|For other uses, see Black Widow (disambiguation)|
|For alternate versions of Black Widow, see Black Widow's Character Hub|
Natalia Alianovna "Natasha" Romanoff (Russian: Наталья Альяновна "Наташа" Романов) was one of the most talented spies and assassins in the entire world and a founding member of the Avengers. As a child, she was indoctrinated into the Red Room by General Dreykov, and briefly lived as the surrogate daughter of Alexei Shostakov and Melina Vostokoff while they were undercover in the United States of America. After the Destruction of the North Institute, she underwent extensive psychological conditioning, before graduating from the Red Room as a Widow. Working as an operative for the KGB, she was targeted by S.H.I.E.L.D., before given the chance to ultimately defect to the organization by Clint Barton by assassinating Dreykov. Romanoff succeeded, although having to use his daughter Antonia Dreykov's life as collateral damage would haunt her for the rest of her life.
Having extensive mastery in martial arts and armed with her Widow's Bite, Romanoff became one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most efficient agents, using the title given by her former organization as her codename, Black Widow. During one mission, she was sent undercover into Stark Industries as Natalie Rushman to watch Tony Stark due to the fear that he was dying. During this mission, Romanoff assisted Stark with defeating Ivan Vanko's terrorist plots against him.
When Loki declared war on the Earth, Black Widow was recruited into the Avengers after Hawkeye had just been enthralled by Loki. Romanoff assisted in recruiting Stark and Bruce Banner into the team while they tracked down and attempted to capture Loki, eventually saving Barton from his grasp. Once Loki's entire plan had been uncovered, Romanoff joined the team during the Battle of New York and was instrumental in destroying the portal over the city which had been created by the Tesseract, effectively ending the entire invasion while Loki was defeated and deported back to his homeworld by his brother Thor.
In the wake of the Avengers successfully defeating Loki, Romanoff continued her work with S.H.I.E.L.D., this time working with Captain America. While working together, Romanoff and Rogers uncovered a conspiracy following an assassination attempt on Nick Fury, which had eventually led to them discovering that HYDRA had been infiltrating their entire organization since its foundation. Despite the efforts of the Winter Soldier to stop them, Romanoff helped expose Alexander Pierce's evil schemes to the world, which also resulted in all of her own morally dubious history being revealed. As a result, Romanoff was forced into dropping off the grid again and began rebuilding her cover.
Romanoff eventually rejoined the Avengers, working to bring down various HYDRA cells across the world and assisting in the capture of Baron Strucker. However, before she could form a romantic relationship with Banner, the rogue artificial intelligence Ultron was created by him and Stark, forcing Romanoff and the rest of their team to join together and defeat him. Despite being captured, Romanoff was able to inform the team of Ultron's location on Sokovia, resulting in a final battle in which the Avengers had defeated Ultron once and for all, though Banner fled into self-exile. Along with Captain America, Black Widow remained a member while forming the second incarnation of the team.
As many of the world governments demanded the Avengers to sign the Sokovia Accords in the wake of their recent battles, Romanoff agreed to their terms and signed the Accords. She later joined Iron Man in a fight against Captain America due to his disagreements with the Accords and his criminal activities with the Winter Soldier who Rogers was attempting to protect. As the two Avengers' factions fought against each other, Romanoff betrayed Iron Man's team to assist Captain America in finding the one incriminating the Winter Soldier, inherently violating the Sokovia Accords.
As a result, the fugitive Romanoff worked with Rick Mason to escape the government for aiding Rogers. In the process, Romanoff intercepted messages from her former surrogate sister Yelena Belova about the Red Room's resurgence. In possession of the Red Dust, Romanoff and Belova were relentlessly pursued by Taskmaster, who worked for Dreykov, who was believed to have been killed. Reuniting with her surrogate parents, they worked together to bring down the Red Room once and for all. Upon learning Taskmaster was actually Antonia, who had survived all these years but was mind-controlled by Dreykov, Romanoff freed her from Dreykov's enthrallment, and put an end to Dreykov's plans for world domination. Romanoff soon joined Rogers in freeing the incarcerated Avengers.
With the Avengers broken up, Romanoff, Rogers and Wilson went on the run for two years as international fugitives, working alone to stop terrorist cells in Syria. When the threat of Thanos approached Earth, Romanoff, Rogers, and Wilson protected Vision, who had the Mind Stone, which Thanos was after. They later defended Wakanda from the attack, but were ultimately defeated when Thanos destroyed half of all life with the Infinity Gauntlet, where Romanoff emerged as one of the survivors. Romanoff was part of the Ambush on Thanos in an effort to retrieve the Infinity Stones and undo the Titan's snap, with no success.
Five years later, Romanoff led the Avengers alongside Captain America, now formed by Okoye, Rocket Raccoon, Nebula, War Machine, and Captain Marvel. With an opportunity to undo the Snap presented by Ant-Man, the remaining Avengers split up into teams to retrieve all Infinity Stones from several alternate timelines in the Time Heist. Sent to retrieve the Soul Stone on Vormir with Barton, Romanoff, against Barton's insistence, willingly jumped off the Vormir mountains into the abyss below, sacrificing herself in the process in order to obtain the Soul Stone for the Avengers.
Taken during Infancy
Natalia Alianovna Romanoff was born on December 3, 1984 in Stalingrad, Russia. As an infant, she was deemed by the Red Room to possess genetic potential, and was purchased from her birth family. However, Romanoff's mother was not in agreement and proceeded to search for her, until General Dreykov had her killed to prevent the Red Room Program's existence from being revealed.
Temporary Family Life
- "We shot Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and summer vacation all in one day. Different backdrops. I knew all the presents under the tree were just empty boxes, but I didn't care. I wanted to open every single one... so just for a second it would feel real."
- ―Natasha Romanoff to Melina Vostokoff[src]
Romanoff was brought up within the Red Room Academy, where she endured both an education and indoctrination into the world of spy-craft. Romanoff became the star pupil in in this strict training environment. In 1992, Romanoff was granted a reprieve from the Red Room and was given an undercover assignment. Along with another girl named Yelena Belova, the two acted as the daughters of Alexei Shostakov and Melina Vostokoff and relocated to the United States of America, where Shostakov and Vostakoff were tasked with retrieving cognitive data from the North Institute, a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility secretly run by HYDRA. For three years the four lived as an American family in Ohio and while aware that the family aspect was a simple ruse, Romanoff loved them all like they were her actual family while Shostakov and Vostokoff loved the two as their daughters.
In 1995, Shostakov successfully stole the data and burned down the North Institute. Realizing that they had to leave Ohio and that she had to return to the Red Room, Romanoff became upset while Vostakoff apologized. As they fled to an airstrip, they faced resistance from S.H.I.E.L.D., who injured Vostakoff. Romanoff was then forced to fly the plane herself and successfully landed in Cuba. Upon arriving, Romanoff apologized to Vostakoff, who told her not to let the Red Room take her heart.
As soldiers attempted to take Belova away, Romanoff went to Belova's defense and held the soldiers at gunpoint while Belova clung to her. As Romanoff threatened to shoot the guards, Shostakov attempted to calm her down. Romanoff expressed her refusal to return to the Red Room or to allow Belova to be indoctrinated into the program, citing Belova's age, to which Shostakov reminded her that she was even younger. As he took the gun from her, Shostakov told Romanoff that she and Belova would be all right, and that they were to take care of each other. However, on Dreykov's signal, Romanoff and Belova were sedated and placed on a plane headed to the Red Room Academy.
Red Room Training
Romanoff awoke in a cargo container with several other girls, watching as Dreykov told his men which girls to kill and which to take. As a guard took Yelena Belova away, Romanoff rushed to her younger sister's side and gave her a photograph of their family before another guard pulled her away. Returning to the Red Room Academy, she resumed her prior training, undergoing psychological conditioning and physical training, while exceeding in her marksmanship abilities. During one of her training exercises, she was forced to execute an innocent man, which would later haunt her.
As a final ceremony to complete her training, Romanoff was given an involuntary hysterectomy and had her ovaries and uterus removed, with the Red Room citing the need for sterilization as they believed pregnancy was the one thing that would prevent a Widow from completing their mission, a procedure which she deeply regretted later in her life. Following her graduation, Romanoff was given the mantle of "Black Widow" and was placed in the KGB by General Dreykov, and soon became regarded as a master spy and one of the world's greatest assassins.
Due to both her expertise and her growing threat to global security, Romanoff quickly appeared on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s radar, prompting Nick Fury to send Clint Barton to eliminate her. Barton went against this order, recognizing Romanoff's skills and seeing the good in her, and recommended her for recruitment into S.H.I.E.L.D. In order to defect to S.H.I.E.L.D., she was tasked with assassinating Dreykov in Budapest. During the mission, Romanoff and Barton rigged the building with bombs, and Romanoff used Dreykov's daughter, Antonia, to ensure his location.
Romanoff, knowing that Antonia was in the building, gave the order to detonate, seemingly killing Dreykov and his daughter. This mission would haunt Romanoff, although she convinced herself that killing Antonia was necessary to completing the mission, and clearing herself from the Red Room. After engaging in a firefight with the Hungarian Special Forces, the two agents hid themselves for ten days, two of which were spent inside the ceiling of a subway station, before being able to leave the city. Officially defecting from Russia, Romanoff joined the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
As part of her induction, Romanoff had to inform Fury of her training from the Red Room Academy. Following her defection, she formed a lasting partnership with Clint Barton, becoming best friends with him. Together, they had tactical missions in many other locations. The pair grew so close that Romanoff was the only other person Barton told about his secret family. She became a good friend to Barton's wife, Laura, and adopted an aunt-like relationship with their children, Cooper and Lila. Romanoff even trusted Barton enough to talk about Yelena Belova and how much she loved and missed her.
- "Five years ago, I was escorting a nuclear engineer out of Iran, somebody shot at my tires near Odessa. We lost control, went straight over a cliff, I pulled us out, but the Winter Soldier was there. I was covering my engineer, so he shot him straight through me."
- ―Natasha Romanoff to Steve Rogers[src]
In 2009, on one of her earliest S.H.I.E.L.D. missions, Romanoff was assigned to protect a nuclear scientist. Despite having escorted the engineer from Iran and successfully made it to the rendezvous in Odessa, Ukraine, Romanoff and the scientist were both ambushed by the Winter Soldier, an assassin sent by HYDRA to neutralize the scientist as he was deemed a threat.
Although she and the scientist were pushed over a cliff, Romanoff managed to save both herself and the man she was protecting. Seeing this, the Winter Soldier fired a single round through Romanoff's stomach and into the scientist, effectively killing him. After this encounter, Romanoff would go on to attempt to track down the Winter Soldier for an unspecified amount of time but was forced to give up after accepting that he was more elusive than any other enemy she had encountered.
Watching Tony Stark
Shortly after her encounter with the Winter Soldier, Romanoff was then sent on one of her usual missions, to ruin an operation of the Ten Rings. She boarded the terrorists' plane and caused its explosion. Just as Romanoff was fighting off a Ten Rings operative in the plane, she was assigned by Nick Fury to infiltrate Stark Industries to spy on Tony Stark. Under the name "Natalie Rushman," Romanoff pretended to have modeled in 2004, as well as working in Japan, Italy, France and the United States in the early 2000s. To further polish her identity, she was given a BA and MA in history from the University of Southern Carolina in 2005 and 2007, respectively. She was also given the backstory that she had interned at Hammer Industries while ostensibly studying at Harvard University in 2010. Therefore, Romanoff was successfully hired as a Stark Industries notary public by Bambi Arbogast. She worked her way at getting to Stark in many ways, including secretly poisoning Samantha Carlisle (non-lethally) in order to deliver documents to Stark.
Romanoff's ulterior motive for her employment under her S.H.I.E.L.D. operation was to keep an eye on Stark after he signed his company over to Pepper Potts. In reality, she had been assigned to assess whether he was suitable for the Avengers Initiative. Romanoff arrived at Tony Stark's Mansion as the notary to deliver the documents needed to finalize Potts' promotion, catching the attention of Stark and Happy Hogan while they were boxing in a ring.
Romanoff then approached Stark and Hogan before requesting Potts to sign the papers. As Potts did so, Stark inquired Romanoff about her name, and she proceeded with her cover name, Natalie Rushman. Stark, unaware of Romanoff's true identity, asked her to come into the boxing ring so that the two could talk. Potts insisted that Stark was in an eccentric mood, to which Romanoff assured her that it was fine.
Entering the boxing ring, Romanoff faced Stark who was casually drinking some water out of thirst. He then told Hogan to give her a boxing lesson, for which Hogan didn't take seriously as he was unaware of her past training as a spy. Stark asked Romanoff to spell her last name and ran a search on her. He discovered in her credentials that she was fluent in French, Italian, Russian, and Latin and had done some modeling in Japan.
As Romanoff watched Stark ogle her, Hogan threw a jab at her, but she blocked the blow and scissored him around the head, pinning him to the ground. Romanoff then got out of the ring and obtained Stark's fingerprint despite an initial misunderstanding. She asked if he needed any further assistance with anything else, and Potts politely dismissed her. Romanoff left, leaving Stark astounded. She went on to become his new personal assistant.
Maintaining her cover as Tony Stark's assistant, Romanoff met Stark and Pepper Potts in Monaco and greeted the two of them. As Stark returned the sentiment, remembering that she was an employee under Potts, Romanoff guided the two of them in front of photographers so that their arrival would be photographed.
After taking the photos, Stark walked with Romanoff, sarcastically complimenting her dress, before admitting it was unprofessional to say that. Proceeding with his schedule, Stark inquired about his activities, and Romanoff informed him of his 9:30 dinner, to which he told her he'd arrive at 11. Under Stark's request that she join them for dinner, Romanoff consulted one of the waiters and issued a reservation that night, as well as arranging a corner table for them.
When Stark appeared on the television, contesting in the Monaco Grand Prix, Potts called Romanoff over to see if she knew about it, which she didn't. Potts started to fret, noting that he shouldn't have participated in the race. In an attempt to prevent Stark from racing, Potts asked for Romanoff to get Happy Hogan and bring him to her so they could stop him.
Tony Stark's Party
Following the Duel of Monaco which culminated in the arrest of Ivan Vanko, the son of Anton Vanko, who harbored revenge against the Stark family, Romanoff and Pepper Potts were left to deal with the public relations mess back at Tony Stark's mansion. Later one evening as Stark observed the condition of the Arc Reactor in his chest worsen, Romanoff entered his room, asking which watch he would like to wear at his birthday party, and Stark responded that he would look at them in a minute.
The two then talked about whether Stark should cancel his party due to recent events. Romanoff agreed that he should, as it would be an inappropriate time to host friends and colleagues after he was nearly killed by Vanko in Monaco. She then handed Stark a glass of martini and his collection of watches. The two traded items, with Stark insisting that he choose his watch before ordering Romanoff to cover up some of his bruises he sustained from the fight.
As Romanoff applied concealer on his wounds, Stark admitted that she was mysterious, noting that it was hard for him to detect where she could be from. Despite Stark's attempt to elicit a response from Romanoff as to where she was from, unaware of her past as a child assassin in the Red Room Academy and the fact that she was an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Romanoff dodged the question and continued to cover his injuries.
Stark then asked her what she would do if it was her last birthday. In a moment of sincerity, Romanoff stated that she would do whatever she wanted with whoever she wanted to do it with before leaving. Taking in what she said, Stark got really drunk, flirting with Romanoff and showing her how to use his Mark IV gauntlet to blast an ice sculpture. After being frustrated with Stark's behavior, James Rhodes stole Iron Man Armor: Mark II and engaged in a fight with Stark, causing all the party guests to leave.
During Stark's and Rhodes' fight, Romanoff ran into Pepper Potts, who confronted her by saying that she knew something wasn't right with Stark ever since Romanoff arrived. Suddenly, the fight made its way into the living room where all the guests were hanging out and resulted in the two of them evacuating the mansion. Romanoff then contacted Nick Fury and debriefed him on the situation that had developed. When he offered to come, she told him not to intervene.
Now dressed in her S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform, Romanoff met with Nick Fury at Randy's Donuts to provide a short-term antidote to Tony Stark's palladium poisoning. Sneaking in from the back entrance, Romanoff surprised Stark as she revealed herself to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent the entire time. Stark took off his sunglasses to get a better look at her. Seeing that she lied to him, Stark said Romanoff was fired, but she made it clear that it wasn't up to him.
Fury introduced her to Stark, revealing that Natalie Rushman isn't her name and she was assigned by Fury to watch him. Romanoff then gave Stark a shot of Lithium Dioxide, which she explained postponed the effects of the Arc Reactor's radiation, which was poisoning his body, so he could work on a cure. Later, Romanoff, along with Fury and Phil Coulson, went to Stark's mansion and she was told by Fury that she was to remain in position as an assistant at Stark Industries.
Later at the Stark Industries Headquarters, Romanoff walked into Pepper Potts' office while Stark was visiting her and requested for Potts to sign a form. She then was told to sort out the personal belongings with Stark. When Potts left, Stark grilled Romanoff, telling her that he found it amazing how she does what she does. When he pondered if she could really speak Latin, Romanoff replied with a quote on the nature of deceptiveness, though translated that Stark could either drive himself or she would have him collected.
At the Stark Expo, Romanoff was in attendance with Pepper Potts when Iron Man interrupted Hammer Industries' showcase on their Hammer Drones. As the drones went out of control and began attacking the event, Romanoff and Potts followed Justin Hammer, with Romanoff interrogating and threatening him, and discovered that Ivan Vanko had taken control over them. Romanoff left Potts and went outside, where she ordered Happy Hogan to drive to the Hammer Industries Headquarters.
As they drove, Romanoff, in the back of the car, stripped off her dress to put on her S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform. As she was changing clothes, Hogan tried to watch but the car swerved and Romanoff then noticed he was looking at her, leading her to advise Hogan to pay attention to the road. When they arrived at the facility, Romanoff told Hogan, who was confused about what she was wearing, to stay in the car. She broke into the facility using an ID card after several attempts and the two were confronted by a guard, who Hogan engaged in a fight while Romanoff continued to Vanko.
