The 20 greatest women in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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“Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier”..Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson)..Ph: Zade Rosenthal..© 2014 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

1. Black Widow

Black Widow has been in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the beginning. People may not like Iron Man 2, but she had some great moments in it, including her first big, fight scene in the third act. It was the perfect set-up for her future. Then, The Avengers came out. Her interrogation scene proved she wasn’t going to be a one and done. Black Widow went on to have deep moments, as well. For example, her telling Bruce Banner about her time in the Red Room was a tragic scene. No one knew she went through something so traumatic. It made her feel like a monster. In that same movie, she had to push away someone she loved to save the world, only to have them leave.

Why she’s No. 1

Some people may not like her, but she was one of the greats in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She was always willing to fight, but wasn’t reckless in doing so. She had the ability to kill, but never enjoyed it. Widow was also smarter than many give her credit for. In Captain America: Winter Soldier, she helped Steve Rogers outsmart all of SHIELD (or Hydra) and  saved the lives of millions of innocent people.

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There was a time when women weren’t involved in comic book movies. Sure, there were Storm and Jean Grey, but Black Widow was the first to truly stand out for so long. Without her, it’s debatable that the other women on this list would have been given a chance. Thankfully, she was set a gold standard.