New Series Starring Black Widow and Hawkeye Announced After Disney Ends Current MCU

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Natasha Romanoff (L) and Clint Barton (R) pressing their foreheads together in 'Endgame'

Credit: Marvel Studios

After The Walt Disney Company’s Marvel Studios announced game-changing plans that end the version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it, a new limited series starring the iconic duo Black Widow and Hawkeye has been revealed.

Marvel's Avengers including Thor, Black Widow, Captain Avenger, Hawkeye, Iron Man, and the Hulk, look up at the destruction of the city.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Ever since the pandemic altered the trajectory of Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and small-screen shows were introduced into the canon story, fans have been losing respect for this once great bastion of entertainment.

Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow (2021) from director Cate Shortland was meant to kick off Phase Four. Instead, it would be WandaVision on Disney+ that would begin the post-Infinity Saga chapter. A string of shows followed, including The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki, interspersed between feature films like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022).

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in 'Black Widow' on Disney+
Credit: Marvel Studios

After Phase Four’s rather lukewarm response, the Disney-owned subsidiary changed course, ending the Phase with the Black Panther (2018) sequel and not Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels (2023). Phase Five would not jumpstart the franchise either. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) failed to deliver on almost all counts and went down as one of the worst movies in MCU history.

Director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) saw a more attentive response, netting close to $900 million at the global box office, although the fact that this was a film made by the new co-CEO of DC Studios was not lost on many.

As the world gears up to see the sequel to Marvel’s billion-dollar hit Captain Marvel (2019), The Marvels, bombshell news has dropped about the live-action franchise, leaving it in jeopardy.

Top half of the Chinese poster of The Marvels (Captain Marvel 2)
Credit: Marvel Studios

First, there was the news about Marvel’s huge television overhaul. After omitting the usual TV strategy many studios adopt, like using showrunners, Marvel Studios will now lean more into a regular programming style. Instead of commissioning a six-part limited series, for example, the overhaul will see shows become more organic and given the chance to run on and on and on. The first casualty of this new regime was Daredevil: Born Again, which has been scrapped and rebooted following a creative switch-up.

Then, Variety dropped a detailed — albeit contested — feature that revealed the problems the studio is facing, including the plan for Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror if the actor does end up being fired following his domestic abuse charges.

He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) in 'Loki' Season 1
Credit: Marvel Studios

Most recently, though, it has been revealed that Disney and Marvel have ended the current version of the MCU as we know it, changing a major element of the franchise to seemingly cater to disgruntled fans and more casual viewers, as well as ease the stress of people needing to see every bit of media to enjoy newer entries. The first show under this new Marvel Spotlight banner is Echo, starring Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez.

“Marvel Spotlight gives us a platform to bring more grounded, character-driven stories to the screen, and in the case of Echo, focusing on street-level stakes over larger MCU continuity,” said Marvel’s Head of Streaming Brad Winderbaum (via Inside the Magic). “Just like comics fans didn’t need to read Avengers or Fantastic Four to enjoy a Ghost Rider Spotlight comic, our audience doesn’t need to have seen other Marvel series to understand what’s happening in Maya’s story.”

Close up shot of Alaqua Cox's Echo
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Tom Hiddleston on Track To Solve Disney’s Major “Johnny Depp” Problem

Amid the news of this huge change to the MCU, after all, for the longest time, fans knew the franchise to be an all-encompassing interconnected universe, Marvel Comics has announced a new limited series starring Black Widow and Hawkeye.

The pair, of course, transitioned into the MCU early on and were members of the original Avengers, played by Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner, respectively. While Natasha Romanoff died in Avengers: Endgame (2019), she did return in her own origin story, while Renner reprised his role of Clint Barton in 2021’s Hawkeye on Disney+.

And in the pages of a comic book, the duo reunite.

Natasha Romanoff (L) and Clint Barton (R) pressing their foreheads together in 'Endgame'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Celebrating six decades years of the two characters, Marvel writes that “this new chapter in the pair’s storied legacy will be told by rising Marvel stars, writer Stephanie Phillips […] and Paolo Villanelli.” Phillips is known for her work on “Contest of Chaos” and “Cosmic Ghost Rider,” with Villanelli’s work including the current “Captain Marvel: Dark Tempest.”

The comic book powerhouse adds: “The four-issue limited series will both dive into the duo’s history of secrets and espionage while playing off recent developments, including Natasha Romanoff’s recent bonding with a symbiote!”

“THE EYES OF A HAWK AND THE VENOM OF A WIDOW! Even when Black Widow and Hawkeye had no one to trust, they still had each other—even though their paths sometimes diverged,” the official synopsis for the upcoming limited series reads. “So when Clint Barton is accused of a rogue assassination attempt that puts the U.S. and Madripoor at odds, a symbiote-equipped Natasha Romanoff thinks nothing of coming to his aid. But as echoes of their past ripple into the present, it will take all their faith in each other—and the lessons learned along the way—to protect their futures.”

Black Widow and Hawkeye Marvel Comics cover
Credit: Marvel Comics

The first issue of the four-issue series will be released on March 3, 2024. On the series, Stephanie Phillips says, “[she loves] getting the chance to dig deep [and] to tell a fast-paced spy story that celebrates their 60th anniversary.”

And while this new adventure is taking place in the Marvel Comics world, Marvel Studios may, in fact, be forced to bring back the original six Avengers in order to quell fears that the MCU is a done deal. Both Johansson’s Black Widow and Downey Jr.’s Iron Man have been reported to be coming back to the franchise, despite both meeting their end in Avengers: Endgame over four years ago.

Black Widow in Avengers: Endgame
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Names the Replacements for Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor Amid MCU Overhaul, Report Claims

At this time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is at a huge turning point. Off the back of a decade’s worth of prominent storytelling, both the pandemic and the introduction of Disney+ helped grow this now seemingly unshiftable state of superhero fatigue. With the massive course correction underway, including the Daredevil reboot, the plans to replace Jonathan Majors as Kang, and this introduction of Marvel Spotlight, the MCU may just be able to resurrect its reputation and continue for many more years, if not decades.

Will you be picking up this new Black Widow and Hawkeye limited series? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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