Is it too late for the Black Widow standalone? Sort of (Picture: Rex)

If you really wanted to corner a captive audience with a Black Widow standalone, Marvel, may I suggest you released her into the wild about six years ago?

Alright, you got me Marvel, you know I’ll still gobble up this Scarlett Johansson epic with delight. But why has it taken so long for one of the main players in the Avengers universe to get their own siren song?

Ever since Natasha Romanoff stormed onto the stage in 2010’s Iron Man 2 we’ve been quite taken with the claret-haired assassin – and way too emotional when she snuffed it in this year’s Endgame.

With my tears barely dry, now, NOW, you decide it’s the right time for Black Widow to be paid her dues and given the limelight her backstory deserves. Even though we already know how she ends up, all cold at the bottom of a cliff in Vormir, I really hope there is a bigger plan in all of this. And being Marvel, I will give it the benefit of the doubt – because this all seems like a serious afterthought and disservice to the female characters that help hold up this multi-billion-dollar franchise.

Best-case scenario, this film is three years too late (Picture: Marvel Entertainment)

If anything, Nat should have got her moment after she made the great entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Or, at the very least, when this film is based, after the events of Captain America: Civil War. That was released way back in 2013.

So best-case scenario, this film is three years too late. Well, four, by the time this comes out in May.

Honestly, as much as I love Paul Rudd and his ageless quirks, the fact Ant-Man got a standalone before Black Widow (heck, he’s had two now) is a real bloody travesty.

Sure Scarlett has sworn this standalone is no origin story and thank the good lord Thor for that, because what is the point of knowing her origin when we already know her death. We had closure at the end of Endgame and now we have to reverse our mind, ignore all we know that comes of Nat and re-engage.

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It’s almost like now the femmes have proven they’re a powerful money-making force (with the goddess Captain Marvel given the task of kicking it off and earning the box office cred) Marvel Studios is making up for lost time by flinging more Captain Marvel at us, as well as this Black Widow film, and a Scarlet Witch series – we get it, you support the female superheroes.

But is it too late?

Way back when these films should have been made, Ike Perlmutter (Marvel Entertainment CEO) was caught out when leaked emails in 2014 suggested he really wasn’t a fan of the female superheroes. He mentioned the likes of Electra (a Marvel character, but before the MCU really existed in its current, winning form under Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige) and Catwoman failing at the box office, without realising MCU holds so much power. Like, all the power.

So many others have had multiple standalones (Picture: Rex Features)

Marvel Studios surely realises the powerful position it’s in in that is really carves out the conversation like no other comics-based studio does. It took a chance on Iron Man in 2008 and built a franchise worth gazillions that comes up in daily conversation within the fandom and is a constant power player in pop culture content.

Now feeling it can take a chance on the female superhero after fans have been calling for it for years all seems a little, dare I say, forced.

While I’m still beside myself with glee we get to see Nat save the day yet again, I can’t help but admit that, knowing the fate of Black Widow, a part of me is going to find it hard to truly connect with a character I already know is dead.

However, as she’s wont to do, Scarlett herself has defended the somewhat delayed standalone film, insisting she wouldn’t have been able to make such a movie a decade ago.

Speaking on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, she said: ‘I really could never have made this film 10 years ago when we first started our journey with Marvel… The character has informed this film. My journey with Natasha has informed this film and it’s a character who is a fully recognised woman and I think it has a complexity to it that is just delicious.

‘Not to say that it wouldn’t have been something else and totally entertaining 10 years ago. But we get to do stuff now that is just good.’

Essentially, she’s suggesting a Black Widow standalone needed to marinate in its juices.

As any succulent turkey will tell us, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps we wouldn’t have been so keen on knowing her story if we hadn’t had the past decade getting to know her more.

I can only hope we can ignore the fate of the character and enjoy her story, with Black Widow smoking all the heroes, and my expectations, with its greatness. Feige, I dare ya.

Black Widow is in cinemas 1 May, 2020.



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