WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW FOR THE BLACK WIDOW MOVIE. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN IT YET, SAVE THIS POST AND COME BACK TO THIS LATER!
Black Widow has been out for a few days now, and I’ve had time to go through and find all the comic book easter eggs in it, and unsurprisingly, there’s quite a few to talk about!
The North Institute is mentioned at the beginning of the movie – it’s where Alexei is working undercover while he, Melina, Natasha and Yelena are living in Ohio – but it isn’t just a random company name. The North Institute features prominently in the Black Widow Homecoming comic by Richard K Morgan.
The comic focuses on Natasha investigating the deaths of various ex-Red Room assassins, and while it’s not my favourite (it’s a little bit too sexist for me, and the art style is not my favourite either), this is a fun easter egg for the film.
Also, side note – Alexei stole research from the North Institute, research which was conducted on the Winter Soldier, aka, Bucky Barnes. I’m mentioning this here because Natasha and Bucky knew each other during their time in the Red Room/as The Winter Soldier, so it’s a nice tie between the two!
Mind control pheromones
Dreykov protects himself with pheromones, which stop anyone from hurting him, and again, this comes from the Homecoming comic. Only it’s not Dreykov in the comics – it’s Fury, using the pheromones to control Natasha’s defection from Russia to the US (like I said, sexist comics taking away Natasha’s agency are not my favourite.) Again, it’s another fun easter egg, this time turned around so it’s used by the villain.
Red Guardian V Captain America
As I mentioned in my Red Guardian character profile, Alexei has fought Captain America before! The two battled in Avengers issue 44 from 1963, with Alexei absolutely certain he could defeat Steve Rogers in a fight.
Now, it’s uncertain whether the same thing happened in the MCU, as with things as they stand, Alexei wouldn’t have been alive at when Captain America was first active, but, seeing as Alexei is clearly enhanced, who’s to say he didn’t fight Cap in the 40’s, after being given a version of the Super Soldier Serum, which slowed his ageing down so much he still appears as a middle aged man, despite being far older?
Valentina also turns up in the end credits to give Yelena her next assignment. If you’ve seen Falcon And The Winter Soldier, you’ll have seen Valentina there, if you haven’t, go watch it IMMEDIATELY, but essentially she’s a triple agent, an ex-girlfriend of Nick Fury himself, and is generally trouble!
I’m definitely going to be doing a profile on her in the future, but for now, I’ve got a bit of information about her right here.
The Crimson Dynamo insult wasn’t just an insult – it was another clever easter egg to the comics! The character is essentially the Soviet version of Iron Man, and is the father of the Iron Man 2 villain, Whiplash. Another fun fact about this character is that he was on a team with the third iteration of Red Guardian and Ursa Major (mentioned further down this post)!
The white Suit
The white suit wasn’t just a change in costume for Natasha and Yelena, it’s also a feature of the comics! The white suits also appear in the Black Widow: Deadly Origin comic, where Red Room agents are given white suits to wear when on mission in snowy countries. This also fits with the fact that Natasha and Yelena wear the white suits when breaking Alexei out of a very snowy prison.
Yelena and the Winter Soldier knife trick
Watch Yelena’s first kill of the movie closely – it’s a copy of the Winter Soldier’s iconic knife trick from Captain America: Winter Soldier! But, it’s not just a reference to the film – it can also be seen as a reference to the fact that, in the comics, Natasha and Bucky trained together in the Red Room. It’s not mentioned in the MCU, but this was a nice nod to that shared history.
Black Widow serum
Another nod to the comics was the Black Widow serum, which was used by Dreykov to control the Widows. In the comics, Natasha was given the Soviet version of the Super Soldier Serum, which gave her powers very similar to Captain America’s, including advanced healing and slowed ageing.
Between the serum, and the information taken from the North Institute, it sounds like Marvel are making serious parallels between their comic and cinematic versions of Natasha and Bucky…
Mason is an almost entirely different character from his comic counterpart. For starters, in the comics, he’s the son of the Spider-Man villain, The Tinkerer, who we saw in Spider-Man Homecoming. Secondly, in the comics, he’s a secret agent who takes down superheroes, instead of someone who helps Natasha through his ties to the intelligence community.
Ursa the Great Bear
This one is a very ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ type easter egg, which are always the best kind in my opinion! Ursa was one of the men Alexei was arm wrestling in prison, and was also referred to as ‘The Great Bear.’ Turns out, that’s a comic book character! Ursa was a mutant with the power to transform into a bear, on top of that, he was also a Soviet super soldier, and, as like I mentioned above, was a part of the team with Crimson Dynamo and the third Red Guardian.
Iron Maiden masks
Milena’s comic book counterpart is known as the Iron Maiden – known as such thanks to her suit, which gives her super strength, among other powers. This was almost entirely disregarded, but there was a small nod to it on her farm – inside Milena’s weapon cache, there’s a suit of armour at the back, which is very likely to be her Iron Maiden suit!
Red Room in the sky
Another call back to the Deadly Origin series! This time, it’s more a parallel than an easter egg, but I’m going with it! The Red Room being a floating fortress is a direct parallel to Natasha’s comic father figure, Ivan Petrovich, and his floating ship – the Dreadnought.
And that’s all the easter eggs I found! What did you find in the movie? Tell me down below!