Anyone who thought that the MCU possibly can't trump the excellence they served in their Phase III needs to immediately check out the trailer of the much-awaited Disney+ series Loki that will feature MCU's beloved villain, the notorious God of Mischief himself. It's a treasure trove of wonders but what will leave fans picking their jaws from the floor is a blink-and-miss scene towards the end in the trailer- a quick shot of the back of a lone figure that looks a lot like Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow whom we bid a heart-breaking farewell in Avengers: Endgame.
Last we saw Natasha, it was her sacrificing herself on the barren planet of Vormir so that Hawkeye could get the Soul Stone, bring his family back who were dusted away by Thanos and finally get on with his life. All we now have is the exceptionally delayed Black Widow that is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War and is intended to provide a detailed introduction to who Natasha Romanoff was. While, being a prequel, Black Widow doesn't raise any hopes of seeing the super spy in future projects, the trailer Loki certainly does.
At the mark of 2:03 in the trailer, we see the back of a woman sitting amidst high mounds of rubble with her back to the camera. The purple light and the surroundings make it look like the place seen in the scene is the planet Vormir. But what grabs our attention is the fact that the figure is clad in an all-black attire that looks a lot like Natasha's iconic black costume along with her classic bob hairstyle that she had back in The Avengers and later in Avengers: Age of Ultron. But that may not necessarily mean that Natasha is back from the dead.
It's a past version of Black Widow
Let's back up here for a moment. Our last sighting of Loki was during Endgame when Iron Man, Captain America, and the rest of the team went back to different years in the past in their mission to secure the Infinity Stones before the Mad Titan did and undo his snap in the present. But their first attempt to nab the Space Stone hidden within the Tesseract got Hulk-punched, allowing the God of Mischief to escape through a portal.
The story in Loki is set to begin right after this moment which means it's going to start in 2012. So, not only is this Loki far from the valiant, selfless hero he became in the original timeline, it also means that there exists a very much alive Black Widow who is years away from her death in 2023. Thus, it could be her past version, set in a different timeline, in Loki but it would still mean that it marks the return of Scarlett Johannsson, so it's still a win-win her fans.
Black Widow's AU version
A major part of the trailer also tackles Loki getting tangled with the TVA, the Time Variance Authority- a bureaucracy that governs countless realities. This means that it could very well be an alternate version of Natasha sitting alone in the planet of Vormir. As the trailer also contains scenes of a post-apocalyptic New York, chances are that the Avengers did not manage to find that one winning way out of the fourteen million failed methods to beat Thanos. Maybe it the reality where Tony Stark's vision in Age of Ultron (induced by Wanda) does come true- Earth's heroes defeated and the planet burned to the ground.
It is the Black Widow of the original timeline
Remember in Endgame how Hulk had a hard time making the snap after wearing the gauntlet and later confessed to Cap that it was because he tried to reverse Natasha's death but failed. Call it day-dreaming but maybe, he did manage to bring her back just not in the way he expected to. As the purple coloured background and the Vormir-type setting is rather hard to ignore, it's possible that a part of Natasha is back but bound to the planet, unable to leave.
There is also the possibility that it's not Black Widow
If we are basing our speculations on how the figure looks from behind, we do have another contender- Lady Loki who will be reportedly played by Sophie Di Martino in the series. The actor was added to the cast of the series in 2019 and at time of her casting, Deadline had reported that there is a possibility that she will play the female version of the Asgardian prince.
While details about her role in the film remain under tight wraps, leaked set photos from the series production earlier in 2020 seemed to confirm that Martino is indeed set to appear as Lady Loki in the show. She was spotted in a black-green suit that is just a slightly modified version of Loki's early costume in the MCU. To that add the fact that her blond hair is styled very similarly like Natasha's. Though the figure we see in the trailer appears to have red hair, it could be that the purple lighting makes Martino a.k.a. Lady Loki's hair look reddish brown.
While Lady Loki hasn't been depicted in the MCU yet, comic fans are already well aware of how she came into being. Well-known for his shape-shifting abilities, Loki took over a human body meant for Lady Sif's spirit in J. Michael Straczynski, Olivier Coipel, and Marko Djurdjevic's 2008 released Thor comic series and thus Lady Loki came into being. Though in the comics, she is just another form of Loki, given the multiverse angle Marvel Studios is currently gunning for, if she does appear, she will be from an alternate reality where the Son of Laufey is actually female.
But nothing can be said with certainty, especially regarding Black Widow's possible return as Marvel has used fake scenes in trailers of the MCU films in the past and maybe raising the possibility of the Avenger's return is just an illusion- only the release of Loki in 2021 can decode the mystery. You can check out the trailer of the Disney+ series here.