She then defeated any guards in her way using multiple gadgets like her Taser Disks, Flash Bombs, wire, and pepper spray as well as her martial arts skills. Approaching the control room, which she believed as Vanko's location, Romanoff subdued all the remaining guards with ease and continued to the location. Upon storming into the room however, she instead found two guards dead and Vanko nowhere to be found. In reality, he had disappeared moments before Romanoff and Hogan arrived at the facility and was heading towards the Stark Expo so that he could ambush Tony Stark.
Romanoff hacked into the computer Vanko used and was able to free Rhodes' battle armor from his control. She complimented Iron Man's new Arc Reactor before interrupting his and Potts' subsequent argument to inform him that Whiplash was arriving at his location. Romanoff then retrieved Hammer Industries data before Whiplash's explosive drones went off, which damaged a majority of the Stark Expo and facility.
- "These are gods and monsters and machines of war we're mixed up with."
- ―Natasha Romanoff[src]
Returning to S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters with the data, she was given orders by Nick Fury to go to Culver University and watch over Bruce Banner. She arrived and witnessed Banner get locked in the bridge by Thaddeus Ross and the United States Army; Banner then transformed into the Hulk and a battle ensued.
She called Fury and barely escaped uninjured. She revealed to Fury that she witnessed Emil Blonsky in action against Hulk and that they enhanced him. Fury was forced to deploy Romanoff to Grayburn College 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 Banner and was taking him away in a helicopter.
Romanoff was then ordered to make sure that Banner did not leave anything for Samuel Sterns, with whom he had recently been, 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 Sterns, whose mutation had heightened significantly, and his brainpower had been augmented exponentially. After a brief dialogue with him, during which Sterns identified Black Widow's birthplace from a hint of an accent in her voice, Romanoff shot him in 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.
Ignorant that Nick Fury had ordered Hawkeye to check the security of the Avengers Initiative database, Romanoff attacked Barton when he infiltrated the Helicarrier while wearing a mask. Fury arrived and stopped the scuffle; the three then discussed Fury's choices for the Avengers.
Back in Russia
Once again on a mission, Romanoff arrived in Moscow where she searched for missing Stark Industries technology. Disguised as Tatiana Sokolova, she worked at a nightclub. While trying to interrogate Mikhail Fjodorov, one of the world's most successful illegal arms dealers, Fjodorov was killed by an unknown woman and Romanoff was forced to leave the club via the roof, fighting several security men.
After she returned to a hotel, she was attacked by a team of masked mercenaries, but she defeated them and received a SIM card to reach the mysterious woman she has seen in the night club. Later, Romanoff talked to Sofia and learned that she is a "fan" and wants to take over the name of the Black Widow. Romanoff agreed to meet with Sofia and broke all her contacts with S.H.I.E.L.D..
A few days later, Romanoff confronted Sofia in a sports hall in Sochi, where she almost drowned in cold water, but she was saved at the last moment by Phil Coulson, who was following a pair of goons working for Starodoub. Coulson gave Romanoff the necessary equipment to infiltrate the yacht belonging to Yuri Klementiev, one of Starodoub's business partners, where she met Sofia again, an encounter which cost them Gennady Markov's life.
When Coulson discovered that Sofia was employed by Richard Frampton, Natasha infiltrated his headquarters in Vladivostok. She discovered that Frampton works for the Ten Rings and that he had made a Jericho missile that would explode near the border between Russia and North Korea, greatly destabilizing the world peace. Romanoff infiltrated the launching area and destroyed the missile. Both Frampton and Sofia were killed in the explosion.
Interrogated by Georgi Luchkov
Romanoff was tasked by S.H.I.E.L.D. with find and take down Georgi Luchkov who illegally sold weapons to the highest bidder. Romanoff was sent to spy on Luckkov's activities in Russia, however, she was knocked out from behind by his henchmen, who caught her sneaking around. When she awoke, she found herself tied to a chair, yet when Luchkov interrogated her, he unknowingly spilled all of his secrets.
However, as Luchkov was preparing to seemingly torture Romanoff, and whilst the mention of torture gave Romanoff a scare, her interrogation was interrupted when Phil Coulson called and requested to speak to Romanoff. When Luchkov asked who was speaking to him, Coulson responded with the threat of sending a missile strike to their current location within the next thirteen seconds and assured him that he and his henchmen wouldn't have time to make it out of the facility.
Coulson informed Romanoff that she needed to come in which she initially refused as she was in the middle of an interrogation and was working at getting more information out of the Russian general, but Coulson claimed that she had to come in now as a certain situation involving S.H.I.E.L.D. took precedence over her mission. She continued to oppose, claiming that Luchkov gave her everything. Luchkov, confused by her statement, misunderstood Romanoff's cryptic message and claimed to his henchmen that he was not giving her everything.
Once Coulson informed her that Clint Barton was compromised following Loki's threat on Earth as an incentive. Romanoff put Coulson on hold and then immediately freed herself and proceeded to defeat Luchkov and his men. After having explained to Romanoff that Barton's whereabouts were unknown, Coulson told Romanoff to go recruit "the big guy" who she thought was Tony Stark, to which Coulson revealed he was going to cover, before realizing he meant Bruce Banner. Romanoff then picked up her shoes and left the warehouse and went to go induct Banner into the Avengers.
Recruiting Bruce Banner
Romanoff traveled to Bruce Banner's hidden location in Kolkata, India. She had a child to act as if her father was sick to lead him into an abandoned house. As the girl fled through the window and disappeared into the night, Banner realized that it was a set up as Romanoff appeared in the hut wearing a traditional Indian sari, claiming that he picked a great place to settle. Banner, astonished, asked Romanoff if intelligence agencies used children to lure their targets into specific locations.
Romanoff responded that she was used as a spy during her childhood, alluding to her time in the Red Room Academy. Romanoff told Banner that it was just the two of them, which was a lie as multiple S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were outside, awaiting an order to apprehend or kill Banner should he be uncooperative or transform. As Romanoff introduced herself, Banner inquired if she was sent to kill him, to which she responded no and that she was working on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Banner curiously asked Romanoff how they found him and she reminded him that they never lost track of his whereabouts. When Romanoff revealed to the doctor that Nick Fury wished to recruit him, Banner presented her with a hypothetical situation in which he refused. Romanoff then promised that she would persuade him to join if he refused. She told Banner about the Tesseract and that they require his help to locate it as the Tesseract emits a weak Gamma Radiation signal.
Banner reassured that Hulk was not needed which Romanoff told him that Nick Fury had not mentioned anything about Hulk. When Romanoff tried to assure Banner that he would not be imprisoned, Banner flew into a rage to which she reacted by pulling a gun on him and aiming it at his head, but Banner calmly explained he was testing her. Wary but taking his words, Romanoff then ordered agents outside to stand down as Banner was not a hostile threat, and she successfully convinced Banner to come with her.
Assembling on the Helicarrier
Romanoff brought Bruce Banner onto the Helicarrier, to help locate the Tesseract. Phil Coulson then arrived with Steve Rogers and introduced the two before Romanoff told Coulson that he was needed on the bridge. The two then walked together and got acquainted and asked him if Coulson asked him to sign his trading cards. Romanoff then explained that Coulson's cards were vintage and was proud of owning them.
She introduced Rogers to Banner, despite the two having an awkward conversation initially with the latter having conceived that Rogers cared only about Banner's use. As Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. decided to lift the Helicarrier into the air, Romanoff recommended that they move inside as it would become hard to breathe. The Helicarrier then began to take off so the three went inside and headed towards the main control room which contained Agents Nick Fury, Phil Coulson, Jasper Sitwell, and Maria Hill. Inside the Helicarrier, Romanoff assisted Nick Fury and other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in their global search for Clint Barton.
Banner observed their work and asked them what they were doing, to which Fury responded that they were searching for Barton, who was missing, using cell phone signals, cameras, wireless phones, to triangulate his location, but Romanoff warned that using that method wouldn't find Barton and Loki in time so they could thwart his next plan. Under Fury's orders, Romanoff showed Banner to his new laboratory aboard the Helicarrier, promising that S.H.I.E.L.D. has the scientific and modernly advanced resources and equipment for him to complete his work.
S.H.I.E.L.D. located Loki in Stuttgart, Germany and Romanoff flew on Quinjet to this location with Steve Rogers. As Captain America fought Loki, Romanoff tried to get a shot at Loki but was unable to due to Loki using his magic to make multiple illusions of himself appear. Suddenly, loud AC/DC'S "Shoot to Thrill" started to play on the Quinjet as Iron Man flew in to help while greeting Romanoff. They succeed in capturing Loki and brought him on the Quinjet to take him to the Helicarrier.
On their way back in the Helicarrier, Nick Fury asked Romanoff whether Loki had said anything, which Romanoff informed him that Loki had stayed silent. Suddenly, an unexpected lightning storm was taking place and Thor suddenly entered the Quinjet and left with Loki in tow. Romanoff asked if Thor was another Asgardian as Iron Man went to retrieve him. Rogers then went to join Stark, even though Romanoff warned him that he should sit this one out as Thor and Loki came from legends and were basically gods, but he chose to fight anyway.
As Loki was being locked up, Romanoff listened in as he and Nick Fury talked to each other. Romanoff told Thor that Erik Selvig and Clint Barton are under Loki's control. When Thor told Bruce Banner to take care of how he speaks about Loki as he is his brother, Romanoff nonchalantly informed him that Loki had killed eighty people in two days making Thor state that Loki was adopted. Romanoff decided to interrogate Loki and find out his intentions. Romanoff approached the demigod Loki, undetected so she could interrogate Loki which he noted that not a lot of people could sneak up on him.
Romanoff wanted to know what Loki has done with Clint Barton which Loki told her that he had expanded his mind. Whenever Romanoff asked what would happen to Barton after Loki had conquered Earth, Loki questioned Romanoff's feelings asking if it was love. Romanoff made it clear that she owed Barton a debt and she told Loki about her history with Barton. Loki instead told Romanoff that she fought in the service of killers her whole life, asking her if she would be willing to sacrifice the fate of humanity for the safety of Barton.
Romanoff decided to pretend to break down her barriers to Loki so he would reveal his plans. Loki then began to taunt Romanoff telling her about her history which Barton had told him about. Loki then told Romanoff that he would force Barton to kill Romanoff but he ended up revealing that he planned on unleashing Hulk. Romanoff then warned S.H.I.E.L.D. about Loki's plan and went to escort Banner to his room.
After figuring out Loki's plan to unleash Hulk, Romanoff swiftly left the interrogation room made her way to the lab Bruce Banner was working in to escort him to his designated room in an attempt to thwart Loki's plans from coming to fruition. Banner looked at Romanoff shocked, asking her if she knew about Phase 2, which involved S.H.I.E.L.D. using the Tesseract to create weapons, which is what the Avengers believed Nick Fury wanted them for.
Romanoff instead attempted to convince Banner to leave the room as his transformation into Hulk and subsequent rampage was an integral part of Loki's escape plan. After Banner reminded them that he remained peacefully unbothered for two years in Kolkata, India, Romanoff then warned him a second time that Loki was manipulating him and using him as well as the rest of the Avengers to finally put his plans of the Chitauri Invasion into effect, which Banner did not believe and only thought about Fury's lie and still wondered if Romanoff knew about the second phase.
A shocked Banner then asked her what she was doing the whole time, to which she responded that he did not willingly come to the Helicarrier to assist the Avengers in finding the Tesseract just to watch her. An argument erupted between the Avengers due to the effects of the Mind Stone. While the group argued, Clint Barton, under the control of Loki, fired an explosive arrow onto the Helicarrier which blew up the lab. Romanoff was briefly knocked out and she and Banner were thrown into another room.
Whilst Romanoff lay senseless on the floor, a large piece of equipment had fallen on to her foot, and she awoke to find herself trapped with Bruce Banner transforming into Hulk. Romanoff attempted to calm Banner down, but he was in too much pain. Romanoff saw two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents coming to help, but she told them to leave, knowing they would be in danger. As Romanoff tried to free herself, she witnessed as Banner transformed into Hulk, leaving Romanoff horrified.
Romanoff eventually freed herself and attempted to escape from Hulk. Filled with rage, Hulk chased after Romanoff. Romanoff tried to hide from Hulk but she could not escape from him. Romanoff attempted to fend herself off from Hulk and barely did causing her to try to run away from Hulk. Hulk managed to outrun Romanoff and threw her aside, which winded her and broke two of her ribs. As Hulk moved to kill Romanoff, Thor charged into Hulk saving Romanoff.
Still traumatized after her encounter with Hulk, Romanoff was forced to recover to take on Clint Barton who was under Loki's control. Barton was walking down the Helicarrier when he was confronted by Romanoff who snuck up behind him in an attempt to disarm him. He immediately turned around sensing her presence and the two friends had a prolonged fight using her combat skills, Romanoff was able to fight Barton and defend herself from his attacks with his bow and arrows and knife.
Barton fired several arrows at, although Romanoff was able to dodge them, agilely moving between the confounded area. Barton used all his top-level training to kill his friend, and Romanoff was able to steal Barton's bow off him, causing him to draw out his knife. When the fight got dirtier, including attempting to drive the knife into her neck while pulling her hair back, Romanoff used her teeth to bite him in order to disarm Barton, forcing him to drop his knife. Despite this, Barton was no match for Romanoff's speed and agility.
Eventually, she got the upper hand, disarming him and slammed Barton's head onto a steel pipe. The blow weakened Loki's grip on Barton's mind and he recognized Romanoff, calling her by her first name before she knocked him out with a final strong punch to the head, breaking his connection to Loki and restoring his mind. Romanoff watched as Barton was taken away by a S.H.I.E.L.D. team to be rehabilitated. She was then informed of Phil Coulson's death by Nick Fury.
Clint Barton's Recovery
After Romanoff defeated Clint Barton, he was arrested and tied down until it was certain that Loki's control was gone and he was no longer a threat. Romanoff looked after Barton in the recovery room, listening to him as he described the experience, which he compared to being unmade, which Romanoff understood from past experiences.
Despite him asking, Romanoff refused to tell Barton how many S.H.I.E.L.D. agents he had killed, telling him that Loki and Loki alone was responsible for the killings and he must not blame himself. When Captain America arrived to ask Romanoff if she could pilot a Quinjet, Barton told him he could. After Romanoff gave him the nod of approval, Rogers allowed Barton to join them on the mission.
Black Widow was prepared to fight Loki beside the other Avengers and his Chitauri army, though being a spy and not a soldier. Hawkeye flew her and Captain America to New York City in a Quinjet where the portal had already opened over the city, allowing thousands of aliens to enter and attack. Loki managed to shoot the Quinjet out of the sky and the team fought the extraterrestrials on the ground.
Alongside Hawkeye, Black Widow fought the oncoming horde of Chitauri soldiers until the rest of the Avengers arrived. Black Widow used all her skills and weapons to defeat the Chitauri army while the civilians all clear out. While Black Widow and Hawkeye fight the Chitauri, she reminded him that the situation of being similar to the mission they took place in Budapest, which Hawkeye told Black Widow that he remembered Budapest differently. Meanwhile, Captain America won the trust of the NYPD officers, who assisted the Avengers in their fight.
When the others arrived, Captain America ordered that Black Widow and he would stay on the street to protect the people and keep the fight where they could control it. She and Captain America fought hard; she used her bite and guns to kill dozens of Chitauri soldiers. Eventually, for Black Widow, the fight was almost too exhausting for her. After a while, she decided to change her positions and asked Captain America to give her a boost so she could fight the Chitauri from their ships.
Closing the Portal
Eventually, the plan of keeping the fight contained proved meaningless; she decided to obtain one of the Chitauri Chariots and fly it to Stark Tower. On the way she was chased by Loki and called on Hawkeye to shoot him out of the sky. She eventually made it to Stark Tower where the portal to their domain was open and met Erik Selvig, who had come out of the mind control. Selvig expressed horror at his actions; however, Romanoff, assured him that it wasn't his fault as he was brainwashed with the Scepter.
However, World Security Council decided to launch a nuclear missile on New York City to end the Chitauri Invasion once and for all; this prompted Iron Man to intercept the nuclear missile and fly it straight through the portal, where he released the missile on the Chitauri Command Center, which destroyed the station. Romanoff and Selvig used the Scepter to finally close the portal for good right after Stark descended back to Earth and landed on the streets of the downtown, thus ending the Chitauri Invasion.
Moments after the invasion ended, Romanoff, alongside the other Avengers, confronted Loki on the top level of Stark Tower who got up after having been thrown to the ground multiple times by Hulk. While she held the Scepter in her hands, the others armed themselves with weapons with Barton armed with his arrows, Captain America with his shield, Iron Man with his repulsors, and Thor armed with Mjølnir. A subdued Loki then asked for the drink that Tony Stark offered him earlier, finally accepting his defeat.
After the Battle of New York, a cadre of STRIKE agents led by Alexander Pierce arrived at Stark Tower. Brock Rumlow and Jasper Sitwell arrived on the top floor to intercept the Scepter. Romanoff gave STRIKE the Scepter then warned Sitwell, who was holding the item, to be careful with the weapon as it had the capability to erase minds. Both Sitwell and Rumlow promised to exercise caution with the weapon. As Loki apprehended, Romanoff and Barton elected to remain in Stark Tower to rest from the battle.
Later, the Avengers took a breather at the Shawarma Palace before they were interrupted by War Machine, who arrived too late to help in the battle. The Avengers gathered together in Central Park the next day to send Thor with Loki and the Tesseract back to Asgard. While Loki was in chains, Romanoff whispered something in Barton's ear about Loki's punishment, causing Barton to grin. When the team went their separate ways, Romanoff left with Barton in a S.H.I.E.L.D. car.
After New York
- "A lie, yes... but well-intentioned."
- ―Natasha Romanoff[src]
After participating in the Battle of New York, Romanoff became partners with Captain America and they ran many operations together. One such operation occurred upon the theft of the Zodiac weapon from S.H.I.E.L.D. Romanoff was tasked to infiltrate Baker's terrorist cell under an alias. Posing as Audrey, she spent several weeks undercover determining what Baker's plan for Zodiac was.
Upon discovering Baker's plan to release the Zodiac in the Willis Tower in Chicago during the height of the day, killing all within, Romanoff alerted Captain America. Romanoff, Rogers, and Brock Rumlow confronted Baker's cell in the Skydeck of Willis Tower, and after a brief combat, subdued the terrorists, and recovered the Zodiac.
