It's one of the baseline assumptions about a superhero team: that they are all, in fact, heroes. Going into a Justice League, Fantastic Four or X-Men movie, you assume, as a matter of course, that the heroes we all love won't actually, at a certain point, turn out to secretly be villains. Action movies, sure. Gritty dramas, absolutely. But light-hearted, kid-friendly superhero romps? It's just not a thing that we tend to see.
Sure, Jean Grey became Phoenix, and yes, Magneto and Mystique have spent much of the X-Men movies alternating between hero and villain - but that's all very much acting within shades of grey. What we don't ever seem to see - unlike in the comics - is a grand betrayal by one of the heroes we've come to love.
From the looks of things, though, that could all be about to change - in Avengers: Age of Ultron...
An Avenger Could Be About to Turn Traitor
That's right - a bonafide, actual, factual, introduced-before-this-movie Avenger might turn out to be a traitor.
This here recently released trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron:
In which, after a whole lot of long-suffering support for the rest of the team (as per usual)...
...we're (slightly smugly) reassured by Cap about Black Widow's presence within the team:
"She's with us"
The thing is, though. In the very first shot after that - and the final one of the trailer - we see this...
...accompanied by a very pointed final musical cue.
Now, that may well all just be intended to highlight exactly how darned badass Natasha is as Black Widow - but it's just possible that it might have a more sinister intention:
Could Black Widow Be About to Betray the Avengers?
Now, on the surface, that may sound ridiculous - and I'm not honestly too keen on believing it myself - but it might not be quite as out there an idea as it may initially seem, for three key reasons:
1. That Sure Does Look Like a Very Particular Tease
I mean, just look at it...
That's not an image designed exclusively to make us all go 'whoo.'.\ There're dark undertones to that whole deal...
2. Black Widow Has a Shady Past We Don't Know Too Much About
Remember how, at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Natasha released all of S.H.I.E.L.D's files to the world, including her own dark past?
Well, who's to say that she hadn't previously altered those files, to protect one particular secret about herself? Like, say, that she was part of a conspiracy that went even deeper than Hydra?
The most concerning thought, though?
3. Joss Whedon is Secretly Evil
Now, don't get me wrong - I love Joss Whedon as much as the next huge Firefly and Marvel fan - but there's something pretty important to remember about Joss: He likes to make us cry.
And not in an emotionally manipulative, tear-jerking kind of way.
Joss Whedon likes killing off our favorite characters, or turning them evil. Because otherwise, how can we ever know real cinematic pain?
So for Joss, the idea of having one of our favorite Avengers turn out to be a bad-guy?
That might be too tempting a proposition to turn down...
Now, I'll be honest with you:
This is One of Those Theories I Hope is Very, Very Wrong
But if it isn't, then what a twist it'd be...