‘Black Widow’ continues growing trend of female empowerment in Marvel Cinematic Universe


Starting July 9, Marvel fans and moviegoers received a long awaited and much needed female empowerment film, finally bringing justice and closure to the character of Black Widow. Considering Scarlett Johansson’s character has starred alongside many male actors for the past decade in numerous Avengers films, a superhero film featuring a main female heroine was necessary (the only other Marvel film about a female superhero being “Captain Marvel”). However, why did it take so long for Marvel to create a movie on its original female avenger?

If Marvel were to have released a film about Black Widow earlier in their film phases, would there have been a different outcome of the events of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame,” or would a earlier released film be deemed “unsatisfactory” due to a lack of female empowerment in the MCU? Considering the short, yet iconic female empowerment scene we got in “Avengers: Endgame” was missing Black Widow herself, I think she more than deserves this movie which also provided the necessary background and closure for the character of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow.

Johansson’s character was sometimes outshined by Florence Pugh who played Yelena Belova, Natasha’s sister. Pugh and David Harbour’s comedic delivery throughout the movie makes it an enjoyable film amidst the action and emotional moments. For a character who often claimed the Avengers were her only family, the film was filled with many emotional familial aspects, giving viewers insight into Natasha’s childhood.” The turning points of the movie bring Natasha’s family back together in order to defeat Dreykov, leader of the Red Room who’s goal is to brainwash and train young girls to become trained assassins, just like Black Widow.

“Black Widow” lives up to its expectations of a female empowerment movie and gives a good insight to the background of Johansson’s character, providing clarity to Marvel fans on how Natasha became Black Widow. The film also provides more plot for the MCU as a whole, giving viewers more as to what happened with Natasha’s character after being on the run with the ending of “Captain America: Civil War.” However, for viewers who are not familiar with the character of Black Widow, or the events that happened with the Avengers before “Black Widow,” the film can be rather confusing, considering it was released a year later then intended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Black Widow” ultimately leaves viewers with a well deserved female-dominated women empowerment movie and also provides closure to the character of Natasha Romanoff that many Marvel fans were seeking after “Avengers: Endgame.” Although at the end of the movie I had a sense of wanting more from Natasha on how she felt as an Avenger and who she was as a person, it was overall a fantastic film and I would watch it again.

The post credits scene, which never disappoints in a Marvel film, provided both connections and possible storylines to other Disney+ series. Yelena is seen talking with Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, who also appeared in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” where she recruited Captain America wannabe John Walker to her organization. Their conversation also conveniently sets up a possible story line for the new “Hawkeye” miniseries hitting Disney+ later this year. Without trying to reveal too much, just know that there is way more in store for phase four of the MCU.

Marvel Studios’ “Black Widow” is currently in theaters and available on Disney+ Premiere Access.

Grade: A