Receiving intel that Sana Amanat was going to be abducted, Nick Fury dispatched Romanoff and Steve Rogers to New York City on protection detail. Under the guise of Rogers showing Romanoff the places that he grew up, they managed to draw out the Cadre mercenaries that had set up in multiple locations throughout the neighborhood. Tracing the mercenary that had abducted Amanat through a maze of alleyways, Rogers succeeded in taking out the last mercenary with a little help from Amanat herself.
Picking up Steve Rogers
Romanoff drove down to Washington, D.C. where she would pick up Steve Rogers, who was talking with Sam Wilson. Romanoff sent Rogers a text to meet her as they had a mission and drove up to the two. As Rogers made his way to the car, Romanoff joked about his age by calling him a fossil and greeted Wilson. The two then drove away to meet up with the STRIKE team.
Romanoff and Steve Rogers were sent with the STRIKE unit to retake the Lemurian Star that was hijacked by pirates led by Georges Batroc. Romanoff and Rogers were debriefed about their mission by Brock Rumlow. As the team got ready to land, Romanoff and Rogers chatted about Saturday night plans, which Rogers had none of. Romanoff suggested he ask a coworker out but Rogers claimed he was too busy as he jumped out of the Quinjet without a parachute.
As Rogers and the rest of the STRIKE team prepared to rescue the hostages, Romanoff then advised that he ask out the nurse across the hall from him. Rogers once again declined and told her to secure the engine room first, as Romanoff quipped that she was multi-tasking. As Batroc ordered Gerald Durand to start the engines, Romanoff snuck up behind Durand and knocked him out, as well as several others as she grappled down the boat. Rogers asked Romanoff for her status while she was in the middle of a fight with a few pirates.
Romanoff secured the room and defeated the final pirate with a blow to the face using a steel pipe. She then proceeded with her mission to retrieve confidential information regarding Project Insight on a flash drive. When Rogers incapacitated Batroc, he discovered Romanoff's real mission of downloading encrypted S.H.I.E.L.D. files. She insisted that his mission was to rescue the hostages, while hers was to secure the intel on the Lemurian Star. As they were arguing about the mission, Batroc threw a grenade at them which Rogers knocked away while Romanoff shot the glass, and the two jumped through the window, just getting clear of the blast. Romanoff took responsibility for Batroc escaping and the two made their way back to the Quinjet.
Nick Fury's "Death"
Romanoff met up with Steve Rogers at the hospital and witnessed Nick Fury being operated on. She asked Rogers about the shooter; he responded that the assailant was fast, strong and had a metal arm. This description seemingly confirmed to Romanoff that the assassin who shot Fury near Rogers' apartment was the Winter Soldier. As Maria Hill joined them, she told the two the ballistics were untraceable, and Romanoff provided the fact that the bullets were Soviet-made.
The three then watched as the doctors attempted to revive Fury but were failing to do so as he was shot multiple times near the heart. Fury's unsuccessful surgery left Romanoff devastated as she watched the doctors announce that he was deceased. As Fury seemingly died due to his many injuries, she mourned his "death" and urged him not to die on her. Romanoff was ultimately forced to say her goodbyes to Fury when Hill told them that she needed to take his body.
Sometime later, Romanoff was allowed to analyze Fury's corpse. After shedding some tears in private, she sensed Rogers' presence and immediately stormed out of the autopsy room. Romanoff then asked him why Fury was in his apartment the night he was shot, which Rogers claimed not to know, but she could tell that he was lying. Their brief conversation was interrupted by Brock Rumlow, who informed Rogers that S.H.I.E.L.D. needed him back at the Triskelion.
After Rogers was made a fugitive by Alexander Pierce, he went back to the hospital to retrieve the USB he left in a vending machine behind pieces of gum, only to find it was gone. Romanoff then approached behind Rogers while chewing gum, implying she had taken it. Rogers then demanded to know the USB's location and what was on it, to which Romanoff told him that it was safe but she didn't know its contents.
Rogers then shared his theory that Fury hired Georges Batroc and his pirates to hijack the Lemurian Star, which Romanoff confirmed, explaining that the ship was dirty and Fury needed a way to obtain the files about the true intentions of Project Insight. She then told Rogers that Fury was killed by the assassin known as the Winter Soldier and how she had encountered him in 2009 during her thwarted mission in Odessa.
Romanoff then warned Rogers that the Winter Soldier was a ghost story, noting that many of the intelligence communities don't believe he even exists. She also provided Rogers advice that going after him is a dead end since she had tried for years to uncover the Winter Soldier's true identity after their first confrontation but failed to do so. Rogers still insisted that they find the assassin. Romanoff was then deemed an ally by him, who decided to uncover the mystery behind Project Insight with her.
On the Run from S.H.I.E.L.D.
Romanoff, who was now also on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D., went with Steve Rogers to an Apple Store in a mall to see if there was any valuable information on the drive. As she tried to decrypt the USB, Romanoff warned Rogers that they had nine minutes until S.H.I.E.L.D. would find them. She was unable to override the drive's protective A.I. and instead began tracing the origin of its files. Aaron asked if the two needed help and Romanoff answered that she and Rogers were looking up honeymoon destinations as the USB located where the files came from: Wheaton, New Jersey.
The conversation shifted as Aaron claimed to have the same glasses that Steve was wearing as part of his disguise, followed by an awkward silence as Romanoff agreed with him. The two left the store moments later, only to discover that the STRIKE unit had already arrived at the mall searching for them. Romanoff and Rogers evaded Brock Rumlow and other STRIKE operatives dressed as bystanders without engaging them, with Romanoff kissing Rogers at one point to make Rumlow avert his gaze.
They stole a car and drove to Camp Lehigh in New Jersey. The two talked during the drive, including Romanoff asking if the time they kissed in the mall was the first kiss Rogers had since 1945. They then arrived at the army camp where Rogers had trained during World War II. At first, Romanoff thought the base was a dead end due to there being no heat signatures of radio signals, making her believe whoever wrote the files must have used a router to throw people off.
Rogers then discovered a building that was in the wrong location in the base and they entered. There, the pair found a secret storage room full of old computers inside an abandoned S.H.I.E.L.D. office. They also discovered a more modern looking USB slot and inserted the drive. Having opened and activated the USB files, Romanoff quoted a line from an old movie, asking Rogers if he had watched it, which he affirmed. The computers powered up and someone began to talk to them.
The computerized voice greeted Romanoff and Rogers by their full names and birth dates, much to their surprise. The voice turned out to be Arnim Zola, who had transferred his mind into the S.H.I.E.L.D. database as an A.I. in the 1970s, after being told he would soon die. Romanoff identified Zola as a member of Operation Paperclip, which involved S.H.I.E.L.D. recruiting defected Nazi scientists to help their cause.
When Rogers noted that HYDRA died with the Red Skull's demise, Zola countered his statement, revealing that he used his recruitment as an opportunity to revive the organization. To prove this to the two oblivious S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Zola played footage of HYDRA's defeat during World War II and explained that following his recruitment, he secretly rebuilt HYDRA cells within S.H.I.E.L.D. while maintaining his new position in the intelligence agency as a cover.
Zola then brought up examples of operational anomalies across the globe, implying that HYDRA masterminded, or at least aided, dozens of events that changed history. Romanoff and Rogers soon learned that Zola was also involved in the Winter Soldier Program, with him providing some blurred photos of the Winter Soldier eliminating HYDRA threats such as Howard Stark, also showing Nick Fury's recently updated file from the Internet.
At the instance upon Zola confirming that HYDRA's plan with Project Insight involved humanity giving up their freedom and gloating that Captain America's death was meaningless, Rogers angrily punched the monitor screen. However, Zola simply appeared on the other computer monitors. As they tried to extract more information about Project Insight and Zola's algorithm, Romanoff detected a missile that Alexander Pierce had sent to blow up Camp Lehigh. They both took shelter from the blast inside the base, though she was knocked unconscious.
- "When I first joined S.H.I.E.L.D. I thought I was going straight. But I guess I just traded in the KGB for HYDRA. I thought I knew whose lies I was telling, but I guess I can't tell the difference anymore."
"There's a chance you might be in the wrong business."
- ―Natasha Romanoff and Steve Rogers[src]
The next day, Romanoff and Steve Rogers went to seek refuge with Sam Wilson since everyone else they knew was trying to kill them. Romanoff confided in Rogers that when she joined S.H.I.E.L.D., she believed she was going straight instead of just trading the KGB for HYDRA. Romanoff then asked if Rogers would trust her if it was up to her to save his life and he told her that he trusts her now. Wilson then interrupted the two to inform them that he made breakfast, which he was unsure if that was something they ate.
Romanoff and Rogers began to discuss who had the authority to launch a domestic missile strike at them which Rogers figured out was Alexander Pierce, noting Zola's algorithm was on board the Lemurian Star with Jasper Sitwell. As the two planned on how to kidnap a S.H.I.E.L.D. officer while being the two most wanted people in Washington, Wilson suggested that he do it and showed Romanoff and Rogers files of missions that he used the EXO-7 Falcon suits on.
Wilson told them where they could find one of the winged suits and the protection it has, which Romanoff saw as no trouble. She read the file and to her surprise learned that Wilson was involved in the mission involving the capture of Khalid Khandil in Afghanistan. Wilson also noted how he lost his best friend and wingman, Riley, during the apprehension. The three geared up and headed towards Jasper Sitwell's current location to interrogate him.
Kidnapping Jasper Sitwell
Focusing their attention on Jasper Sitwell, Romanoff, Wilson, and Rogers located the HYDRA mole and abducted him. Despite having been interrogated at the top of the roof as a means of intimidating him, Sitwell refused to answer their questions, only taunting Rogers that he could not throw him off the building. In response, Romanoff to kicked him off the building for Wilson to catch. She then casually brought up another S.H.I.E.L.D. employee who Rogers could date.
Terrified, Sitwell finally confessed that HYDRA had hijacked Project Insight, further explaining that Zola's Algorithm was developed to eliminate potential threats to their operations, including Bruce Banner and Stephen Strange, alongside many others. Still under duress, Sitwell proceeded to reveal that HYDRA's ultimate plan was to use the Insight Helicarriers to eliminate the list of threats directly from the Triskelion.
As Romanoff, Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson drove their way to infiltrate the Triskelion, they were interrupted by an attack from the Winter Soldier who jumped on their car and threw Jasper Sitwell out, killing him. Romanoff went to shoot the Winter Soldier when an oncoming car ran into them from behind, causing her to drop her gun. When the Winter Soldier caused the car to crash, Rogers grabbed Romanoff and Wilson before jumping out of the moving vehicle.
While Rogers crashed into a bus, Romanoff and Wilson came under heavy fire. As the Winter Soldier and HYDRA mercenaries shot at the two, Romanoff continued to shoot back at them while hiding behind a car, until the Winter Soldier shot the car shielding her with one of his grenade launchers, forcing her onto the intersecting highway. Romanoff ran away from the incoming cars and used her bite to grapple off the bridge while a car fell off and exploded behind her.
As the firefight continued, Romanoff attempted to outrun the Winter Soldier, only for her to see his shadow waiting for her above the highway. She then decided to trick the assassin into thinking that he killed her. Believing that he successfully killed Romanoff, the Winter Soldier attempted to shoot at a bus' engine to cause an explosion, until she suddenly shot the assassin in his face from the ground. Romanoff then used that opportunity to move behind the bus for protection.
However, the Winter Soldier survived due to his protective goggles and responded by shooting in Romanoff's direction with his gun. As the two spies exchanged gunfire, Romanoff decided to run in the hope to escape but the Winter Soldier personally decided to pursue her while the mercenaries were dispatched to find and kill Rogers. Knowing she could not escape the Winter Soldier, Romanoff distracted him with a radio message on her phone, letting her get the jump on him. As the car exploded, however, the Winter Soldier immediately discerned the trick and turned around to continue looking for her.
When the Winter Soldier spotted her, he engaged in a hand-to-hand fight with Romanoff. She was able to use her skills as a former spy to utilize deception and gadgets in order to gain the upper hand against her opponent despite his enhanced physiology. Romanoff managed to temporarily subdue the Winter Soldier and attempted to strangle him. However, he threw her off and attempted to shoot her until Romanoff disabled his prosthetic arm with her taser disk.
After briefly incapacitating the Winter Soldier, Romanoff continued to run, urging civilians to get out of harm's way, until she was shot in the shoulder. As the Winter Soldier was about to finally eliminate Romanoff, Rogers interrupted their fight, saving her. Rogers then fought the Winter Soldier himself until his mask was removed, revealing himself to be Bucky Barnes, whom Rogers thought died during the Capture of Arnim Zola decades ago. Before the Winter Soldier could shoot Rogers, Romanoff saved him by firing a grenade launcher, causing the Soldier to flee. A team STRIKE agents led by Brock Rumlow and Jack Rollins then apprehended Romanoff, Rogers, and Wilson.
Reunited with Nick Fury
During the drive, Steve Rogers informed Sam Wilson and Romanoff that the Winter Soldier's true identity was Bucky Barnes, his best friend who supposedly perished during World War II. Wilson asked how it was possible given that the last time Steve saw Bucky was 70 years ago. As Rogers deduced that Arnim Zola was most likely the mastermind behind Bucky's transformation into the assassin that he currently was, Romanoff assured Steve that it wasn't his fault.
Wilson could see the Romanoff needed a doctor as she was losing blood from her gunshot wound and insisted one of the STRIKE guards to treat her injury. One of the guards drew an electric rod as a threat; however, the guard threatening them instead neutralized the other STRIKE operative sitting across from them. Their rescuer revealed herself to be Maria Hill, who asked about Wilson’s identity before using a Mouse Hole to escape with the three fugitives.
Hill took them to a secret facility where an alive Nick Fury shocked Romanoff. She was then taken to Dr. Fine, who treated her gunshot wound as Fury told them how he faked his death: He used a drug developed by Bruce Banner, Tetrodotoxin B, to relieve stress. Romanoff could not help but express distress over how Fury didn’t loop her in on his state. While Fine put pressure on her injury, Fury elaborated on his history with Alexander Pierce, noting that when he met him in Bogotá years ago, Pierce was offered a Nobel Peace Prize for his heroic actions during a hostage situation.
After Romanoff was bandaged up, Hill and Fury revealed that there was a plan in place to stop Project Insight by disabling it inside the Triskelion. However, Rogers seized control of the mission much to Fury's dismay, claiming that S.H.I.E.L.D. needed to be thoroughly destroyed to ensure HYDRA’s destruction and condemned Fury for withholding information about the HYDRA Uprising. The group agreed that in the end all of it, both S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA had to be eliminated for good.
To stop Project Insight, Romanoff used a Photostatic Veil to disguise herself as Pamela Hawley and infiltrated the World Security Council. As she stayed with Alexander Pierce, Captain America, Falcon and Maria Hill infiltrated the Triskelion and revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. was compromised by HYDRA. The council was held hostage by STRIKE, who were all HYDRA agents, until Romanoff took them down and stopped Pierce from executing Jakuna Singh, thus revealing herself to everyone. She then began disabling security protocols, releasing all of S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA's secrets onto the Internet. Pierce warned Romanoff that she would also be revealing her own dark secrets as a former KGB assassin, but an unsettled Romanoff continued uploading the files.
When the encryption needed to be disabled, which required two Alpha Level members, Romanoff told Pierce that company was coming right as Nick Fury arrived. Fury and Pierce gave their authorizations to release all of the files and Romanoff quickly noted that it was trending on the Internet. Pierce then activated a trigger on his phone causing all of the council members to die from fatal chest shots due to their security tags except for Romanoff's.
As Captain America and Falcon were successful in destroying the Helicarriers, Romanoff was ordered by Pierce to accompany him in his attempted escape, claiming that she was going to fly with him to an undisclosed location as his hostage. However, Romanoff used her bite to short out her security tag, knocking herself out and letting Fury shoot Pierce, killing him. Fury then checked on the unconscious Romanoff, who awoke shortly after, commenting on how much her weapon stung.
Romanoff and Fury then piloted the helicopter and flew to Falcon's location, where the final Helicarrier was crashing into the side of the building, destroying much of the Triskelion. They flew the chopper around the northwest corner to catch Falcon, who dove out of the window and fell through the chopper, but Romanoff caught and pulled him up. The three then flew away as Romanoff asked Hill if she knew where Captain America was.
A New Start
Romanoff later attended an inquiry by the Department of Defense into the HYDRA Uprising. When asked why no one has heard from Steve Rogers, Romanoff noted that she believed there was nothing more for him to say due to the wreck in the middle of the Potomac making his point. Romanoff also told them that HYDRA was selling the government lies instead of intelligence, though General S. Scudder pointed out that Romanoff was responsible for handing out those lies.
When it was brought to attention that Romanoff should be arrested, she insisted that she and the other agents who fought against HYDRA in its downfall would not be arrested because they are the best qualified to protect the world. Romanoff then left the inquiry, confident of her future within the Avengers. However, now that S.H.I.E.L.D. was defunct and her secrets were revealed to the world, Romanoff needed a new identity.
One Last Favor
At the personal request of Steve Rogers, Romanoff had contacted some of her acquaintances in Kiev who sent her an old top-secret document about the Winter Soldier and his own long history working for HYDRA.
Later, Romanoff stopped by Nick Fury's fake grave and told Rogers that she wasn't going with Fury nor staying, since she had blown all her covers and needed new ones. Romanoff gave the document to Rogers and requested him to call Sharon Carter in return before kissing him goodbye. As she left, Romanoff advised Rogers to be careful before digging deeper into finding Bucky Barnes, warning him that he may not want to cause himself more trouble.
- "Thank you for choosing Air Widow. We hope you've enjoyed your flight."
- ―Black Widow[src]
A few months later, after Phil Coulson's reorganization of S.H.I.E.L.D., Romanoff contacted Melinda May. With the rising threat of HYDRA, the Avengers were officially reassembled, with the financial backing of Tony Stark. Using the Avengers Tower as their headquarters, they embarked on several missions to thwart HYDRA's plans for world domination. Romanoff was in Sudan when she hijacked a plane carrying HYDRA operatives meeting with Jensen who had perfected a weapon using Chitauri technology. Finding a platoon of armed soldiers there, Romanoff had J.A.R.V.I.S. assemble the Avengers to provide her with assistance. Ultimately, the Avengers and Romanoff defeated HYDRA and Jensen and destroyed her weapon.
