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A Theory on “Surprising” Black Widow Reveals for What Natasha Got up to Between Avengers Movies

Natasha romanoff in black widow

While we’re now going to have to wait until November to see Natasha Romanoff suit up for her own movie in Black Widow, that doesn’t mean we’re not still getting content. Gearing up for its original May 1st release date, a lot of the press for the movie was already in the works prior to the delay. So, we’re still getting little glimpses into the film from the creatives.

Talking with The DisInsider, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige pointed out that Natasha’s backstory is incredibly full of content, some of it surprising, so … what does that mean for Black Widow?

“She has such a rich backstory…We’ve hinted at it throughout all the other films. But we approach it in a completely unexpected way. She’s been up to a lot all along – in between when we see her in the other movies – some of which will be surprising to people.”

For me, it means bringing in the idea that Natasha Romanoff is still alive. One of my favorite comic storylines comes in the form of a Face/Off-level tale about Yelena Belova and Natasha Romanoff. Titled “Face Swap,” the story sees the two sisters surgically change their faces in order to infiltrate the other’s life.

So … it’s not outlandish to think that’s what’s happening in this picture from the last trailer for Black Widow.

It might be because I’m absolutely obsessed with this idea, or maybe something else entirely, but I would rule out that Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova swapped faces before Natasha went to fight during Infinity War and Endgame, meaning Natasha’s not the one who died. Sure, there are obstacles, like Red Skull naming her, but the point of the Red Room and both Natasha and Yelena is that they’re master spies, able to be convincing in every one of their identities.

Also, we don’t know the extent of Red Skull’s powers in his new role as guardian of the Soul Stone and whether there’s any reason to think he must have been talking to the real Natasha if he called her that. And if it truly was Yelena who died in Endgame instead of Natasha, maybe she insisted on being the one to go because she assumed that Clint believing Natasha was being sacrificed was more likely to work to get the stone than Clint dying for her—or maybe she saved him because she knew what he meant to Natasha.

I’m just saying there are options.

Before, I thought it would be a more “practical” way of face swapping, meaning that Natasha adopted the blonde hair and green vest to pretend to be Yelena, since she was on the run with Cap and Sam. But now with this image, it feels a little bit more like the Face Swap storyline could appear in Black Widow.

But then … how are they explaining Natasha’s role in both Infinity War and Endgame? Again, I’ll point out that they’re master spies, Yelena knows everything about Natasha, and doing this storyline means that, technically, Natasha is still alive in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, just with the face of Florence Pugh, so … who really knows what they’re planning?

They also could have just … swapped back before Avengers: Endgame. We just don’t know. The possibilities are endless!

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.