It’s a little too easy to think that Marvel is trying to get us all excited by saying something like “Iron Man will have a cameo in Black Widow” only to fool us all by sticking in a bit of unused footage from Captain America: Civil War. If you recall Tony did call Natasha out about her betrayal near the end of the fight, but Natasha didn’t seem too worried about it since she knew Tony wouldn’t do anything to her. It sounds as though, according to Neeraj Chand of MovieWeb, that her story is going to be taking place in the Civil War timeline at some point, though it’s also fair to think that the origin of her career as a spy will begin elsewhere. Black Widow is one of the characters that people have been wanting to see a solo movie about for a while now and some people even feel that it’s a bit cheap that Captain Marvel got a movie that went on to explain the course of the Avenger’s Initiative before Black Widow was even considered for her own solo performance.
What’s funny about all this is that the original Avengers did feature a female fighter within their midst, but it wasn’t Natasha Romanoff. Instead it was Janet Van Dyne, the Wasp, who joined the team along with Hank Pym, or Ant Man, and would round out the group for a while before Captain America came along. To think that Wasp made her debut not too long after the Avengers did but didn’t join the group initially as she went on to do her own thing for a while as a covert spy. Black Widow has been around a lot longer than some people realize but at the same time she’s been an Avenger for less time than many of the members. It’s a bit confusing to think of why she was put on the original team when Wasp would have been an easy and acceptable member given that she has a lot more promise than Black Widow. But after putting her in Iron Man 2 it does make sense that she would be in on the team since no Ant Man or Wasp movies were forthcoming before that time. But in all honesty the claims that the Avengers was just a boys club and has been that way for a while simply begs the question as to why more female members weren’t brought in sooner.
Natasha getting an origin story is a good idea as Gregory Ellwood from Uproxx agrees since it might answer a lot of questions about the character that people have had since she came on the scene, but it also seems likely that her origin is going to be glossed over a bit since it would seem that the idea will also be to show how she and Clint came to work together after a while and how she was initially an enemy but eventually became an ally. The ‘cameo’ seems like kind of a cheap way to keep people interested and park their butts in a seat for a two-hour movie that might feature a minute or less of Iron Man. Some might say that it’s kind of damaging to think that people will only come to see Black Widow for a chance to see Tony Stark one more time, but honestly if the character were any more popular she might be able to carry a movie entirely on her own without any mention of the other Avengers popping in for even a scene. But it’s true that she made herself a part of the team and it’s also true that apart from Hawkeye she can’t really hold her own against the rest. Even Ant Man has been seen to give her problems, and anyone above him is bound to take her to task since for all her skill, which is impressive, Natasha is still only human without any superpowers or ready ability to neutralize said powers.
Instead she relies on the attack you don’t see coming, the wild card that is there to wreak havoc when everyone else is looking in the wrong direction. She’s skilled, she’s intelligent, and she’s a definite asset to her team, but she’s almost always been the one among them that can fight and really do some damage, but is limited by her normal human physiology. You could say the same about Tony Stark, but the Iron Man suits kind of negate that whole ‘normal’ aspect and allow him to step into the ring with the heavyweights. Natasha’s origin story will hopefully be something that people will want to watch and enjoy, but one thing that’s pretty evident about Marvel movies is that once they’ve made something fantastic it’s kind of hard to expect everything to meet that same level of greatness.