The Avengers' next mission together was to recapture the Scepter from HYDRA Research Base. Black Widow stole a jeep so she and Hawkeye could keep up with the rest of the Avengers as they fought HYDRA soldiers. Black Widow crashed the jeep and pursued to fight on foot using her skills and weapons to kill many HYDRA operatives sent by Baron Strucker. When Thor pointed out that the Scepter must be at the base at long last, Black Widow said that the long last was lasting a little longer.
When Hawkeye was injured, Black Widow immediately went to aid and told the others that they needed to evacuate. When the battle was won, Black Widow watched as the remaining HYDRA soldiers were being apprehended by the Iron Legion. Captain America told Black Widow to get to Hulk and calm him down. As Black Widow approached Hulk, she took off her gloves and began the lullaby method to calm him down.
The lullaby worked and it caused Hulk to calm down and transform back into Bruce Banner. On the way back to Avengers Tower, Romanoff told Banner that the lullaby worked better than ever although he was not expecting the battle to need Hulk. Romanoff then told Banner that Barton would have been killed if he had not fought. Romanoff asked Thor for an assessment of Banner's skills on the battlefield; Thor commented on Hulk's violence has resulted in the deaths of dozens of HYDRA soldiers. Seeing that this upset Banner, Thor told him that many of the injuries he inflicted on the soldiers were nonfatal.
When the Avengers returned from Sokovia, Romanoff stayed by Clint Barton's side while his injured skin was being repaired by Helen Cho using a device called the Regeneration Cradle. Romanoff asked if her friend was going to be ok and she joked that pretending to need him brought the team together. Bruce Banner explained what the Cradle is and Cho mentioned that Barton's girlfriend wouldn't even be able to notice the difference which Barton told her that he did not have a girlfriend, not mentioning his wife which only he and Romanoff knew about.
Tony Stark organized a party in Avengers Tower to celebrate their victory against HYDRA and obtaining the Scepter. During the Party, Romanoff talked with James Rhodes and bartended for the guests. Romanoff flirted with Bruce Banner, so he would understand that she had feelings for him. Romanoff told Banner about how all her friends are fighters except him as he stays out of the fight as he knows he would win. Before long many of the guests had departed leaving on the Avengers and a few others.
As they sat around and drank, Thor invited the Avengers to try and lift Mjølnir. Romanoff watched as the Avengers failed at lifting the hammer and when Banner's turn came, he pretended to turn into Hulk, which none of the others found funny, except Romanoff. Banner invited Romanoff to attempt to lift Mjølnir but as she drank her beer, she politely declined to claim that it was a question that she didn't need answering.
The party was interrupted when one of Tony Stark's Iron Legion made a surprise appearance, and after admitting that it was the result of Stark's Ultron Program mixed with his research into the scepter, it and several more like it, attacked the group. Romanoff took cover behind the bar and dragged Bruce Banner after her causing him to fall on her, which she reminded him to transform into Hulk. She then drew a pistol concealed under the bar to help with the fight.
She then covered Banner, shooting at the attacker, as the two made their way to a safer sort upstairs. However, the attack was a diversion, and one of the robots made off with the scepter while the Avengers and their friends were engaged in battle. Eventually, all the armors were defeated except for the first Iron Legion who announced his intentions to end the Avengers to achieve his idea of peace and save the world.
After the brief fight, the team discussed what had occurred. Romanoff said that Ultron had deleted all their files and that he was in the surveillance. She also said that he maybe knew about them more they knew about each other. Tony Stark admitted his involvement in the creation of Ultron, although he still strongly defended the idea as he believed it was a beneficial plan to save the world. Thor, clearly furious at Stark's recklessness, charged in and grabbed Stark by the throat, but Steve Rogers was able to calm him down.
The team later learned that Ultron had sent them a message by murdering Baron Strucker in his prison cell and leaving the word "peace" written in his blood as a message to the Avengers about his future plans. Together, they worked out that Ultron's next target was Vibranium and he would get that from Ulysses Klaue, an arms dealer and a former associate of von Strucker, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
When reports of robots attacking sources of Vibranium began surfacing, the Avengers raced to a coastal scrapyard in Africa, where they found Ultron, along with Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, taking the Vibranium. As Iron Man, Captain America and Thor confronted Ultron directly, Black Widow and Hawkeye stayed further back to provide cover. As peaceful negotiations quickly failed, Ultron and the Maximoffs attacked, at the same time Ulysses Klaue sent his mercenaries to attack the Avengers.
Black Widow took down many of Klaue's men to protect the rest of the Avengers from attack as they took down the Ultron Sentries. Klaue's men then turned their attention to Hawkeye, who managed to take them down and clear the area. Black Widow was then incapacitated when Wanda Maximoff snuck up behind Widow and inflicted a nightmarish vision upon her. Widow languished in a scene from her past while the fight carried on around her and the enemy made their escape.
In the vision that Wanda Maximoff had inflicted upon Romanoff, she woke up and relived experiences in the Red Room Academy the place she had grown up in and was trained to be an assassin. Romanoff walked down the stairs where she came across Madame B., her former trainer, who commented on Romanoff not being breakable and told her that they will celebrate after the graduation ceremony. Romanoff displayed worry of failing, but Madame B. assured her she wouldn't. Romanoff then shot at a few targets followed by a human who she then executed.
Romanoff proceeded to relive her experiences during her graduation, doing some training where she was holding back so she would not have to go through the ceremony. Madame B. made it clear that the ceremony was necessary for Romanoff to take her place in the world, which she believed she didn't have. Romanoff was then sterilized, to avoid any distractions and focus solely on her missions.
As half of the Avengers were suffering from Wanda Maximoff's nightmares, Iron Man was chasing after Hulk, who had also fallen victim to Wanda's powers and was on a rampage. Iron Man requested Romanoff to give Hulk his lullaby method to calm him down, but Hawkeye informed him that she was not going to be able to help him as she was disoriented by the visions. As the Avengers retreated in the Quinjet, Romanoff, along with Steve Rogers, Thor and Bruce Banner remained temporarily scarred by what they saw in the visions.
Still suffering from the effects along with the rest of the Avengers, Romanoff was forced to make a quick escape to the Quinjet not being able to give Hulk his lullaby. Iron Man was then forced to stop Hulk's current destructive rampage through Johannesburg, as Banner was also affected by Wanda Maximoff's powers.
The Avengers become unpopular due to a massive battle between Hulk and Iron Man in his "Hulkbuster" armor in the middle of South Africa; at the same time, many of the members were still suffering from the effects of Maximoff's visions. Maria Hill stated that there was no information about Banner's arrest order yet. Knowing they needed to get away and recover, Clint Barton flew the team to his homestead, realizing that no one would be able to find them there.
Clint Barton's Homestead
The Avengers arrived at Barton's homestead, where Barton helped Romanoff make her way into the house as she was still haunted by the ghosts of her past. Soon though, Romanoff's troubles washed away when she was warmly greeted by Laura Barton and their two children, Cooper and Lila, who consider her family by calling her "Auntie Nat." Romanoff talked with Laura about her pregnancy, only to be disappointed when she found out that the baby is a boy and not going to be a "Natasha," but a "Nathaniel."
A Life with Bruce Banner
As Romanoff waited for Bruce Banner to get out of the shower, she thought about her visions and a dream she had about being an Avenger. When Banner finished, the two talked about their relationship as well as the visions they were shown. Romanoff told Banner about the dream she had where she believed she was an Avenger and not an assassin that the Red Room created.
Romanoff suggested that they could run away together but it was rejected by Banner as he believed he could not live a normal life like what Clint Barton had since he was both a threat and unable to have kids. Romanoff revealed that she was also not able to have children due to the Red Room's graduation ceremony where she was sterilized to eliminate distractions. Believing herself to be a monster like how Banner considers himself, the two then considered starting a new life with one another.
Nick Fury's Inspiration
Nick Fury also arrived at the farm and spoke with the group at length about stopping Ultron, mentioning his omnipresence. Meanwhile, Tony Stark volunteered to go to Norway to find out who changed the nuclear codes Ultron was planning to obtain. As they listened, Romanoff was brought a painting of a butterfly by Lila Barton, which she happily accepted.
Fury went on to inspire the Avengers after their defeat by Ultron and called the A.I. "a platinum bastard," causing Romanoff to continue a running joke between the Avengers about Steve Rogers telling Stark to watch his language. While trying to think what Ultron's next move would be, Banner figured out he wanted to evolve by using the Regeneration Cradle. Romanoff, Barton, and Rogers prepared to leave for Seoul, where they believed Ultron would be with Helen Cho as he needed to use the Cradle.
- "I'm always picking up after you, boys."
- ―Black Widow[src]
After Banner made the observation that Ultron was trying to evolve, the remaining Avengers split into two groups, with Black Widow joining Captain America and Hawkeye in a bid to stop Ultron obtaining the Regeneration Cradle in South Korea. The trio raced for their objective and found that Ultron's plan to create a new android body for itself was already well underway, but the Avengers' arrival caused it to grab the body and flee.
Hawkeye located Ultron escaping in a truck trailer in heavy traffic, and when a window of opportunity presented itself, Black Widow dropped to the streets on a motorcycle to pursue it herself. Black Widow then picked up Captain America's shield, which he dropped before being shot by Ultron. Retrieving the shield, she sarcastically claimed that she was always picking up after them. She then followed the directions Barton gave her until she got to Captain America's location so she could assist him. As she made her way, she noticed Captain America's Shield on the road and picked it up.
She eventually made her way to their location where Ultron was beating Captain America and threw the captain his shield. As a response, Ultron Sentries started to shoot at her. Black Widow then boarded the truck and found Ultron's second body. Unbeknownst to her, Ultron Sentries pursued the truck she infiltrated and lifted it up to a point in which it became airborne so they could retrieve the cradle.
Romanoff soon realized that what had transpired and reported her status to Barton as an incentive for him not to shoot as she was inside the vehicle with the cradle. Shocked, Barton asked how she wanted him to retrieve the object, to which she replied that he shouldn't have asked, but she was successful in delivering the dormant android to Hawkeye. However, whilst entering the Quinjet, she was knocked out and taken captive by Ultron.
Ultron's Plans Revealed
When she awoke, Romanoff found that she had been transported back to a HYDRA Research Base in Sokovia, where Ultron made a show of demonstrating his latest upgrade to her as a means of intimidating her. She awoke the sight of Ultron making repairs to a damaged body of his.
Ultron revealed to her his plan, still believing that the Avengers are the problem, before confining her to a cell. Romanoff watched in shock and backed up into a cell as Ultron destroyed his body after building a new and stronger one. When Ultron left, Romanoff turned to use an old Cold War-era communication technique in a bid to reveal her location to the Avengers without being detected, but could do little else except sit and wait.
Rescued by Bruce Banner
Hawkeye eventually received Romanoff's signal and revealed it to the rest of the Avengers leading them to fly to Sokovia to defeat Ultron and rescue her. As she sat in her cell, Thor destroyed a wall and he and Bruce Banner entered to find Romanoff. Banner eventually made his way to the cell and freed her by blasting the cell open with Chitauri Gun.
While Banner wanted to run away with Romanoff, she knew that she had to stay and fight. After kissing Banner, she pushed him down a hole, causing him to transform into Hulk. Romanoff then held onto Hulk as he jumped from HYDRA Research Base to the airborne Sokovia. The two made their way to Novi Grad and continued to help the rest of the Avengers fight to stop Ultron from levitating the city.
Joining the Fight
Black Widow regrouped with Captain America at the town hall, where she saw Wanda Maximoff, and asked if she was wearing her jacket. Captain America informed her that she was now fighting with them, but that didn't explain the jacket to her. They were then joined by Hawkeye, who gave Black Widow her batons. Captain America told them that fighting the robots was getting them nowhere, as the air was getting thin.
Maximoff and Hawkeye left to evacuate civilians, and Black Widow asked Captain America what they were going to do. He told her they fight robots, so she took out her batons, as Pietro Maximoff encountered them and joked about fighting robots another time. Black Widow then proceeded to fight Ultron's army, using her batons to electrocute them. She was later assisted by Captain America, who threw her his shield, which she used to fight.
Black Widow, however, tried to persuade Captain America to consider the option as the world's population would logically take precedence over the people of Novi Grad. When Captain America declared he wouldn't leave Novi Grad and its people to face their fate, Black Widow told him that she never intended for them to leave and that they would die with the people of Novi Grad if needed.
She reassured herself and Captain America that there are worse ways to die and that at least she'd die seeing a great view. Nick Fury interrupted their conversation by saying that her view was about to get a lot better. Fury revealed his Helicarrier and used it to enact Captain America's plan and evacuate the civilians while War Machine joined the battle. Fury sent out a squad of rescue boats to evacuate the citizens while the Avengers ensured no one was left behind.
Protecting the Key
Iron Man then came up with a plan to dispose of Novi Grad and called all the Avengers to the city church where the drill was located. Iron Man jokingly told Black Widow that she and Hulk better not be playing "hide the zucchini." Black Widow retorted that she was en route slower since she could not fly as she used a bulldozer to run over Ultron Sentries.
The Avengers were tasked with protecting the drill in the church known as the key so that Ultron could not activate it. Ultron unleashed his army of Ultron Sentries upon them in a final offensive. Black Widow and the Avengers put all their force into destroying the seemingly endless horde of Ultron Sentries, with Black Widow using her guns and Bite to destroy many of the robots. After a vicious battle, the Ultron Sentries were eventually pushed back.
When Ultron attempted to join the fight in his strongest form, Vision, Iron Man and Thor nearly destroyed him with their combined powers. With the battle almost won, Captain America ordered the team to get to a rescue boat and leave the city before Iron Man and Thor destroyed it. Black Widow went with Hawkeye and confiscated a car to get to the rescue boats. During the drive, they made small talk about Hawkeye renovating his homestead.
Losing Bruce Banner
As the battle wound down, Black Widow and Hawkeye turned their attention to evacuating the civilian populace, but soon she received the call to calm Hulk back to his human state. However, the process was interrupted by Ultron, who raked Hulk with gunfire whilst at the controls of the Avengers' own Quinjet and knocked Black Widow out.
Hulk grabbed Black Widow and bore her to safety on a newly arrived Helicarrier, before leaping after Ultron to vent his rage. Black Widow soon learned that Hulk had beaten Ultron in the departing Quinjet and appealed to him through a video link to disengage the plane's stealth technology, stating that it was harder for the Avengers to track him down, but Hulk simply severed the connection.
The New Team
With the Ultron Offensive neutralized, Romanoff returned to the Avengers Compound with the rest of her teammates. Since her plan to run away with Banner had failed, due to him missing in action, she had nothing else but to remain a superhero.
After being sent a Skype video of the newly-born Nathaniel Pietro Barton, Romanoff joined Captain America in co-leading the second incarnation of the Avengers, featuring Wanda Maximoff, War Machine, Vision and Falcon.
Sometime later, Ant-Man breached the facility, and Falcon engaged him in a fight that he ultimately lost. Upon his defeat, Falcon told Romanoff through the commlink it was important to him that Captain America never found about his defeat.
Attack of Ultimo
HYDRA collected many of the parts of the destroyed Ultron Sentries and took them to an undisclosed location in Eastern Europe, where they used the parts to create the Ultimo and then used it to attack a small village. Romanoff joined the Avengers to an attack on the giant robot and together, they managed to destroy Ultimo.
In 2016, Black Widow was on a mission in Lagos with Captain America, Wanda Maximoff, and Falcon, where they were waiting to ambush Crossbones. Black Widow was sitting at a cafè with Maximoff, observing the area. When Redwing scanned a garbage truck, it was revealed to be at maximum capacity; Black Widow realized that the truck was a battering ram. The team then moved out to the IFID Headquarters where the truck had gone to. Crossbones, having retrieved the biological weapon, escaped the building with his henchmen.
Black Widow gave chase on a motorcycle. She defeated Crossbones' agents with relative ease but was grabbed by Crossbones himself, her Bite ineffective against his armored suit. Crossbones, claiming that his allegiance was no longer to HYDRA, threw Black Widow into a truck containing two of his agents, tossing a grenade inside and closing the roof. Black Widow incapacitated the agents and escaped the truck when the grenade blew.
Crossbones gave the chemical his agents, ordering them to split up. This prompted the Avengers to chase them around Lagos. While Captain America fought Crossbones, Black Widow and Falcon pursued his agents. Black Widow reached them and held them at gunpoint; however, one threatened to drop the chemical. Black Widow killed one of them and the Redwing drone killed the other. Black Widow caught the vial before it hit the ground, thanking Falcon as she left the area. Though Falcon insisted that she thank the drone, Black Widow refused. The battle ended with a blast accidentally caused by Wanda Maximoff, which killed several civilians. Black Widow was quick to comfort her afterwards.
In the wake of their mission in Lagos, the Avengers were presented summoned to a meeting by Thaddeus Ross, who proposed the Sokovia Accords, which would put them under the direct command of a panel of the United Nations. Ross explained that while there were many who were grateful for the heroic actions of the Avengers, some deemed the members of the organization dangerous and believed the Accords would establish sanctions and oversight of the group.
Ross proceeded with video footages of the Battle of New York, Battle at the Triskelion, Battle of Sokovia, and the Attack on the IFID Headquarters, as well as the serious amount of destruction and chaos induced by individuals such as Loki, Ultron, the terrorist organization HYDRA, and the former HYDRA agent Crossbones to show them why many individuals around the world deem the Avengers as vigilantes.
After the meeting concluded with Ross, the Avengers reunited at the Avengers Compound where Tony Stark discussed his position on the Sokovia Accords. Much to the shock of her comrades, Romanoff agreed with Tony Stark and was willing to agree to the terms of the Accords, as she firmly believed that the Avengers as a group made mistakes in the past that they need to amend. She then called Clint Barton and asked if he would sign the Accords, but he claimed he had retired rather than sign.
Peggy Carter's Funeral
On her way to Vienna, where the Accords would be amended, she stopped at Saint Luke's Cathedral, where Steve Rogers had attended the funeral of Peggy Carter. After everyone else left, Rogers stayed behind alone in the church. Romanoff approached him and listened as Steve claimed how he initially assumed that everyone he knew was deceased after he awoke from the ice, but later found that Peggy was still alive.
