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"Pain and suffering is every day and we are both still a trained killer. Except I'm not the one that's on the cover of a magazine. I'm not the killer that little girls call their hero."
―Yelena Belova to Natasha Romanoff[src]

Yelena Belova (Russian: Елена Белова) is an elite spy and assassin who received her training in the Red Room, the same organization which trained Natasha Romanoff. Like Romanoff, Belova was known as Black Widow.

Biography

Early Life

"You are my mother. You were my real mother. The closest thing I ever had to one. The best part of my life was fake. And none of you told me."
―Yelena Belova to Melina Vostokoff[src]

Belova undercover in Ohio

Yelena Belova was born in the Soviet Union in 1988–1989. When she was three years old, she was assigned by Dreykov to play the role as the younger daughter of Alexei Shostakov and Melina Vostokoff, with Natasha Romanoff playing her older sister. They then moved to the United States of America to Ohio on a deep undercover assignment, although due to her young age, Belova was unaware of the assignment and believed them to be her real family. Three years later, in 1995, while playing in the backyard with Romanoff, she scraped her knee and called for her mother. Vostokoff came and helped her up and the three went inside. After dinner, Shostakov came and delivered news that the family had to leave within the hour. As they drove away, S.H.I.E.L.D. attempted to arrest them with help from the local police, but Shostakov resisted them with a gun. Vostokoff, Romanoff, and Belova boarded a plane while Shostakov rode on the outside.

Belova hugs Natasha Romanoff

The family flew to Cuba and with their mission over, the family was separated. As soldiers attempted to pull them apart, Belova clung to Romanoff while her older sister held the soldiers at gunpoint after taking one’s weapon. Shostakov then came and comforted them telling them that they were tough and that everything would be alright. The two were then sedated and brought to the Red Room. There, Belova was separated from Romanoff and trained to become a Black Widow, going on multiple assignments.[1]

Termination of the Red Room

Attack on the Red Dust Cell

Belova on a mission in Morocco

In 2016, Belova was sent to Morocco on an assignment with a team of Widows to retrieve the substance known as Red Dust: a substance that could break the mind control that kept the widows all under Dreykov's orders and rule. The team managed to locate the target holding the cure: a former Widow named Oksana. Oksana managed to evade them but Belova caught up to her and, after a brutal fight, managed to fatally wound her — but not before Oskana managed to free Belova by spraying her with the dust.

Belova is freed by the Red Dust

Freed, Belova was horrified at what she had done, but Oksana told her that it was too late for her and begs her to free the other Widows before succumbing to her wounds. Determined to keep her promise, Belova cut out the tracker in her leg and went dark. However, realizing this would only last so long, she came up with the idea to send the vials of Red Dust to Natasha Romanoff who was now an Avenger, figuring she would have the resources to keep the Red Dust safe.[1]

Chase for the Red Dust

Belova confronts Natasha Romanoff

Belova went to Budapest, Hungary to Natasha Romanoff's old apartment and waited for her there. When Romanoff arrived, Belova confronted her at gunpoint, unsure if they could trust each other fully. When Belova refused to put her gun down, a confrontation ensued. After the two choked each other with a curtain, Romanoff called for a truce in Russian, marking an end to their fight.

Belova tells Natasha Romanoff about the Red Room

After that, Belova asked about the "bullet holes" on the wall, and Romanoff informed her that they came from arrows. Belova then told Romanoff about the Red Room still being active, and Romanoff reacted in a shocked manner, recalling that she had killed Dreykov. Belova asked her how she killed Dreykov and whether they found his body, but Romanoff replied that there was no body to find, since the bomb was too destructive.

Belova escapes with Natasha Romanoff

Soon, Black Widows surrounded the apartment, and Belova and Romanoff were forced to escape by way of the rooftops to the other side of the complex, where Belova said her motorbike was. Belova and Romanoff then pushed a pipe over the side of the building to escape. A Widow also jumped on as well, but lost her grip and fell into the alley below. Belova ended up crashing through a window while Romanoff landed in the alley next to the Widow, who commits suicide in front of Romanoff against her will. After recovering, Belova reconvenes with Romanoff. Romanoff asked her how many Widows were out there, and Belova replied enough and went to the motorcycle. Romanoff drove it while Belova jumped on behind her and the two tried to escape from the Widows.

