In Black Widow, the Red Guardian is shown getting a tattoo of another inmate who could be from the male show Black Widow, Wolf Spider.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Black Widow, now in theaters and on Disney + Premier access.
One of the funniest and most dynamic characters to debut in Black widow It was the Russian super soldier, Alexei Shostakov, also known as the Red Guardian. He served his country loyally and the politician Dreykov, who later sent him to prison for an undisclosed reason. His adopted daughters, Natasha and Yelena, got him out of jail. But shortly before his escape, he was seen in the prison mess, fighting with other inmates while getting tattooed.
The scene illustrates how tough Alexei is, as he can casually overpower other convicts without even interrupting the tattoo artist’s work. However, what many people may not realize is that the man who gets his back tattooed appears to be another Marvel villain: Niko Constantin, the wolf spider.
Many Marvel fans will not be familiar with Wolf Spider, as he is a fairly unknown villain. The character debuted in Captain America # 617 by Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice, part of Captain America: prisoner of war story, in which Bucky Barnes (who had replaced Steve Rogers as Captain America) was framed for a crime, extradited to Russia and locked in a gulag. While incarcerated, Bucky encountered a prison gang called Wolf Spiders, led by Niko Constantin. In a flashback, the Wolf Spiders were revealed to be the male equivalent of the Black Widow show. Neither candidate was deemed successful. However, Niko surpassed all the physical requirements, only failing due to his psychological evaluations, which revealed that he was most likely a psychopath.
It is worth noting that many aspects of the prison sequence in Black widow are apparently inspired by Captain America: prisoner of war, replacing Red Guardian with Bucky. Both Bucky and Red Guardian are jailed on trumped up charges (presumably, in Alexei’s case), have a confrontation with “Ursa” and are finally rescued when Natasha arrives by helicopter. It seems that the tattoo artist could be a reference to Niko Constantin, the only wolf spider. The biggest clue to this is the huge spider he has inked on his neck, but he also has a similar haircut and facial features to Niko’s comic representation. He is surrounded by a group of men, who stand out from those close to the Red Guardian, apparently members of his gang. When the Red Guardian gets up to retrieve their mail, two of the men keep their attention on the tattoo artist.
The final clue is the tattoo gun itself. In the comic, Niko betrayed Bucky after offering his help. Bucky’s last words to Niko were to ask, “Is there anyone here other than a backstab?” On Black widow, Red Guardian is literally being stabbed in the back with the electric needles from the tattoo gun.
Normally such a dark character wouldn’t even be considered, but Marvel has relied on quite a few of these characters lately, and this prison scene is clearly inspired by Captain America: prisoner of war. Also, the main plot of Black widow refers to stopping the Red Room and shutting down the Black Widow program. That makes the inclusion of the only male counterpart from the Black Widow show a thematically relevant Easter egg. He may only have had a small appearance in the movie, but there’s no denying that this character literally made his mark.
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow is screened in theaters and at Disney + Premiere Access.
READ ON: CBR Black Widow’s Guide – News, Easter Eggs, Reviews, Summaries, Theories, and Rumors
Fear Street Part 2 doesn’t follow ANY rules, and it’s better for it
About the Author