Black Widow, aka, Natasha Romanoff, was a founding Avenger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was one of the first to be introduced on the silver screen, showing up in Iron Man 2 alongside Rhodey’s debut as War Machine. She has a solo movie slated to come out this year that goes deeper into her backstory and what shaped her, but that may be the final appearance for the Black Widow in the MCU.
Natasha seemed to perish in Avengers: Endgame while keeping Hawkeye from losing his own life. That said, the MCU often provides the unexpected, and death is a flighty thing in the superhero genre. There is very much a chance that Black Widow could stick around in Phase 5 of the MCU.
10 WILL: The Soul Stone
In the original Infinity Gauntlet story, the Soul Gem displayed the ability to hold onto souls. Thanos absorbed Silver Surfer and Drax the Destroyer into the Soul Gem, and they were captured in the Soul World within. Black Widow sacrificed herself so that Hawkeye could leave with the Soul Stone, and it seems very likely that her soul was captured in the Soul World much like the Surfer and Drax in the Infinity Gauntlet story. There was evidence of this by the dreamlike scene of Thanos being confronted by a child version of Gamora in the final scenes of Avengers: Infinity War. They were able to escape with Adam Warlock in the comic, so it’s very possible that the Avengers will find a way to extract Black Widow (and Gamora) from the Soul Stone.
9 WON’T: She Did Die
To put it bluntly, Black Widow did die. She lept from a very tall mountain, and her death was verified by Hawkeye receiving the Soul Stone. Furthermore, she died in a timeline apart from the normal one, and the Soul Stone Hawkeye received was replaced in that timeline by Captain America.
8 WILL: Yelena Belova
There was another Black Widow in the comics for a time. Her name was Yelena Belova, and she will be portrayed by Florence Pugh in the upcoming Black Widow film. Fans don’t yet know what will happen in the movie, but it is set after the conclusion of Captain America: Civil War, meaning that it’s very possible that Yelena will survive the events of the film and would be able to pick up the mantle of Black Widow in the Avengers.
7 WON’T: The Soul Stone Was Destroyed
If there is any continuity in the Soul World across dimensions, it will be further complicated by the destruction of the Soul Stones by Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. It’s very possible that the Soul World, if it existed in a manner similar to Infinity Gauntlet, was wiped out with the destruction of the Soul Stone. That could leave Black Widow‘s soul forever lost to Hawkeye and the Avengers.
6 WILL: Red Room Cloning
The Red Room, the Soviet program that pumped out assassins such as Black Widow and the Winter Soldier, was the scene of much inhumane and reckless experimentation.
In a relatively recent comic miniseries called Tales of Suspense, which starred Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier, the two heroes discovered that the Red Room had accumulated a back catalog of clones of Natasha Romanoff. It’s possible this will turn out true in the movies as well.
5 WON’T: We Don’t Know What Will Happen To Yelena
The unknown fate of Yelena Belova in Black Widow cuts both ways. If Yelena survives the events of the movie, it begs the question as to why she didn’t appear and wasn’t referenced in Infinity War or Endgame. Taskmaster is one of the main antagonists in Black Widow, and he is easily among Marvel’s deadliest assassins. It’s very possible that Natasha Romanoff will be the only survivor of the movie.
4 WILL: More Flashback Films
It’s also possible that fans will get more movies that are set before the death of Natasha in Avengers: Endgame. Eternals, in particular, will almost certainly feature scenes and sections before the events of Endgame, and the entire movie may very well take place in that time frame. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Captain Marvel 2 may be flashback movies too. That gives Natasha plenty of room to show up, and that’s assuming there isn’t another Black Widow film after this one.
3 WON’T: ScarrJo’s Career
While Scarlett Johansen is still young at 35, the age where she would understandably no longer want to do action movies is on the horizon.
Furthermore, she’s been doing these movies for about 10 years now and may want to move on with her career. Marriage Story was a popular film that received a good amount of praise, and she may wish to do more serious dramas in the same vein.
2 WILL: Alternate Timelines And Time Travel
They’ve introduced the idea of alternate timelines and time travel into the MCU, so the reappearance of dead characters is definitely on the table. WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness both seem to be promising alternate realities and potentially time travel. If Kang the Conqueror ends up being the next Marvel big bad, time travel will definitely be a factor in his story.
1 WON’T: Potential For Reboot
The potential for a Marvel Cinematic Universe reboot is definitely out there, and, if that switch is flipped, who knows what the new cast will be. With Disney gaining the rights to the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, the next iteration of this universe may focus more on those characters. The Avengers may have a vastly different lineup. Black Widow might disappear from their plans altogether.
Black Widow died in Avengers: Endgame yet has a solo film on the horizon. That means she may or may not be a big part of the MCU's Phase 5.