Ahead of Avengers: Endgame, we’re counting down the top five best Black Widow moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (thus far).
(This article is part of a larger series. View the other best original Avengers moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe here.)
Natasha Romanoff. Natalie Rushman. Natalia Alianova. Nat. Black Widow. No matter what name you know her by, you know that she’s quite the badass and that “the boys” would never have gotten as far as they did (or won as much as they have) without her. After all, she’s always picking up after them in one way or another.
It’s always been that way. As a member of the original six (and technically, the first *official* member of The Avengers as we know it), Natasha has played a pivotal role in every mission and every movie. While it’s going to be difficult to say goodbye to the original Avengers, it’s going to be especially difficult to come to terms with the fact that we won’t be seeing Black Widow nearly as often.
Although she has yet to have her much-earned time in the spotlight (seriously, when is that Black Widow movie coming?!), Nat has had quite a few shining moments in Marvel movies over the last 10 years. To celebrate her badassery and bid goodbye to the end of an era (or so Avengers: Endgame is promising), here are THE top five best Black Widow moments that we’ll never, ever forget.
5. Black Widow vs Hawkeye in ‘The Avengers’
Fights of good vs. evil are interesting to watch, but fights between good friends are *better.* Perhaps that’s why the scene where Black Widow goes up against a brainwashed Hawkeye in The Avengers is so gripping. We’re meant to care about both of them (even if we really just got introduced to them in this movie), which makes the stakes of this fight so much higher than if Black Widow were just fighting some nameless goon. We see how much Natasha cares for Clint in how she moves more defensively than offensively and, when she does move to strike, she does so in a calculated way that shows that she doesn’t even want to knock him out. The way she and Clint move around each other is beautiful and practically dance-like. While they’re both fascinating to watch, Nat is the one that really steals the show.
4. Nat on the causeway in ‘The Winter Soldier’
Before Steve and Nat decide to go on the run in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, she tells a short story about her previous run in with the Winter Soldier and just how skilled he is. However, it isn’t until the fight on the causeway where we see just how evenly matched Black Widow and the Winter Soldier are.
We very rarely see her go up against someone who has a similarly polished yet ruthless fighting style, let alone someone who actually poses a challenge for her. Their fight has so many satisfying twists, turns, and surprises that, honestly, we could watch this scene all day. (Or a movie of the two of them both fighting each other and others… *hint hint* DISNEY.)
3. The opening of ‘Civil War’
It’s so fascinating to watch Nat’s progression over the years, both in personality and fighting style. That progress is probably most apparent in the opening of Captain America: Civil War. Not only is Nat at the top of her game, fighting-wise (I mean, that crazy move in the Lagos market where she hooks herself around multiple men to take them down is amazing), but you can also see just how much she has grown to care about the people around her. Everything she does, every move she makes is to protect the people around her, whether or not she knows them.
The Black Widow at the beginning of Civil War is the one we’d been waiting for since she first appeared in Iron Man 2. (It’s too bad that we haven’t seen too much of that Nat *since* Civil War given her limited screen time in subsequent movies…)
2. Recovering at Sam’s place, talking to Steve in ‘The Winter Soldier’
Aside from the fact that we’d all love to see how Nat became Black Widow (in terms of her training and the ruthlessness of the Red Room), one of the reasons a lot of us have been clamoring for a Black Widow movie is that we don’t get a lot of quiet and introspective character-building moments with the feisty redhead. But this scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier demonstrates that Natasha isn’t always as confident or impervious as she may appear.
After Steve and Nat find out that they’ve been unknowingly working for Hydra for years and were almost killed by their colleagues, Nat is visibly shaken. She’s vulnerable in a way we very rarely see, but, instead of being a sign of weakness, her vulnerability only endears her to us even more. Scarlett Johansson’s performance in this scene is beautifully nuanced and, to be honest, one of her best in the entire MCU so far.
1. Black Widow’s interrogation at the beginning of ‘The Avengers’
While Iron Man 2 is technically the film that introduces Natasha Romanoff into the MCU (and to all of us), her first scene in The Avengers is truly the introduction of who she is as a character. Incredibly cunning and completely convincing (not to mention super sassy), Nat keeps us all guessing about what she’ll do next from moment to moment. And then, when she leaps up and starts attacking the criminals with her chair, it’s hard not to watch her in total amazement.
When it comes to Black Widow’s introduction, this scene makes us all ask “Iron Man 2 who?” Not only that, but when it comes to her legacy, this is always the first scene that comes to mind when thinking of the Black Widow we all know and love.
BONUS! That time Black Widow (almost) starred in her very own rom com
As terrible and cringe-worthy as it looks, it’s hard not to kind of wish that Black Widow: Age of Me was a real movie. Sure, it flattens Black Widow’s character and reduces her to a one-dimensional woman who’s only passion is pining for love, but it honestly doesn’t do her as much of a disservice as Age of Ultron did. At this point, we’ve been waiting for a Black Widow movie for so long that we’d honestly take the bananas Black Widow rom-com that SNL teased back in 2015. This is what it’s come to.
All jabs aside though, this trailer for a Black Widow rom com really highlights all of Nat’s best qualities by playing up those that she doesn’t really possess. It’s through the contrast that this trailer provides that reminds us all of what makes Natasha so special and so badass. The awkward moments and meet-cutes in this SNL digital short make us really appreciate all of the best Black Widow moments we’ve gotten in the MCU so far.