Normally, a trailer gives us a better idea of what its movie will be about, and while the latest look at Avengers: Endgame offered lots of new insights, it has also left us even more confused about the film’s timeline. While we believe Earth’s mightiest heroes might go back in time via the Quantum Realm, we’re unsure how long after the Snap they’ll make the trip.
But the reason we’re confused has nothing to do with alternate dimensions and Infinity Stones. We’re trying to make heads or tails of the changing hairstyles of Black Widow in all three teasers. If we can untangle this mess we might finally get a straight answer to the question of what kind of time jump we’ll see. Even before this latest promo, a lot of evidence pointed to Endgame taking place a significant period of time after the events of Infinity War. The first trailer ended with Scott Lang, who was presumed dusted, making a surprise appearance at Avengers HQ. After traveling through a time vortex in the Quantum Realm, he would reenter the real world sometime in the future (months? a year? a few years?), and then the Avengers’ plan to undo the Snap would really begin.
At first glance, this latest trailer seems to confirms that. The first time we see Scott, he is stunned to be reading “Missing” signs that look like they’ve been up for a while. He’s also standing in front of a rundown house with overgrown shrubs and trees, indicating no one has kept up after it for a long time, likely because they (or their landscaper) were dusted.
The problem is, Black Widow’s changing hair throughout the three trailers don’t exactly match up with the working theory on when Scott will reappear or what his return will lead to.
Here’s what Natasha Romanoff looked like in Infinity War, where she had short blonde hair.
That’s the exact same hair she has during Captain Marvel’s mid-credits scene, when Carol Danvers answers Nick Fury’s page by showing up at Avengers HQ. Since Steve Rogers also has his beard during that moment—facial hair that has been completely absent from every Endgame trailer—that scene must take place shortly after the Snap.
The new scene between Thor and Carol Danvers must also take place then, because Black Widow has the same short hair.
Since Natasha’s hair is not only much longer but also a different color at certain points in the new trailer, we have to believe that the shorter and blonder her cut, the closer to the Snap the scene should take place. Using her hair as a guide, we can start to piece together a timeline for Endgame, starting with Captain Marvel’s arrival.
This is when Black Widow tells an unseen person in the first trailer that Thanos “wiped out 50 percent of all living creatures.” (Yes, even the animals).
This shot takes place when she and Steve are on a plane (most likely a Quinjet), where she says, “This is gonna work, Steve.”
She still has this same haircut when Scott Lang surprises her and Cap.
Even though they are shown in opposite order, the effect of the first trailer makes it appear as though Ant-Man’s return presages the start of the unspoken plan (“this”) that Black Widow is confident will work. Scott showing up still might lead to “a” plan, but maybe not “the” plan.
There was one other shot of Black Widow in the first trailer, when she found Hawkeye/Ronin. Here it looks like her hair is longer and tied back, indicating some time will elapse after Carol and Scott arrive, but before she recruits her old friend.
The Endgame Super Bowl commercial, the film’s second teaser, also showed her with long, blonde hair while at the target range (this moment was also included in the new trailer).
Between the time that must have passed for her hair to grow longer, and how frustrated she looks here, that’s not a great sign for “this” plan’s success.
But the rest of the Super Bowl promo still shows Black Widow with her Infinity War haircut. The clearest shot is when we see her outside with Steve, Bruce, and Rhodey.
The only other time in the Super Bowl commercial we see her is from far away during the Avengers’ walk through the hangar. She’s in front of Rocket and behind Thor (which will be important later), and it looks like she still has her short hairstyle here.
Those two shots of her with long blonde hair point to her not finding Hawkeye until some significant amount of time has passed since the Snap. But the new trailer indicates an even longer time jump before we will see the Avengers in their matching white suits.
After Natasha and Clint’s reunion again, she’s seen speaking to Steve. Her natural red hair has returned and is long, but you can see the remnants of her blonde hair at the end of it.
This hair indicates this moment is much further away from the events of the Snap, and we see it again when she and Clint are comforting one another on the Quinjet.
With her red hair replacing the blonde hair she had when she found him, there must be a time gap between when she reunited with Clint and this moment when they pair up on a mission.
This is also the same hair she has when the Avengers walk through the hangar in their matching white suits.
Let’s compare this to the far away hangar shot from the Super Bowl ad, which we looked at above.
One of two things is possible with this sequence. The first is that it’s the same one we saw in the Super Bowl commercial, only it was originally heavily edited to hide some characters and the white suits. (Rhodey is in his black War Machine suit here and there’s no Tony or Nebula.) That means that short hair we thought we saw on Natasha was really her long red hair tied back.
The second option is these are different shots entirely. Notice Thor is nowhere to be found in the new one; his presence would be a weird thing for a trailer to hide since Marvel had no problem giving away the far bigger reveal about Tony and Nebula making it to Earth.
Logically it seems more likely these two hangar shots are not of the same scene, and if that’s the case, there’s enough of a gap between them that Black Widow’s hair not only grows out, but changes from blonde to red.
This hairy situation indicates that instead of a single time jump within Endgame like we expected, we will get two or possibly even three of them. But how long will any of them be? And what important developments will happen during them? Will they need time because Carol Danvers, Thor, Rocket, or Nebula are out in space looking for something they need? Will the Avengers fail in their first plan and need to regroup before going out on their second mission (which requires those white suits)?
Or does Natasha Romanoff, the superhero who has had numerous hairstyles throughout the MCU, just like mixing things up every few weeks and these changing ‘dos are nothing more than a red hair herring?
Forget Quantum Realms and Infinity stones, we want to talk to Endgame‘s hairstylists.