Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Season 1 finale of What If...?.
The Season 1 finale of What If...? left a lot of characters' futures open-ended as the credits began to roll. The Disney+ series brought back many familiar faces to the MCU, only this time they were animated, and a twist was thrown in their direction.
One of the more prominent characters from the franchise that played a role in multiple episodes of the show was Black Widow, voiced by Lake Bell.
In the third episode, fans had to watch as multiple members of Earth's Mightiest Heroes were killed, which included Natasha herself. Near the end of the episode, she was in the middle of sending a message to Nick Fury, trying to tell him who was behind the deaths of the Avengers.
Natasha returned in Episodes 8 and 9, aiding the Guardians of the Multiverse in the finale. Armed with her bow, she ultimately fires the killing shot at Ultron, planting a virus in him that led to him being taken over by Arnim Zola.
After Ultron's defeat, the Watcher brought Widow into a different universe than the one she had been in - a world where the Avengers had lost their Black Widow. Setting up a potential episode in What If...?'s Season 2, head writer A.C. Bradley was able to reveal more about Natasha's potential return.
Black Widow's Potential Return in What If...?
In an interview with Variety, What If...? head writer A.C. Bradley spoke about the future of Black Widow following the show's season finale.
After being asked whether any storylines from Season 1 would carry over into Season 2, Bradley talked about Natasha "kick(ing) some Loki butt," and teased that the show may return to that universe:
"Dystopian Natasha kicked some Loki butt and is back with her man Nick Fury to save the world, so order’s gonna be restored there."
Bradley then went on to talk more about Natasha being placed in that universe, saying that if she had been left in the world that Ultron destroyed, she would have suffered "a fate worse than death." She also went on to discuss the Watcher, specifically how "these stories have become everything to him:"
"When it came to resolving Dystopian Natasha’s story, we realized that keeping her on that Ultron world was a fate worse than death. Everyone’s gone. And the Watcher, as he says to her, these stories have become everything to him."
The writer talked a little bit more about the Watcher and how "he loves these characters," and that he ultimately wouldn't allow Natasha to stay in a place so bad as the one she came from:
"It didn’t come from a place of like, ‘Oh, what are we saying about Marvel and the MCU?’ It came from a place of, ‘What are we saying about the Watcher?’ He loves these characters. He loves these stories, these people, these heroes. He would never banish her back to a planet to basically starve to death by herself."
Bradley then went even deeper as to why they placed Natasha in that kind of universe, specifically why the Watcher would want her to be back with the Avengers:
"We wanted to put her in a world where she could be the Natasha Romanoff that he has watched in different versions and loves. So that’s where the idea came from."
Bradley ended by revealing an extremely interesting bit of information regarding if that universe will end up playing a role "in the greater MCU," and then even went a little further to say, "they always have plans:"
"Whether or not that’ll be reflected in the greater MCU? Who knows. They always have plans."
An Avengers Return in the MCU's Future?
The most interesting part of Bradley's quote is definitely the last part. "They always have plans" is a very general sentence, and it could be alluding to anything, but seeing as how she said it directly after talking about Natasha's future with the original Avengers, it at least sparks a little bit of interest.
The final scene that fans were given with Natasha's character in What If...? clealry left her story open-ended, and if Marvel Studios wanted to go back to that universe and tell another Avengers story in the show's second season, they most definitely could.
Natasha Romanoff is a fan-favorite character, and anytime they include her at all in a project, people will watch it. With her death in Avengers: Endgame, and the release of her solo film in Black Widow, What If...? is probably the only route they can take when it comes to including her in the future.
If nothing else, seeing her in three episodes of the series has been nothing but exciting, and it is more than likely safe to assume that she will be coming back in the future.
All episodes of What If...? are available to stream on Disney+.