Avengers: End Game was a wild ride from start to finish, but it was a good movie. However, the way Marvel movies have dealt with Black Widow needs to be called out, because it’s bullshit.
Oh Natasha, What Have They Done To You?
Black Widow has had some great moments in the Marvel movies. She’s a badass that wins pretty much every fight she gets into – an unbeatable spy/assassin trained to never hesitate. She was incredible in the Avengers, holding her own constantly as the only female original Avenger and one of the few without any powers.
Despite this, we consistently see her character being pulled in different directions as directors all try different arcs with her. She’s one of the most inconsistent characters out, which is ridiculous considering she’s supposed to be one of the main heroes and original Avengers. She’s been built up as this badass unbeatable spy warrior, and yet she has been so under-utilised. She was barely even in Infinity War, and then in End Game they kill her off halfway through the movie?
Honestly, she deserved more. First of all, why were Natasha and Hawkeye the ones to be sent to outer space? It would have made more sense for them to be sent on a sneaky earth-related mission instead. Nebula, even knew that someone has to die to get the stone, literally talks about Gamora going and not returning. Isn’t the whole point of Endgame to oppose Thanos’ methods of sacrifice for the greater good? And yet, we sacrifice Natasha the same way. Her death wasn’t even given the grand tragic scene that it should’ve been. I personally felt like Gamora’s death was way sadder – the slo-mo, the huge score welling up tears in our eyes – it was all so dramatic and tragic. Black Widow was denied the same grandeur, and it felt like we moved on from it so quickly.
Redemption Arc, ‘Til Death Do Us Part
Yeah, we get it. Hawkeye can’t die because he has to bring back his family, blah blah. If Natasha dies it’s fine because she has no family to mourn her. This is just so BS.
Black Widow’s (often badly written) arc is that she isn’t alone; that she matters to her family of Avengers – even the opening of End Game is all about her acknowledging the family saved her. Her character is all about redemption, and then the writers kill her off as the ultimate sacrifice to redeem herself. But what about Hawkeye? He literally just went rouge and killed heaps of people purely out of spite ’cause they survived and his family didn’t. Where is his need of redemption? Maybe he should have died to pay for his sins, and Natasha survived because she’s already been paying for hers for ages? The movie just brushes off his own misdeeds, but Natasha must pay for hers.
Despite him surviving purely because he has a family, we don’t even get a cute ass reunion where they run into each others arms or something, so now her death feels even more pointless. Why is Natasha’s redemption arc so long, and why does she have to die for it to be completed?
On top of that, she had that godawful and downright offensive romance with Hulk, because apparently they’re both monsters. Yes, let’s just strip the humanity off women who are infertile because heteronormativity. Yes, I fucking hate that story line. Oh, god forbid a woman exists in any capacity that isn’t tied to reproduction or producing a family. It seems Black Widow is constantly having to pay the price for …what? Being independent of a lover or family unit? Yeah, sounds stupid ’cause it is. She ultimately dies because she doesn’t have kids and Hawkeye does, and this is the justification for now murderer Hawkeye to keep on living and be reunited with his loved ones.
Marvel did Black Widow dirty and she deserved more than being killed simply to complete an (old and boring) redemption arc.
Image Source: GIPHY, Marvel Studios.