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I've always found it best not to look into the past.
~ Melina Vostokoff.
Why does a mouse born in a cage run on that little wheel? Do you know I was cycled through the Red Room four times before you were even born? Those walls are all I know. I was never given a choice.
~ Melina to Natasha Romanoff.

Melina Vostokoff (Russian: Мелина Востокова), is a major protagonist of the 2021 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Black Widow.

She is a Russian spy and scientist who has been through the Red Room's Black Widow program five times as well as the ex-wife of Alexei Shostakov, and the adoptive mother of Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova. She would work with General Dreykov on creating a system that could control operatives via brainwashing, which allowed the general to abuse his authority and eliminate targets. By 2016, Melina would reunite with her ex-husband and adoptive daughters, and decided to assist them in freeing the Black Widows from Dreykov's control.

She is portrayed by Rachel Weisz, who also played Evelyn O' Connell in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns and voiced Saphira Brightscales in Eragon. Scarlett Johansson (who also played Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Rosie Betzler in JoJo Rabbit, and also voiced Princess Mindy in the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and Ash in Sing) played the character in disguise.


Early Life

Born in the Soviet Union to unnamed parents, Melina would become a member of the Red Room Program, which was a top secret program created by the Soviets to train young women to become deadly assassins and spies. She would become a spy for the Red Room with numerous skills in martial arts and science, and served four tours for the program.


In the 1990s, Melina was assigned to go undercover in Ohio to infiltrate the North Institute, which was actually a front of the government agency S.H.I.E.L.D. Working with Alexei Shostakov, who was the Soviet hero "Red Guardian" after receiving the Russian variant of the super soldier serum, the two would act as a married couple with two daughters Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova. During the three years living in Ohio, Melina started to develop feelings for Alexei, and started to see Natasha and Yelena as her daughters. In 1995, Melina and Alexei would obtain the file from the North Institute and destroy it, but this put them on the radar for S.H.I.E.L.D. since the agency were looking for sleeper agents. Melina and the group escaped to Cuba, where she was separated from the others.

While Natasha and Yelena were taken into the Red Room program as Alexei was sentenced to the Russian gulag by Dreykov, Melina still worked with the general to develop a chemical control over operatives. The chemical would be used by Dreykov to keep his agents in line via brainwashing while Melinda didn't learn of this, continuing to perfect her chemical.

Black Widow

While continuing her experiments in St. Petersburg, Melina reunited with her former husband and adoptive children, who were looking for more information about the Red Room. Melina revealed her mind control experiments on her pig Alexei, and learned that General Dreykov was using her experiments to control the Black Widows. Later that night, Melina revealed to Natasha that her biological mother was killed by the general, as she wanted to expose the truth about the Red Room. Wanting to make amends, Melina planned with Natasha to defeat the general by swapping clothes with Romanoff and using a veil to disguise themselves. She would assist Red Guardian, Natasha and Yelena in stopping General Dreykov and freeing the Black Widows with the red dust. After freeing them, Melina sad her farewell to Natasha, who continued to go on the run from Thaddeus Ross.


Melina was a very compassionate and sweet individual despite being groomed into a deadly spy by the Soviet Union's Red Room program more than once.


  • Master Spy: Being trained during the Soviet Union, Melina was a master spy, capable of faking being an American while undercover.
  • Master Martial Artist: To be added
  • Master Marksman: To be added
  • Master Acrobat: To be added
  • Staff Mastery: To be added
  • Master Assassin: To be added
  • Expert Scientist: Melina is an expert scientist, being able to create a chemical that could control the Black Widows.
  • Expert Tactician: Due to her training, Melina was a skilled tactician, coming up with a plan to trick General Dreykov to enter the Red Room Academy.
  • Master Pilot: To be added
  • Bilingualism Melina can speak her native language Russian, and later learned how to speak English.



  • Black Widow's Batons: To be added
  • Black Widow's Bite: To be added




  • Alexei - Thrall and Pet
  • Taskmaster - Former Enemy (while under Dreykov's control)
  • Black Widows - Former Enemies (while under Dreykov's control)



Your pain only makes you stronger.
~ Melina.
Stop breathing.
~ Melina to the pig Alexei.



  • In the comics, Melina Vostokoff is an agent of the Russian Government who eventually left Russia to become a freelance mercenary and assassin, codenamed Iron Maiden.


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