To celebrate the release of Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher on DVD and Blu-ray today we decided to take a closer look at some of the comic book adventures of these two fan-favourite characters which would be most suitable for a future big screen adaptation in the near future.
Black Widow is of course played by Scarlett Johansson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will next be seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron after a starring role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier this year. The Punisher meanwhile hasn’t had a lot of luck in the movies, and while the rights are currently back at Marvel Studios, it’s been a long time since we’ve heard anything about a possible live-action appearance.
So, with three suggestions for both Black Widow and The Punisher, check out our list of ideas below and be sure to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
6. The Winter Soldier
In Captain America: The Winter Solider, Black Widow mentioned a near fatal run-in with The Winter Soldier, but in the comics, these two share quite a bit of history. Marvel could delve into that, but it would perhaps be more interesting to see their current day relationship explored, especially now that Bucky is close to regaining his memories and getting back on the path of a good guy.
Ed Brubaker – the comic book writer responsible for the arc that the recent Captain America sequel was based on – recently penned a very interesting story which saw the Black Widow kidnapped and brainwashed into serving the Russians (in a movie’s case, this could easily be switched to Hydra again). Bucky then set out to save the woman he loves, with tragic and heartbreaking results.
If Marvel decide against making Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Captain America, then giving him his own movie makes a lot of sense, as would teaming him up with Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. There’s been talk of giving her her own movie for a while, but pairing her up with a fan-favourite character like The Winter Soldier makes a lot of sense and leads to a lot of interesting possibilities.
The story of how returning Marine Frank Castle loses his family and becomes a vigilante has been told in a number of ways over the course of his many big screen appearances, and a retelling doesn’t feel particularly necessary. It’s hard to imagine anything being added to it which would make it feel any less familiar or stale, as we saw in The Amazing Spider-Man’s take on a familiar story.
Why not follow Frank Castle’s time serving in Vietnam? Like the WWII set Agent Carter, this could be a limited series on television (though a movie could still work), exploring a different corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe while also not impacting the current day events too drastically. Born is a brutal and shocking story though, so making it PG-13 would greatly lessen its impact.
As his fellow Marines get taken out, the unhinged Frank is confronted by a voice in his head which offers to help him fight a never-ending war in exchange for an unknown price. He agrees, survives and returns to his family, but THEY were the price which had to be paid and the never-ending war is the one on crime. It explores what makes him tick and would be the definitive origin story.
4. Web of Intrigue
Web of Intrigue was a three-part story which took place in the pages of Marvel Fanfare a fair few years ago. Though it was alluded to in Avengers Assemble, the Black Widow’s Russian past is far more prominent in the comics than in the movies (in many of them, she is portrayed as speaking with a thick Russian accent, something Marvel Studios decided against doing with Scarlett Johansson).
For that reason, the fact that it’s the U.S.S.R. who kidnaps one of Black Widow’s friends might have to be done away with, though it could also serve as a way of finally revealing more about that past! Regardless, what ensues is a fun globe-trotting story which sees Natasha battle it out with a number of assassins as she attempts to save Ivan and stop a plot to kill Nick Fury back in the US.
In order to take down the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. – which he was in the comic books at the time – the Russian’s plans involve sending a Black Widow double to take him down, meaning that the hero needs to stop the assassins, save Ivan AND stop the plot against Nick with the faux Black Widow! This has all the potential to be the perfect basis for a great solo movie starring this character.
Avengers Confidential: Black Widow / Punisher is out on DVD today.