Red Room Training
- “In the Red Room,
where I was trained, where I was raised, they have a graduation ceremony. They sterilize you. It’s efficient. One less thing to worry about. The one thing that might matter more than a mission. Makes everything easier, even killing.”
- ―Natasha Romanoff to Bruce Banner
Natalia Alianovna Romanoff was born in 1984 in Stalingrad. At a young age, either while living an orphaned life on the streets or being raised by the state, Romanoff was recruited into the KGB by General Dreykov. At a Red Room Academy, she endured both an education and indoctrination into the world of spy-craft. Romanoff became the star pupil in in this strict training environment and soon became regarded as a master spy and one of the world’s
greatest assassins. Whilst in the Red Room Academy, she excelled in her marksman skills, which resulted in her being forced to execute an innocent man, which would later haunt her.
Romanoff’s ruthless effectiveness in later years earned her the Black Widow mantle, deriving from the program she went through.
As a final ceremony to complete her training, Romanoff was sterilized, as to avoid any distractions and focus solely on her missions, something she deeply regretted later in her life.
On S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Radar
- “I have a very specific skill set. I didn’t care who I used it for, or on. I got on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s radar in a bad way. Agent Barton was sent to kill me. He made a different call.”
- ―Black Widow to Loki
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. Hawkeye disobeyed this order, recognizing Romanoff’s skills, and recommended her for recruitment into S.H.I.E.L.D.. At the behest of Fury, Romanoff later defected from Russia and joined the ranks 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.
From that moment on, she developed a lasting partnership with Barton, becoming best friends with him. Together, they had tactical missions within Budapest, and 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.
Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- “Oh, wow, very, very impressive individual. She’s fluent in French, Italian, Russian, Latin. Who speaks Latin?”
“No one speaks Latin, it’s a dead language. You can read Latin, or you can write Latin, but you can’t speak Latin.”
“Did you model in Tokyo? ‘Cause she modeled in Tokyo.”
- ―Tony Stark and Pepper Potts
Under the name “Natalie Rushman,” Romanoff started modeling in 2004, working in Tokyo, Italy, France and the United States as part of an undercover operation from 2005 to 2007. To further polish her identity, she obtained a BA and MA in history from the University of Southern Carolina in 2005 and 2007, respectively. By 2010, Romanoff was additionally studying at Harvard University and had interned at Hammer Industries.
Ambushed by the Winter Soldier
- “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
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
- “Who is she?”
“She is from legal, and she is potentially a very expensive sexual harassment lawsuit if you keep ogling her like that.”
“I need a new assistant.”
- ―Tony Stark and Pepper Potts
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. Later, Romanoff was 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 went to hit 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.
- “You look fantastic.”
“Why, thank you very much.”
“But that’s unprofessional. What’s on the docket?”
- ―Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff
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
- “If this was your last birthday party that you were going to have, how would you celebrate it?”
“I would do whatever I want to do, with whoever I wanted to do it with.”
- ―Natasha Romanoff and Tony Stark
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.
- “We’ve secured the perimeter. But I don’t think we should hold it for too much longer.”
“Huh. You’re f… fired.”
“That’s not up to you.”
- ―Black Widow and Tony Stark
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 compound 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.
Hunt for Ivan Vanko
- “When we arrive, I need you to watch the perimeter. I’m gonna enter the facility and take down the target. Watch the road.”
- ―Natasha Romanoff to Happy Hogan
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 James 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
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 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.
Security on the Helicarrier
- “I don’t know how you snuck into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s top-secret carrier, buster… But I know how you’re going out.”
- ―Black Widow to Hawkeye
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
- “And… what do you get out of this if you “win”?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, didn’t I mention? If I win, I take over the mantle of Black Widow.”
- ―Natasha Romanoff and Sofia
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
- “We need you to talk to the big guy.”
“Coulson, you know that Stark trusts me about as far as he can throw me.”
“Oh, I’ve got Stark. You get the big guy.”
