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Natasha Romanoff
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Full name
Natalia Alianovna Romanova
Aliases
Natasha Romanoff, Natalie Rushman, Black Widow
Species
Human
Status
Alive
Eye color
Green
Hair color
Red
Occupation
Spy
First appearance
Iron Man 2
Last appearance

Natasha Romanoff or Black Widow is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Introduced in Iron Man 2, she assessed the suitability of Tony Stark for the Avenger Initiative. The report she filed with S.H.I.E.L.D. found that Stark was unsuitable for it but the Iron Man armor would be beneficial to the Initiative. She is a founding member of the Avengers. Though she has no superhuman powers, the Black Widow is an expert martial artist with a competent scientific mind and interrogational skills.

Biography

Early Life

Natalia Alianovna Romanova was born in the Soviet Union and went on to become a world-class spy. She reportedly began training towards the life of an assassin when she was just a child, and her ruthless effectiveness in later years earned her the codename, "Black Widow". At some point this life underwent a dramatic change when she was targeted for assassination herself, and the agent sent to kill her was the similarly gifted soldier, Clint Barton. Instead of killing her, Barton spared her life because he had a certain respect for her and the pair developed a lasting partnership and friendship that soon lived on. Following Barton, the Black Widow was drawn into a new life as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Fury's Big Week

Natasha contacted Director Fury during Stark and Rhodey's battle in his Malibu home. She filled him in on the situation; when he offers to come, she told him not to. The next day, in which Fury confronted Tony, Natasha was handed the needle filled with lithium dioxide and was instructed by Fury to "stick him in the neck". After a brief conversation with Agent Phil Coulson about his departure to New Mexico, Natasha was present at the Stark Expo battle reprogamming Rhodey's War Machine. She then retrieved Hammer Industries data before Ivan Vanko's bombs went off.

Returning to S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters with the data, she was given orders by a stressed Fury to go to Culver University and get eyes on Bruce Banner. She arrived and witnessed Banner get locked in the bridge by General Ross and his troops; Banner then transformed and a battle insued. She called Fury and barely escaped uninjured. She revealed to Fury that she witnessed Emil Blonsky in action against the Hulk and that they enhanced him. Fury is forced to deploy Natasha to Empire State University after Ross revealed, in a short conversation, that he intended to capture Banner. She arrived too late, however, and informed Fury over the phone that Ross captured Bruce and was taking him away in a helicopter.

Natasha was then ordered to make sure that Bruce didn't leave anything for Dr. Samuel Sterns, who he had recently been with, to work on. As she headed up the front steps, she witnessed Blonsky, now as Abomination, emerge from the building. She was buried in rubble, but still managed to make her way upstairs. She stumbled upon Dr. Sterns, who's mutation had greatened significantly, and his brain power had been augmented exponentially. After a brief dialogue with him, during which Sterns identified Black Widow's birth place from a hint of accent in her voice, Natasha shot him the leg.

She called in a S.H.I.E.L.D. cleanup team, and signaled her location on the roof with flares. She saw the chaos of Abomination and Hulk's battle in the distance. Back at S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters, she confronted Fury, stating that all of the events going on were too much to handle. Later, she was revealed to have been dispatched to Asia.

Black Widow Strikes

Natasha arrived in Moscow, Russia disguised as Tatiana Sokolova. While there she encountered and later defeated Sofia who was trying to take the mantle of the "Black Widow".

The Avengers

"This is nothing we were ever trained for."
― Natasha Romanoff[src]

Even in her short career at S.H.I.E.L.D., agent Natasha Romanoff a.k.a Black Widow has turned covert espionage into an art form. Armed with an extensive complement of "widow bites" and cluster bombs, as well as a vast repertoire of martial arts and wushu training, Romanoff's skill-set seems to know no bounds.

Natasha was tied to a chair by Georgi Luchkov and appeared to be being interrogated when in fact she was the one interrogating him. Phil Coulson calls and tells her that Agent Barton has been compromised so she broke free from her restraints and knocked out Luchkov's henchmen before being sent to collect Bruce Banner. Natasha pays a child to act like her father is sick and leads Banner to a shack on the outskirts of the town. Natasha approaches Bruce and tells him that he needs to help them. Bruce asked her "What if I say no?". She responded saying "I'll persuade you", this was her way of saying that she had several agents outside who were ready to take on the Hulk at any given moment. After Bruce agreed, she introduced him to Steve Rogers, a.k.a "Captain America".

Once Loki is captured, Natasha talks to him in his holding cell and he taunts her claiming that he will make Clint kill her. His threat was after she revealed to Loki that she and Clint had a history with each other. She corrects Loki, claiming that "Love is for Children"; and that she owes him a debt for sparing her life and recruiting her to S.H.I.E.L.D. Loki lets slip that the "monster" is already on board of the helicarrier; through that it is revealed that Natasha was actually the one manipulating Loki, and she had been in control the whole time. Deducing that he plans to use the Hulk so Romanoff warns Director Fury. Loki summons some guards, including Hawkeye, to the Helicarrier and Hawkeye uses an explosive arrow to destroy one of the four engines. Natasha and Bruce are thrown through a window by an explosion and Bruce loses control and changes into the Hulk despite Natasha's attempts to keep him focused. She manages to get her leg free from the debris that was on top of her and begins to run because the Hulk is attacking her. He easily catches her and knocks into a wall. However, she was saved by Thor before the Hulk could kill her. Fury asks someone to stop Hawkeye and she swallows her terror and volunteers, finding him and knocking him unconscious. She then visits him in the recovery room where he is free from Loki's spell, wanting to take action against the God of Mischief. Clint admitted to her his disbelief of the Avengers being able to stop Loki and his remorse about the people he killed.

Natasha, Clint and Steve seek Loki, who releases his army so the Avengers are forced to assemble and battle the onslaught of alien invaders. Fighting alongside Steve and Clint, Natasha's martial arts skills and small arms were ideal for battling the Chitauri in the streets, and when her own weaponry was spent, she made good use of Chitauri armaments turned on their previous owners. Eventually she captured one of their aircraft and used it to reach the top of Stark Tower where she was instrumental in dealing with the device that held the portal open, thus sealing the rift and barring the amassed forces still waiting to pass through. When the battle was over, Romanoff gathered with the others to see off Thor and the captive Loki. The threat had been neutralised and for a time the world would have little need of its protectors. The others went their separate ways, while Romanoff and Barton returned to S.H.I.E.L.D.

Character Traits

Out of all the Avengers, Natasha appears to be the one with the smallest ego. She is usually very calm and collected, as evident in Iron Man 2. She is able to keep her emotions in check. As described by Stark, she is something of a mystery. However, in The Avengers, she is shown to get emotional, being wary and perhaps afraid of Dr. Banner and what he is capable of doing. When Dr. Banner transformed into the Hulk, she showed fear for the first time. Luckily Thor intervened in time to prevent possible injury to her. Natasha quickly put her fear aside to stop a mind-controlled Barton, whom she seems to care about. Loki suspected that she harbored a romantic interest in Barton, which she dismissed. The two of them appear to have a close friendship, as she helped him realize that his actions under Loki's control were not his fault. Most importantly, she is haunted by her past and tries to make amends with that past, one day at a time.

While one of the members of the Avengers that is completely human and without superpowers, (other than Barton and Stark, however, his armor makes the difference between the three), she is shown to be just as formidable as any of the other members, as she is a gifted spy, trained in combat, weapons and various other skills.

Abilities

Natasha Romanoff has high level of combat training, fluent in multiple languages including Russian, Italian, and Latin. Also apparent high level computer training and psychologist training. She is also deceptively strong, though not superhuman. The Black Widow is a master martial artist, an expert markswoman, a natural actress, an infamous seductress, and a gifted veteran spy.