Romanoff condoled him and said that Carter had his back. He asked her who else had signed the Accords, so she replied that Stark, James Rhodes and Vision had all signed. She asked Rogers if he would reconsider his decision to not sign the Accords, saying that the Avengers should stay together regardless of how. He, as she expected, still refused and she admitted she was there as a friend to support him as he mourned the loss of Carter.
In the conference at Vienna, Romanoff met T'Challa, who thanked her for supporting the Sokovia Accords. She also met his father, T'Chaka; to him, she gave her condolences for the death of the Wakandan citizens in Lagos. During the conference, a bomb was activated, killing T'Chaka. The authorities suspected that Bucky Barnes was responsible for the bombing from security tapes showing the man responsible.
Outside the building, Romanoff apologized for T'Challa's loss and promised him that the task force would catch Barnes, but T'Challa said that he would kill Barnes himself. Steve Rogers called her and asked if she was fine and Romanoff responded positively, asking Rogers to stay out of the case with Barnes, or he might make things worse. However, Rogers insisted that he should be the one who to bring Barnes in since he would not die by trying it. He hung up the phone, and Romanoff knew he went to defend Barnes.
Winter Soldier's Escape
Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, T'Challa and Bucky Barnes were captured by the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre, and were brought to the agency headquarter in Berlin. There, Romanoff told Rogers that what he had done had made things worse. In a meeting hall, Romanoff, Rogers, Wilson, Stark, and Sharon Carter watched Bucky's interrogation by Theo Broussard. However, Rogers began to suspect the psychiatrist was involved somehow with the setup of Barnes.
During Barnes' psychological assessment, a power failure occurred. Barnes freed himself and tried to escape; however, Romanoff, Tony Stark and Sharon Carter engaged him. After which Stark and Carter were subdued by the Winter Soldier, Romanoff engaged him personally. Romanoff was strangled by Barnes. As he attempted to finally kill his enemy once and for all, Romanoff asked if he could at least recognize her from their last encounter during the Battle of Washington, D.C. until T'Challa saved her in the nick of time.
However, Barnes escaped, but she and Stark knew Barnes was most likely with Rogers, who, along with Wilson, had also escaped custody. Thaddeus Ross gave Stark thirty-six hours to bring them in. Stark asked Romanoff if Hulk could assist them, but Romanoff knew that even if he was here, he would probably not be on their side. To get the fugitives in time, Romanoff approached T'Challa to ask for his help, promising she would help him find Barnes, despite engaging in a brief confrontation with Ayo, who initially demanded her to move away from T'Challa, but was dismissed by her King, who explained that Romanoff was an ally.
With a team assembled, Black Widow joined Iron Man's team as they arrived at and evacuated the Leipzig-Halle Airport. When Captain America headed for a helicopter, he was stopped by Iron Man, and then surrounded by his team. Black Widow approached and asked Captain America to think about what was going to happen, and if he wanted it to turn into violence, rather than surrendering. However, Captain America's team then ambushed them, and they began to clash.
Black Widow found herself fighting against Ant-Man, who was hesitant to hurt her, which she assured him not to stress about as he didn't stand a chance against her. Black Widow then attacked Ant-Man and gained the upper hand in their fight; however, he suddenly shrunk down and threw her to the ground and began to pin her arm. As a response, she used her bite to knock him away, freeing herself.
Joining War Machine and Black Panther who were fighting Captain America, Ant-Man returned, who enlarged a truck that Captain America threw, with a Pym Particles Disks, towards the three, causing an explosion. Black Widow was able to evade the explosion but was still knocked to the ground. Becoming frustrated by their opponents' refusal to surrender, Black Widow checked back with Iron Man to ask if this was all a part of the plan, for which he claimed they were only going easy on them, causing them to now going to change up their approach to be more aggressive.
Fighting Former Comrades
When Captain America's team were stopped by Vision, the rest of Iron Man's team regrouped, Black Widow being carried in by Iron Man. The two teams then stood before each other, and when the opposing team began to approach, Black Widow sarcastically and exhaustedly stated that it was going to end well.
They then followed in moving forward so that they were both then charging at each other at full force. As the two sides collided together, a battle erupted with Tony's team fighting Steve's team to prevent them from escaping to Siberia. When they collided, Black Widow found herself fighting Ant-Man again, dodging his attacks and kicking him when he returned to regular size, thus defeating him. She then threw his whole body to the ground, concluding their fight.
Black Widow then moved on and came into contact with Hawkeye, and engaged in a fierce fight with him. The two used their combat skills and weapons to fight each other until Hawkeye threw her to the ground. He then pinned her on the ground, and the fight was paused when she asked whether they were still best friends despite the current conflict, which he jokingly assured depending on how hard she hit him.
At that moment, Black Widow then got the upper hand, wrapping her legs around Hawkeye and threw him aside, due to him holding back. When she then went to kick him in the face to finish him, she was suddenly immobilized by Wanda Maximoff, saving Hawkeye. Unable to fend off Maximoff's abilities, Black Widow was then launched into a luggage vehicle and was knocked out. After coming to, Black Widow climbed on top of a jet bridge, where she witnessed the fight continue, to her displeasure.
No longer wanting to participate in the fight with those she cared about, she made her way to the hangar to guard the Quinjet, as it was the only way of escape. Eventually, Captain America and Bucky Barnes made it to the hangar, where they were stopped by Black Widow. Knowing Captain America, she knew that he would never surrender and that there was no point in fighting them, so she decided to let them go.
However, Black Panther then appeared behind them and was about to apprehend them, when she used her Bite to hold him back, tasering him. Captain America and Barnes then made their way onboard the Quinjet, as Black Widow continued to stall Black Panther, hitting him with her taser disks whenever he broke free of them. However, he was able to get past her, but it was too late, as they had escaped in the Quinjet, leaving the airport. She told Black Panther that she would help him find them, not capture them, seeing a difference in that.
After the Clash
Moments before the end of the fight at the airport, James Rhodes crashed on the ground due to Vision's misfire. They all headed to Columbia University Medical Center, where Rhodes was treated, and Romanoff met up with Tony Stark, and the two went to talk privately.
Stark informed her of Rhodes' current state, which she then addressed how Steve Rogers wasn't going to stop, meaning what happened to Rhodes was a best-case scenario. However, Stark called Romanoff out for letting Rogers and Bucky Barnes go, which she defends her actions by saying that they went about the whole incident the wrong way. Stark insults Romanoff by calling upon her former days of being a double agent. Romanoff then called Stark out for letting his ego cloud him.
Stark then told her that T'Challa had told Thaddeus Ross of her betrayal, giving her a halfhearted warning that the government would come to arrest her, while saying that double crossing people is one of the things she's good at. However, Romanoff stated that she wasn't the one that needed to watch her back, but rather Stark, due to the loss of allies he created due to how he had chosen to act during the whole incident, not trying to keep his friends together. Romanoff then left Stark and went on the run.
Romanoff left the United States of America and fled to Norway. In Norway, she watched phone security footage of Thaddeus Ross and his S.W.A.T. team entering a train station in Albany where she had left her suit and tracker in, and then called Ross to speak with him directly. Romanoff told Ross that he was embarrassing himself trying to capture her, before hanging up and taking a ferry to her hiding place.
After collecting some supplies, Romanoff drove up to her safehouse, where she was reunited with her old friend Rick Mason, who had set her up in her new location and brought a set of new identifications for her under the name "Fanny Longbottom." Before Mason left, Romanoff asked about a box full of mail, which he explained was from her Budapest safehouse, as he had someone else occupying that place.
That night, Romanoff put the box in her car, and settled in watching Moonraker, as well as considering dying her hair blonde. When the generator ran out of fuel, Romanoff decided to drive out and get more, but was hit with an explosive, causing her to nearly fall off the bridge. Noticing Taskmaster approaching her, who Romanoff assumed was sent by Thaddeus Ross, she opened fire upon her assailant, only to be counter attacked with a shield being thrown at her.
Romanoff got out of the car, and was continued to fire upon Taskmaster, before being soon disarmed, turning the fight into a hand-to-hand. Romanoff preformed her signature scissor leg takedown, to no effect, only for Taskmaster to copy the exact same move, knocking her down. Confused by Taskmaster's perfect mimicry of her move, Romanoff got back up in her pose, which was simultaneously copied by Taskmaster, adding to Romanoff's puzzlement. Realizing Taskmaster wasn't after her, Romanoff grabbed the contents of the case that was in her car, but was kicked off the bridge, and fell into the river, allowing her to escape. Romanoff inspected the vials of Red Dust, which had an attached picture of her and Yelena Belova, her estranged adoptive sister.
Reuniting with Yelena Belova
Arriving in Budapest, Hungary, Romanoff headed to her safehouse, retrieved her stashed gun, and went to stealthily enter the apartment, but Yelena Belova revealed she was aware of her presence. As they talked to each other, Romanoff went inside, searching for Belova, until they were finally reunited, both aiming guns at each other.
Having the same training, the sisters were able to disarm and take each other's gun, leading to a fierce and brutal brawl, as they fought throughout the apartment, smashing each other into walls, doors, and cupboards. Belova pulled a knife out to attack Romanoff with, but she was able to knock it out of her hand. When they both began to choke each other with a window curtain, Romanoff saw that Belova would not desist, nor win, so she decided to call a truce, which Belova agreed to, and they stopped fighting.
Belova enquired about the bullet holes in the wall, which Romanoff replied that they were made by arrows, and then asked about the Red Dust, so Belova explained that it controls minds. Being on the run, Romanoff expressed her disinterest in helping her, but Belova had no one else to come to, and hoped that she would have gotten the Avengers to take down the Red Room. Having thought she killed Dreykov years ago with Clint Barton, Romanoff was shocked and in disbelief to learn that the Red Room was still active. Romanoff detailed the intense mission to kill Dreykov, convinced he was dead, in which Belova brought up his daughter.
The two were then attacked by the Black Widows, forcing them to escape from the apartment, which was made difficult with assassins at every turn as they tried to reach Belova's motorbike. Reaching the rooftops, they were pursued by a Black Widow, who Romanoff attempted to save when they jumped on a moving pillar, only to drop her when she was attacked. Romanoff also fell, and when she went to check on the Widow, she witnessed her uncontrollably kill herself, to Romanoff's horror.
They got to the Belova's motorbike, which Romanoff had stolen the keys for, when an armoured car driven by Taskmaster crashed into the scene and began chasing after them. Another Black Widow on a motorbike came after them and knocked them off their vehicle, so Belova stole a car for them, which Romanoff drove. Unable to get away and coming under heavy fire, Belova decided to deal with the Widow herself, but they were still being chased by Taskmaster. Using an explosive arrow, Taskmaster fired it at the car, sendind it to topple over and crash into a subway station.
After getting out of the car, Romanoff told Belova not to bandage her arm so they could trick Taskmaster with a fake trail of her blood, as they snuck into an old hiding spot she and Barton used during their mission. Losing Taskmaster, Romanoff revealed that she spent two days in the ceiling with Barton, and Belova proceeded to explain who Taskmaster was. Belova then brought up how Romanoff killed Dreykov's daughter, so she went into complete detail about how she needed to do it in order to defect into S.H.I.E.L.D..
Heading to a store, Romanoff asked more about the Red Room, but Belova didn't know much, due to all the Widows forced into being sedated, and that Dreykov never went after Romanoff because the Avengers would come after him. Romaonff revealed that she believed Belova would have gotten out of the Red Room long ago and not wanted to see her. Belova then asked Romanoff about her tendency to pose during fights, leading them to talk about how they're both killers, but only Romanoff is considered a hero.
Afterwards, as they shared drinks, Belova told Romanoff more about the Red Dust and her time with the Red Room, being made to kill with no independence. Belova then asked Romanoff several questions, including if she ever searched for her real parents, and whether she ever wanted to have children. With nowhere to go, Romanoff invited Belova to help her kill Dreykov and end the Red Room together. Belova accepted, and they stole another car, where they discussed Belova's vest during the drive.
Deducing that her adoptive father, Alexei Shostakov, would know Dreykov's location, Romanoff planned to break him out of the Seventh Circle Prison in Russia, so she contacted Rick Mason to get her a jet. However, he was only able to get them a helicopter, so Romanoff and Yelena Belova playfully questioned his capabilities. Mason also provided them with white suits, and told Romanoff that helping her was getting the attention of Thaddeus Ross before they departed.
Flying to Russia, Romanoff used a Red Guardian action figure to smuggle a ear-com to Shostakov inside the prison, allowing him to follow her directions to escape. A riot broke out, making it harder for Shostakov to escape, so Romanoff jumped out of the helicopter and assisted him by fighting off the Russian Armed Forces. Belova accidentally caused an avalanche, so Romanoff hung from the helicopter and grabbed Shostakov before he could be killed, and brought him onboard the aircraft.
As they flew away, Shostakov expressed his gratitude that they came to rescue him, but Romanoff made it clear they only wanted information from him about how to get to the Red Room Academy, but he had no idea and instead rambled about being betrayed by Dreykov. However, Shostakov suggested that they ask their adoptive mother, Melina Vostokoff, due to her still working closely with Dreykov in St. Petersburg, so they headed there.
Crash landing before making it to Melina Vostokoff's farm and forced to walk, Romanoff and Yelena Belova continued to express their annoyance at Alexei Shostakov's behavior. Shostakov then spoke with Romanoff, as he wanted to know whether Captain America ever talk about him, which frustrated her more, leading to him asking if he did something wrong. Romanoff and Belova brought up the past, but Shostakov only saw it as a positive as both of his daughters went on to be renowned assassins, which made him proud, as he hugged them. Romanoff called Rick Mason, but discovered Thaddeus Ross had gotten to him, so she gave false coordinates to trick Ross.
Finally reaching the farm, Romanoff was reuinted with her adoptive mother, who invited them all into her home, and they sat at the table, with Shostakov putting on his Red Guardian costume. Although Romanoff wanted to get down to business, Vostokoff and Shostakov were swept up with their family being back together again, much to her annoyance. Vostokoff then demonstrated what their mission in Ohio resulted in, which was how Dreykov could now completely control the Black Widows. Having had enough, Romanoff made it clear their family was not real, which deeply upset Belova, so she left.
Shostakov went to check on Belova, leaving Romanoff with Vostokoff, where it was revealed that all Red Room assassins weren't abandoned but taken because of their genetic potential, and Romanoff's true mother searched for her until Dreykov had her killed. Romanoff noticed that Vostokoff had kept their photos, and they began to open up to each other about their past traumas, mending their relationship. The moment was cut short when Vostokoff revealed she had alerted the Red Room of their presence.
Even though Melina Vostokoff initially betrayed her family, she was no longer loyal to the Red Room and decided to help Romanoff take them down, so they made a plan to infiltrate the base, using the Photostatic Veil to disguise themselves as each other, alert Thaddeus Ross to her location once inside, and land the base. Vostokoff also informed Romanoff of Dreykov's pheromones that prevented any violence against him.
Disguised as Vostofkoff, Romanoff found Yelena Belova and knocked her unconscious with her Bite, and had her, along with Alexei Shostakov and Vostokoff, brought onboard an aircraft to take them all to the Red Room Academy. Once inside the base, Romanoff made her way through, watching a room full of controlled Black Widows training, before going to meet with Dreykov. Pretending to be her adoptive mother to make Dreykov think she was still loyal, Romanoff acted as if she did not care for her family, as she was given orders to put Belova and "Romanoff" back under his control.
However, Dreykov was not fooled by Romanoff, and disabled the Photostatic Veil, ending the ruse. Romanoff asked Dreykov what her mother's name was, but he replied that the tombstone only read "Unknown." In attempt to enrage Dreykov, Romanoff brought up killing his daughter, but he only laughed, revealing that Taskmaster was his daughter. Dreykov proceeded to explain how she survived, and that he turned her into what she is now. When Taskmaster left, Romanoff pulled her gun out on Dreykov, but could not kill him.
Romanoff then began to mock Dreykov for how pathetic he is, goading him into punching her repeatedly as she continued to antagonize him. Dreykov started to explain the Black Widow Program, and how many assassins he had stationed all over the world that could cause major world collapses in an instant. With everything she needed from Dreykov revealed, Romanoff smashed her face into a table, severing her nerve, as instructed by Vostokoff, preventing her from smelling Dreykov, allowing her to attack him.
Before Romanoff could kill Dreykov, she was stopped by the Black Widows, who were then instructed by Dreykov to kill Romanoff. She held her own for a while, but they soon managed to overwhelm her, pinning her down and beating her up. Before they could kill her however, Belova saved her by detonating the Red Dust over all the Widows, releasing them from Dreykov's control. Belova helped her to her feet and painfully removed a knife from her back. Realizing the entire fortress was coming down, Romanoff instructed Belova and the Widows to get as far away as possible, sending them away first. Having stolen Dreykov's ring, she was able to upload all of the data on the Black Widows, and she cracked her nose back into place.
Once the data was collected, the base began to explode, forcing Romanoff to jump out of a window to avoid being killed. She managed to get back inside the base, where she came across Taskmaster locked in a cell. Knowing she was being controlled just the same as the other Widows, Black Widow decide to free her, before another explosion occurred, separating the two. Romanoff managed to land safely on the runway and saw Belova on top of Drekov's aircraft. Despite her sister's pleas, Belova shoved her baton into the engine, destroying it and throwing her off the edge.
Acting quickly, Romanoff grabbed a parachute and went after Belova as she fell through the sky. Romanoff managed to catch Belova and attach her to the parachute, only to then leave her when she spotted Taskmaster chasing after them in free fall. Romanoff and Taskmaster engaged in a duel as they fell to the ground, but before they hit, Taskmaster released her parachute, and Black Widow managed to grab onto her, so she landed safely.
On the ground, Romanoff and Taskmaster continued their fight, with Romanoff dodging Taskmaster's sword attacks before stealing the weapon from her. However, Romanoff did not use it, instead trying unsuccessfully to defuse the fight between them. Romanoff managed to climb on top of Taskmaster and take off her helmet, allowing her to hit her with the Red Dust, freeing her from Dreykov's control. They both collapsed, and Romanoff apologized for what she had done to her, assuring her that Dreykov was finally gone.
