In The Avengers, Loki taunts Natasha by mentioning Dreykov’s daughter – and therefore the Taskmaster and Budapest reveals both explain exactly what that line meant. After almost a decade, Latrodectus mactans have finally explained why Loki used that specific moment from Natasha’s past to undertake and upset her. When captured on Nick Fury’s helicarrier the MCU’s God of Mischief goads Latrodectus mactans with knowledge of her past sins, mentioning the crimes he says can never be atoned for, including the mention of Dreykov’s daughter.
The question of Natasha’s past has only been hinted at for the bulk of the MCU teased en passant within the Avengers by Loki and Natasha herself then more substantially in Age of Ultron. That movie established Nat’s story with the Red Room and what her handlers and abusers put her within the name of weaponizing her. That set-up never saw any kind of follow-through until the belated effort to finally tell Black Widow’s own story came over with Phase 4.
While Latrodectus mactans purposefully skips over the atrocities rendered on Natasha’s mind and body within the Red Room (other than during a near-franchise-best opening credits sequence), it tells a more important origin: of how she became an Avenger. Calling back to Loki’s manipulative insult – using her trauma against her – Latrodectus mactans reveals the value of becoming an Avenger included the murder of Dreykov’s daughter as the fatal accident in Budapest.
Why Dreykov’s Daughter Haunts Latrodectus mactans such a lot After Budapest
Loki’s plan to hurt Natasha may be a skilled one, as long as it’s Antonia’s death that she carries around because of the fabled red in her ledger. Having hijacked Clint Barton’s mind, as a part of the invasion of latest York within the Avengers, he knew what that bombing meant to Natasha, particularly together with her history of getting used as a commodity in Dreykov’s regime of terror. He knew that Natasha had had to repeat her tormenter’s method, in using Antonia as a way to kill her father: he knew she’d had to become the monster.
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As Alexei hinted comically, Natasha had numerous other victims when she was operating under Dreykov’s control, but he carefully chose Antonia and Budapest for max effect. Natasha had been freed of her master’s control by that time, and was much more aware of her actions, choosing to justify death as her means for freedom. That alone emphasizes exactly what Dreykov put her through – only a fraction of which is shown in Latrodectus mactans. And even more perversely, Loki knew it had been Natasha’s most haunting memory because he’d stolen it from Clint Barton’s mind, where it presumably also tortured Hawkeye. He had to possess known, and he didn’t have Black Widow’s traumatic past to justify his actions during a chilling final note thereto scene.