Yelena poked fun at Natasha following their run-in with Taskmaster in Black Widow, but the insult also proved why Nat was an impressive Avenger.
Warning! This post contains spoilers for Black Widow.
Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) insulted Natasha Romanoff’s (Scarlett Johansson) mortality in Black Widow while also proving why her “big sister” was such a great Avenger. Taking place after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Cate Shortland’s MCU installment picked up with Natasha on the run after violating the Sokovia Accords. Rather than stay in her Norwegian hideout, the skilled spy returned to her roots with the hopes of taking down the man in charge of the Red Room. In doing so, she reunited with her fake family consisting of Yelena, Alexei Shostakov / Red Guardian (David Harbour), and Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz), who she lived with in the ’90s as part of a special mission in Ohio.
After obtaining the necessary intel for General Dreykov (Ray Winstone), the family was separated while young Nat and Yelena were recruited for the Soviet-run Black Widow program. While Natasha eventually defected to S.H.I.E.L.D. after believing she killed Dreykov, Yelena was still trapped in the world of espionage. As the years went on, she kept up with Nat’s adventures as an Avenger while she suffered under the control of Dreykov and his minions. Though she still viewed Natasha as a sister, there was obvious resentment for being left behind while Nat emerged as a notable hero.
Upon reuniting in Black Widow, the sisters started off on a rocky start, battling throughout the Budapest apartment. Yelena was evenly matched with Natasha, leading to the pair agreeing to a truce. Shortly after, Nat was informed that Dreykov was still alive, meaning the Red Room was still active. Once the women escaped the grasp of fellow Black Widows and Taskmaster, they take some time to regroup at a nearby gas station. While grabbing supplies in the store, Yelena referenced Natasha’s partnership with the Avengers, claiming “one of the big ones” would come to avenge her if Dreykov ever got to Nat. Johansson’s character instantly countered, asking who were the “big ones,” to which Yelena responded: “Well, I doubt the god from space has to take an ibuprofen after a fight.” The line was served as an insult, seeing as Yelena was staring down the box of pills in her sister’s hand, pointing out that the other Avengers like Thor don’t need drugs to fix battle wounds. That said, the put-down doubled as a strong complement whether Yelena wanted it to or not.
Yelena was probably correct in stating someone like Thor wouldn’t need ibuprofen after a fight. The same could be said for the majority of the other Avengers. However, Natasha never had god-like powers, fortified armor, a super serum, or any kind of magical regenerative powers protecting her out on the frontlines. Instead, she relied on her own strength and will. Even if she needed some Advil after a fight, it never stopped her from running into danger with her eyes open. If anything, Yelena’s insult made Natasha more admirable because it reminded viewers that Nat battled otherworldy threats as a human.
Despite Yelena’s snarky comments and quips, Black Widow proved how much she looked up to Natasha. It’s unclear if Yelena will take Nat’s place as an Avenger or if she even wants to take on that type of role, but she certainly considers her sister a hero. Needing ibuprofen from time to time should never diminish Nat’s value alongside the other Avengers. Her known mortality was what made Nat’s sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame so meaningful, considering she was aware there wasn’t a superpower in her arsenal that could save her.
More: How Black Widow Changes The Way You See Infinity War & Endgame
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