The Disney+ subset of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a pleasant surprise for viewers, especially because now these shows are not just B-stories but actually intertwine with the main MCU plot. Marvel Studios seem to have noticed the power of the episodic format. They have realized that this format allows them to focus more on the characters rather than CGI. For instance, let’s try to compare Black Widow & Hawkeye. We think because of the structure of the show, Hawkeye does what Black Widow failed at. Take a look at our reasoning below.
The Black Widow movie was supposed to be a backstory for the character of Natasha Romanoff. It was supposed to flesh out the origin of the character but it ended up being another infiltration story for Clint and Natasha. We are not complaining, exactly. It is just that the story points of Black Widow’s origin were much better in Hawkeye than in Black Widow. Why is that? Maybe because the shoemakers had much more freedom and five-time the runtime to play around with. This means that the action was well-integrated with the story beats.
But when you watch a movie, the filmmakers have to do what they call an exposition dump to bring you up to speed with the story. This was something that only Black Widow creators had to do. Everything from the Red Room to Yelena’s introduction, to The Red Guardian, seemed rushed. Even the main villain, ergo Taskmaster was not properly introduced. He was basically an expressionless super-soldier. That is his entire character bio. Not much room for fitting a story in there.
Hawkeye Does What Black Widow Failed At
But the Hawkeye part of the story is much better constructed. When you see Yelena for the first time, you have no idea what this femme fatale is doing here. Then you get the information from Clint that she is a Black Widow assassin, which spooks him, understandably. The character then appears in Kate’s apartment and puts us all on edge. Her nonchalant demeanor coupled with that Russian accent is the stuff of nightmares. She puts it delicately, “if I wanted to kill you, you’d be dead already”.
However, the most interesting thing about this character is that she is not here for herself. In fact, this is a job that she takes to justify the after-credits scene of Black Widow. Val put Yelena of Clint’s trail ( we are not sure for what reason) and then this Black Widow came to America to avenge her sister. Some would say that she wanted to know the truth more than she wanted to kill Hawkeye. Whatever the case might be, Hawkeye managed to turn the final confrontation between Yelena and Clint into an emotional struggle rather than a battle.
Although they grappled and punched each other, it was their hearts that were talking to each other. Clint emphasized over and over that Natasha was better than him. He could not stop her from sacrificing herself, he tried his best but Natasha knew how to win, always. This is a callback to the incidents of Endgame, where Black Widow sacrificed herself for the soul stone. But none of it was addressed in that movie, or in the Black Widow solo venture. So the responsibility for the resolution of the story was ceded to Hawkeye.
This meant that Clint had to distance himself from the final confrontation with Kingpin. In fact, we don’t think that Kingpin and Hawkeye were in the same frame together, ever. The crime boss never crossed paths with the Avenger, but he did have to fight off his protege, which he failed at. Moreover, the final fight with Yelena and the chase leading up to it solidified how dangerous she is. This sets up Yelena as the replacement of Natasha in the MCU and maybe an addition to the roster of the Avengers.
Will it happen soon or not, we don’t know. We don’t even know if there is going to be another Avengers movie. There is some hope in the form of all the setups that Marvel Studios is doing, but the future of the team is murky at best. Let us know what you think of our analysis down below in the comments and keep watching this space for everything Marvel, DC, and Hollywood. Excelsior!!!