endgame confirms that the solo film will be a prequel. Fingers crossed we finally find out what happened in Budapest, then.