- ―Phil Coulson and Black Widow
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 Bruce Banner which she hesitated and asked to recruit Tony Stark, which Coulson was going to cover. Romanoff then picked up her shoes and left the warehouse and went to go induct Bruce Banner into the Avengers.
Recruiting Bruce Banner
- “Are you here to kill me, Ms. Romanoff? Because that’s not going to work out for everyone.”
“No, of course not. I’m here on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D..”
- ―Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff
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 not cooperate. 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 mocked rage to test her reaction; she pulled a gun on him and aimed it at his head, but Banner calmly explained he was testing her. 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
- “It was quite the buzz around here, finding you in the ice. I thought Coulson was gonna swoon.”
- ―Natasha Romanoff to Steve Rogers
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.
- “I’d sit this one out, Cap.”
“I don’t see how I can.”
“These guys come from legends, they’re basically gods.”
“There’s only one God, ma’am. And I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.”
- ―Black Widow and Captain America
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 to ask if she had missed him, making Romanoff smile.
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, when Romanoff warned him that he should sit this one out as Thor comes from legend and is basically a god, but he chose to fight anyway.
- “I’ve got red in my ledger, I’d like to wipe it out.”
“Can you? Can you wipe out that much red? Dreykov’s daughter? São Paulo? The hospital fire? Barton told me everything.”
- ―Natasha Romanoff and Loki
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
informed him that Loki had killed eighty people in two days making Thor tell them 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.
- “Loki is manipulating you.”
“And you’ve been doing what exactly?”
“You didn’t come here because I bat my eyelashes at you.”
“And I’m not leaving because suddenly you get a little twitchy.”
- ―Natasha Romanoff and Bruce Banner
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.
Attack on the Helicarrier
- “Dr. Banner… Bruce, you gotta fight it. This is just what Loki
wants. We’re gonna be okay. Listen to me. We’re gonna be okay, right? I
swear on my life, I will get you out of this! You will walk away, and
- ―Natasha Romanoff and Bruce Banner
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 too angry. 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 and nearly killed her. 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 2 of her ribs. As Hulk went to kill Romanoff, Thor charged into Hulk saving Romanoff.
Still dazed after her encounter with Hulk, Romanoff was forced 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 death by Nick Fury.
Clint Barton’s Recovery
- “Do you know what it’s like to be unmade?”
“You know I do.”
- ―Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff
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.
Battle of New York
- “Just like Budapest, all over again.”
“You and I remember Budapest very differently.”
- ―Black Widow and Hawkeye
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. Bruce Banner, meanwhile, reunited with the Avengers, arriving at the site on a motorcycle. Banner deemed it an appropriate time to morph into Hulk.
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 a 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
- “Captain, none of this is going to mean a damn thing if we can’t close that portal.”
“Our biggest guns couldn’t touch it.”
“Well, maybe it’s not about guns.”
- ―Black Widow and Captain America
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
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.
- “My work for S.H.I.E.L.D.
has taken me all over the world… and that is, without a doubt, not
just the best milkshake in Brooklyn… but on the whole darn planet.”
- ―Natasha Romanoff to Steve Rogers
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
- “Hey, fellas. Either one of you know where the Smithsonian is? I’m here to pick up a fossil.”
- ―Natasha Romanoff to Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson
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. The two then drove away to meet up with the STRIKE team.
Fighting the Pirates
- “You’re saving S.H.I.E.L.D. intel.”
“Whatever I can get my hands on.”
“Our mission is to rescue hostages.”
“No, that’s your mission, and you’ve done it beautifully.”
- ―Captain America and Black Widow
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”
- “Most of the intelligence community doesn’t believe he exists, the ones that do call him the Winter Soldier. He’s credited with over two dozen assassinations in the last 50 years.”
- ―Natasha Romanoff to Steve Rogers
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.
- “Kiss me.”
“Public displays of affection makes people very uncomfortable.”
“Yes, they do.”
- ―Natasha Romanoff and Steve Rogers
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.