  • Master Martial Artist: Natasha is an expert in the field of martial arts. She has mastered karate, judo, aikido, savate, boxing, lucha-libre style wrestling and multiple styles of kung fu. Combined with her strength, speed and agility, she was able to take down nearly a dozen of Hammer security guards with ease and without being hit at all. Arguably one of the most famous scenes in The Avengers, she was able to fight three men while tied to a chair and broke it on one of them to free herself and eventually finish them off. She was also shown to defeat scores of Chitauri soldiers as well.
  • Expert Acrobat: She is an Olympic class athlete, gymnast, acrobat and aerialist capable of many difficult feats.
  • Expert Marksman: Natasha is a very accurate marksman skilled in sharpshooting and knife throwing.
  • Multilingual: She is fluent in Latin, Russian, English, French, German, Chinese, and various other languages.
  • Expert Tactician: She is a very effective strategist, tactician, and field commander.
  • Master Interrogator: Agent Romanoff was able to trick Loki into telling her about his plan to use the Hulk against the Helicarrier (although not without Loki getting to her first; nearly frightening her).
  • Talented Hacker: Natasha can hack into most computer systems without tripping any firewalls or security. She use this talent to help Rhodes regain control of the War Machine armor and enabled him to help Stark fought the rest of the attacking Hammer drones.
  • Master Seductress: She is an expert in the field of seduction. Natasha has been infamously known to bend many different men to her will and sometimes even get them to do her bidding for her. Iron Man is an example and living proof of this.
  • Expert Spy: Natasha is a dangerous secret agent trained in espionage, stealth, disguise, infiltration, and demolitions. Her talents and years of experience have enabled her to reach a high ranking as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Relationships

Friends and Allies

  • Nick Fury - S.H.I.E.L.D. director and commander.
  • Phil Coulson - Fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent.
  • Steve Rogers/Captain America - Avengers team leader and partner.
  • Clint Barton/Hawkeye - Fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, Avengers teammate and friend.
  • Maria Hill - Fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent.
  • Thor - Avengers teammate.

Appearances/Actresses

  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Iron Man 2 (First appearance) - Scarlett Johansson
    • The Avengers - Scarlett Johansson
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Scarlett Johansson
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron - Scarlett Johansson
  • MCU Comics
    • Black Widow Strikes
    • Fury's Big Week

Trivia

  • In Iron Man 2, Natasha wears an outfit reminiscent of both her black comic book catsuit, and a dark blue S.H.I.E.L.D uniform.
  • In the comics, the character is known as Natalia Romanova or the Black Widow and was originally a Soviet spy that first appeared in the Iron Man comics (While still being part of Tales of Suspense).
  • Romanova's cover name Rushman is inspired by "Nancy Rushman", a S.H.I.E.L.D. cover identity she has used in the comics.
  • Scarlett Johansson is never referred to as "Black Widow" in Iron Man 2.
  • Widow and Hawkeye have been teammates for a long time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although she claims that she and Barton are not romantically linked in The Avengers, she does care for him.
  • Natasha's SHIELD file states she was born in the mid 1980's, while in the comics she was born in the late 1920's; her aging process slowed by the Red Room variant of the Super Soldier serum. Her origin as the Red Room prodigy as Natalia Romanova, where she met her lover Winter Soldier is rumored to be explored in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Since her file never appeared on screen, it is not necessarily canonical. Even if it had, Natasha as one of the world's greatest spies could have easily have been forged the documents. An allusion to her age appears in a Deleted Scene for The Avengers. After she tells Bruce Banner that SHIELD has all the toys, he jokingly inquires as to whether or not they have a Commodore 64. After she replies that she isn't sure, Banner unwittingly remarks that she must be very young.
  • Also according to her file, she shares the same birth date as her actress; November 22, 1984
  • Natasha's screen time in The Avengers is 33:35.

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