Played by Scarlett Johansson, Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, was introduced to audiences nearly a full decade ago as a key supporting character in IRON MAN 2. In the years since, she has become one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, through the first three phases of the superhero franchise, she never got her own solo adventure.
That’s all changing in 2020, as the BLACK WIDOW movie is scheduled to be the first film released as part of Marvel’s Phase 4 plans. Get excited! To help you remember everything that you need to know before her solo debut, we’ve put together this handy guide.
She Originally Was a Russian Spy
While you wouldn’t know it from listening to her talk, as she speaks in a perfect American accent, Natasha Romanoff was born and raised in Russia, though, she didn’t exactly have a normal childhood. From a very early age, she was taken into an elite intelligence agency and trained in the art of espionage at a place called the Red Room. There, she was taught how to become both a living weapon and a master of duplicity, and she spent many years operating as a spy, carrying out missions as Black Widow — including assassinations.
She Eventually Became a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent
While Natasha Romanoff spent a long time working for some really horrible people and, in her words, "adding red to her ledger," she was eventually convinced to change teams. While we don’t know all of the details, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, was sent on a mission to kill her, but he had a change of heart and instead worked to recruit her. Natasha eventually agreed, and working closely alongside S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury, she became one of the organization’s greatest assets.
She Was One of the Original Avengers
After working for years with S.H.I.E.L.D., Natasha become a part of a new outfit, the Avengers, after the world-altering events of 2012. When Loki organized an alien invasion on behalf of Thanos, Natasha was one of six elite heroes — including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk,and Hawkeye — to unite and fight back. As a team, they were able to save the world, and it proved to ultimately be the first of many missions together, as in the years that followed they were able to take down the terrorist organization Hydra, as well as many other known criminals.
She Became a Fugitive Because of the Sokovia Accords
Despite her dark past, Black Widow was heralded as a hero by most people for years, but things started to change in 2016. Because of the collateral damage being left by the Avengers, governments from around the world agreed to sign the Sokovia Accords, documents that were ratified to rein in Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Initially, this was a decision that Natasha agreed with, signing the Accords along with heroes like Iron Man, War Machine, Vision and Black Panther. But during the superhero Civil War, she wound up breaking the new law by helping Captain America and the Winter Soldier escape custody. This action labeled her a fugitive, and it will be shortly after this that the story of the BLACK WIDOW solo movie will begin!