The Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken us around the world, to places like Sokovia, Washington D.C., Lagos, Berlin, and more. And Black Widow seems to continue that trend. A reddit thread revealing new official merchandise showed a shirt that listed a number of cities on the back, similar to the way tour dates and locations might be listed.
Presumably, given that this is official merchandise, these are the confirmed locations Black Widow will visit over the course of the film. In fact, we’ve already seen a few appear in the trailers. We can also assume these locations are in chronological order, given that the movie starts in present day and New York makes the most sense as to where we might find Natasha following the events of Captain America: Civil War. (Maybe she went back to Avengers Compound to regroup?) While some locations, such as Ohio, are certainly puzzling, there are two that have piqued fans’ interest largely because of what they represent for Natasha: Budapest and Siberia.
Budapest, as hardcore fans of the character know, has a long-running significance between Natasha and her best friend Hawkeye, though we’ve never gotten actual answers as to why it’s so meaningful. Siberia is the location of the Hydra station where Bucky and Cap end up at the end of Captain America: Civil War, and the site of the Winter Soldier Program. Since the movie was first announced, one of the primary questions on everyone’s mind has been if we’ll see any cameos from other Avengers. We already know we’re going to probably see Tony Stark given the movie’s timeline; even if Robert Downey Jr. isn’t available for a quick cameo there’s most likely unused footage somewhere from Captain America: Civil War. But what about Cap or Falcon, who we know eventually meet up with Natasha in Avengers: Infinity War? What about Avengers who Natasha has significant relationships with, like Hawkeye and Bucky?
As fun as it would be to see the other Avengers show up in Black Widow, it’s not exactly necessary for a movie that’s all about Natasha and Natasha’s personal journey. We’re already getting a new relationship in the form of Yelena and Natasha, as well as Natasha’s spy family, and the focus should be on developing those given we might not see these characters in future films. Also, as this film follows the Avengers being broken apart in the wake of the airport battle and Sokovia Accords, it should give Natasha a break from her family as well. In short, Black Widow doesn’t need any supporting Avengers, even those who are a part of Natasha’s history, to make it more interesting.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get any mention of people who are important in Natasha’s life, though. In lieu of cameos from the actors, it would be more interesting to see why places like Budapest and Siberia mean so much by filling in the blanks from Natasha’s point of view. Maybe she comes across a specific building or part of town in Budapest that reminds her of the first time she met Hawkeye, or maybe being on the run with Yelena reminds her of the first moment they met. Maybe she makes a comment to her spy family about how she got into S.H.I.E.L.D. which leads her to describe, in detail, how he made his different call.
As for Siberia, maybe Natasha tells Yelena about her relationship with the Winter Soldier and how they trained together. After all, in comic canon, Bucky was a huge part of Natasha’s past and even if that background hasn’t been translated into the MCU, it would be a nice wink to the fact that they do have a shared history. Maybe Natasha sees something related to the Winter Soldier Program that jogs her memory, and we learn that the program’s history ties into what is currently happening in the Red Room. In all of these cases, even a brief flashback would be a fun addition, and a perfect way to balance what fans want to see while keeping Natasha’s story front and center. And let’s face it—the sisters have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to their personal lives. This would be a good way for Marvel to drop some fun lore into the movie without taking away from its focus.
Fans have waited years to see a Black Widow film and after years of sharing the spotlight and being a footnote in other heroes’ stories, it would be smart of Marvel to let the film focus solely on Natasha—she’s certainly proven she’s more than capable of controlling her own narrative. By allowing us to see meaningful moments through her own eyes, Natasha’s history with those who are important to her becomes more personal and adds even more layers to what we already know about her past.
Featured Image: Marvel Studios