After spending seven films as a much loved supporting player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Natasha Romanoff is finally getting a solo film, with Black Widow due to hit the big-screen in 2020.
However, she isn't coming alone. Natasha is bringing both new allies and new enemies to her solo debut. Here's everything you need to know about the new characters in the Black Widow teaser trailer.
The first new character introduced in the trailer is Yelena Belova, played in the film by up-and-coming actress Florence Pugh. Yelena is already a well-known figure to comics fans, as the second major character to use the Black Widow title.
In the comics, Natasha and Yelena have a rather complicated relationship. Yelena idolises Nat, but also resents her for being the only person to have attained higher training scores from the Red Room than she did. She spends much of her first comic appearance trying to kill Natasha, believing that this is the only way to truly earn her Black Widow title. In the midst of these murder attempts, Nat subtly mentors Yelena, hoping to spare her from being used by the Red Room the same way she was.
Later, after Yelena steps away from spying for awhile, she and Natasha develop a much friendlier relationship. Yelena resumes the Black Widow title in remembrance when Natasha is temporarily believed dead.
The complicated relationship between Natasha and Yelena is seen in the teaser when the two fight before sharing a drink immediately afterwards. However, the truly adversarial part of their history, if it existed in this universe, seems to already be behind them. If the MCU decides to leave Natasha dead, the film may be setting up Yelena as the new Black Widow moving forward.
Alexei Shostakov, the Red Guardian
In the comics, Alexei Shostakov was Natasha Romanoff's Husband. While Natasha undertook her earlier missions as the Black Widow, Alexei served as a test pilot for the KGB. Later, the KGB fakes Alexei's death and secretly trains him to become the Russian equivalent of Captain America, known as the Red Guardian.
Natasha does not learn the truth until many years later, when the Avengers encounter the Red Guardian while he is protecting a dangerous weapon in China. Soon after, Alexei is shot dead while stopping one of his Communist allies from killing Natasha.
It is unknown whether Natasha's romantic history with the Red Guardian will carry over into the Black Widow film. While the film's cast list states that he has history with Natasha, the trailer doesn't yet give us much information on what that history entailed.
At this stage, little is known about Rachel Weisz's character, Melina, other than the fact that she is also a Black Widow, trained in the Red Room. According to her brief character summary, she is involved in a scientific experiment.
Melina clearly has some sort of history with Natasha, Yelena, and Alexei, as she is able to playfully comment on the Red Guardian's weight and live to tell the tale. We'll probably learn more about Melina closer to the film's release.
The final major character introduced in the Black Widow trailer is the film's villain, Taskmaster. Taskmaster possesses a form of photographic memory known as photographic reflexes. He is able to mimic the physical movements of anyone he sees, allowing him to imitate the fighting styles of various heroes and villains. This makes him a perfect adversary for a hero like Natasha Romanoff, who's strength lies in her physical skill.
In the trailer, Taskmaster is seen using a bow and arrow. This has lead fans to speculate that he may have encountered Clint Barton in the past, and is mimicking his archery skills.
We'll learn more about all these characters when Black Widow hits theatres in May, 2020. Check out the teaser trailer here: