'Black Widow': Marvel's two-part comic ahead of the movie gives a fleeting look at Natasha Romanoff's past
While it may not divulge a lot of information about the film, it does establish that councilwoman Hawley (Jenny Agutter) plays a crucial role by being interested in Romanoff's profile.
Not a lot was known about Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow when she made her first appearance in the MCU. Ahead of the super spy's standalone film in May, Marvel issued a two-part comic that serves as the prelude to the movie, the plot of which, of course, is kept under wraps.
While it may not really divulge a lot of information about the film, what it does is establish that councilwoman Hawley (Jenny Agutter) plays a bit more of a crucial role by being interested in Romanoff's profile. While Hawley made a minor appearance in 'The Avengers', her character gained prominence when she was impersonated by Romanoff in 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'.
Peter David's prelude starts off with Hawley looking at the footage of events from 'The Winter Soldier' where Romanoff takes down Alexander Pierce, a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D official and a member of the World Security Council (played by Robert Redford in the film). She discusses Romanoff's relationship with the Avengers, the time she sides Tony Stark during 'Captain America: Civil War', but ends up supporting Steve Rogers. And all the while, Hawley still feels something about the spy doesn't add up.
She tasks Commander Ross to layout as much info as he can on Romanoff and that's when the history of her being part of the Red Room comes out. Her story of having interacted with The Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes) is explained by Ross to a dumbfounded Hawley. He reveals she defected from the Red Room and joined S.H.I.E.L.D working with Nick Fury and Clint Barton. And the real story behind her first run-in with both these characters is still unknown. The 22-page Part 1 comic ends with her showing up as Natalie Rushman to monitor Tony Stark after he announces to the world that he was Iron Man.
Quick takeaways from the comic:
(i) Natasha Romanoff was born in 1984 and was believed to be orphaned at a young age.
(ii) She was shown to have gained General Dreykov's interest at some stage.
(iii) Madame B (makes a brief appearance in 'Avengers: The Age of Ultron') is her handler while training in the Red Room.
(iv) She came into S.H.I.E.L.D after saving Fury's life in a mission (account of the story still unverified).
While the appearance of Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova, Rachel Weisz, and the Red Guardian debunk the orphan takeaway, there are still enough unexplained parts of Romanoff's life. It remains to be seen what Part 2 of the comic may cover and how it leads into the upcoming film.
'Black Widow' debuts in cinemas on May 1.