Marvel fans had been waiting years to find out exactly what happened in Budapest, a much-mentioned mission undertaken by Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton. Nearly a decade after it was first referenced in The Avengers, Black Widow finally explained all about the incident. But the revelations cause a major plot hole when it comes to Hawkeye’s character.
As told through flashbacks, the Budapest mission marked the completion of Natasha’s defection to S.H.I.E.L.D. as she agreed to take out Dreykov, the man behind the Red Room. The assassination culminated in Nat and Clint blowing up a five-story building, killing – or so it seemed – both Dreykov and his daughter, Antonia, in the process. Nat carried around the guilt of this for many years afterward, until she discovered Antonia survived and Dreykov had turned her into Taskmaster.
In many ways, this Budapest story is cleverly done, as it ties together several elements of Agent Romanoff’s character as revealed in The Avengers – the red in her ledger, “Dreykov’s daughter”, as mentioned by Loki, and obviously Budapest itself. However, where it falls down is in conjunction with Clint’s character. As pointed out by ScreenRant, Hawkeye should be just as haunted by Antonia’s supposed death as Nat, as they were both involved in the mission, and yet this has never been shown to be the case.
MORE FROM THE WEB
Nat’s Avengers line that fighting the Chitauri in the Battle of New York was “just like Budapest” now also makes less sense as, from what we see, there’s hardly any similarity between the two incidents. Previously, we’d assumed Budapest involved the pair battling against an oversized number of enemies, but Black Widow depicts the mission as much more covert. Having said that, this issue is already somewhat covered as Clint didn’t even see the similarity himself, as shown in his iconic “You and I remember Budapest very differently” response.
Of course, continuity and character arc glitches like this one are just the price we pay for the MCU’s continuing evolution. With different creatives handling each project, plot holes will appear. It’s then left to the fans to try and make it all fit together.