'Black Widow': Who is Rachel Weisz's character Melina Vostokoff?

'Black Widow': Who is Rachel Weisz's character Melina Vostokoff?
Rachel Weisz plays Melina Vostokoff in 'Black Widow' (Marvel Studios/Marvel Comics)

The release date of Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ is just around the corner and fans are eagerly waiting to see the kickass assassin Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) on the screen again. Apart from Natasha, the movie will also introduce Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz) and Red Guardian (David Harbour). The aforementioned characters will be making their debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with the upcoming movie and it will be interesting to see how similar they would be from the comics.

One character that has especially caught the eye of the public is Melina. Played by the Academy Award-winner Rachel Weisz, Melina Vostokoff has been one of the most well-written comic-book characters and has a lot of layers. However, her debut in the MCU might not give you as many layers as shown in the comics, but it will be interesting to see how much the makers have taken from the comics to show her character.


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Most of the viewers might not know who Melina is and what her abilities are. Don’t worry! We are here to cover those bases for you.


Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff in 'Black Widow' (Marvel Studios)

Who is Melina Vostokoff?

In the comics, Melina is a very complex character and absolutely hates Black Widow. She was originally an agent in the Russian government and always lived under the shadow of Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow. She decided to make her own identity and started taking freelance gigs. Melina took the identity of Iron Maiden, one of the most famous comic-book characters, and she was hired by many to do their dirty work.

However, the most intriguing thing happened when she was given the task to finish Black Widow and she was happy to do so. In an epic fight sequence, Iron Maiden was able to overpower the Widow and was really close to killing her. However, James Woo arrived with a SHIELD squadron and dashed her plans. She ambushed Woo when he followed her into sewers. However, Woo blasted a hole through the floor and Melina fell down to the next level.


Melina Vostokoff as Iron Maiden (Marvel Comics)

Vostokoff is also one of the few female characters who went up against Captain America. She became part of a female super-criminal army named ‘Femizons’. The group wanted to sterilize all the women of planet Earth and gain power for their Femizonia Isle nation of still-fertile women. Captain America, along with Paladin wanted to infiltrate the group’s ship and foil their plan. They managed to do that by dispersing most of the Femizons.

Active in the USA following Superia’s apparent death, Vostokoff sought fake identification to sneak into Canada to avoid the new Superhuman Registration Act, but she was captured by the Thunderbolts’ Joystick.


Black Widow and Iron Maiden in comics (Marvel)

What are her abilities?

Born in Serov, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia, Melina has a lot of abilities that make her really dangerous. Just like the Widow, she was also a super-spy and is trained in espionage. The character is one of the earlier characters coming out of the Red Room, which specializes in creating a lot of versions of the Widow.

Apart from that, she is also a master martial artist. We have seen in comics how she put her opponents in complete misery by showing her flexibility and killer moves. But the most important characteristic of Melina is her identity as an assassin. She was trained like Natasha and it is believed that Melina was better than Natasha, but she never got her due. She is heavily skilled in assassination techniques and has shown some really mind-boggling moves in comics. She is also a weapons expert and knows everything about how advanced they are.


Iron Maiden armor

The Iron Maiden wears flexible metal armor that protects her from the force of most impacts as well as insulating her against energy attacks. It increases her strength somewhat, bringing her to the level of an enhanced human, such as Captain America.

Will we see Iron Maiden in ‘Black Widow’?

It is unlikely that we will see Melina donning the iconic armor, but never-say-never. She doesn’t like Black Widow and it will take just a few minutes to make her turn into a villain. Most importantly, a shot in the final trailer for the movie shows Melina pushing aside a bookshelf and revealing a hidden area. On the shelf, we see a silver mask that is similar to the one that Iron Maiden wears in comics.


A still from 'Black Widow' (Marvel Studios)

If it is indeed the same mask, then there might be a suit as well and the hidden area might be its home.


Her connection with David Harbour’s character

Speaking in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Weisz also shed light on the kind of relationship she shares with Alexei Shostakov, a character played by ‘Stranger Things’ star David Harbour. She said that both characters share a hot connection and are “very, very attracted to each other”. “We haven't seen each other for many years when we sit down and have that meal and he's definitely gained some weight since I last saw him. But Melina, she will just take him any which way,” Weisz said.

‘Black Widow’ spins simultaneously into theaters and on Disney+ on Friday, July 9.


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