Every MCU Origin Story Ranked From Worst To Best

11. Black Widow

Captain Marvel Black Panther Iron Man
Marvel Studios

As much as Marvel Studios deserves credit for bravely rolling the dice on some origin stories that could so easily have fallen flat, a Black Widow origin movie basically felt like a slam dunk.

Ever since Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) was introduced in 2010's Iron Man 2, there have been whispers about the character getting her own movie, and by waiting until after she died in Avengers: Endgame, it was inarguably a case of too little, too late.

Unaided by the enormous tidal wave of hype following its pandemic-enforced delays, Black Widow was released earlier this summer to decent-yet-underwhelming reviews.

The biggest problem is the film's patent lack of stakes, given that as a prequel we know precisely what's going to happen to Natasha, and it doesn't help that the general narrative throughline is a fairly tedious-yet-silly espionage plot that culminates in a tiresome CGI-addled finale.

Its triumph, though, lies in its impeccable supporting cast, particularly David Harbour as Red Guardian and Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, the latter ultimately feeling like more of a protagonist than Natasha herself.

Again, not a bad movie by any means, but given the character's stature in the MCU, didn't she deserve better than a strangely pedestrian, even forgettable action flick?


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.