Originally written by Thomas Bacon for Screen Rant
The Black Widow Super Bowl trailer includes new footage of the Black Widow family in action - and here's our full trailer breakdown. Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow has been something of a mystery since her MCU debut in 2010's Iron Man 2. Still, after a decade's worth of demand, Marvel is giving Natasha Romanoff a chance to star in her own solo movie at last - one that's expected to finally reveal Black Widow's deepest, darkest secrets.
Marvel Studios took advantage of Super Bowl LIV to unveil another Black Widow trailer. The Black Widow Super Bowl trailer focuses on Natasha and her loose family, a group of super-spies who are about to go head-to-head with the mysterious Taskmaster. The film is set shortly after the events of Captain America: Civil War, and it's expected to explain Black Widow's character journey to her heroic sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame. While Natasha's own MCU story will be over after this movie, it's entirely possible the new characters introduced in the film could return.
On close examination, the Black Widow Super Bowl trailer appears to offer some rare glimpses of the film's third act - as well as confirming that Taskmaster will be pleasingly comic-book-accurate as the villain. Let's run through the main takeaways.
15. "You Don't Know Everything About Me"
The Black Widow Super Bowl trailer recycles a lot of footage that's already been seen before, but places it in a very different context. It opens with a voice-over from Natasha Romanoff, telling viewers that "You don't know everything about me." This should be seen as a promise - Marvel's assurance that there are secrets in Black Widow's past, mysteries that need to be explored in order to effectively launch the MCU's Phase 4. The voice-over accompanies a familiar shot, in which she's wearing what now appears to be a traditional Red Room Black Widow costume. There's been some speculation this is actually a flashback to when Natasha was still working for the Red Room, and that the final scene will see Marvel use their famous de-aging technology to make Scarlett Johansson look younger.
14. What's Going On In The Freefall Fight?
The Black Widow Super Bowl trailer moves to some more familiar footage, as Natasha Romanoff free-falls through an exploding base. This is being treated as one of the highlights of the movie, to the extent that Hasbro has commissioned their first deluxe Marvel Legends action figure based upon it. The first Black Widow trailer seemed to imply that the building in question is the Red Room, but that feels like misdirection; it's probably the prison Red Guardian is held in, with Natasha attempting to free Alexei Shostakov.
13. Melina Vostokoff Is A Black Widow
Rachel Weisz is playing Melina Vostokoff, a character who has been dramatically redesigned from the comics. There, she was a Russian secret agent who became bitterly jealous of Natasha Romanoff because she was continually compared to her; she went on to become Iron Maiden, one of Black Widow's recurring enemies. In contrast, in the MCU Melina is a Black Widow operative herself, and indeed part of Natasha's loose family. Given this is a superhero spy drama, it will be interesting to see if Melina's motives are a little more complex, perhaps in honor of her comic book origin.
12. "The Avengers Weren't My First Family"
Surprisingly, the Black Widow Super Bowl trailer confirms that Natasha Romanoff considers this group - Melina Vostokoff, Yelena Belova, and Red Guardian - to be her first family. The family dynamic had always been prominent in Black Widow's marketing, with one particularly notable shot of Red Guardian claiming the family was back together again. Until now, though, it had been assumed Natasha didn't share that sentiment. In Avengers: Endgame, Natasha insisted she couldn't just give up on the Avengers, because she viewed them as her family. "I used to have nothing," she observed. "And then I got this. This job. This family." This sits uncomfortably with Black Widow, which now claims Natasha had a family before she joined SHIELD and the Avengers.
11. Red Guardian's Jailbreak?
David Harbour (police chief Hopper in Stranger Things) is playing the MCU's version of Red Guardian, the Russian answer to Captain America, who seems to have fallen on hard times of late. Alexei Shostakov was once the great hope of Russia, but it looks as though he wound up imprisoned; in the comics, Red Guardian was left confused and directionless after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but it's unlikely that he's so old in the MCU, given Natasha Romanoff was herself only born in 1984. This shot apparently shows Shostakov's jubilation when he's broken out of the prison that's been holding him.
10. Black Widow Showing Off Her White Costume
In another key promotional shot, Natasha Romanoff is shown jumping down from a helicopter to land among enemies. The Black Widow Super Bowl TV spot focuses in on Black Widow's white costume, which was introduced in Paul Cornell's Black Widow: Deadly Origin miniseries. It's nice to see such a straight homage to that comic, given it streamlined Black Widow's backstory after her MCU debut in Iron Man 2, and has had a profound influence on the cinematic version.
9. Taskmaster Pursues Black Widow
The Black Widow trailers and TV spots have frequently focused in on what seems to be a major action sequence, shot in Budapest, in which Taskmaster pursues the Black Widows in a tank. Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova are driving (and, indeed, have probably stolen) a car to escape; Taskmaster is determined to catch them, for as-yet-unknown reasons. It feels reminiscent of the James Bond tank chase in GoldenEye, albeit inverted in that this time the villain is the one driving the tank. The first Black Widow trailer confirmed that Taskmaster has stepped out into the open in order to shoot at his enemies with a bow and arrow - indicating he shares Hawkeye's skill at archery.
