When that happens, the post-credits scene, more (spoilers).
This article contains spoilers for Black Widow.
Let’s start with something basic. When does this film take place? Black Widow is she not dead Avengers: Endgame?
She did it ! Black Widow takes place before the events of End of Game– to be precise, it takes place between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. To be even more specific, it takes place in 2016, 21 years after the 1995 opening scene. female superhero, and it’s probably no coincidence that they didn’t start making a Black Widow movie until after the character died.
[Read: Black Widow Is a Thrilling Remedy for the Sexism of Marvel Movies Past]
Jump ahead, what’s up with the lightning bugs? Is that a Marvel thing? I feel like I missed something!
They are just there to offer a sentimental little reminder to the childhood of Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) and Yelena (Florence Pugh). Previously, they were just there to establish that their “mom” (Rachel Weisz) is a scientist because she knows scientific words like bioluminescence. While there are obscure Marvel comic book characters named Firefly and Firefly, it just seems to be due to the fact that there are Marvel characters named after the most well-known insects.
Speaking of their childhood, how exactly do their false American identities work and what did Natasha and Yelena know about the plan?
Natasha, Yelena and their “parents” were sent to Ohio to be Russian sleeper cell agents and send information back to their home countries. Their identities were completely constructed and their stories staged, presumably by Dreykov and the Black Widows organization he led, in order to create the plausible illusion that they were a family that had recently moved to their town. Natasha knew it was all a ruse, as she reveals during a tense reunion dinner midway through the film. Yelena, who is several years younger than Natasha, was apparently unaware that the family she had lived with for three years was anything other than that: her family.
What was happening with that floppy disk their “father” delivered to Dreykov when they fled Ohio? Why was this so important and what was on it?
Oh, not much, just “the key to unlocking free will.” Alexei (David Harbor) infiltrated the front line of SHIELD North Industries, which had found a way to control the basal ganglia, the part of the brain that regulates motor control. He then made a copy of this information, set the original on fire and handed the disc to Dreykov, who, with Melina’s help, used it to enslave widows for several decades. (Side note: As Melina points out, by the time Alexei stole the information, SHIELD was secretly under Hydra’s control, so things could have been worse if he hadn’t completed his mission.)
Apparently Alexei was the Red Guardian before he was assigned to Deep Cover. Who or what is it?
In the comics, the Red Guardian was the national hero of the Soviet Union, sort of like Captain America. And just like Cap, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Red Guardian appears to have a degree of super strength and endurance. When we meet David Harbor’s version of the character here, it’s a few years after the Cold War, so it makes sense that he’s not out on the pitch to show off his hammer and sickle.
While we are naming names, Dreykov’s daughter is also referred to as the Taskmaster. Does this also come from the comics?
In Marvel comics, the Taskmaster is both quite similar and quite different from Black Widowthe version. The Taskmaster is a mercenary trained by criminal organizations like Hydra to take down people like the Avengers. Much like the character in the movie, he (in the comics the Taskmaster is a dude named Tony Masters) can learn and copy anyone’s combat moves, which makes him a formidable villain. One of those people whose moves he’s copying is Black Widow, which means they mirrored fights similar to what we see in the movie.
What were Hawkeye and Natasha doing in Budapest all those years ago? And more importantly, How? ‘Or’ What To do do you pronounce Budapest?
So, as this movie reveals, the Budapest mission was the final stage in Natasha’s defection, as Hawkeye helped her attempt to kill Dreykov by blowing up her office. As for how to pronounce Budapest, the native Hungarian pronunciation is indeed “boo-dah-pesht”, in the same way that the native French pronunciation of Paris is “pah-ree”, but the typical American pronunciation is, yes, just “boo-dah-parasite.”
Are the things Natasha describes happening in her apartment – the arrow holes in the wall from meeting Hawkeye, etc.
This is the first time we’ve seen Natasha in Budapest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but she’s mentioned her trip a number of times before. First Avengers film, Natasha and Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), aka Hawkeye, refer to their time spent together in Budapest, while on a mission for SHIELD. But that’s all we have: references. Natasha and Hawkeye have become incredibly close during this mission together, helping to forge the bond we see them share throughout their films together.
We never knew what happened during this mission before, although the details Natasha shares in Black Widow are still a bit vague. We know they spent time together in this apartment and also hid in a ceiling vent in the train station for several days. But Natasha isn’t the nostalgic type, and although information about the Budapest operation has finally become public, the most intimate things seem to stay between Natasha and Hawkeye forever.
Which Bond movie was Natasha watching?
It was Moonraker! Just like this Roger Moore movie, Black Widow culminates in a battle aboard a floating fortress designed by a megalomaniac genius.
What was Julia Louis-Dreyfus doing in this post-credits scene? And what do they put in place next?
Technically we were supposed to see her in this movie before we saw her in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but, the pandemic being what it is, the order of things has become a bit muddled. But, TL; DR, Louis-Dreyfus plays Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, a romantic interest of Nick Fury who is sometimes a villain in the Marvel Universe. (For another context, she sometimes served as “Madame Hydra.”) It appears that she recruited Yelena to work for her, in addition to old John Walker (Wyatt Russell), and, if her comic book history is something to watch, it’s a bit of a double agent. We’ll likely know more when Marvel releases its new TV series Hawk Eye, which is expected to be released later this year.
Was Hawkeye actually responsible for Natasha’s death, or is it just something Valentina made up?
If you’re one of two people on Earth who hasn’t seen End of Game, here’s a reminder of Natasha’s death: The Avengers have gone their separate ways to retrieve the Infinity Stones they need to defeat Thanos. Natasha and Hawkeye, together face the (former, now dead) head of Hydra, the Red Skull, who has the Final Stone. He will only give it back in exchange for a sacrifice of life. Natasha and Hawkeye then argue over who is the one who will sacrifice himself to save the world. Natasha ultimately “wins” this fight, dropping off a cliff to Hawkeye’s desperation.
Given that only the two were there, it seems easy for someone like Val – like a person with a motive – to see the death as Hawkeye’s fault. But those of us who have seen what really happened know that Natasha made the choice on her own.
One last thing that bothers me. Did widows control the world from the start or was Hydra? (Can they both really be world event puppeteers at the same time ???)
Don’t forget the Skrulls, who might also be hiding among us! It looks like the MCU has had almost as many puppeteers as it has had world-threatening events, and you’re not wrong to feel confused about that. Maybe we’ll get more clarity in Marvel Secret invasion The TV series, which is slated for 2022 and is expected to reveal more powerful actors who have quietly metamorphosed aliens – or maybe that will only confuse matters more.
Find out more about the Slate coverage Black Widow, listen to Karen Han and Dana Stevens discuss the film in great detail.
Correction, July 12: This article originally stated that the opening scene is set in 1991 before the film takes place 25 years later. The opening scene takes place in 1995 before the film advances 21 years.