5 Marvel Movies To Watch Before Black Widow's Release On Disney Premier Access

Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. The Avengers' resident super spy Black Widow is a character constantly evolving throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

After months of shifting release dates, the latest entry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will finally be making its way to screens and fans around the world. In under four months, the much anticipated Black Widow will be serving as the first theatrical Marvel release to hit through Disney + premier access.  Black Widow has had massive development as a character in the MCU, through her appearances in crossovers and team-up films alone. Now that Widow's solo adventure is on the way, the character's significance to the Marvel Universe will become all the more essential. 

Iron Man 2 (2010)
Den of Geek.com

5. Iron Man 2 (2010)

Serving as only the third movie released from the ever-expanding MCU, Iron Man 2 introduced several fixed elements which would become vital to the machinations of the franchise, including an official glimpse into secretive intelligence agency S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division) and their finest agent Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. the deadly Black Widow. Before Black Widow was the Widow that fans would come to know and love, Romanoff was simply Natalie Rushman... Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man's newest assistant.

This is an ideal entryway for fans to become acclimated with Natasha's character, prior to her years as an Avenger. The inclusion of Black Widow and S.H.I.EL.D. into an Iron Man film was a concept that was not initially well-received by fans. However, Natasha offered a counterbalance within the grounded world of S.H.I.E.L.D. and eventually The Avengers. 

The Avengers (2012)

4. The Avengers (2012)

Following her divisive Marvel debut, Black Widow's next big break would come through membership amongst Earth's Mightiest Heroes. For fans who were not convinced by Widow's particular skillset in Iron Man 2, the live-action debut of The Avengers quickly remedies her rocky start. Not only is Black Widow now an established force within the MCU but Natasha is finally allowed to develop as a character and gain a distinct sense of personality.

Surrounded by a team of gods and superhumans, Natasha and to an extent her long-time ally Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye remain the odd ones out without superpowers. The Avengers made time for viewers to get to know the woman behind the Black Widow moniker, setting up her trajectory for future movies.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
The Daily Beast.com

3. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Though Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson was several months pregnant during the time of Avengers Age of Ultron's extended production, the deduction to Widow's story arc is completely non-existent. Following The Avengers' first victory against the forces of evil, Black Widow has begun to develop a familial relationship with the superhero team that she has fought alongside for months. Hinted and mentioned briefly in past films, Age of Ultron grants audiences the first full glimpse into Natasha's past experiences with Russia's dreaded Red Room Program via flashback sequences.

Trained alongside fellow Black Widow spies in teaching, Natasha was forced to undergo a grueling process of trials which has left a series of physical and emotional scars on the character. With Black Widow's standalone film set to return to Natasha's home turf of Russia, expect certain elements teased in Avengers Age of Ultron to make a comeback. 

Captain America Civil War (2016):

2. Captain America Civil War (2016):

The final film in the critically acclaimed Captain America trilogy, Captain America Civil War is an event that will prove integral to the fixed time period concerning the Black Widow film. Caught between two factions of The Avengers led by both Steve Rogers / Captain America and Tony Stark / Iron Man, Natasha's allegiance to world security and her newfound friendship with her allies within The Avengers are put to the ultimate test.

Natasha, along with nearly every mainstay Marvel superhero operating on Earth, must decide where their loyalties lie. Though Natasha has begun to form a close bond with Captain America, she began her tenure in the MCU with Tony Stark and characters in his inner circle. Perhaps more than any hero, Widow's decisions made in Civil War lay a set of insurmountable foundations for the upcoming solo adventure. 

Avengers Endgame (2019)
Yahoo Movies UK.com

1. Avengers Endgame (2019)

A cinematic finale over ten years in the making, Avengers Endgame manages to bring Natasha Romanoff's arc, which began in Iron Man 2 and arose with The Avengers, to a satisfying conclusion.  Endgame finds Black Widow as the current leader of The Avengers herself; acting as a temporary liaison between other heroes on Earth and even the far reaches of outer space. Following the villainous Thanos' astonishing victory, The Avengers remain in disarray and without a stable support system in place.

If anything, Natasha is the force that manages to keep the team unified in their darkest hour. While Avengers Infinity War features Natasha among hundreds of other heroes and villains, Natasha's appearance is understandably limited in comparison to other characters.

While not an original member of The Avengers in the comic book source material, it's difficult to imagine an on-screen iteration of The Avengers without Black Widow in some fashion. The films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have become celebrated for displaying the human qualities which exist behind each hero, and Natasha Romanoff is no different. When Black Widow makes its way to theaters and Disney + this summer, the solo film will not have much of an uphill battle in its lead character, thanks to the exposure from past films.

Current junior Writing Arts major attending Rowan University. I am an avid writer, comic book reader, and film enthusiast.

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