Editor’s observe: The next accommodates spoilers for Black Widow.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is an ever-expanding beast that reveals no indicators of slowing down, with new films and sequence going down throughout its convoluted timeline. We’ve identified for some time that Black Widow is a prequel film, going down earlier than Natasha Romanoff’s demise in Avengers: Endgame. However how does Black Widow matches exactly on the grand scheme of all Marvel issues? Now that the film is lastly out there in theaters and thru Disney+ Premier Acess, let’s focus on when Black Widow takes place within the MCU timeline. A phrase of warning, this dialogue includes lots of spoilers for your entire MCU.
When Does the Black Widow Prologue Take Place?
Even when it’s no shock that Black Widow is a prequel, the film’s opening scene takes us all the way in which again to 1995, when 11-year-old Natasha Romanoff (Ever Anderson) lives in Ohio together with her household. Natasha appears to have an everyday life within the suburbs, collectively together with her father, Alexei (David Harbour), her mom, Melina (Rachel Weisz), and her youthful sister, Yelena (Violet McGraw). Nevertheless, it doesn’t take lengthy for us to study that the blissful household is only a cowl for a three-year mission during which Alexei and Melina get to steal some mind-controlling expertise from S.H.I.E.L.D. (truly Hydra on the time).
As soon as their cowl is blown, the soviet spy household escapes S.H.I.E.L.D. and meets a Russian basic in Cuba. Melina goes again to Russia to develop mind-controlling chemics; Alexie is locked in a Siberian jail; and each Natasha and Yelena are enrolled within the Purple Room to turn into forcably skilled as harmful Widow assassins. Yelena is the one member of the family that didn’t learn about their mission, making this her first go to to the Purple Room. As for Natasha, it’s clear from this primary scene that she doesn’t need to return to the coaching middle, which implies she spent a while within the Purple Room earlier than 1992.
It’s value noting that this can be a massive 12 months for the MCU, as the main events of Captain Marvel also happen in 1995. However let’s not get hung within the far previous. As a substitute, it’s time to leap ahead to 2016.
Again to Civil Warfare
After an introduction that makes the viewer conscious of the brutal coaching the Widows endure within the Purple Room, we’re taken straight to 2016, after the Leipzig-Halle Airport battle that takes place throughout Captain America: Civil Warfare. Through the airport battle, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) escape in a jet whereas their allies keep behind to distract Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and the opposite superheroes who signed the Sokovia Accords. At this level, Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) betrays Group Iron Man by holding off King T’challa (Chadwick Boseman) so Steve can escape. The final we see Natasha in Civil Warfare, she’s on the run, as Tony warns her Secretary Ross (William Harm) will hunt her after the betrayal.
The primary occasions of Black Widow begin at this level, as Ross and his military encompass a constructing the place Natasha is supposedly hiding. Natasha calls Ross and tells him to again off and simply depart her be. Ross, in flip, reveals they’ve already captured Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), and “the opposite man”, an apparent reference to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). Natasha is on the run concurrently because the three heroes are taken to the super-prison referred to as The Raft, which implies one of many first scenes in Black Widow occurs similtaneously the ending of Civil Warfare. Whereas Natasha is on the run, Tony finds the reality about Zemo (Daniel Brühl) and goes to fulfill Steve and Bucky in Siberia.
Natasha decides to cover in Europe, however her previous quickly catches her as she receives information from her adoptive sister Yelena (Florence Pugh). Yelena can be a fugitive after breaking free from the thoughts management of the Purple Room. Natasha, who as soon as thought she had put an finish to the merciless coaching middle, joins forces together with her surrogate household to carry the Purple Room down. These are the most important occasions of Black Widow, however the film is just not achieved referencing Civil Warfare.
Earlier than the credit roll, Natasha dyes her hair blonde, simply as we see it in Avengers: Infinity Warfare. Blonde Natasha then meets her contrabandist good friend, Mason (O-T Fagbenle), who bought her a jet. And never any jet, however the identical jet Steve, Natasha, and Sam use throughout Infinity Warfare. It’s a intelligent method to bridge the occasions of Civil Warfare and the resurgence of Group Cap when Thanos assaults Earth, but it surely seems to be like Natasha had an much more vital job between the 2 films.
When Manson asks her what she’ll do with the jet, Natasha replies by telling him she’ll “break some mates out of jail”. On the finish of Civil Warfare, we study that Steve had damaged into The Raft to launch his tremendous mates. Nevertheless, it appears Steve was not alone, and Natasha might need performed an element within the jail break, providing her jet for all of them to flee. The eye to element within the MCU is worthy of reward, and prequels corresponding to Black Widow will help fill the gaps left behind by earlier films. However we’re not achieved but, because the Black Widow credit scene takes us to the longer term.
After Avengers: Endgame
We don’t get a precise date to Black Widow post-credits scene, however we all know for positive that it occurs after Natasha dies in Endgame. Within the scene, Yelena is cleansing Natasha’s grave when she’s intercepted by Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), the identical lady who hired John Walker (Wyatt Russell) on the finish of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. We study on this scene that Yelena has been working for the Contessa for some time, and her subsequent goal is a shock of its personal, however one thing that the Contessa says helps us place the post-credit scene at late 2023/early 2024. The Contessa tries to justify her presence by saying she’s there simply to pay her respects, which implies the 2 ladies haven’t interacted since earlier than Natasha died. Tony Stark’s funeral came about within the Fall of 2023, so it’s straightforward to imagine Natasha bought the same remedy across the similar time.
As new MCU films hit theaters and the Marvel Studios reveals hit Disney+, we’ll get extra puzzle items to fill within the gaps in Marvel’s cinematic timeline. However, Black Widow already does one hell of a job in linking previous and future occasions.
The film’s setting is able to tackle an issue fans had with an earlier MCU movie.
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