The Marvel Cinematic Universe is filled with characters with amazing backstories. From gods, to supersoldiers, to technological geniuses, every major hero and villain has a story worth telling, but not all of them are explained to us upfront.
Even after four Avengers movies and dozens of other films in the canon, there are still plenty of things we don’t know.
Mysterious characters like Black Widow have murky pasts and mysteries yet to be explained, leading many fans to piece together what clues they can to understand them.
The Avenger with no past
Throughout the Marvel films released so far, we get a lot of great character arcs that show our hero’s personal lives explored in depth. With Tony Stark, we see a spoiled and narcissistic arms dealer become a compassionate and caring humanitarian.
We see Bruce Banner go from a person struggling to control his emotions to someone who confronts his own monstrous identity. We see a lot of characters struggle with their pasts and ultimately transforming into something better, but with Black Widow we hardly see anything.
All we really know about Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow, was that she was apparently a sort of superspy for the Soviets who eventually shifted her allegiance to the United States.
We know she’s struggling with the implications of her past as an assassin, that training to be a spy changed her drastically, and that something traumatic definitely happened in Budapest at some point. Apart from that, we don’t get to know much about her before her apparent demise.
A Secret Super Soldier?
With the new Black Widow movie set for release later this year, it looks like answers about Natasha’s past are finally coming. In the teaser trailer, we see that Red Guardian seems to be the film’s primary villain.
A super-soldier himself, it seems America wasn’t the only country experimenting with the idea of genetically enhanced super soldiers.
With a hint like that, it’s not difficult to imagine that Natasha may have links to such experiments herself.
It appears that Natasha may be hiding something more than a troubled history. In fact, she may have had superhuman capabilities comparable to her Avenger contemporaries this whole time.
In other iterations of the character, particularly in the Black Widow miniseries from 2004, there are strong hints that the Black Widow program gave some particularly strange traits to their superspies.
from 2004, there are strong hints that the Black Widow program gave some particularly strange traits to their superspies.
Mystery Of The Red Room
While hardly touched on in the movies, the Black Widow miniseries has a lot to tell us about what might have happened during the training of the Black Widows.
According to the series, biochemical experiments succeeded in giving them superior immune system strength and healing qualities. In addition, their capacity to have children was completely removed, as this was seen by the program to be an attack on their agents.
Most disturbing of all, there is even mention of psychology experiments that blocked memories of their training in case they were ever captured. Rather than spilling Soviet secrets, the Black Widows would only remember innocent ballet classes.
These extreme measures would explain a lot about why Natasha’s past is so murky and what she might really be capable of. After all, if the U.S. has Captain America, wouldn’t it make sense for the soviets to want their own class of super soldiers?
With the Black Widow movie on the horizon, it may be that parts of the original miniseries and other forms of media may be officially adopted as part of the cinematic universe.
With that in mind, Black Widow may now be seen as just as much of a superhuman as any of the heroes she’s fought alongside.
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