Kevin Feige was in Brazil over the weekend to bring exclusive footage to CCXP and while audiences outside of the convention won’t be seeing what was show any time soon, Feige also had plenty to say about the future of the MCU including something very interesting about next May’s Black Widow.
Following the screening of some new Black Widow footage, Feige explained that the film will not only further explain her past, but also set up the future of the MCU. The second part of that comment could mean something as obvious as introducing Yelena Belova as the new Black Widow, but it could also mean something bigger. Let’s do some thinking about some ways in which Black Widow might change the MCU landscape moving forward. To be clear, this is purely speculative and not meant to be informative about what to expect in the film.
The Introduction of Latveria
If Black Widow is going to set up the future of the MCU in a meaningful, long-lasting way, introducing Latveria and it’s benevolent monarch would be among the most interesting ways to do so.
In the comics, Latveria was a piece of land annexed from Southern Hungary. Given that much of Black Widow is set to take place in Budapest, Hungary, it doesn’t seem too crazy to believe that we could, at the very least, hear mention of the growing threat coming from Doomstadt, get a Victor Von Doom name drop or even have a post credit scene teasing Doom’s future role. Remember that we first saw Thanos in a post credit scene in 2012’s Avengers, then again briefly in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and that it wasn’t until 2018 that we saw him fully realized, so introducing Doom, a character who would, like Thanos, be a decade long threat to the MCU, is not entirely crazy.
William Hurt’s Thunderbolt Ross is the lone holdover from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk and while his presence in the film makes plenty of sense superficially, it’s more fun to think about how it might grow into something more than just chasing down Natasha after the events of Captain America: Civil War.
The recent Black Widow trailer is cut to make it sound like Ross and Nat are having a friendly chat, but given Ross’s line of questioning, he could just as easily be talking to Yelena Belova in an attempt to recruit her to his own band of heroes. Sure there are some hoops to jump through with the 5 year leap in time, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Ross decides to assemble his own team in a post-Endgame world without Avengers. Hell, who’s to say he doesn’t already have some members and that he’s not the one who sent Taskmaster after Nat?
This is as far fetched and unlikely as anything I’ve ever come up with, but it’s possible (though highly unlikely) that the Eastern European setting of Black Widow could allow it to be the first MCU film to broach the subject of mutants. Sokovia was the site of a nearly cataclysmic tragedy at the hands of Ultron. While Ultron planned for extinction, it’s possible that his mechanism could have triggered the next stage of human evolution.
In 1999, Jim Krueger and Alex Ross wrote a limited series called Earth X in which every human has now acquired some form of super powers. Among the many fascinating ideas in the alternate universe take is one that sees Reed Richards attempt to use Vibranium to solve the world’s energy crisis. During the series, Richards explains his belief (though it turns out to be wrong) that his failed vibranium experiments caused the mutation of the human genome and the dystopia followed. While it was later revealed that Terrigen Mists released by Black Bolt triggered the changes, the idea has always stuck with me.
Ultron used huge amounts of Vibranium in the device that lifted part of Sokovia towards the atmosphere. We’ve seen the immediate consequences of the disaster, but what if, much like a meltdown at a nuclear plant, there were longer lasting implications from the Vibranium crashing into Earth. It’s an alien substance that we know affected the flora of Wakanda and that when that flora is consumed can grant superpowers to its consumer. Could Vibranium that’s been in the soil for almost a decade be the catalyst to the mutant explosion on Earth? Probably not, but it’s an interesting conversation.
What ways can you imagine Black Widow setting up the future of the MCU? Let me know in the comments!