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In case you have been in hiding for the past few months, Disney and Marvel have brought out one of the most anticipated films of all time, bringing an end to their "Infinity Saga," which has spanned over 11 years and includes 22 films. Whilst Marvel has confirmed that Spider-Man: Far From Home is, in fact, the final film from Phase Three, Endgame says goodbye to a number of their beloved characters... or does it?
One of the most surprising goodbyes was that of Black Widow, played by the amazing Scarlett Johansson. Personally, I did not see it coming. With all the talk of a potential Black Widow film to her being seemingly untouchable in previous Avengers outings, it seemed as though her goodbye was meant for Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), or Ronin as he became in this movie.
Was it a better choice to kill off Black Widow? Well, Marvel is getting rid of one of the most eye-catching Avengers, as well as one of the most constant and loyal characters in the series. She had also taken on an important role, seemingly following on from Nick Fury, in co-ordinating the remaining Avengers in a desolate and desperate world. Black Widow came out a true leader. With Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America (Chris Evans), focusing on helping survivors deal with what happened at the end of Infinity War, and Tony Stark, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), starting a family with his beloved Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), it seemed like the world really needed Black Widow.
On the other hand, Endgame's opening scene was Clint Barton teaching his daughter how to follow in his footsteps before they fizzled away into ash, leaving Barton alone. Five years later, one of Natasha Romanoff's priorities is hunting down her best friend as he is on a quest to rid the world of those he thought deserved to die at Thanos's gauntlet. Was it better for the person who never gave up on the world to face justice or the person who had a family to fight for?
Or is Black Widow really dead? At the end of the film, Steve Rogers was going back in time to return the stones to the very point that they were taken. This would mean that the Soul Stone would have been returned. If we are to take the line that is often used, "a soul for a soul," this would surely mean that if the stone was to be returned, so would be the life that was taken. We never see past the scene when Captain America returns from the past, so for all we know, Natasha could have also returned, which would allow for her rumoured spin-off film.
It has been said, however, that the soul for a soul is irreversible, so whether this theory is possible is left to be seen. Furthermore, Infinity War touched on the possibility of the "Soul World"—where the souls of those sacrificed for the stone would go—when Thanos was able to speak to young Gamora, so this could also lead way for a return of Black Widow.
On the same note of "Who is really dead?" those who did not shed a tear for Tony Stark as he clicked his way to saving the world are either not Marvel fans or have no feelings. Endgame truly made Iron Man human. The moment when the wreath is laid on the water with "Proof that Tony Stark has a heart" will become an iconic moment in the Marvel franchise. It highlighted Tony Stark's evolution from "genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist" to family man and saviour. The fact that he also got to resolve his issues with his father just highlighted the great character development over the past 11 years.
However, is Tony Stark really gone as well? Seeing as Robert Downey Jr. himself said that he may be back, but only in an "advisory role," we very well could see his return with the introduction of time travel. All the surviving Avengers still have their time travel watches, which helps them to navigate through the quantum realm. As per Professor Hulk's explanation, changing the past does not seriously affect the present, so it would be possible for the Avengers to go back in time to revive a Tony Stark!
With this, would this mean that other characters could be brought back too? It would not be unlike Marvel to bring back heroes who seem to be gone. It has happened in the comics numerous times. Could we be seeing a spin off Captain America film where he battles Hydra pre-Infinity Saga? That is the frustrating thing about Endgame. What they said will be may not be! With no confirmation on what films will be coming up, for all we know, we could have all of our favourite characters back at any time.