Belova continues to escape with Natasha Romanoff

However, they soon crashed and were thrown off the motorcycle. In order to keep escaping, Belova hijacked a car, forcing a Hungarian man out by gunpoint, to Romanoff's displeasure, and jumped inside. As Romanoff drove them through the city, Belova asked what plan Romanoff had to evade the Widows, but Romanoff replies that her plan was just to drive them away. In order to get rid of a Widow pursuing them, Belova opened her car door, causing it to hit a pole and fly into the Widow, knocking her out. They were then attacked by Taskmaster, who shot explosive arrows at the car, causing it to topple over and land in a subway station. Belova and Romanoff had jumped out, with Belova injuring her arm. They go deeper into the station and successfully lure away Taskmaster by using Belova's blood to create a fake trail while they hid in a nearby vent.[1]

Sisterly Bonding

Belova and Natasha Romanoff catch up

"You just didn't want your baby sister to tag along, whilst you saved the world with the cool kids."
"You weren't really my sister."
"And the Avengers aren't really your family."
―Yelena Belova and Natasha Romanoff[src]

Once they were in the clear, Romanoff took Belova to a nearby gas station to get medical supplies for her arm. While there, Romanoff questions if Belova knew where the Red Room was now, but Belova informs her that she didn't, as Dreykov moved locations constantly and sedated every Widow on entry and exit for maximum security. Romanoff wonders aloud about how Dreykov could've stayed off her radar for so long, with Belova retorting that it would not be smart to attack an Avenger if you wanted to stay hidden. Belova then changes the subject, asking Romanoff where she thought she was after all these years. Romanoff replies that she thought Belova had somehow escaped the Red Room and was living a normal life. Belova wonders why Romanoff never tried to look for her if that was the case, where Romanoff admits that she thought Belova would not want to see her. Belova calls out her bluff, claiming that Romanoff just didn't want her little sister to tag along while she "saved the world with the cool kids", but Romanoff reveals to her that they are not actually sisters.

Belova rides with Natasha Romanoff

When they were finished with dinner, Romanoff and Belova drove off in a car to meet Romanoff's friend in order to get help. While on the way, Belova was told by Romanoff that she liked her green vest.

Belova meets Rick Mason

Belova and Romanoff arrived in Norway and Belova was promptly introduced to Rick Mason, Romanoff's old friend from S.H.I.E.L.D.. Mason supplied Romanoff and Belova with an aircraft, which they took to go and find their adopted father.[1]

Prison Breakout

Belova fires a missile at Seventh Circle Prison

Belova and Natasha Romanoff flew the aircraft to Seventh Circle Prison in Russia and coordinated with Alexei Shostakov to escape from imprisonment. Hovering above the prison, Belova used her missile launcher to create an distraction while Shostakov was trying to escape from the prison guards and Romanoff was trying to help him. Belova stayed in the air and waited for them to come back and took off just as an avalanche was caused by the missile.[1]

Flight to St. Petersburg

Belova with Natasha Romanoff and Alexei Shostakov

After rescuing Alexei Shostakov, Belova and Natasha Romanoff were told that they needed to ask Melina Vostokoff about Dreykov's whereabouts, as he didn't know. Belova commented that they wouldn't be able to reach St. Petersburg as they were low on fuel, but Shostakov told her they could make it.[1]

Melina Vostokoff's House

Belova is hugged by Alexei Shostakov

Upon landing somewhat roughly due to the helicopter having run out of fuel, Belova and Natasha Romanoff were hugged by Alexei Shostakov who voiced how proud he was of his daughters for their respective achievements. A disgusted and angered Romanoff quickly broke from his grasp as Shostakov held Belova, patted her, and gave her a kiss on the forehead. However, Belova remarked on how bad he smelled, due to having been in prison and broke the embrace as well.

Belova speaks with Melina Vostokoff

Eventually the three arrived at Melina Vostokoff’s farm, where the reunited “family” sat at a table for dinner. Belova sat down with Romanoff, Vostokoff, and Shostakov, who had changed into his Red Guardian suit. They then discussed Vostokoff’s involvement in the Red Room as she revealed that their successful mission in Ohio twenty-one years ago was to achieve the ability to effectively mind control a person and take their free will from them with Vostokoff demonstrating this on one of her pigs, Alexei, by commanding it to stop breathing before reviving it. As the conversation became more heated, Romanoff bluntly denied the significance of their family and claimed that it wasn’t real. A heartbroken Belova, however, voiced how she believed their family was real even though she knew the history behind it, and vented her anger at Vostokoff and Shostakov for their part in her becoming a killer with no free will in the Red Room and Romanoff for doing nothing to help her once she managed to escape and stormed off.

