Three years ago, when the mighty threat of Thanos was at its peak in Avengers: Infinity War, the Avenger super-spy Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) appeared on camera with a new look.
We’re not talking about her short, platinum blonde haircut (although that was a cool look for her). We’re talking about her sleekest accessory: A nondescript, dark green tactical vest with pockets.
The vest was never acknowledged during Infinity War. With Thanos knocking on Earth’s door in Wakanda, no one spared a moment to compliment Natasha’s new fit. But now, in her solo feature film Black Widow — set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War — the ending of the movie reveals the very cool way Black Widow got her vest.
And as expected, there is a deeper story behind it all.
Warning: Spoilers for Black Widow ahead.
How Black Widow got her vest
As seen in Black Widow, Natasha teams up with Yelena (Florence Pugh), her estranged “sister” in the Red Room. While on the run together, Yelena picks up a green-ish brown vest that she’s only a bit obsessed with. As she excitedly proclaims during a midnight car ride: “It has pockets!”
Fast forward to the end of Black Widow, Natasha successfully and quite literally brings down the Red Room with her “family,” including her “mother” Melina (Rachel Weisz) and “father” Alexei (David Harbour). When the sisters part ways, Yelena gives Natasha the vest she’s become attached to as a symbolic gesture to show Yelena will “be” with her on her next adventure.
That happens to be the fight against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. By the way, the end of Black Widow also shows how Natasha gets a fully-functioning Quinjet (courtesy of her contact Rick Mason, played by O-T Fagbenle), which the Avengers use in both Infinity War and Endgame to travel to Wakanda and planets like Vormir.
Black Widow ending explained: “It becomes an heirloom”
In Infinity War, Natasha’s vest was nothing more than a cool accessory that surely encouraged cosplayers to scour the internet in search of replicas. But during a set visit attended by press, ScreenRant reported that Scarlett Johansson said in a “totally Kevin Feige” way, her Infinity War vest is a gift from Yelena and was “actually ... an important thing.”
It seems very superficial, but it actually is very unique, it’s a very meaningful thing. [Kevin Feige] loves all of that backstory stuff and things that connect characters to one another. When we designed it then, it was really just a different look for the character, but it’s fun how Kevin’s mind works in this — he’s like an Imagineer in that way, where he thinks of all the little hidden things that people will give, things that are seemingly innocuous, some heart. It’s an heirloom, it becomes an heirloom in this unexpected, funny way.
The Future of Black Widow
Natasha’s time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is over, following her sacrifice in Endgame. But that doesn’t have to be the end of Black Widow.
With the Black Widow mantle vacant, it is heavily implied Yelena will take it and continue Natasha’s legacy. And her first mission is to avenge, well, Natasha’s death. She’s given the job by Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, in an appearance originally meant to precede her role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), who believes Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) is the one responsible for killing Natasha. The dramatic irony is we the audience know the truth; it was a selfless sacrifice by Natasha.
With Yelena expected to appear in the Disney+ series Hawkeye later this year, fans can expect a clash of bow and baton again soon. And you can bet Yelena will look cool. I mean, come on: She has pockets!
Black Widow is now streaming on Disney+ Premier Access and playing in theaters now.