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One of the coolest things about The Avengers is the fact that everyone has his or her favorite member of the team. Each of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is so unique that they all offer something for everybody. That’s what made the recent conflict in Captain America: Civil War so simultaneously awesome and heartbreaking.
However, one character who always seems to come up as a favorite Avenger is Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff a.k.a Black Widow. The badass assassin turned Avenger has remained a key player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since 2010’s Iron Man 2, and yet we still have not gotten the often clamored for Black Widow solo movie. We’ve gone through the entirety of the MCU and compiled a list of the 10 times Ms. Romanoff has proven her worth, showing us why she absolutely deserves to take the center stage for a solo movie in the very near future.
She Takes Down Alexander PierceOne of the biggest qualifiers for being a hero comes from a willingness to make impossible calls and outsmart one’s enemies in dire situations. After going undercover as a member of the World Security Council in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Natasha Romanoff thinks she has HYDRA sleeper Alexander Pierce cornered in the Triskelion until he reveals that she is wearing an explosive charge on her lapel. Seemingly outwitted by the leader of HYDRA, Black Widow opts to electrocute herself with one of her trademark Stingers to (rather painfully) short-circuit the charge – giving Nick Fury a window to gun down Pierce. A Black Widow solo movie would similarly offer ample opportunities for Marvel to force her to think on her feet and show the lengths she will go to in order to win.
She Spills HYDRA's Secrets Onto The Web (And Tells Off Congress In The Process)After spending a lifetime in the shadows, Captain America: The Winter Soldier finally saw Black Widow confront her past as a trained killer and make an enormous sacrifice. Despite Alexander Pierce’s insistence that people in power would come for her, she still chose to dump all of HYDRA’s long-dormant secrets onto the internet and face up to the dastardly acts she had committed prior to becoming a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. Following this exposure of her red ledger, she willingly and defiantly stands in front of Congress to declare that heroes like her and Captain America are the only ones qualified to keep the world safe – before dropping the mic and walking out. The Marvel Cinematic Universe needs more of this awesome heroine who can remove her own ego from the situation and make calls based on what she knows is right.
She Turns On Team Iron Man To Help Steve Rogers EscapeNatasha Romanoff has spent her entire life as a double agent, so playing both sides of a conflict like Civil War comes naturally to her. At the end of the undeniably awesome airport sequence during the recent Marvel adventure, Black Widow turns on Team Iron Man to help Captain America escape when she realizes that prolonged conflict will eventually lead to one of her friends dying. She clearly has a level of strategic prowess and emotional intelligence that far exceeds that of any other Avenger, and we want to see her put those skills to the test by taking center stage on a mission of her very own.
She Takes Down Justin Hammer's ThugsFrom the moment she arrived on the scene in Iron Man 2, it seemed abundantly clear that "Natalie Rushman" was hiding something from Tony Stark, and that there was more to her than met the eye. We as an audience got to truly find out what she was capable of when she went to Justin Hammer’s private facility to take down Ivan Vanko. With (minimal) help from Happy Hogan, Black Widow showed off her insanely cool, acrobatic fighting style, and while she didn’t manage to make it to Vanko in time, she gave James Rhodes back control of the War Machine armor so he and Tony could finish the job. This fight definitively proved that she can lead a last ditch push for victory and take charge of a dire situation when the chaos starts.
She Tricks Loki Into Divulging His PlansYou deserve some special recognition when you manage to trick the God of Mischief. When nobody can seem to figure out exactly what Loki wants on the Helicarrier during The Avengers, Black Widow goes to his prison and feigns weakness in order to lull him into a false sense of security. As his hubris rises, he ultimately boats about his plan to unleash The Hulk on The Avengers in order to fracture them and scatter them in the wind. On a dime she changes back to her usual stoic, cool-headed demeanor and calmly thanks Loki for his cooperation once she has what she needs. Black Widow is a spy, first and foremost; with that in mind we want to see more of her awesome espionage abilities to come into play during a future Marvel Cinematic Universe adventure – even if it means she'll be called a "mewling quim" in the process.
She Outruns An Out-Of-Control Hulk On The S.H.I.E.L.D. HelicarrierBlack Widow doesn’t have the strength of Thor, or the versatility of Iron Man, but she’s fast, agile, and smart as hell. One of the coolest (and actually downright scariest) scenes in the entire MCU comes when Bruce Banner accidentally Hulks out on the Helicarrier during The Avengers. With a twisted ankle, Black Widow is forced to flee and use her immense acrobatic abilities to escape the rampaging beast. Investing in a Black Widow solo movie could allow Marvel the opportunity to show how an average (albeit well-trained) person in the MCU can face off against its toughest superheroes and villains.
She Figures Out The Key To Loki's Scepter, Closing The Portal Above New YorkIt’s worth noting that if Black Widow had not managed to pull this off this off at the end of The Avengers, then the Battle of New York would have ended disastrously for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. After figuring out that Loki’s scepter actually acts as a fail-safe for the portal above the city, Natasha Romanoff catches a ride on a Chitauri ship and manages to use the spear to close the portal – barely giving Tony Stark enough time to fall back to Earth. Much like her recent decision to turn on Team Iron Man in Civil War, it shows her ability to think two steps ahead of the current conflict and make a strategic decision that will win a war, and not just a battle.
She Completes Her Objective On The Lemurian StarDuring the opening action sequence of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, while Steve Rogers is out there rescuing hostages and fighting Batroc on the Lemurian Star, Black Widow has her own mission -- to wipe the S.H.I.E.L.D hard drives clean and back up anything she can. She manages to succeed in her objective, but not before taking out an entre deck worth of mercenaries. A Black Widow solo movie could finally give us a hero who is less encumbered by morals, and more pragmatic in her desire to accomplish her mission; seriously, she seems minimally concerned about the hostages during that entire operation.
She Tames The HulkAlthough she’s the most physically diminutive member of the core Avengers roster, Black Widow proved her strength in her ability to tame The Hulk during the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Her history with the Black Widow program, and subsequent sterilization to prevent her from ever having children, resonated with Hulk – who clearly has his own set of baggage to work through. Despite the fact that her romance with Bruce Banner proved somewhat jarring with fans, Marvel should take note of her ability to find solace in the arms of another misunderstood creature in the MCU. She’s not just a pretty face and a badass fighter; she’s a human being with deep-seated emotional issues that are worth exploring.
She Stops Crossbones' Men From Deploying A Bio-WeaponIt’s worth noting that Black Widow is the only member of The Avengers’ team deployed to Lagos, Nigeria in Civil War who stays on task and doesn’t make a single mistake. Cap and Scarlet Witch get distracted by Crossbones, Falcon picks the wrong goon to follow, but Widow manages to do everything right. She kicks some serious ass, chases down the mercenaries who have stolen the bio-weapon, and manages to recover it when Red Wing gives her an opening. Although she’s been relegated to side-player this whole time, we think that Black Widow has earned the opportunity to lead a team of her own in a solo movie, or at the very least run the show while working alone.