In the last decade, Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, has appeared in eight Marvel Cinematic Universe films. After her career as a spy, she joined the superhero team the Avengers and was integral in several battles during the Infinity conflicts.
There have been a lot of superb spy moments in the Marvel movies, but these eight are my favorite. I’m of course going with eight because of spiders having eight legs. Seemed appropriate.
Hammer Industries Break-in
This was Black Widow’s first time showing off her abilities and she was impressive. Natasha Romanoff plowed through the security team of Hammer Industries, a weapons manufacturer mind you, without breaking a sweat.
Her elite spy status was elevated a few moments later when she was able to reverse what Whiplash did to War Machine’s operating system.
Closing the Portal
Black Widow took down her fair share of Chitauri invaders, but her major contribution to the Battle of New York in “The Avengers” was closing the doorway to prevent more troops from coming in. Despite the fantastic powers of the Avengers, Black Widow was the one to realize that even they would get worn down eventually.
She then jumped onto a moving alien craft, maneuvered it to the top of Stark Tower, and with the help of the Hulk and Hawkeye subduing Loki, took the Mind Stone staff and shut down the portal machine after Iron Man sent a nuclear missile through. It was a good strategy, and it made sense for Black Widow, a spy, to go on a mission to knock out the enemy’s tech while Thor and Hulk mopped up the foot soldiers.
SHIELD had a lot of elite employees, but one of their own still made it through to take down HYDRA. Black Widow shocked SHIELD Secretary Alexander Pierce when she revealed that it was her, not an agency executive, blocking his plans.
She took out a group of agents with ease before her reveal and created time for Nick Fury to arrive and authorize the removal of SHIELD’s encryption protection, allowing her to expose HYDRA’s corruption.
While Captain America was keeping Ultron busy with his shield throws, Black Widow was working on securing the crate holding what would become Vision, which already had the Mind Stone attached. She manages to get in the semi-trailer where it’s located, which became airborne because of Ultron sentinels, and then pulls off a daring stunt to get the package to Hawkeye who was flying a quinjet.
While she gets captured in the process, her mission was accomplished as the Avengers were able to get Vision, and she was later able to lead the team to Sokovia where Ultron was operating.
Black Widow entered the Battle of Sokovia with help from the Hulk and had a good deal of success fighting the Ultron sentinels. She may not have had the kill counts as Hulk or Thor, but she held her own against an army of robots.
One great highlight was when she tag-teamed with Captain America, which included her using the red, white and blue shield.
Choosing Stark’s Side
Despite having a strong relationship with Captain America and knowing how agencies can become corrupted, Romaoff still made the bold choice to support the Sokovia Accords, siding with Iron Man in the process. In the debate on the subject, Romanoff noted how the Avengers have made mistakes in their past and having a channel of accountability could be a positive.
The move wasn’t easy to do, especially considering the events of “Civil War.” One has to respect Romanoff’s resolve to make such a decision. While corruption can happen within governments or agencies, such as HYDRA going into SHIELD, Romanoff also was aware that unregulated vigilantes being able to do whatever they want, whenever they want, shouldn’t be the main way for the heroes to operate.
Leading the Avengers
After executing Thanos following the snap, the Avengers were left with half of the universe’s population being erased. While Thor left to establish New Asgard and unfortunately fell into rough spot in his life, the remaining Avengers had to regroup and handle crises happening on Earth and on other worlds.
After five years, Tony Stark retired, Hawkeye went missing and the remaining Avengers continued to work on keeping the peace and helping in emergencies. As we find out early on in “Endgame,” the one leading the team from Avengers HQ is Romanoff.
Likely taking inspiration from both Nick Fury and Captain America, Romanoff is shown to be a leader monitoring a lot of situations, and has been doing so for half a decade.
In the scene featuring a team meeting, all of the other Avengers, even Captain Marvel, who’s proven to be incredibly powerful, shows respect to Romanoff. While it’s a great burden, especially with what comes to light with Hawkeye, the scene also clearly shows how valuable Black Widow has been in keeping the crew together to handle the situation.
Sacrifice for the Soul Stone
The Time Heist was a success, but one Avengers was lost in the process. After protecting the Earth from alien invasions, a rogue A.I. and fascistic organizations, as well as giving leadership to remaining heroes to maintain peace, Black Widow sacrificed her life.
Not only did her effort allow Hawkeye to have a future with his family, she also allowed the Avengers to get the Soul Stone, making it possible for trillions of lives to be restored.