Black Widow Reveals Why Tony Stark Promoted Happy Hogan

Iron Man Tony Stark

As a prequel focusing on a character that’s already dead in the main timeline, Black Widow does a great job in both filling in the blanks in Natasha Romanoff’s backstory while also laying the seeds for several upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe projects, most notably Disney Plus series Hawkeye and potential solo sequels for Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova.

On top of that, it offered several minor insights into how the rest of the characters in the MCU perceive the franchise’s roster of superheroes, with Yelena pointing out that Natasha isn’t deemed one of the ‘big’ Avengers. It additionally hinted that the title heroine lent Steve Rogers a helping hand in breaking those opposed to the Sokovia Accords out of the Raft, and even subtly revealed how Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan received the Stark Industries promotion that saw him return in Spider-Man: Homecoming as head of Asset Management.

In Tom Holland’s solo debut, it’s Happy who oversees the transfer of property from Stark Tower to the new Avengers compound, and now that we know O-T Fagbenle’s Rick Mason managed to steal a Quinjet from somewhere and hand it over to Natasha in time to assist Captain America in a prison break, we can join those dots to put together the former head of Asset Management being fired for letting an entire jet go missing, which would have directly led to Happy being handed the role as Tony’s longtime friend, employee and close confidant.

It’s the sort of minor connective tissue that doesn’t necessarily have to be confirmed by Marvel Studios, but it makes so much sense and fits so neatly into the tapestry of both Black Widow and the Infinity Saga that it’s hard not to embrace as canon.