Leaving her Family Fixed
Romanoff then searched for Yelena Belova, and found her unconscious on the ground, which made her think she was dead, but she soon awoke. With the Red Room finally destroyed, Romanoff tearfully apologized to her sister for abandoning her, and admitted that their family was real to her, too as they embraced each other.
Melina Vostokoff and Alexei Shostakov then regrouped with them, and Romanoff asked if Shostakov had anything to say, but he decided to not, knowing he'd mess it up. Instead, they held each other's hand, reconciling their issues. Noticing Thaddeus Ross driving up to their location with a fleet of soldiers, Romanoff told her family to leave while she stayed behind, which they were against doing, not wanting to leave her again. However, Romanoff insisted, as she had repaired her family, and decided to try and do the same with the Avengers. As a farewell gift, Belova decides to give Romanoff her vest.
Romanoff then informed Belova that there were still a massive amount of Black Widows around the world, so once Vostokoff duplicated the Red Dust, she should go and free them all. They all then witnessed an aircraft land and the freed Widows exited, so Belova spoke with them, while Vostokoff and Shostakov said their goodbyes to their daughter, telling her to take care of herself. After Romanoff and Belova did their whistle call to each other, she was left by herself amidst the rubble as Ross and his soldiers arrived and surrounded her.
Romanoff removed her Widow's Bites and holster for her batons, and got onto her knees with her hands placed behind her head as Ross approached her. When she got back up on her feet, Romanoff explained that she had brought down the Red Room, which Ross believed had been gone for decades, only to be supported by the Red Room Academy crashing to the ground behind them. Ross then arrested Romanoff, handcuffing her and escorting her to a truck, where she was locked in the back.
As they drove away, Ross discussed the Red Room and their crimes further with Romanoff, who protected her family by saying she took down the organization all by herself. Ross then addressed how Romanoff saved the world, despite the world wanting to lock her up for betraying the Sokovia Accords, which made it hard to know who she was. While Ross continued to speak, Romanoff secretly began freeing herself, and proceeded to exit out of the truck, escaping from being imprisoned in the Raft.
Back on the Run
Two weeks later, Romanoff, having received a short haircut, dyed her hair blonde, and sporting Yelena Belova's vest, headed back to Ohio to meet up with Rick Mason who had provided her with a Quinjet.
Romanoff thanked Mason for his help, saying he's always been a good friend to her. Romanoff then talked about how for her whole life she had alway thought she never had a family, but she has now relaized she has two. And now that she has repaired one of them, she wanted to see if she could help fix the Avengers, which included breaking a few of them out of the Raft. Romanoff left Mason, and boarded the Quinjet to meet up with Steve Rogers, who was also currently on the run.
She then flew off and joined Rogers and Bucky Barnes in breaking Clint Barton, Sam Wilson, Wanda Maximoff, and Scott Lang from the Raft. Romanoff stayed with Rogers and Wilson, while Barton and Lang went into house arrest, and Maximoff fled to Scotland. Months later from going on the run, and evading capture thanks to their ties with S.H.I.E.L.D., Romanoff, Wilson, and Rogers were shortly met by Nick Fury. Romanoff used her KGB contacts to track down a terrorist organization supplied with Chitauri fueled weapons in Syria. Infiltrating the terrorists, Rogers, Wilson, and Romanoff disabled the weapons and then left for Lebanon.
In 2018, Black Widow, Steve Rogers, and Sam Wilson received a call from Bruce Banner, who warned them about the threat as well as the fact that the Black Order were hunting the Mind Stone. The three headed down to Edinburgh, Scotland to protect Vision.
The three arrived just in time and fended off Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive with great ease. While Rogers appeared behind a passing subway to distract Midnight, who attempted to finally finish off Wanda Maximoff and Vision, Falcon immediately attacked her, kicking her into a cafe inside the train station. Black Widow arrived moments later to assist in the fight. She appeared behind Glaive, who was attacked by Falcon, catching him by surprise and she managed to severely injure him using Midnight's spear.
After which Falcon arrived and subdued Midnight, who was dueling both Rogers and Black Widow at the same time, Black Widow watched as he held Midnight and Glaive at gunpoint. Black Widow then claimed that they did not want to kill them but they would, Midnight taunted Black Widow that they will never get the chance again before retreating to their Q-Ship. Afterwards, Rogers decided to head back to the Avengers Compound to try to help Vision, who was also severely injured.
Reuniting with Bruce Banner
Arriving at Avengers Compound, Romanoff and the others were greeted warmly by James Rhodes. Thaddeus Ross, present via a holographic video call, ordered Rhodes to arrest her, Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, and Wanda Maximoff, but he disobeyed the order, cutting off the call. As Rhodes welcomed them back, Bruce Banner emerged, having been missing for over two years. Romanoff greeted Banner while Wilson commented that the meeting was awkward.
Banner then warned them about Thanos' threat, informing them that Thanos recently obtained both the Power and Space Stone during the Massacre of the Xandarians and the Attack on the Statesman, as well as the fact that Thanos has an enormous army ready to invade Earth. When asked about the others, Romanoff revealed to Banner that Clint Barton and Scott Lang were both on house arrests due to their involvement in the Avengers Civil War.
Romanoff then listened as Vision suggested that he would sacrifice himself to destroy the Mind Stone within him, only for Rogers and Maximoff to protest his statement. Vision instead reminded that Rogers was willing to sacrifice his life. Banner related back to Tony Stark's creation of J.A.R.V.I.S. and Ultron, suggesting that they could remove the stone imbedded within Vision without killing him. Rogers then claimed to know one place capable of doing that, Wakanda.
Arrival at Wakanda
Romanoff and the Avengers arrived at the Golden City in Wakanda where they were greeted by T'Challa and the Dora Milaje. Rogers also reunited with Bucky Barnes, who had recently been cured of his HYDRA programming. The Avengers then met with Shuri, who explained how she planned on removing the Mind Stone from Vision.
Assembling the Avengers and the Wakandan armed forces to oppose the Black Order, Black Widow joined Steve Rogers and T'Challa in talking to Proxima Midnight and Cull Obsidian at the shield boundary. Black Widow inquired where Corvus Glaive was; Midnight intimated that he was dead. Midnight and Obsidian then initiated the Battle of Wakanda as they proceeded to release their army of Outriders.
A great battle commenced after which T'Challa ordered the Dora Milaje to open up their defenses. The Black Order and Outriders swarmed the battlefield, attacking the Avengers. The Avengers became overwhelmed by the Outriders. However, the team and the Wakanda army were saved by the arrival of Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and Thor, who recently obtained his new weapon, Stormbreaker, from Nidavellir. The battle continued with the Avengers gaining the upper hand against Thanos' army.
After facing off against the Outriders, Wanda Maximoff was subdued by Midnight and was about to kill her, when Black Widow and Okoye intervened, preparing to face off against the alien warrior. Black Widow managed to fend off Midnight's attacks and then proceeded to fight back, outnumbering her. However, they were soon overwhelmed by Midnight's strength, and Black Widow was knocked out whilst Okoye was thrown to the ground. Midnight then approached a subdued Black Widow and put a blade to her.
When Midnight went to finish off Black Widow, only barely holding her back, Maximoff used her powers to restrain Midnight and launch her into the path of one of Thanos' war machines, killing her, resulting in some of her blue blood being splattered across her face. Black Widow, lying on the floor, commented that Midnight's blood was gross before getting up and continuing to fight against Thanos' army. The Avengers then located Vision in a forest who prompted Maximoff to destroy the Mind Stone within him while Black Widow and the Avengers awaited Thanos' arrival.
Once Thanos finally arrived on Earth, Black Widow tried to stop him from obtaining the Mind Stone, but found that she and her allies were hopelessly outmatched by Thanos' use of the Infinity Gauntlet. While War Machine, Black Panther, Okoye, Bruce Banner, Falcon, and Winter Soldier were blasted away by the Power and Space Stones, Black Widow was subdued by Thanos who used the Reality Stone to form stone pillars to trap her.
As Thanos united the six Infinity Stones, however, Thor impaled him with the Stormbreaker. Moments later, however, Thanos snapped his fingers and wiped out half of the life in the universe. Despite being weakened by a fatal blow from Thor's Stormbreaker, Thanos transported to the Garden, leaving Black Widow as one of the survivors of the genocide. She had freed herself from Thanos' prison as she and her remaining allies could do nothing but accept their defeat.
Meeting Captain Marvel
Following the Battle of Wakanda, Romanoff, along with Steve Rogers, James Rhodes and Bruce Banner, returned to the Avengers Compound. The Avengers sought out to hunt Thanos, using deep-space scans and satellites, only to have no results. Having discovered the Transmitter Pager in Atlanta that Nick Fury had activated before his death, the Avengers bypassed the pager's battery for it to continue to send out its signal. As Rogers and Romanoff were witnessing reports on the aftermath of the Snap, Rhodes, who was monitoring the pager, informed the pair and Banner that the pager had stopped transmitting the signal.
Rogers requested that they reboot the pager and resend the signal, only for Banner to respond that they had no idea what the signal was for. As Romanoff explained that Fury knew whom the signal was for and that she wanted to know who it was as well, she came face to face with Captain Marvel herself, who demanded to know where Fury was.
Twenty-three days after the Snap, Captain Marvel returned from her mission to find Tony Stark, carrying Benatar towards the Avengers Compound. The Avengers, along with Pepper Potts stood outside and witnessed Stark exit the ship, along with Nebula.
They all then gathered inside where Romanoff informed Danvers and Stark of the Snap and the effects that have occurred since. As they continued to talk about Thanos, Stark began to get angry because of the encounter he had with Thanos alone. However, due to being in a weak state, he collapsed so Bruce Banner tended to him while the others waited. When Danvers decided to go out and find Thanos on her own, Romanoff stopped her, informing her that they work as a team.
Nebula then joined the conversation and informed them of Thanos' location, the Garden — a place that Thanos planned to retreat to after the Snap, where Rocket Raccoon told them of a power surge that occurred two days ago. They then began to discuss going after Thanos, where they planned to retrieve the Infinity Stones and bring everyone back, something that Romanoff felt they owed to those who were gone because of the Snap.
As they continued to discuss the plan, Danvers told them that they would be successful because they had her this time, causing an annoyed War Machine to retort back at her. As she claimed that many other planets in the universe did not have a team like the Avengers, Thor, who had been silent for all of this, got up, and summoned Stormbreaker to prove she was worthy. Danvers did not blink and Thor exclaimed his fondness for her. With all the Avengers on board with the plan, they all suited up and boarded the Benatar.
A team of Steve Rogers, Black Widow, Thor, Captain Marvel, Nebula, Banner, Rocket and War Machine all made their way to the Garden by making a jump through space. Rocket asked them not to throw up on his ship, having learned that they have never been to space, with the exception of Nebula. When they arrived at the planet, Captain Marvel exited the ship to do recon while the others waited.
Black Widow saw Rogers look at his compass, and reassured him that the plan was going to work, to which he responded by saying he wouldn't know what to do if it didn't. Captain Marvel then returned and updated the Avengers that it was only just Thanos on the planet. They then began their ambush, with Captain Marvel bursting into his home, placing him in a headlock. Bruce Banner in the Iron Man Armor: Mark XLVIII quickly joined her, restraining the Infinity Gauntlet, with War Machine holding Thanos' other arm.
Thor then arrived and sliced off Thanos' left hand with Stormbreaker, releasing the Gauntlet and causing great pain to the Titan. Rogers, Black Widow, and Rocket Raccoon then entered the hut, and they were all shocked when they saw that the stones were no longer in the gauntlet. Under interrogation, Thanos revealed that his most recent usage of the Infinity Stones had been to destroy them, ensuring that he could not be tempted to use them again and that the Snap could not be undone.
The Avengers initially believed Thanos to be lying, so Black Widow demanded the location of the Infinity Stones, but Thanos assured them they were gone and that he was nearly killed because of it. Nebula addressed that while her adoptive father was many things, a liar isn't one of those things. Thor then cut off Thanos' head, killing him. He then left, leaving a feeling of despair amongst them all.
Leading the Avengers
Keeping Her Family Together
With the Mad Titan's victory seemingly final, the Avengers spent the next five years moving on: Tony Stark started a family; Steve Rogers held support group meetings; Thor set New Asgard on Earth; and Bruce Banner merged himself with Hulk. However, being alone all her life until she was a part of the Avengers, which she saw as her family, Romanoff continued the team, with James Rhodes staying on board and Carol Danvers, Rocket Raccoon, Nebula, and Okoye joining as new members. They operated on a bigger scale than they used to, helping reform the world back to normal after the Snap and dealing with threats in outer space as well.
Due to her affiliation with the Avengers and her role in trying to stop Thanos, Romanoff was legally forgiven for her violation of the Sokovia Accords back in 2016. This allowed her to operate as the official leader of the Avengers. In 2023, Romanoff held a meeting with the Avengers, who were all at different locations, where she was provided with updates on what they were each doing. When the meeting concluded, Romanoff reminded them that the channel would always be open if there was ever a problem. Rhodes stayed on the channel, telling her that he was in Mexico, still following Barton, telling her that after witnessing the scene he had left, he was not sure if he even wanted to find Barton.
However, Romanoff asked if he could keep looking anyway. When he left, Romanoff began to cry over the thought of her best friend until Rogers entered the room. Rogers, noticing his friend was in distress, attempted to comfort her, but she stopped him from telling her to look on the bright side by jokingly threatening to hit him with her sandwich. When Rogers sat down, the two began to discuss moving on, something Rogers had been telling others but was not reciprocated by them.
Romanoff pointed out that if she didn't lead the Avengers, no one would, something Rogers believed might be fine. However, Romanoff told him that she used to have nothing in her life until she became an Avenger, giving her a family and making her better. She then addressed that even though people are gone, she was still trying to be better, which Rogers then stated that they both needed to get a life.
Scott Lang's Return
Suddenly, an alert appeared for the front entrance camera, so Romanoff opened it revealing Scott Lang to be standing outside. They then let him inside, where he asked them if they studied Quantum Physics, which Romanoff said she was, only for conversation.
Lang then told them about how he got trapped in the Quantum Realm five years ago due to the Snap. Lang then revealed that for him, it was actually five hours in the Quantum Realm. Rogers then tried to get Lang to clarify what he was saying, which was that time works differently in the Quantum Realm, but there is no way to navigate it. He proposed the idea to control the Quantum Realm, entering at one point in time and exiting out another.
However, none of them knew how to handle this idea, so they decided to visit Tony Stark, who was living a normal life with his family. They drove to his house and sat down with him to discuss Lang's idea, but Stark was opposed to it. Romanoff told Stark that they had to try, but he continued to refuse. Stark then left them when his daughter came out, causing them to leave without his help. Rogers then suggested another brain they could use to help them, Bruce Banner.
The three then met up with Banner in a diner, who explained to Lang his new transformation into a mixture of Banner and Hulk. They were then interrupted by some kids who wanted a picture with Banner, and when they left, Banner informed them that Time Travel was outside his area of expertise, but Romanoff reminded him that he was able to merge his two personas, something that seemed impossible before.
He then agreed to help them, and they returned to the facility to work on navigating the Quantum Realm to ensure time travel. They then began to test time travel, with Lang wearing the Quantum Realm Exploration Suit. When Banner mentioned not wanting something to go wrong and have Lang stuck in the past, Romanoff said he was joking, but Banner was unsure of that, due to the uncertainty of the experiment. Banner set the machine up to send Lang back a week and bring him back in ten seconds.
They then activated the machine, which sent Lang into the Quantum Realm, and when they brought him back, he was a child. Banner then tried to fix this error by sending him back, but when he returned he was an old man, followed by a third try which brought Lang back as a baby. Banner then told Romanoff to kill the power on his signal, which successfully returned Lang to his normal age.
Reuniting with Clint Barton
After their failed experiment, Stark arrived at the facility having figured a way to perform time travel successfully. He then agreed to help them, and they began to get the Avengers back together. Romanoff went to Tokyo in search of her best friend, Barton, having discovered that is where he was. She made her way to Barton's location, to be confronted with him ruthlessly murdering Yakuza boss Akihiko.
When Barton became aware of her presence, he told her that she should not be there, to which she replied neither should he. Barton told Romanoff he had a job to do, but she told him that it wouldn't bring his family back. She then revealed their plan to bring everyone back, but he told her to not give him hope, something he had lost which Romanoff wished she could have given him sooner. She then held his hand to comfort him and the two returned to the facility.
Creating a Plan
With all the Avengers assembled once again, they began to work on creating the machine as Scott Lang prepared to test it. They finished the machine, but Clint Barton ended up being the one to test it, as Lang was not ready. They all watched as Barton stood on the machine and then went into the Quantum Realm. A few seconds later, he was brought back, and Romanoff checked up on him. After telling her he was fine, he showed her a baseball glove he retrieved, revealing that their experiment had worked.
With the means of transportation achieved, the team then began to discuss the Infinity Stones' history. They started with the Aether, watching on as Thor told them about it, but started to get off-topic due to him not being in control of his emotions. They then moved onto the Orb, which Rocket Raccoon informed them was on Morag when Peter Quill stole it in 2014. Nebula then told them about the Soul Stone, which Thanos retrieved on Vormir by sacrificing her sister.
Romanoff, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner then discussed the Time Stone, which they told her Doctor Strange had, and he lived in New York. Romanoff then realized that in 2012, there were three stones in New York: the Time Stone, the Space Stone and the Mind Stone. With this point being brought up, they were then able to complete their brainstorm for the Time Heist and plan out who was going where.
It was later decided amongst the members of the Avengers that Romanoff and Barton would go to Vormir in 2014 to obtain the Soul Stone, along with James Rhodes and Nebula, who were going to Morag to retrieve the Power Stone, Stark, Steve Rogers, Banner and Lang were going to New York in 2012 to retrieve the Space, Mind, and Time Stones, and Thor and Rocket were going to Asgard in 2013 to steal the Reality Stone.
Retrieving the Soul Stone
The Avengers all then suited up in their Advanced Tech Suits and made their way to the platform, where Captain America gave them a speech about everything that had led up to that moment and how this was their only opportunity to change what had happened. Bruce Banner then activated the machine, as Black Widow told them she would see them in a minute, and they all were transported to the Quantum Realm, where they each traveled to their designated time.
