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‘Black Widow’ might have secretly introduced the MCU’s first mutant

Published Jul 16th, 2021 8:18PM EDT
Black Widow Easter Eggs
Image: Marvel Studios

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Black Widowis available in theaters and online

more than a year after its initial release date. The first MCU Phase 4 film delivers the Black Widow origin story several years late, but it’s still a stellar spy movie. It’s all set up in the Marvel universe, although this is less of a superhero story than others. That’s because the Black Widows are essentially super-assassins rather than full-fledged superheroes. The film has plenty of great Easter eggs that anchor it firmly in the Avengers timeline, as well as several hooks for the upcoming Phase 4 movies and shows. But one glorious Black Widow Easter egg we all missed was the introduction of Marvel’s first mutant. That’s according to the actor who played the character — mind you, major spoilers follow below.

Black Widow achieves various things now that it’s out. It’s the first MCU Phase 4 film to hit theaters after the Infinity Saga concluded. The film gives Nat (Scarlett Johansson) the farewell she needed after Endgame and passes the Black Widow baton to Yelena (Florence Pugh). It also gives us many characters that we might see down the road in the MCU, including Alexei/Red Guardian (David Harbour), Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), and the reformed Black Widow organization. And it also connects a few missing dots between Civil War and Infinity War with the help of the Easter eggs fans look out for.

The big Black Widow X-Men Easter egg

Then, of course, there’s Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and the huge connection with the MCU future. And let’s not forget the film set record earnings goals for the pandemic, including a large number of online sales.

But the Black Widow might have had one other purpose. Black Widow should have been the first Phase 4 title that Marvel fans saw after Disney acquired Fox. And Marvel might have celebrated it by introducing the first X-Men mutant in the best possible way: Quietly, so nobody remarked it immediately.

Black Widow actor Daniel Richters played a character called Ursa in the film. He appeared in a brief but critical scene in the movie. Ursa was an inmate saving time in the same prison they kept Red Guardian. It’s Ursa who challenges Alexei when the latter claims he fought Captain America in the mid-’80s. Ursa says that Captain America was still in ice back then, prompting the wrath of Alexei.

The scene is important because we might soon learn that Red Guardian did fight a version of Captain America. Or someone who looked like him. But it turns out the scene delivers an important Easter egg: Ursa might be Ursa Major, a mutant from the X-Men stories.

Who is Ursa Major?

The reveal comes from Richters himself, who posted on Instagram details about his character.

Alexei refers to the big guy as Ursa, and calls him “big bear” as they arm-wrestle while discussing Captain America. And Marvel credits Richters as Ursa in the film.

The actor took to Instagram to say that he can finally confirm he has played Ursa Major, the first mutant in the MCU:

Marvel Black Widow is out! After two years I can finally tell who my character is: Ursa Major the first mutant (X-Men) to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (SWIPE photos). Ursa is part of the Winter Guard, noted for being “Russia’s answer to the Avengers”. His power transforms him into an incredible bear, transcending The Hulk in size. Ursa appears many times in the comics fightning Wolverine and The Hulk. When production on set told me who I really was in Black Widow I let some tears in my hotel room, because my movie dream became true: being a official comic super Hero. I can only hope Marvel will bring back Ursa in full form

Mutant plans are still secret

Richters shared various images showing the character in the comics. It’s surprising to see an actor reveal this carefully planted Black Widow Easter egg this way. Marvel is yet to announce any plans for X-Men films. But we do expect to see more mutants in other MCU adventures.

If Richters played Ursa Major, then the character we saw isn’t Ursa Major yet. Red Guardian had no problem humiliating the “big bear” who dared challenge him. We’ll have to wait and see if Marvel is ready to confirm Richter’s big reveal.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.