Hawkeye/Natasha. Bruce Banner/Natasha. And here I am about to sally forth with my own ‘ship manifesto: Bucky/Natasha. I know what it looks like: We’re gleefully, even shamelessly, pairing Black Widow up with everything in pants because she’s the only female member of the movieverse Avengers. Let me get three things out of the way. 1.) Despite the off-color comments some castmembers have made, it’s safe to say the Avenger most likely to bed-hop is international playboy Tony Stark. Remember the stripper-pole-sex-plane? Oh, the exploits JARVIS must have seen. 2.) My chosen partner isn’t even an Avenger. So there. 3.) Natasha Romanoff is a total badass and a strong character in her own right and she doesn’t need a love interest to be validated.
But when you’re this amazing, why shouldn’t you have someone to cuddle up with at night? Or at least someone to clean your guns with and reminisce with about the old days when you used to be an evil secret agent. Nat is awesome. She should get it. So, I now make my case for Natasha and one James Buchanan Barnes, aka “Bucky”, aka the Winter Soldier. I know, aside from the fact that they were both in Captain America: Winter Soldier and both mean a lot to Steve Rogers, they seem to have no connection. You think I’m nuts for ‘shipping people who haven’t even shared dialogue. This is where the comic book origins of the films kicks in. As you know, Bucky was trained by the Russians as a deadly assassin called the Winter Soldier after being presumed dead in the 1940s. It is not a coincidence that Natasha is a former Russian operative with “red in her ledger.” She was trained in the infamous Red Room (which viewers got a glimpse of in the Agent Carter mini-series) and actually learned combat from the Winter Soldier himself. Okay, maybe she learned a little bit more than combat…
Things didn’t work out so well between them back in the day. Fortunately, they met up again after Bucky was permanently defrosted in the present. This was where I stumbled onto my sudden, fierce, need to ‘ship them. Spoiler Alert: While the movies haven’t gotten there yet, let’s just say that certain very volatile events lead to Bucky becoming Captain America for a while. And that gave us panels like this, from Captain America #42:
ISN’T THAT ADORABLE? Don’t you just want to heart emoji all over that exchange? These two battle-scarred, wounded, people, finding a bit of cute comfort as they honor Steve Rogers’ legacy as Captain America? And did you know he calls her “Natalia” because that’s a variation of Natasha and what she went by before? I can’t even. If you want even more poignant ‘shippiness, pick up Ed Brubaker’s Captain America: The Man With No Face. In this trade compilation of issues #43-48, they have an entire post-coital conversation (several panels’ worth) where Nat’s draped in a sheet and Bucky is shirtless. Ugh. I just want to eat my feels. But I have to finish telling you why I ‘ship them, so we’ll hold off on the Ben & Jerry’s.
In terms of the potential for these two on the big screen, we can assume Natasha is now aware of Bucky’s existence and that he’s still piecing together his past. Captain America: Winter Soldier ended with Steve determined to track down his old pal and bring him back into the fold. The search is ongoing in Avengers: Age of Ultron…and, not to spoil those who haven’t seen it yet, but there might just be a flash of a familiar face in a scene very important to Black Widow’s evolution as a character. Keep your eyes peeled. So, who’s to say that the Winter Soldier and Natasha won’t find eventually themselves on the same side, fighting for Steve’s ideals? Even without touching on their training history in the Red Room, they both still have individual histories of working for the wrong people and ledgers full of sins they’d rather forget. That can create a powerful bond. Plus, there is so much comic book history to pull from with these two. It’s not the theoretical Budapest of Hawkeye and Widow; naked romantic things actually happened on-page. Why wouldn’t you capitalize on that?
And, let’s face it, even though Captain America issue #43 came out long, long before Scarlett Johansson and Sebastian Stan were cast as Widow and Bucky…doesn’t this kinda look like them?
It’s a sign! Everybody loves Natasha, and Bucky should, too!
Originally posted on HeroesandHeartbreakers.Com