Belova bonds with Alexei Shostakov

While in a bedroom, Shostakov joined her and despite insisting she did not want to talk he stayed anyway in silence with her for a little while. However he ended up telling her a story of a fishing incident with his father that had gone wrong and ended with his father having to urinate in his hands to prevent frostbite from taking over, much to Belova’s annoyance and disgust as she stopped him and questioned the relevance of the story. Shostakov attempted to explain to her that fathers will try to do their best for their children, but Belova scoffed at this, reminding him that since they freed him, he had done nothing but essentially complain about how bored and annoyed he was with the assignment of having to act as her father despite the fact that to her he had meant everything and she loved him like a father before telling him to get out.

Belova smiles at the "American Pie" song

Shostakov seemed to comply before stopping and began singing “American Pie.” This was Belova's favorite song as a child and she smiled upon hearing it, delighted to bond with her father. Together the two sang the song. However this moment of bonding was interrupted when the Black Widows located the farm and subdued Shostakov with numerous tranquilizer darts. Belova ran out of the room only to be shocked unconscious shortly after by "Vostokoff," Romanoff in disguise, and taken hostage upon the Widows' helicopter.[1]

Fall of the Red Room

Surgery

Belova back in the Red Room

When Belova arrived at the Red Room, a floating fortress, she was unconscious in the Black Widows' helicopter. Once inside, they strapped her to a medical bed and prepared her for brain surgery in an attempt to learn how the Red Dust she had inhaled altered the chemical nature of her brain. She then heard Melina Vostokoff's voice in her ear, from the communication device Natasha Romanoff had given her, telling her there was a hidden blade in her suit. She asked what Vostokoff meant loudly, alerting the surgeons, but she played it off as fear of what the surgeons would do to her. She then cut her way out of the straps and took down the surgeons and guards, before setting off to recover the vials of Red Dust.[1]

Recovering the Vials

Belova strikes a pose

Belova crept through the Red Room and knocked out some Red Room guards as she looked for the Red Dust vials. Upon landing from the ceiling, she landed in the fighting stance that reminded her of a poser, much to her disgust. She straightened herself out and continued searching until she found the vials.[1]

Finding the Widows

Now with the vials, Belova fought her way to the Black Widows' main training room in an attempt to set them free with the gas in the vials. When she arrived, no one was there, as the Black Widows had been ordered to attack Natasha Romanoff while she was in Dreykov's lair. Belova fashioned the vials of Red Dust around a grenade to make a throwable gas bomb, and found her way to where the Widows were about to kill Romanoff. She then threw the grenade, setting the Widows free, before helping Romanoff up and removing a knife from her back.[1]

Killing Dreykov

Belova runs towards Dreykov

"This was fun!"
―Yelena Belova to Natasha Romanoff[src]

Seeing Dreykov escaping in his helicopter, Belova ran after them on the runway while the Red Room exploded behind her. She climbed on top of the helicopter next to a propeller and started to put together her baton, intending to stick it in the propeller and break the helicopter, preventing Dreykov's escape in a self-sacrificing move.

Belova breaks the helicopter's propeller

As Dreykov orders his men to shoot at her, Romanoff runs out of the Red Room and sees her on the helicopter. She begs her not to do it, but she instead yells out about how their adventure was fun before plunging her baton into the propeller, destroying the helicopter and throwing her over the edge of the ship.

Belova is given a parachute by Natasha Romanoff

However, Romanoff caught up to her, having acquired two parachutes, and attached one to her as they fell through the sky, before Belova's parachute was set off and she drifted down safely.[1]

Family Spilt Apart

Belova says goodbye to Natasha Romanoff

Belova was woken from her unconsciousness by Natasha Romanoff, and Belova joked that they were both upside-down. Romanoff told her that she was sorry for leaving her "little sister" behind, but Belova told her that it was okay. The two then hugged, but it was interrupted by Alexei Shostakov and Melina Vostokoff's return. The small family then reunited and hugged. Romanoff urged Belova to leave with the one remaining vial of the Red Dust and said goodbye to her. Belova promptly left with the now free Black Widows, with the information Romanoff downloaded, to begin a quest to take down the Red Room's trafficking circles.[1]

Mourning

Belova visits Natasha Romanoff's grave

"You're not supposed to be bothering me on my holiday time, Valentina."
―Yelena Belova to Valentina Allegra de Fontaine[src]

Sometime after the Blip, Belova and her pet dog Fanny went to Natasha Romanoff's gravesite in Ohio. Belova straightened out the stuffed animals, cards, and flowers around the grave while mourning the loss of her sister due to her sacrifice on Vormir for the Soul Stone. She whistled the beginning of the tune that Romanoff would usually return, but no one responded, leading Belova to become emotional.

