Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Black Widow Fan Theory That Makes Alexei More Tragic

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) finally got her due when the assassin received a solo movie in 2021. Set prior to the events of "Infinity War" and "Endgame," the film gives us a better glance at the hero than ever before, showing us the family she had for a short period of time before being taken away by the Red Room. She must reunite with this makeshift family to return to the Red Room and make sure no other young women go through the same kind of torture her and her sister, Yelena (Florence Pugh), went through. 

It not only fills in some gaps of what Natasha was up to between "Civil War" and "Infinity War," but it also fills in blanks of why she made the sacrifice she did in "Endgame." All she's ever wanted was a family — a place to belong. She got that for a short time when her, Yelena, Alexei (David Harbour), and Melina (Rachel Weisz) lived together in the United States, and she got it again when she joined the Avengers. Her sacrifice in "Endgame" was a way to not only ensure the Avengers got to see their loved ones again, but her family got to be protected, as well, after some (if not all) of them got blipped. 

It makes it all the sadder to consider one fan theory that suggests Natasha's found-father, Alexei, may not be around much longer. The theory goes on to purport that the super-soldier serum he received didn't just give him super strength; it's gradually killing him, too.

The theory states Alexei stayed in prison to receive medical care

Redditor u/grambocrackah posits an intriguing theory that offers an explanation for why Alexei didn't merely break out of prison. With the super-soldier serum, he's certainly strong enough to overpower the guards and likely break out whenever the mood fancies him. The theory also states that the prison probably isn't too far away from a town, seeing how Alexei, Natasha, and Yelena make it to Melina's farm on just a quarter tank of fuel. So why would he essentially choose to stay in prison?

The user goes on to mention, "I believe that whatever process or formula turned Alexei into the Red Guardian is also gradually killing him, and he needs constant medical intervention to stay alive. He gets that in prison, and he's either too uninformed or under-equipped to handle it by himself, which is why he stays. It's also the reason he's gone out of his way to know exactly where Melina is — she managed his treatment in Ohio and is one of the few people on the outside that may be able and willing to help him."

Granted, there's not much evidence to support this theory in the movie, but the user does point out how we might already see the effects of his deteriorating health. Alexei hasn't stayed in shape, as Melina points out when they reunite. He also has bad skin, terrible teeth, and a seemingly declined mental state. All this could be chalked up to the serum taking its toll on his body and mind. It would also explain why he wants to see Melina after the breakout; he knows she's one of the only people that can help him now that he's out of prison. While it's just a theory, it could add some interesting wrinkles to Alexei's story if he pops up again in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.