Black Widow has gone from being a sidekick Avenger like Hawkeye to becoming an integral part of this story in her own right. We will eventually get to see her take charge in her standalone film featuring but for now, we must analyze her story that is currently available to us.
Avengers: Endgame shocked the world when we were forced to watch Black Widow sacrifice herself for the Soul Stone and while some were peeved by this decision for the writers and directors to kill off the only female Original Avenger it was actually perfect for her storyline, or her redemptive arc, which this series is focusing on. So, with no further delay, let’s look at her beautiful story of redemption. Enjoy!
“I’ve Got Red In My Ledger. I’d Like To Wipe It Out.”
To truly comprehend the power behind Black Widow’s sacrifice in Endgame we must take a look back all the way to The Avengers. You see, The Avengers was the first film to show Black Widow’s vulnerable side as she confided in Hawkeye the reason why she was willing to save the world despite being nothing more than a spy.
It’s this moment that we get the idea that Black Widow wants to rid the sins of her past by being an Avenger/hero. But being a hero doesn’t always mean having to make the easy choices.
We saw this displayed in Captain America: Civil War when The Avengers’ heroism came into question after evidence was revealed that The Avengers’ actions were not only saving people but killing innocent bystanders as well.
Once again Black Widow found herself questioning her conscience but she ultimately ended up siding with Captain America, diving deep into a personal journey that will be on full display in next year’s Black Widow movie. But of course, we have Endgame, the ultimate conclusion to her journey and the last peg to her path of redemption.
Ready To Save the Galaxy
Like her fellow Avengers, when the opportunity arose to potentially resurrect Thanos’ dusted victims she was all for it. But the horror and utter sense of failure she felt once learning that Thanos had destroyed the stones was heart-wrenchingly palpable.
Suddenly everything she had tried to do to be the hero she aspired to be had crumbled before her feet, leaving her utterly distraught.
And it’s never more apparent the toll The Avengers’ failure is on her than this scene here. Remember, it’s five years after Thanos’ death and yet Black Widow behaves as if The Avengers’ is still fresh.
As she tries to continue being a leader and an Avenger the emotion, the will to keep on without completely collapsing into despair like Thor, is beating her down. After hearing about her best friend’s murderous escapade all over the world she asks Colonel Rhodes a.k.a War Machine to locate him for her with tears in her eyes.
It’s directly after this request that we see Black Widow cry for the first time in the MCU. It is truly jarring to see this resilient heroine so mentally beat down. And even when she talks to Steve Rogers she cannot contain the tears that roll freely down her cheeks as she relays to him how being an Avenger has helped her so much. Without The Avengers she would have, in her words, “nothing.”
I’m sure we’ll understand the full extent of what she means by that when we see the Black Widow movie.
Saving a Friend
Another important element to her story that was conveyed in The Avengers was her debt to her dear friend, Hawkeye. Clint Barton, in becoming Ronin, had gone down the same dark path that she had once lived personally. But she had changed and learned from her mistakes. She discovered that killing people, no matter how bad they were, did nothing but slowly eat away at your psyche until you were either dead or a worse monster than the people you were fighting.
Clint Barton was becoming the monster that he had prevented her from being and going to him in his darkest hour to bring him back to the light was yet another important step in repaying her debt to him.
A Heroic Sacrifice
“For the last five years, I’ve been trying to do one thing. Get to right here. That’s all it’s been about. Bringing everybody back.”
This quote spoken by Black Widow sums up her emotional journey in Endgame. For five years she had been training, waiting, for her chance to make everything right. To “wipe the red out of her ledger.” And now she had the chance to instantly right her wrongs and complete her debt to Hawkeye by saving his life at the same time.
In their final and most emotional duel, Black Widow defeated Clint Barton for the role of assuming the Soul Stone.
As Hawkeye holds onto her for dear life, pleading for her not to sacrifice herself she tells him in a beautiful and genuine way, “It’s okay.” She had nothing left to live for, her role in this story had met its end, and like a Jedi in Star Wars, she realized the sacrifice she would have to make was the right choice.
The fact that she was willing to die without even knowing for certain if her friends would prevail is easily one of the most heroic things that have ever been done in the MCU. And who would’ve ever thought it would be Black Widow committing such a selfless act of heroism? It’s kind of amazing!
I was already a Black Widow fan but now I’m really a fan of her character and I can’t wait to see her movie. It’s surely going to be incredible.
Tomorrow the final section of this series focuses on the most important hero in the MCU; Iron Man. That’s going to be a very fun and emotional piece to write. 😢
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fabulous day.