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Marvel’s What If…? Shows the Power Behind Black Widow and Hawkeye

Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff standing with each other in What If

The most recent episode of Marvel’s What If…? brought us into the world of “What If…Ultron Won?” and what would happen to the world as we know it. With the desire to bring peace to the world and realizing quickly that it could not happen with mankind alive and well, Ultron’s idea was to wipe everyone out. That meant destroying civilization as we knew it.

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So, if the Avengers never stopped him and Ultron got his way, what would that lead to? Well, it’d lead to the human members of the Avengers trying to find a way to stop him and keep everyone they love alive, and this episode is a beautiful look at Natasha Romanoff and what makes her one of the strongest Avengers, just not in the way you think.

**Spoilers forMarvel’s What If…? episode 8 “What If…Ultron Won?” lie within.**

Natasha Romanoff is just a human—one of the best of us, but a human nonetheless. Her best friend? Clint Barton, also just a human. So, whenever the Avengers were going after their big bad guys and taking on aliens and whatnot, Clint and Nat got pretty beat up because, at the end of the day, they’re not super-soldiers and they don’t have Iron Man armor. They’re just two people trying to do the best that they can.

So, when it comes to saving the universe, you’d think that Captain America or Iron Man would be there to stop Ultron. That the Hulk would be around. That Thor could stop him. But even Carol Danvers can’t finish off Ultron, and it’s because all of them have lost that human drive that could have helped them win. They’re all super-beings. They haven’t had to rely on their more human-based instincts in a while, so it’s not surprising that the two who have to figure out how to stop Ultron are the two Avengers who were often thrown around and hurt because of their lack of super strength or flying suits.

“You’re human. You keep hope against the worst of odds,” the Watcher says as he sees Clint Barton sit down and seemingly give up, and right there is why Clint and Nat are assets to the team. Sure, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, and Steve Rogers are also technically human, but they have things that make them superhuman. Whether it is a suit or a big green friend or a serum, they have things to help them feel like they are above the humans they are protecting. Nat and Clint? They’re just normal humans who are trained in their field. They still have that human desire to never give up running through their veins, and it is why they are the two who were left to save the universe.

At the end of the day, humanity is what is going to save us, and that’s why having Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton as the two who could stop Ultron works.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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