Black Widow, Hawkeye, War Machine and Nebula all successfully arrived in 2014 on Morag, where they enlarged the Benatar and waited for Nebula to lower the space pod. On the desolate planet, Black Widow was seen kicking an Orloni creature who approached her. Hawkeye then asked them to hurry up as their time was limited. Black Widow and Hawkeye then boarded the Benatar and said goodbye to War Machine, who asked them to watch over each other.
They then departed Morag and headed to Vormir, to retrieve the Soul Stone, using the coordinates Nebula provided them on the ship. As they traveled to Vormir, the two best friends enjoyed the sight of space travel, laughing with each other, as Hawkeye mentioned that they had gone through so much since being S.H.I.E.L.D. agents years ago, mentioning their mission in Budapest, to which she agreed with. While the ship was on autopilot, the two had a deep conversation about their relationship.
They soon arrived at the planet, which amazed Hawkeye, saying that what they were doing would be awesome if not for the circumstances. They then made their way through the planet, climbing up the mountain, which they found to be exhausting. Black Widow pointed out the physical effort of their mission by stating that Rocket, who she referred to as a raccoon, wouldn't have had to climb a mountain, which Hawkeye stated that technically he was not a raccoon, but she didn't care. When they made it to the top of the mountain, they were greeted by the Red Skull who alarmed them, causing them to draw their weapons at him.
Schmidt, who had revealed Black Widow's father's name and Hawkeye's mother's name, informed them that he was a guide for those seeking the Soul Stone, so Black Widow demanded that he show them where it was. However, he informed them that it is never that simple. They learned that the stone was at the bottom of the cliff and that they had to make a sacrifice of what they love for the Soul Stone.
Upon learning about the price to pay for the Soul Stone, Black Widow and Hawkeye took a moment to let the severity of the situation sink in. Black Widow sat down as she contemplated doing "whatever it takes" to retrieve the stone, while Hawkeye voiced his disbelief.
Black Widow then remembered how Nebula told them that Thanos killed Gamora on Vormir, meaning the sacrifice was legitimate. They then repeated what Captain America had said before their mission, "whatever it takes," before accepting that one of them needed to sacrifice themselves for the stone. Hawkeye decided that he would make the sacrifice, holding Black Widow's hand to comfort her in their final moments.
However, Black Widow then reciprocated the same gesture, making him realize that she intended on sacrificing herself. They then argued over which one it should be, neither wanting to willingly let the other die. Black Widow attempted to make her case, stating this is what she had been working towards all these years since the Snap occurred, and that she did not want Hawkeye to die. She also noted that if they did nothing, all victims of the Snap would stay dead.
However, Hawkeye told her he should do it, as he saw himself as too far gone, to which Black Widow assured him that he is more than his worst moments. However, when Hawkeye told her that she should not try and give him a chance, Black Widow responded that he gave her a second chance when they first met on his kill mission. She also proclaimed that she did not judge people based upon their worst mistakes in life.
The two then took a moment to embrace each other's friendship, resting their heads on one another, until Hawkeye caught Romanoff off-guard and threw her down so he could sacrifice himself. He told her to tell his family, when they were brought back, that he loved them. However, Black Widow gained the upper hand and threw him down, deciding to make the sacrifice herself. She then shot Hawkeye with her bite, causing him to get electrocuted. She responded to Hawkeye with "You tell them yourself."
As she made a run for the cliff, Hawkeye ripped off the taser disk, drew his bow, and fired an explosive arrow near Black Widow, causing her to be thrown to the side, away from the edge. He then rushed towards the cliff and jumped off, but Black Widow also jumped and grabbed Hawkeye, shooting a grapple and attaching it to him so he wouldn't fall, before trying to sacrifice herself. However, Hawkeye was able to grab onto Black Widow's arm, but could not pull her up without both of them falling.
Hawkeye got mad at her for stopping him from jumping. Black Widow asked Hawkeye to let her go, assuring him it was okay and knowing that there was no other way, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. Hawkeye desperately tried to change her mind, as he did not want his best friend to die. However, Black Widow felt the exact same and forced him to let her go by kicking off and jumping off the cliff wall. Black Widow then fell to her death as a devastated Hawkeye watched, helpless to do anything else. With the sacrifice being made, Hawkeye then obtained the Soul Stone.
The Avengers then returned to 2023, having successfully obtained the Infinity Stones. When Clint Barton returned, he silently fell to his knees when asked about Romanoff by Bruce Banner. The others then deduced that she had sacrificed herself for the Soul Stone, causing their initial celebration to perish. The original Avengers all gathered outside to mourn the loss of their friend, with Tony Stark asking if Romanoff had any family they had to inform. Steve Rogers retorted that they were her family, something she had told him earlier.
When Thor questioned why they were acting like Romanoff was dead, believing that they could bring her back with the Infinity Stones, Barton told them that it could not be undone. He then became angry over the death of his best friend, remarking that it should have been him who died instead. Banner came to terms with her death and declared that Romanoff's sacrifice would not be for nothing. The team then began constructing a Nano Gauntlet to control and contain the Infinity Stones.
Banner used the Gauntlet to successfully resurrect the victims of the Snap, though Romanoff could not be revived despite Banner's hopes. After Stark's funeral, Barton spoke to Wanda Maximoff at the Stark Eco-Compound, wished there was a way for him to let Romanoff know that they were successful and her sacrifice meant something. Maximoff comforted him by assuring that Romanoff knew, as well as Vision.
Although her body was irretrievably lost in another timeline, she was given a tombstone in a graveyard in Ohio. Romanoff's adoptive sister Yelena Belova would constantly visit the grave to pay her respects, reorganizing the flowers that had been placed there. During one visit, she was approached by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who paid her respects to Romanoff before claiming that Clint Barton was the man responsible for Romanoff's death, and offered Belova the chance to eliminate him to exact vengeance. Meanwhile, Barton was struggling with missing Romanoff, and had to leave the premiere of Rogers: The Musical when seeing Romanoff fictionalized. Belova attacked Barton, until Barton showed Belova that he missed Romanoff just as much as Belova did, and the two allowed themselves to move on.
The entirety of Romanoff's character was hard to distinguish based on how she tricked and lied to people for a living. She was capable of convincingly portraying friendly and flirtatious, timid, vulnerable, and scared. For the most part, she was a level-headed, strong-willed, and independent woman. Romanoff normally maintained a controlled, almost emotionless persona to keep whatever she was thinking a secret unless she was around people she absolutely trusts. Although she was more than willing to rush into deadly battle and other unnerving missions for S.H.I.E.L.D., she was not completely fearless, as she was visibly frightened of Hulk. However, she was no longer afraid of him due to falling in love with Bruce Banner.
Though a very serious agent, Romanoff was by no means stuffy and has a sarcastic sense of humor, which mostly surfaces when she was with Captain America or Hawkeye, both of whom she was comfortable around. Romanoff was very smart and loyal which was displayed when she made good on the debts she owed Barton and Rogers (saving the former from Loki's mind control and trying to protect the latter during a highway assault). While tough and at times ruthless, she was still a good person and can be quite heroic in her own right. These qualities are usually brought out by her other Avengers, mainly her missions with Steve Rogers. And no matter how injured she was in battle, Romanoff will go out her way to make sure bystanders are out of harm's way (keeping several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents away when Banner was transforming into Hulk, helping Hawkeye evacuate civilians when the Chitauri attacked Manhattan, and risking her life to make sure innocent people weren't shot by the Winter Soldier when he was chasing her). Her close loyalty to both Rogers and Barton was shown in the Avengers Civil War, as she was willing to aid their faction despite being forced to go on the run from the United Nations afterward. As a result of her childhood, she considered the Avengers her family, being desperate to keep them together when the Sokovia Accords were due to be signed and was affected when Tony Stark denounced her as a friend and made it clear he would not help her in the future. She was further shocked and saddened when Barton following the loss of his family became more ruthless and violent when she encountered him in Tokyo.
Romanoff was also very close with Clint Barton's family, especially with his and Laura Barton's only daughter, Lila, being the only member of Avengers who knew of their existence. Romanoff was genuinely affectionate with the child, hugging her the moment they reunited and sweetly commended the little girl on the drawing she made. They originally named their youngest child after Romanoff before them discovering that it was, in fact, a boy, thus naming him Nathaniel instead, with Romanoff humorously referring to the unborn child as a "traitor." This was further proven in Vormir where she refused to let Clint sacrifice himself, knowing how much he meant to his family and vice-versa, and sacrificed herself instead because she believed she had less to lose.
Romanoff was sterilized as a rite-of-passage for her graduation from the training she underwent in the Red Room under the supervision of Madame B. This event deeply affected her, as she regretfully told Banner of the so-called advantages of the procedure.
Despite her lifestyle of espionage and operating within the shadows, Romanoff's adaptability influenced her opinions on the Sokovia Accords. Realizing the difference between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers with many of their activities seen in the light of day amongst the public, Romanoff wanted to appease public opinions by signing and also that she didn't want conflict with her close friends and teammates like Barton and Rogers. This care for Captain America eventually caused Romanoff to betray Stark's team and assist their escape so they could clear Barnes' name, eventually becoming a fugitive because of this.
Despite her harsh and traumatic upbringing, Romanoff retained a kind, caring and compassionate side of her, with Melina Vostokoff expressing surprise at how she was able to keep her heart after all she had been through. For years, she harbored deep resentment and guilt towards herself due to the damage she had caused during her time in the Red Room and S.H.I.E.L.D, and spend most of her life attempting to make up for her actions. This was most evident when she freed Taskmaster from Dreykov's control, and tearfully apologized to her adoptive sister Yelena Belova for not coming back for her.
Natasha Romanoff was one of the most talented spies and lethal assassins in the world. She was said by her instructor Madame B. to be the best student in the Red Room, never failing a single test. Both the KGB and S.H.I.E.L.D. considered her as one of their most dangerous operatives. Romanoff was highly skilled in martial arts, armed combat, espionage, infiltration, disguise, manipulation, evasion, hacking, and assassination. Romanoff's extraordinary skill-set made her a core member of the Avengers. Romanoff also displayed impressive endurance and durability, being able to withstand being shot in the shoulder by Winter Soldier, being hit and flung away by Hulk, being launched into a car by a powerful kick from Taskmaster, falling from a building and hitting several metal structures on the way down, and taking many blows from several Widows, all of which failed to render her so much as unconscious.
- Master Martial Artist: Romanoff was an extremely skilled and formidable hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist, having trained from a young age in the Red Room and S.H.I.E.L.D. in her later life as a top operative, making her one of the most dangerous fighters on the planet. During her time in the Red Room, she was seen using her martial arts to defeat a grown man by swinging his head into the corner of a desk, proving how formidable she was even when she was young. She was extremely skilled in the field of martial arts, having mastered arts such as sambo, hapkido, Lucha libre-style wrestling, Krav Maga, multiple styles of kung fu, wing chun, Taekwondo, and kali with her batons. Romanoff has efficiently taken down many enemies, such as a squadron of armed soldiers after being ambushed in a hotel room, multiple Hammer Industries security guards, Georges Batroc's armed pirates, several members of STRIKE, Chitauri aliens, Ultron Sentries, and Outriders. She was skilled enough to be able to defeat a mind-controlled Hawkeye, maintain the upper hand against Ant-Man, and even hold her own against the much stronger Winter Soldier, though he was able to bring her down in the end. Black Widow also managed to compete with Proxima Midnight alongside Okoye, even managing to disarm her with her baton, holding her off long enough for Wanda to kill her. In addition, she had enough skill to stab Corvus Glaive using Proxima Midnight's Spear. Romanoff was able to hold her own against many Widows at once, fight the similarly trained Yelena Belova to a standstill, and managed to engage Taskmaster in combat for a prolonged period of time, though Taskmaster had the upper hand throughout the fight.
- Staff Mastery: As a Black Widow, Romanoff was extremely skilled at using a staff or batons in combat. She was able to use a Chitauri staff to battle the Chitauri, killing several of them simultaneously. During the Battle of Wakanda, she was able to use her batons to fight evenly against Proxima Midnight with the help of Okoye, using it to defend and attack simultaneously.
- Master Marksman: Romanoff was an extremely skilled marksman specialised in sharpshooting. During the Battle of Washington, D.C., Romanoff would have shot the Winter Soldier through his eye if he had not been wearing his protective goggles. She had also been trained from a young age in the art of sharpshooting, as she was seen practicing on targets, making several headshots in quick succession.
- Master Acrobat: Romanoff was an extremely skilled gymnast, acrobat, and aerialist, often incorporating gymnastics and acrobatics into her fighting style as she fought opponents. She had numerous complex maneuvers and feats throughout her battles. During her fight within Hammer Industries Headquarters, Romanoff used these skills to defeat the guards with ease. During the Chitauri Invasion, she got to ride a Chitauri Chariot by using her acrobatics to commandeer it.
- Master Spy: Romanoff was a dangerous secret agent highly skilled in espionage, stealth, disguise, infiltration, and demolitions. Her talents and years of experience have enabled her to reach a high ranking as a special agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Romanoff is well versed in internal destabilization and was soon deemed a threat to global security because of this. In addition, She was an expert in the field of seduction, often resorted to seducing men to obtain her goals while working undercover, such as when she posed as an assistant to evaluate Tony Stark for the Avengers Initiative. Romanoff was also able to bend many men to her will and sometimes even get them to do her bidding for her, and would continue deceiving them through different means necessary if she still had a further use for them. Moreover, she displayed an uncanny affinity for psychological manipulation and could mask her real emotions perfectly. Romanoff's skills were so legendary that Nick Fury created a lie detector that he hoped she wouldn't be able to deceive. Her incredible talents for deception also enabled her to detect when others were lying, such as when she was able to discern that Captain America was lying to her about not knowing why Nick Fury was at his apartment. Councilwoman Pamela Hawley even stated that she was unaware Romanoff was Russian due to her complete lack of an accent, stating she sounded perfectly American.
- Master Assassin: Romanoff was notorious in the art of assassination, considered to be one of the most dangerous assassins in the world. She was known to have killed many people during her time serving the KGB and S.H.I.E.L.D. During her time in the Red Room, Romanoff was trained to kill without remorse and was seen demonstrating her sharpshooting skills on a live captive, showing no emotion as she killed him.
- Gifted Intellect: Romanoff's intellect seemingly put her on par with Steve Rogers and Clint Barton. She possessed the ability to quickly process multiple information streams like threat assessments and rapidly respond to changing tactical situations. Romanoff also possessed a vast knowledge of human anatomy, displayed by her often using joint locks and hitting enemies in the weakest parts of their bodies; for example the crotch, stomach, armpits, and the head. Her prodigious skill from her years of training also allows her to predict her opponents' plans of attack as well, such as when she was able to save herself, Captain America, and Falcon from being shot by the Winter Soldier by predicting the order in which he would shoot at them through the roof of their car. Victoria Hand has even stated that Romanoff does not usually require extraction teams on S.H.I.E.L.D. missions and is resourceful enough to make her own escape.
- Expert Tactician: Romanoff was a very effective strategist, tactician, and field commander, being able to lead the Avengers and even S.H.I.E.L.D. on one occasion. Romanoff was able to trick Ross and his entire S.W.A.T. team thinking that they had tracked her down to a train station in Albany using the tracker on her suit, but she already knew and deliberately left them there in order to lure them to the wrong place and thus buying herself more time to go to her hiding place. Moreover, Romanoff, in conjunction with Yelena Belova constructed a plan to successfully break Red Guardian out of prison. She later collaborated with Melina Vostokoff to construct a plan to bring down the Red Room and kill General Dreykov in a short amount of time before Red Room soldiers arrived.
- Master Interrogator: Romanoff was able to trick Loki into telling her about his plan to use Hulk against the Helicarrier to bust him out of his cell. She was able to do a "reverse interrogation"; while she seemed to be in danger, in truth, she was getting all the information she wanted to know. Romanoff utilized this technique once again to goad Dreykov into revealing the key needed to access his console.
- Expert Hacker: Romanoff could hack into most computer systems without tripping any firewalls or security. She used this talent to hack into Hammer Industries mainframe and help James Rhodes regain control of the War Machine Armor and enabled him to help Stark fight the rest of the attacking Hammer drones, and again to access the location of Camp Lehigh from the USB Steve Rogers received from Nick Fury.
- Pilot: Romanoff was a skilled pilot, capable of piloting a Quinjet by herself with ease, and was able to copilot a helicopter along with Yelena Belova.
- Multilingualism: Romanoff was fluent in her native Russian, as well as English, French, German, Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, Latin, Norwegian, Japanese and various other languages. Romanoff also knew Morse code, which enabled her to send a message to Clint Barton when she was captured by Ultron after the Battle of Seoul. She also taught Wanda Maximoff an American accent to cover up her Sokovian accent.
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Uniform: Black Widow's first uniform was a black catsuit. It zipped up the front and had fingerless gloves with S.H.I.E.L.D. logos on the shoulders. It had two belts, one of which had a red hourglass symbol on it and the other serving as a utility belt. It also had a thigh holster.
- Tactical Uniform: Her second uniform was a slightly modified version of her earlier one, made of smooth gray fabric. The red hourglass was brighter and the belts were slightly different. The only major difference was the inclusion of built in wrist tasers.
- Stealth Uniform: Her third uniform was worn while working on S.H.I.E.L.D. missions with Captain America. Her uniform became black with gray webbing, a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on her right shoulder and her trademark red hourglass over her stomach. It also features her Widow's Bite, a utility belt, and two thigh holsters.
- Avengers Uniform: The fourth uniform worn by Black Widow was similar to her second. She wore a black suit with black padding at the shoulders, knees, and elbows. Her suit also contained a more powerful version of her Black Widow's Bite which when used caused piping on the suit to light up. She also wore a thigh-holster on her left leg.
- Second Avengers Uniform: The fifth uniform was much sleeker than the previous version. Her suit is not leather, but rather a more tactical stretch Kevlar instead of the usual printed stretch fabrics used, making it bulletproof. The uniform also contains titanium-plated shin guards. Her boots have kinetic rebounding soles that add bounce to jumps. The suit incorporates her usual red hourglass and Widow's Bites with long-range upgrades.
