The first reviews are in for Spider-Man: Homecoming (though I haven't read any of them because, ya know, spoilers) and it sounds like a triumph, with critics praising Tom Holland's portrayal of the character among a myriad of other things. We already knew that there will be a sequel — which will be the first #MCU film of Phase 4 — and that it will feature another Avenger.
Now, director Jon Watts has spoken about which Avenger he'd like to appear alongside the web-slinger: Scarlett Johansson's #BlackWidow.
While everyone wants Johansson to star in her own Black Widow movie, she can still play a vital part in Spider-Man's heroic upbringing. Speaking to Screen Rant, Jon Watts also teased their humorous potential:
"I like to think of what he could learn from Black Widow, but then I think he would be too nervous to even get a single word out. If he was around her, that would be really funny."
Black Widow would be the perfect choice to train the young hero — if she survives Infinity War, of course — as she is a highly-skilled spy who holds her own in a world full of superheroes. But how has their relationship played out in the comics?
Here are four Marvel Comics stories featuring Spidey and Black Widow that could inform the Homecoming sequel:
Amazing Spider-Man #86 (1970)
This comic features the first meeting between the two heroes — and, as usual with superheroes, they battle each other. Interestingly, the reason they fight isn't because of some misunderstanding, but rather, Black Widow wishes to test herself; she is suddenly inspired to try and combine Spidey's powers with her own abilities. Ultimately this leads the Widow to change her costume into the sleek, black design we know today.
When the two meet again, the Widow attacks the wall-crawler and begins to gain the upper hand until Spidey manages to web her stinger bracelets. The battle ends in a draw when the Widow realizes that she doesn't need to discover the secrets of Spider-Man's abilities, as she is already a highly capable agent in her own right.
Amazing Spider-Man Ends Of The Earth #682-687 (2012)
Doctor Octopus is dying and decides to hold the world hostage with his final breaths, claiming that he has a way to stop global warming. In order to defeat him, Spider-Man teams up with Black Widow and Silver Sable, as well as the rest of the Avengers.
But it's the picture above that I feel could be adapted into the MCU. As he often does, Peter begins to doubt his leadership skills, but Black Widow simply and effectively explains that there are different kinds of leaders, and Spider-Man is one who leads by example. As the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming is set to kick off Phase 4 and, logically, set up Spider-Man as the star, it stands to reason that he would doubt himself and be in need of this sort of pep talk. Natasha could provide it and set him up to be the hero the MCU deserves him to be.
Superior Spider-Man #8 (2013)
Before anyone says anything, yes, I'm well aware that the Spider-Man in this arc is Otto Octavius — but the message is clear: Natasha clearly respects Spidey as a hero and offers him some advice. Spider-Man has recently taken the decision to kill the mass-murderer Massacre, rather than risk him killing anyone else, something that Peter Parker would never do.
Natasha notices that "Peter" has been acting very strangely of late and takes him to one side; she tells him that she's been in his position before and knows how it can affect a person to take a life. Though Peter will probably avoid killing in the MCU, Natasha's confidante approach could still be applied to the young hero. She has a lot of worldly experience that could come in useful and perhaps sees something in Peter that she connects with — and as such, chooses to take him under her wing.
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 (2017)
There's nothing to say that the two spider-themed heroes will get along in the sequel, as this recent comic shows. After Spidey successfully prevents a mugging, he suddenly finds himself under attack from Black Widow. After catching him unaware, she tests his spider-sense to its limits and delivers the information to the mysterious Agent Mintz.
It could be that Black Widow and Spider-Man have a disagreement in Infinity War and their relationship is initially quite frosty, or Black Widow could be given the same task as in the comic: learn about Peter's powers and report back to S.H.I.E.L.D..
Black Widow is a character who deserves her own film, but after providing support to the rest of the Avengers — Captain America in particular — it'd be interesting to see the dynamic between her and Spider-Man. Jon Watts wants to see it, and let's be honest, we want to see Peter awkwardly talking to Natasha, so come on #Marvel — make it happen.
Do you want to see Black Widow in the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel? Which other Avengers do you want to see? Let me know in the comments.