The final Black Widow trailer showcased a new and surprising twist on Taskmaster’s backstory, indicating that he was a far bigger threat than fans had initially imagined. Keeping that in mind, it's worth paying attention to details of the Red Room, a school that brainwashes and trains women into becoming highly effective assassins and spies. While Natasha Romanoff will presumably be attempting to dismantle the program’s operations, a closer look at a Black Widow trailer screenshot appears to reveal a potential face-off twist.
Warning! Speculative spoilers ahead for Black Widow.
In our last look at Marvel's latest blockbuster, Natasha spends most of her time interacting with Yelena Belova and fighting by her side. However, there is a brief moment where Yelena is strapped to a gurney, looking groggy, while an unknown individual prepares a needle for what looks to be a dangerous and creepy procedure. Zooming in further, Yelena’s face is seemingly outlined by a scar that is not visible in any of her other scenes from the trailer. Perhaps it’s not a scar at all, but an incision. Take a closer look at the screenshot below!
Thinking along the lines of the 1997 movie Face/Off, it’s possible that Yelena (at least in this scene) isn’t Yelena at all. There’s a chance that her face has been swapped for another person entirely. While this sounds a bit wild, there is precedent for this subplot in the comic books. In the pages of Black Widow Vol. 1 - 3, Natasha, Nick Fury, Daredevil, along with the extended help of S.H.I.E.L.D., kidnap Yelena. They then force her to undergo a face-altering surgery that allows Natasha to take Yelena’s visage to complete a mission.
Natasha later explains that the real purpose of the face-swap was to teach Yelena that there was nothing remotely heroic about living the life of an assassin and spy. Rather, they were constantly being used to do other people’s criminal bidding, often to the detriment of their own well-being. The whole ordeal sounds fairly gruesome and Yelena was understandably traumatized afterward, likening the identity theft to sexual assault.
Natasha and Yelena seem much closer in the big-screen Black Widow, as opposed to their adversarial relationship in the comics, so it's unlikely that Natasha kidnaps Yelena to steal her face. That said, Natasha and Yelena may well consensually agree to swap faces so that Nat can more easily infiltrate the Red Room. Perhaps Yelena is still associated with the training program — which would make sense considering how much she already knows about Taskmaster — and that’s why Natasha uses her face as a disguise. Whatever the case, this tiny detail could definitely shape up to be an intriguing plot twist.
Black Widow hits theaters May 1.