Belova speaks with Valentina Allegra de Fontaine

While Belova was mourning, she was interrupted by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine blowing her nose. Belova promptly told de Fontaine that she was on holiday leave and wanted a raise to come back. De Fontaine recognized that, but she showed her a picture of Clint Barton, falsely claiming that he was responsible for Romanoff's death and indicating him as the next target.[1]

Personality

"I've never had control over my own life before, and now I do. I want to do things."
―Yelena Belova[src]
This section needs a rewrite

Having spent most of her life in the Red Room, Yelena is a cynical person with a very sarcastic, deadpan sense of humor, with a bit of a bent moral compass as she notably had no problem holding a civilian at gunpoint and stealing his car to get away from pursuers, much to Romanoff's chagrin. Despite this, Yelena does have a strong sense of right and wrong, having no problem with helping Natasha take down the Red Room and freeing the Widows from being held against their will. Having felt abandoned by her family, Yelena notably has a strained relationship with her adopted parents and older sister, telling them outright how betrayed they made her feel when none of them came back for her. Despite this, Yelena still cared and loved them, admitting to Melina Vostokoff that to her she will always be her mother, and telling Alexei that he meant everything to her as a child.

Abilities

"Yelena, you went on to become the greatest child assassin the world has ever known. No one can match your efficiency, your ruthlessness."
Alexei Shostakov to Yelena Belova[src]

Yelena fighting against her sister

  • Master Martial Artist: Having gone through the training of the Red Room and trained to be a Widow, Belova is an incredibly skilled martial artist. She was able to fight Natasha Romanoff evenly, matching her move for move before they had a truce. During the fight she employed a wide variety of throws and locks. Compared to Romanoff's more acrobatic style of fighting, Belova has a more direct and hands-on way of fighting that seems heavily influenced by Sambo. Belova is able to quickly use her surroundings to her advantage and use random items as improvised weaponry. She was capable of fighting off several surgeons at once while escaping the Red Room, and was able to quickly incapacitate a guard by disorientating him and sweeping his legs out from under him.
  • Knife Mastery: As a Black Widow, Belova was shown to be highly skilled using a knife. She used it to quickly kill a former Widow and used it in her fight against Natasha. Belova was also able to quickly throw a knife into a Red Room surgeon's back while making her escape.
  • Staff Mastery: As a Black Widow, Belova is highly skilled in using a staff.
  • Master Marksman:

    Belova aims with a rifle

    Belova is well-trained in firearms, including pistols, sniper rifles and grenade launchers. She could target the tower of the Russian gulag from a long distance.
  • Master Acrobat: As a Black Widow, Belova was highly skilled in incorporating gymnastics and acrobatics into her fighting style as she battles opponents. She has been very flexible since a young age, as she could already assume the upward bow position at the age of six.
  • Master Spy: Trained in the Red Room, Belova is a master in infiltration and spycraft. She created a detailed, extensive background story for her absent family.
  • Master Assassin: As a Black Widow, Belova is a master assassin. She was shown to be able to kill her targets with incredible efficiency.
  • Pilot: Belova was capable of copiloting a helicopter with Natasha Romanoff, and piloting the helicopter by herself when Romanoff left to help Red Guardian.
  • Multilingualism: Belova is able to fluently speak and understand her native Russian, English, and Hungarian.

Equipment

Weapons

Belova aiming her pistol at her sister

  • Glock 26: Belova's preferred weapon is a subcompact pistol. She aimed it at her sister when they reunited after 21 years, but she was disarmed.
  • Heckler & Koch P30: Belova disarmed her sister of her pistol when they reunited after 21 years.
  • Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum: Belova used a sniper rifle on an assignment in Morocco.
  • Heckler & Koch XM25: Belova used a grenade launcher when she and her sister rescued their father from prison.

Other Equipment

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

Vehicles

  • Motorcycle: To be added
  • Helicopter: To be added

Facilities

Relationships

Family

Allies

Enemies

Trivia

  • In the comics, Yelena Belova is a spy who was trained in the Red Room. Assuming the Black Widow alias, Belova was sent to kill Natasha Romanoff but later became an ally of hers. Yelena was later killed by Natasha in Secret Avengers Volume 2 issue 15 but Yelena was later cloned and became the White Widow.
  • Belova's favorite song is "American Pie" by Don McLean.

Behind the Scenes

References

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