- Winter Uniform: The sixth uniform, which was provided by Rick Mason, is a white suit, to fit and blend with the snow environment that her mission took place in. The rest of the costume remains similar to all her previous ones, with shoulder, knee, and elbow pads, as well as a holster on the back for her batons, her Widow's Bites, and a belt with two thigh holsters.
- Melina Vostokoff's Uniform: The seventh uniform was worn by Romanoff when she disguised herself as Melina Vostokoff. It is a suit with black and grey patterning, and a gold Widow's Bite and belt. The uniform also contains a back holster for her batons, with a strap across the front, padding for the shoulders, knees, and elbows, and also thigh holsters.
- Fugitive Uniform: The eighth uniform consisted of a black suit with padding on its knees and elbows to provide protection and additional striking capabilities. The uniform had her Widow's Bites included and had tall, heeled boots. The uniform has a thigh holster on her leg and a holster for her batons on her back.
- Third Avengers Uniform: The ninth uniform was a black suit with gray detailing on the front, as well as shoulder and knee armor. It has a holster on the back for her batons, her Widow's Bites, and a belt with two thigh holsters.
- Advanced Tech Suit: This suit was designed to time travel through the Quantum Realm safely. It is a white, red, and black suit that materializes around the wearer's regular clothes when time travel is required and disappears when no longer in use. It has size-shifting adaptability down to subatomic levels and a wrist gadget that allows for displacement through time and space.
- Black Widow's Bite: Electroshock weapon that can deliver powerful electrical discharges from two bracelets worn by Romanoff. When the Chitauri forces invaded Earth during the Battle of New York, she used the Widow's Bite to electrocute several enemy troops by jamming her charged fists into them. Romanoff used the Widow's Bite to take out a pirate guarding the Lemurian Star ship's engine room. Romanoff acquired a more powerful version of the Black Widow's Bite from Tony Stark, which causes the piping in her suit to light up and glow. She made use of her bite during the Avengers Civil War. She zapped Ant-Man with her bite, sending her miniaturized opponent flying away, and later used the bite to cover the escape of Captain America and the Winter Soldier by using taser disks fired from her bite to hold off Black Panther. While wearing Melina Vostokoff's Red Room uniform, Romanoff used its Bite to subdue Yelena Belova, and later to fight against several Widows.
- Black Widow's Batons: Electroshock weapons that can deliver powerful electrical shocks to incapacitate her targets. Romanoff used the batons to take down dozens of Ultron Sentries with a combination of her weapons and martial arts mastery and later employed these weapons during the Avengers Civil War, although not charged with electricity. While bringing down the Red Room, Romanoff wielded a pair of Red Room batons that were charged with red electricity and could turn into scythes, using them to fight against the Widows and stop herself from falling out of the collapsing structure. She once again utilized her batons to battle the Black Order and the Outriders and was able to combine them to form a staff; she kept these batons in a holster worn on her back.
- Taser Disks: Romanoff used two taser disks aimed at the feet of one of the security guards at Hammer Industries Headquarters, paralyzing his legs to temporarily disable him. She also used a taser disk to temporarily disable Winer Soldier's prosthetic arm to prevent him from aiming his gun and buy herself time to escape. She later used a taser disk to short-circuit an explosive personnel badge but knocked herself out in the process.
- Garrote: Romanoff stored a garrote within her Bite, which she utilized to aid in her escape from a nightclub in Moscow by using it to strangle and then throw an opponent over a railing and down a stairwell. Romanoff then employed it again while infiltrating Hammer Industries Headquarters, using it to deflect the blows of one of the security guards at Hammer Industries Headquarters, and later to strangle him until he lost consciousness. During an attempted ambush on the Winter Soldier, Romanoff jumped onto his shoulder from behind and attempted to strangle him with her garrote, only to be thrown off.
- Makarov PM: Romanoff disarmed a Russian soldier of his sidearm in Cuba and theatened to kill anyone for touching her surrogate sister, but she relinquished it to her surrogate father. During her training with the Red Room, Romanoff trained with this gun, shooting it in quick succession while alternating her shooting arm, and being forced to use it against living targets.
- Walther PPK/S: Romanoff's original weapon of choice. She carried it when she went to stop Ivan Vanko at Hammer Industries Headquarters, but chose not to use it against the security guards inside the complex.
- Heckler & Koch USP Compact: Romanoff took a Heckler & Koch USP Compact from one of the guards at Hammer Industries Headquarters. She dual-wielded it along with her Walther PPK/S when she stormed inside the room where Ivan Vanko was supposed to be, only to find it empty.
- Glock 26: Romanoff replaced the Walther PPK/S for a pair of Glock 26 handguns, continuing to use them for the rest of her life as her weapon of choice. She had one of them concealed in the abandoned house in India where she staged a meeting with Bruce Banner, and then used both her firearms shortly after to fight the Chitauri army during the Battle of New York. Romanoff continued to use them during her missions with S.H.I.E.L.D., killing some of Georges Batroc's pirates during a mission to rescue the Lemurian Star, and later during a shootout against the Winter Soldier in Washington, D.C., managing to shoot and damage his goggles and forcing the Soldier to remove them. During the Battle of Sokovia, Romanoff resorted to the use of her handguns to shoot point-blank some of the Ultron Sentries. She still carried them during the Clash of the Avengers, but she kept them holstered so as not to harm her former allies. She kept one while hiding in Norway and used it when she was attacked by Taskmaster. When she reunited with her sister in Budapest, she disarmed the latter of her pistol, but soon returned it. She eventually used both of her pistols to shoot out a window while escaping the Red Room aerial facility. Romanoff took her pistols with her when she traveled to Vormir to retrieve the Soul Stone, drawing them upon hearing the Red Skull welcoming her and Hawkeye to the planet.
- Glock 19: The Glock 19 pistol is the standard sidearm carried by STRIKE. Romanoff was able to obtain one of them when she posed as Councilwoman Pamela Hawley inside the Triskelion, using it to threaten Alexander Pierce. She also retrieved one of these guns hidden beneath the bar of Avengers Tower to shoot at the Iron Legion drones hijacked by Ultron. She used it to great effect, shooting one Iron Legion drone in the head while running up the stairs with Bruce Banner for cover, and continued to fire at another before Steve Rogers destroyed it with his shield.
- Glock 17: Romanoff managed to obtain this gun from one of the mercenaries working for Crossbones who attacked the Institute for Infectious Diseases in Lagos. When Romanoff grabbed the gun, one of the mercenaries threatened to release the biological weapon they had just stolen. She used it to quickly kill one of the mercenaries while Redwing killed the other, managing to secure the biological weapon.
- Heckler & Koch P30: Romanoff carried Rick Mason's pistol when she traveled to Budapest, but she was disarmed by her sister.
- Colt M4A1/M203 Grenade Launcher: A fully automatic carbine and the standard weapon used by S.H.I.E.L.D. STRIKE Team members, outfitted with a grenade launcher. Romanoff took the weapon that the Winter Soldier had been using and shot a grenade at him, forcing him to make his escape before he could kill Steve Rogers in Washington, D.C.
- Chitauri Staff: Romanoff took one of the staves used by the Chitauri army when they invaded New York City and effectively used it against them as both a ranged and melee weapon.
- Scepter: Romanoff used Loki's scepter to shut down the Tesseract portal device as Erik Selvig instructed.
- Taskmaster's Shield: During her skirmish with Taskmaster, Romanoff wielded Taskmaster's shield against her to block strikes from her sword.
- Taskmaster's Sword: After disarming Taskmaster of her sword, Romanoff briefly wielded it to keep Taskmaster at bay before dropping it to the ground.
- Proxima Midnight's Spear: Romanoff used this during the Attack on Vision against Corvus Glaive, mortally wounding him with a stab and forcing him and Proxima Midnight to retreat.
- Flash Bombs: Romanoff used two of these flash bombs to blind some of the security guards at Hammer Industries Headquarters, easily dispatching them afterward.
- Pepper Spray: Romanoff took one of the cannisters of pepper spray carried by Hammer Industries security guards, and used it to dispatch the last guard before attempting to arrest Ivan Vanko.
- Miniaturized Smoke Grenades: Romanoff used some miniaturized smoke grenades given to her by Phil Coulson to create a diversion on Yuri Klementiev's yacht, using the smoke to simulate a fire.
- Glider Harness: Romanoff used the glider harness when she was forced to flee when Mikhail Fjodorov was killed by a woman that called herself Sofia.
- Photostatic Veil: Romanoff used a photostatic veil to disguise herself as Councilwoman Pamela Hawley and stop Project Insight. Romanoff later used a photostatic veil to disguise herself as Melina Vostokoff in order to gain access to Dreykov and manipulating him into showing her how to access his console.
- Explosive Security Badges: Romanoff wore an explosive security badge when she disguised herself as Councilwoman Pamela Hawley to stop Project Insight.
- Transmitter Pager: A communication device used by Nick Fury, an ordinary Earth pager modified by Carol Danvers using Kree technology for use as an instrument of last resort in extreme emergencies. Fury was eventually forced to use it in response to the Snap. It was later found and used by the Avengers.
- Helicarrier: Romanoff was stationed on the Helicarrier under Nick Fury's direct command, during S.H.I.E.L.D.'s operation to take down Loki. Because of Loki's schemes, the Helicarrier suffered a significant damage, due to Hulk's rampage, as he tried to kill Romanoff in a burst of rage.
- Quinjet: Romanoff has used a Quinjet for transportation to travel around the world and take out threats during active missions as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and as a member of the Avengers. She usually co-pilots the Quinjet, controlling the weapons that are built into its systems.
- Chitauri Chariot: During the Battle of New York, Romanoff realized that they needed to close the portal after containment proved to be overwhelming. Captain America helped her to jump on a Chitauri Chariot to quickly ascend to Stark Tower while the rest of the Avengers continued to battle the Chitauri.
- Lemurian Star: To be added
- Jeep: During the Attack on the HYDRA Research Base, Romanoff and Clint Barton used a Jeep to fight the HYDRA soldiers and move around faster. When all the Avengers regrouped to attack the HYDRA soldiers, Romanoff crashed the Jeep as she and Barton jumped out to continue fighting on foot.
- Motorcycle: Romanoff used a Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycle during her missions with the Avengers prior to its destruction during the Battle of Seoul.
- Truck: Romanoff drove a truck with a plow attached to its front to run over many Ultron Sentries so she could rendezvous with her fellow Avengers at the Novi Grad Church.
- Solovyov Air Helicopter: Romanoff and Yelena Belova were provided with a helicopter by Rick Mason to aid them in their extraction of Alexei Shostakov from Seventh Circle Prison. After breaking Shostakov out of prison, they decided to fly to Saint Petersburg to find Melina Vostokoff, but the helicopter ran out of fuel and crashed, leaving them to walk the rest of the distance.
- Benatar: Romanoff and the Avengers used this ship to travel to the Garden to undo the Snap and take down Thanos. Years later, Romanoff and Barton used this ship to travel to Vormir to obtain the Soul Stone during the Time Heist.
- Red Room Academy: Romanoff was raised and trained at the Academy from a very young age after being recruited to the KGB. There, she endured both an education and indoctrination into the world of spycraft. She confronted Dreykov in the Red Room Academy years later and destroyed the Red Room from in the facility.
- Family Temporary House: Undercover as the daughter of Alexei Shostakov, Romanoff lived in a house in Ohio with the rest of her fake family for three years during her childhood.
- Triskelion: Romanoff operated out of the Triskelion as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.. infiltrated the Triskelion along with Steve Rogers in order to take down HYDRA and stop their plan to eliminate threats.
- Stark Industries Headquarters: When Romanoff was tasked with watching over Tony Stark by Nick Fury, she went undercover as Stark's personal assistant. As part of her undercover mission, Romanoff was required to perform tasks for Stark, working at his headquarters.
- Tony Stark's Mansion: While undercover as Tony Stark's secretary, Romanoff worked at Stark's mansion. She attended his birthday party in the mansion, and continued to work at Stark Industries after Stark learned who she truly was.
- Avengers Tower: Following the collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D., Stark decided to fund the Avengers, redesigning Stark Tower as a new headquarters for the team. After retrieving Loki's Scepter, the Avengers held a party at the tower, which fell under attack by a newly-created Ultron. The Avengers then proceeded to search for Ultron in the tower, going through their files until they came across Ulysses Klaue.
- Sam Wilson's Apartment: Durring the HYDRA Uprising Romanoff and Steve Rogers went to Wilsom's appartment to get away from Hydra who was hunting the two down, Wilson alowed them to use his apartment as a temporary safehouse to plan their attack on Hydra.
- United States Capitol: After the Battle at the Triskelion Romanoff was called to a formal hearing in front of the senate to discuss what hapened, and if Steve Rogers could comment.
- Clint Barton's Homestead: When Romanoff became best friends with Clint Barton, she was one of the few people to know of his family. Romanoff would develop a close relationship with the Bartons, often visiting their home, including when all the Avengers were defeated by Ultron.
- Avengers Compound: After the Ultron Offensive, the Avengers relocated their base of operations to a facility upstate. There, Romanoff and Steve Rogers would train the new lineup of Avengers, as well as use it as their place of residence. Romanoff led the Avengers out of the Compound for five years following Thanos' victory.
- Melina Vostokoff's Homestead : Romanoff, Yelena Belova, and Alexei Shostakov went to Melina Vostokoff's homestead, hoping to get information out of her about how to take down the Red Room. Romanoff and the others had dinner, and Romanoff and Vostokoff made a plan to take down the Red Room.
- Wakanda Medical Center: Romanoff, along with the Avengers, brought Vision to Wakanda's medical center, hoping that Shuri could separate Vision from the Mind Stone so that Wanda Maximoff could destroy the Stone.
- Thanos' Farm: Romanoff joined the Avengers in attacking Thanos at his farm, where Thor killed Thanos and the Avengers were made to accept that he had one.
|This section requires expansion|
- Solenski Plaza: To be added
- Black Widow is mentioned in the non-canon video game Iron Man. While battling Maggia forces in Afghanistan, Tony Stark comments that he may be able to make it for his date with Ms. Romanoff after all.
- In the comics, Black Widow is the product of a Soviet Super Soldier experiment, and has had relationships with Bucky Barnes, Matt Murdock, Tony Stark and Clint Barton.
- In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Endgame and Black Widow, Romanoff wore a necklace with an arrow pendant, as a symbol of her friendship with Hawkeye.
- In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode Hot Potato Soup, Sam Koenig mentioned that Black Widow is the subject to a large amount of "steamy" internet FanFiction, with some people shipping her with Quake under the name "Quack".
- Romanoff was a fan of the 1979 James Bond film Moonraker and had lines from it memorized.
- Despite being referred to as "Nat" many times, Romanoff actually hates being called that nickname.
Behind the Scenes
- Scarlett Johansson was pregnant during the filming of Avengers: Age of Ultron, so many of her scenes were scheduled early in filming before she began to show. To help hide her pregnancy later in filming, three stunt doubles were hired. This caused quite a bit of confusion among the other actors since, according to them, all of the stuntwomen looked very similar to Johansson. Chris Evans stated that it got to the point where he would say hello and start a conversation with one of them, only to realize that the person he was talking to was not Johansson. Ultimately, some scenes used CGI to hide Johansson's pregnancy.
- The role of Black Widow was originally offered to Emily Blunt, but she turned it down.
- Before given the role of Black Widow in Iron Man 2, Johansson wanted the role so badly that she dyed her hair red.
- Scarlett Johansson was uncredited for her appearance in Captain Marvel.
- Gemma Arterton, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Natalie Portman, Eliza Dushku and Angelina Jolie were also considered for the role. Natalie Portman would later play Jane Foster in Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Endgame and Thor: Love and Thunder and Angelina Jolie would later play Thena in Eternals.
- Heidi Moneymaker, Bridgett Riley, Amy Johnston, Mandy Kowalski, Casey Michaels, Helen Steinway Bailey, Crystal Hooks, Tara Macken, Rebecca Bujko, C.C. Ice, Michaela McAllister, Dena Sodano, Lucy Jayne Murray, Mickey Facchinello, Sarah Lezito and Martin Ivanov were stunt doubles for Scarlett Johansson in the role of Black Widow.
- Dina Cataldi, Rachel Steele, Faye Sewell, Amanda Fordham and Alexandra Doyle were stand-ins for Scarlett Johansson in the role of Black Widow.
- Megan Harwick was a photo double for Scarlett Johansson in the role of Black Widow.
- In an earlier idea for Black Widow, Romanoff and Belova were adversaries and Belovatried to dethrone her, but Johansson didn't like it and thought it wouldn't work.
- Iron Man 2
- The Avengers
- The Avengers Prelude: Black Widow Strikes
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier Infinite Comic
- Translates from German to: "Young Lady"
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Black Widow
- Black Widow (film) Deleted Scene
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.12: Hot Potato Soup
- Avengers: Endgame
- Translates from German to: "Lovely"
- Spider-Man: Far From Home
- Ms. Marvel: 1.01: Generation Why
- Natasha Romanoff's Birth Certificate
- Black Widow Prelude
- Hawkeye: 1.06: So This Is Christmas?
- Iron Man 2: Black Widow: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Iron Man 2 Deleted Scene
- The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week
- The Avengers: The Avengers Initiative
- Translates from Russian to: "My God!"
- Iron Man 3 Prelude
- Captain America: Homecoming
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier Deleted Scene
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.04: Face My Enemy
- Avengers: Operation HYDRA
- Peyton Reed on Twitter
- Captain America: Road to War
- Captain America: Civil War
- Captain America: Civil War Deleted Scene
- Avengers: Infinity War Prelude
- The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: 1.01: New World Order
- Captain Marvel Prelude
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Captain Marvel Mid-credits Scenes
- The Falcon and The Winter Soldier 1.03: Power Broker
- Avengers: Endgame Deleted Scene
- Black Widow Post-credits Scene
- Hawkeye: 1.01: Never Meet Your Heroes
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.19: The Only Light in the Darkness
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.17: The Hub
- Iron Man (video game)
- Emily Blunt admits turning down two major Marvel roles including Black Widow
- Black Widow: Scarlett Johansson Reveals Alternate Version of the Movie That Just Didn’t Work
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