8. The Black Widow Family - After The Final Battle?
One of the most important new shots shows Black Widow and her family in the aftermath of what's clearly a major action scene. All four are in costume, and Yelena Belova's outfit is badly singed - which may be quite important. Red Guardian appears to be the driving force of the Black Widow family unit; he's shown with his arm around Melina Vostokoff, strongly suggesting they're a couple. That's an interesting shift from the comics, where Red Guardian was actually Natasha Romanoff's ex-husband. Curiously, Melina is wearing the white costume - perhaps hinting that she fakes being Natasha at some point in the film, using one of the holographic face-masks seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
This shot is particularly significant, however, because it looks to come from the currently concealed third act. If that's the case, then all four of the Black Widow family will survive Taskmaster's wrath. So why does Black Widow return to Steve Rogers and join up with his Secret Avengers ahead of Avengers: Infinity War?
7. "At Some Point, We All Have To Choose."
"At some point, we all have to choose," Natasha Romanoff's voice-over continues. The Black Widow Super Bowl trailer appears to suggest Natasha is choosing to accept this family, but the sentence feels oddly prophetic. In Avengers: Endgame, Natasha made a very different choice - to sacrifice herself in order to get the Soul Stone to the Avengers, and give the heroes a shot at returning all the untold billions killed by Thanos. Marvel has teased that Black Widow will add context to that choice.
6. Black Widow In Battle
The Black Widow Super Bowl trailer includes another shot of Natasha Romanoff in action. No context is provided for this new fight scene, but it seems to be on the streets, perhaps suggesting it's the resolution of the major car chase scene. Indeed, Black Widow appears to be attempting to take on Taskmaster single-handed - and with a minimum of weapons. If that is the case, then it's a major tactical error on her part.
5. The Black Widows Train
The action shots move on, showing the various Black Widows training. This is most likely to be a flashback, in which Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova are drilled in combat techniques and marksmanship. Note the impressive degree of symmetry, which suggests just how effective the Red Room is at schooling its subjects. This is presumably only one class, too, meaning there could potentially be hundreds of Black Widows working in the shadows of the MCU.
Alternatively, it is possible Natasha learns that the Red Room is still active. Certainly that was the case in the Black Widow: Deadly Origin miniseries, which seems to be a major source of inspiration for this movie. If that's the case, then Natasha could well find herself going up against this class of assassins.
4. Yelena Runs From An Explosion - Is This The End Of Yelena Belova?
The Black Widow Super Bowl trailer shows Yelena Belova running away from a massive explosion. This has likely been included in order to fan speculation that Yelena will die; attentive viewers have noted that Natasha wears the same combat jacket in Avengers: Infinity War, and it's been suggested that she does so in honor of her little sister. Trailers are out of sequence, however, and it's important to remember an earlier shot appeared to be set in the aftermath of the third act battle - with Yelena singed, but still alive.
3. Taskmaster Copies Captain America
Taskmaster is shown using a very familiar Captain America move to pick up his distinctive shield. In the comics, Taskmaster possesses the ability to mimic any action he sees performed; as a result, he's mastered every martial art, and learned from superheroes as diverse as Captain America, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Shang-Chi. It's becoming clear that the MCU version possesses the same kind of skillset, and that he's been studying the Avengers; that explains why he's been shown with both a bow-and-arrow and a shield patterned on Captain America's. While he could conceivably have settled for simply watching footage, it's possible Taskmaster has a prior history with the Avengers, and that he's previously encountered both Hawkeye and Steve Rogers.
Of course, the major problem Taskmaster will face in mimicking Captain America is that he has neither Cap's powers nor his equipment. He's unlikely to be a super-soldier, and Captain America's shield is a formidable weapon precisely because of its unique composition; it's made of Vibranium. Taskmaster's shield probably won't be able to defy the laws of physics, meaning he won't be able to toss it around and have it return neatly to his hand.
2. Black Widow Flees A Mysterious Explosion
Appropriately enough, the Black Widow Super Bowl trailer suggests that this film has about as many explosions as a Pierce Brosnan-era James Bond movie. Natasha Romanoff is shown fleeing from another mysterious explosion; it looks as though she's triggered the destruction of some sort of laboratory facility. Natasha is wearing a costume that she seems to don in the third act, suggesting this may be towards the end of the movie - presumably just before the Black Widow family gather in the lab's wreckage in order to shake hands.
This specific shot is an almost perfect reproduction of a scene from Mark Waid and Chris Samnee's Black Widow #1, published in 2016. There, Natasha was on the run from SHIELD, who believed she'd turned traitor; she was actually jumping out of the side of the SHIELD Helicarrier, and took advantage of the fact she knew SHIELD would send agents to retrieve her alive. No doubt the context is very different.
1. The Two Black Widows Side By Side
One of the most striking shots in the Black Widow Super Bowl trailer shows Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova standing side by side. In the comics, Yelena became Natasha's legacy after her apparent death; she took up the Black Widow identity, and dedicated herself to continuing Natasha's work. It's entirely possible the MCU will follow a similar approach, introducing Yelena Belova in Black Widow and setting her up to become a hero when she learns of Natasha's death in Avengers: Endgame.