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"Why does a mouse born in a cage run on that little wheel? Do you know I was cycled through the Red Room four times before you were even born? Those walls are all I know. I was never given a choice."
―Melina Vostokoff to Natasha Romanoff[src]

Melina Vostokoff (Russian: Мелина Востокова) is a scientist and the Red Room operative who has been through the Black Widow program four times, as well as the adoptive mother of Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova. While working for Dreykov, Vostokoff helped him develop a brainwashing mechanism that he used on Black Widows after Romanoff's defection. After reuniting with Romanoff, Belova, and Alexei Shostakov, Vostokoff joined them in their mission to liberate the Widows and terminate the Red Room once and for all.


Red Room Assassin

Black Widow Training

At some time, Melina Vostokoff was taken from her home and raised in the Red Room to become a member of the Black Widows. Vostokoff was recycled four times to become a full fledged killer, all prior to 1984.[1]

Undercover Mission

Vostokoff undercover in Ohio

In 1992, Vostokoff went undercover with Alexei Shostakov, who was Dreykov's business partner to steal data from S.H.I.E.L.D. in Ohio in the United States of America. To make their cover more plausible, they adopted two girls named Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova, and raised them as their daughters. For three years, they lived a double life until the mission was successful in 1995. Vostokoff and Shostakov wanted to defect but they were soon found by S.H.I.E.L.D. and local police, which forced them to leave Ohio.

Vostokoff on the plane with her daughters

After getting on a plane, Vostokoff was shot and injured badly. When the plane landed in Cuba, she was taken away to receive medical attention. During this time, Romanoff and Belova were taken to be trained in the Red Room Academy as Black Widows. Sometime later, Vostokoff went off the grid and settled in a farm near St. Petersburg.[1]

Betraying Dreykov

Reunion with her Family

Vostokoff speaks with her family

In 2016, Vostokoff was reunited with Alexei Shostakov, Natasha Romanoff, and Yelena Belova in St. Petersburg, after her sensors detected movement in her perimeter. Inviting them inside, she admired Shostakov when he tried on his Red Guardian uniform and told them about her mind control experiment. To demonstrate, she showed them Alexei, her pet pig that she could control.

Vostokoff speaks with Natasha Romanoff

Later that night, she spoke with Romanoff and told her about how Dreykov ordered the death of her biological mother when she tried to expose the Red Room to the world.[1]

Making a Plan

She then put a plan in motion with Natasha Romanoff to destroy the Red Room. Vostokoff and Romanoff swapped clothes and used Photostatic Veils to disguise themselves. When the Black Widows arrived, Vostokoff pretended to be unconscious and was taken up in their aircraft.[1]

Destruction of the Red Room

Vostokoff with Alexei Shostakov

Once in the Red Room, Vostokoff unlocked the cells as she had created them in the Red Room Academy and explained to Alexei Shostakov what she and Natasha Romanoff did.

Vostokoff tries to help Yelena Belova out

Vostokoff then attempted to hack into the system to give directions to Yelena Belova to use the vents to disperse the Red Dust to cure the mind-controlled Black Widows. However, this failed as Dreykov locked her out of the system and quarantined her. Staying in touch with Yelena, she escapes via a vent and ends up cornered over one of the engines. Surrendering at first, she then used her grenade launcher to shoot debris into the propeller, destroying the engine and sending the Red Room into a controlled crash. Vostokoff informed Yelena that there was little time left and that she needed to free the Widows as quick as possible before coming to Shostakov's aid, launching Taskmaster into a cell and locking it up. She then piloted the plane away as the Red Room exploded.[1]

Family Split Apart

Vostokoff says goodbye to Natasha Romanoff

After landing on the ground, Vostokoff and Alexei Shostakov reunited with Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova. The four shared a moment together, but Romanoff then alerted them to Thaddeus Ross who had found them. Vostokoff, along with the other two, wanted to stay to fight but was persuaded by Romanoff to leave and that everything would be okay. Vostokoff then left with the newly liberated Black Widows on their aircraft.


"Your pain only makes you stronger."
―Melina Vostokoff[src]

Melina is shown to be very compassionate and sweet to others such as Yelena Belova or Natasha Romanoff when she and Alexei Shostakov were looking after them while trying to access data from S.H.I.E.L.D. She has also show signs of loyalty to the "Family" and towards the Red Room and Dreykov, having served under them for a long time, but was willing to listen and be persuaded by Natasha that Dreykov needed to be killed.


  • Master Martial Artist: Having gone through the Red Room training process four times, Vostokoff is an incredibly skilled combatant and martial artist. She was able to dispatch the soldiers in the Red Room with ease, even able to use a typical head scissor throw to catch Taskmaster off guard and flung her into a cell, whereas Natasha failed to subdue her with the same technique.
  • Staff Mastery: As a Black Widow, Vostokoff is highly skilled in using a staff.
  • Knife Mastery: As a Black Widow, Vostokoff is highly skilled in using a knife.
  • Master Marksman:

    Vostokoff aiming her sniper rifle

    As a Black Widow, Vostokoff is highly trained in the use of firearms. She is proficient with sniper rifles, as she prepared to take down the people approaching her farm, until she realized they were her surrogate family. She later used a rifle's grenade launcher with ease.
  • Master Acrobat: As a Black Widow, Vostokoff was highly skilled in incorporating gymnastics and acrobatics into her fighting style as she battles opponents.
  • Master Spy: Vostokoff is an expert spy, able to play the pretend part of Alexei Shostakov's wife and the mother of Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova perfectly without arousing suspicion. She was able to deceive Romanoff, Belova and Shostakov and set them up to get captured by the Red Room before she turned sides.
  • Master Assassin: Vostokoff has been indoctrinated by the Red Room four times to become an elite assassin.
"She was the scientist, the strategist. I was the muscle. She worked directly for Dreykov far more than I ever did."
Alexei Shostakov[src]
  • Expert Scientist: Vostokoff was able to make a chemical that could control pigs' minds.
  • Expert Tactician: According to Shostakov, Vostokoff is a skilled tactician who is able to make strategies on the fly and adapt to different situations.
  • Pilot: Vostokoff is able to fly a plane, and was the designated pilot in their escape plan. She later taught a young Romanoff how to fly it to escape. When infiltrating to destroy the Red Room, Vostokoff was able to fly a jet after the Red Room's destruction.
  • Bilingualism: Vostokoff is able to speak and understand her native Russian and English.



"Hey, no funny business."
"I am putting away my weapon."
Natasha Romanoff and Melina Vostokoff[src]

Melina with her rifle

  • Blaser R93 Tactical: Vostokoff armed herself with a sniper rifle when people approached her farm, but lowered her sights when she recognized them as her surrogate family.

Other Equipment

  • Uniform: To be added
  • Winter Uniform: To be added


  • Helicopter: To be added







  • In the comics, Melina Vostokoff is an agent of the Russian Government who eventually left Russia to become a freelance mercenary and assassin, codenamed Iron Maiden.

Behind the Scenes


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