(Warning - Potential SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War lie below, as well as a handful of major SPOILERS for past comic-book story-lines. As Taylor Swift has long put it: "Don't say I didn't say I didn't warn ya"...)
Who'd have thunk it? Just when you thought the Captain America: Civil War set seemed to have run out of major curveballs to throw at us, an image arrives on the internet that raises a whole bunch of pretty major - and, for the MCU, vitally important - questions about a fan-favorite character.
It Looks as Though Black Widow Is Set to Make a Pretty Big Change
Specifically, this (hair-related) one:
That's right - as Just Jared recently revealed, it seems that Scarlett Johansson has sheared off a giant swathe of her typically lengthy locks.
Which, under normal circumstances, wouldn't mean a whole lot beyond Johansson's willingness to try out a new style. Her having short hair that still retains Black Widow's signature red hues - mid-way through the Captain America: Civil War shoot, no less - though?
Well, that might just mean something a whole lot more. Specifically, that...
Black Widow Might Be Set for a Pretty Major Change
One, specifically, that'll take her back - visually at least - to one of her most iconic looks - her big-collared, short-haired '80s stylings.
Which, from a fan perspective - especially if you're fond of Frank Miller-era Black Widow-starring Daredevil comics - is pretty darned cool. It also, however, might just tease a pretty substantial change of course for Natasha within the MCU.
The big question, then?
What Could Black Widow's New Haircut Mean?
Well, there're a whole lot of possibilities out there, but here are three of the more intriguing:
1. We Could Be About to See a Pretty Major Flashback Sequence
Johansson's newly-shorn hair could, after all, suggest that we're set to see a substantial part of Captain America: Civil War be set in the past - perhaps revealing that Natasha had some kind of link to The Winter Soldier back in the day - much as she did in the comic-books.
2. Black Widow Could Have a Pretty Massive Secret
Specifically, the new, short-haired look could be a visual signifier of a major change in direction for the character - perhaps even one along the lines of that in the (highly influential on the MCU) Ultimate line of Marvel comics, in which Black Widow turned out to be a dastardly foreign agent all along. While turning a fan-favorite hero like Black Widow into a villain might be a bit of a stretch - especially since that betrayal was (kind of) adapted way back in Iron Man 2 - it's entirely possible that a substantial secret from Natasha's past could be (shockingly) revealed.
Or, of course:
3. Black Widow Might Just Have Felt Like a Change
After all, she just helped save the world again - so if she just feels like cutting her hair off, then who are we to judge?