While Avengers: Endgame was, for all intents and purposes, loved by most of the Marvel fanbase, some took issue with how Black Widow was treated in the movie. Just as she was coming into the spotlight – she led the world’s remaining superheroes, coordinating crime-fighting efforts during the five years after The Blip – Nat sacrificed her life in order to obtain the Soul Stone, and Hawkeye ultimately survived the trip to Vormir.
The fact some MCU fans took issue with her death, in particular, should come as no surprise. While the Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor all have their own standalone films, Black Widow (along with Hawkeye) never received any significant character development, as she was often overshadowed by her peers.
Since most people assumed either Steve Rogers or Tony Stark would bite the dust during the events of Endgame, it was a bit of a surprise when Nat didn’t make it to the end credits. However, it seems that screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely had planned her death for a while.
“Obviously, she as a character has a bit more — she hasn’t had a solo movie, there’s stories to be told there — but on her Avengers arc, that moment, we’d set up the math in the first movie,” Markus explained, in regards to the aforementioned trip to Volmir. “Somebody has to die to get the Soul Stone. It’s the only way you get it. You need two people who love each other to make the equation work.”
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Continuing on, they said:
“When we figured out where that five year gap had left all the people, it really had left her at this spot where all she was working for was holding the line, staying on the wall, holding the world together and this was what she would do. There was no question about it. I don’t know who told Scarlett [Johansson], it wasn’t me.”
To be honest, I don’t think their reasoning behind her death really holds up, and even if it did, it doesn’t excuse the creative team’s poor attempt at character development. As we pointed out a while ago, one could argue that Nat’s sacrifice wasn’t even given much weight in Spider-Man: Far From Home, and so far, none of the main MCU movies took the time to pave the way for the upcoming Black Widow film, which we have high hopes for. As such, while it’s still up in the air, we’re praying that the next Marvel effort will finally do the character justice.