Avengers: Endgame neatly wrapped up the Infinity Stones story arc and bid a permanent farewell to some of our favorite Avengers, including Iron Man and Black Widow.
But while Tony Stark got a trilogy of films, multiple cameo appearances, a proper family and a grand funeral, Black Widow died in a distant corner of the universe, having sacrificed her life so that Hawkeye could retrieve the Soul Stone and ultimately reverse the Snap and take down Thanos.
She died alone, even as her character deserved so much more. Which is why the solo Black Widow movie, despite being billed as a prequel, is so important.
Because being the only female Avenger and without any form of biological enhancement (in the movies), she is one of the most badass and inspiring female heroes out there and in a male-dominated industry, we need more stories about characters like her.
There's so much more to Black Widow's character in the comics that the Marvel movies never referenced and here's hoping the upcoming film will address some of these dark secrets.
10 She Was Supposed To Be A Villain
Yes, Black Widow wasn't originally supposed to be an "Avenger". Of course, patriarchy would rather have femme fatales than create a stellar female superhero who can be an inspiration to countless girls out there.
And it's clear that the whole trope about vamps and femme fatales (that's also commonly associated with the film noir genre) using their sexual charisma to seduce and murder their way out of life, went into creating Black Widow.
Her story began like this: she was an orphan girl who was recruited into a top-secret Soviet program with the sole goal of taking down Iron Man.
9 She Manipulated Iron Man Into Having A Relationship With Her
And how exactly, was she supposed to take down Tony Stark? By being a femme fatale of course.
She used her skill at manipulating people to get Tony Stark to romance her, and while at it, got access to top-secret Stark Tech If that isn't enough, in one storyline where Natasha dies, she and Iron Man had made a sex tape together, which was played at a memorial dedicated to her.
8 She Manipulated Hawk-Eye Into Having A Relationship With Her
The movies have repeatedly hinted that Black Widow and Hawk-Eye have history. She sacrifices herself in his place to retrieve the Soul Stone and earlier on, she tells Loki of how she had "red" in her "ledger".
In the comics, she and Hawkeye definitely have a past, as she enlisted his help to try and kill Iron Man, by well...romancing him as well.
7 And Then Got Him To Help Her Kill Iron Man
In fact, once her cover for Iron Man was blown, she teamed up with Hawkeye to kill him. However despite trying numerous times, the duo failed and in the end Hawkeye convinced her to turn themselves over to S.H.I.E.L.D and they began working for Nick Fury.
While the movies have so far hinted nothing between Iron Man and Black Widow, this would make for an interesting origin story as to how Black Widow ended up being affiliated to S.H.I.E.L.D.
6 She Was Forced To Marry A Russian Spy
Of course, true to classic patriarchy, a woman must not be trusted with any power and god forbid, if she were to have any agency or free will of her own.
So naturally in the comics, Black Widow was forced to marry a Russian spy by the name of Alexi Alanovitch Shostakov.
He was a famous test pilot and a spy and given the fact that Black Widow was dating Bucky Barnes at that time, she had no intention of marrying Alexi, who was supposed to be the Russian version of Captain America.
5 She Dated Bucky Barnes
While Captain America: Winter Soldier posited a sort of tension between Captain America and his childhood best friend-turned-nemesis Bucky Barnes (whom he constantly and desperately tries to save), in the comics, Black Window and the Winter Soldier had prior dating history.
In fact, when Natasha and Bucky started dating, he had already become the Winter Soldier and he was one of her trainers, training her to take down his once-allies.
4 She Tried To Be A Fashion Designer
Black Widow and Daredevil were also a thing, for a while. And while both of them were superheroes, they both needed day jobs and a cover for their secret operations.
Daredevil had his job as a lawyer and Natasha in a bid to create an alternate identity, dabbled in fashion design. Unfortunately it soon became apparent that she wasn't as good at being a fashion designer as she was at killing people.
3 She Was Biologically Enhanced
In the films, she's portrayed as the only female Avenger who is completely human and relies on her own skill and not on any external power-source for her spectacular abilities. Which also makes her an inspiring feminist icon in multiple ways.
But in the comics, she's a lot similar to Captain America. She was injected with a super soldier-like serum which granted her increased agility and strength and made her resistant to disease and ageing.
Also in the comics, her official birthdate is 1928 and it would be interesting to see what the film does with this piece of information.
2 She Has Had False Memories
In Avengers: Age Of Ultron, we get a brief glimpse into Natasha's dark past, where she was trained in the Red Room to be an assassin and also studied ballet.
And while ballet might explain her tremendous dexterity, precision and athletic prowess, it may also be a false memory that had been implanted by the Soviet program.
Yes, it makes her very similar to Captain Marvel in a way and adds a darker tinge to her already-dark past.
1 Her Mentor Became A Robot, Fell In Love With Her And Tried To Kill Her
As a femme fatale figure, Natasha had her fair share of lovers, stalkers and killers. And of course, it gets messier and creepier than that.
Ivan Petrovitch found Black Widow when she was an orphan child and raised her under his care and got her to join the Red Room. He became a sort of father figure for her and also fell in love with her — but of course, he was sensible enough to realize that she wouldn't reciprocate his feelings. So he disappeared, went insane, turned into a robot and then confessed his feelings for her and tried to kill her. Naturally she had no choice but to kill him in turn, to stop him from destroying the world.
So which of these dark secrets are you hoping to see in the upcoming film?