One of the more interesting things to happen in Black Widow largely flew under the radar, and it came when Yelena Belova subtly revealed that characters inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe view each member of the Avengers differently, and rank them in order of how much of a threat their power presents.
It was a snarky dig when Yelena refused to acknowledge Natasha as “one of the big ones”, before quipping that she doubted “the god from space has to take an ibuprofen after a fight”. Of course, not all heroes are created equal, but it’s still curious to ponder how the villains view them in an individual light.
Ultron or Thanos would have hardly been quaking in their boots were they faced by Hawkeye all alone, while somebody like Ant-Man‘s Darren Cross may have sh*t his pants had the Hulk turned up to stop him from stealing Hank Pym’s technology. In a set visit interview via ComicBook, Eternals producer Nate Moore addressed the situation head-on, saying that it largely rests in the hands of whoever writes the script.
“So one question I’m always asked. Who would win in a fight? Who would win in a fight if Galactus fought The Hulk, or if Thor fought Iron Man? And there’s one answer to all of that. It’s so simple, anyone should know this. The person who’d win in a fight is the person that the scriptwriter wants to win! I mean, look, they’re obviously stronger than humans so I think, you look at our amazing heroes, like Hawkeye and Black Widow wouldn’t have a problem.
We didn’t want the Eternals to be too godlike, because I do think you run the risk of them being less relatable. Although I guess, Thor has managed that pretty well. But we don’t necessarily have a ranking system. We do think [the Eternals] sort of occupy their own pocket, and I do think down the line, if and when they were to intersect with other characters, that’s a fun thing to sort of investigate.”
It would be hilarious if there really was a ranking system pinned to a wall somewhere at Marvel headquarters, with various filmmakers, producers and executives humming and hawing over who gets placed where. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case, but fans will continue to debate it regardless.