This Badass Woman in “Civil War” Didn’t Get a Name — But We Know Who She Is

Midway through Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa, King of Wakanda, heads to his car, ready to embark on a mission of vengeance as the Black Panther against the Winter Soldier, whom he believes killed his father. Sensing the conflict to come, the Black Widow attempts to intercept him, positioning herself between T’Challa and the door. Then an imposing bald woman who was with T’Challa steps to the foreground and says one line:

Move or be moved.

The way she held herself and delivered that single line of dialog conveyed to the audience that this is a woman who believes she can best the Black Widow in a fight. T’Challa evidently agrees, but defuses the situation with a simple, “As entertaining as that would be…”

Dora Milaje
Black Panther and the Dora Milaje prepare to battle Dr. Doom

So who is this badass woman who can compete with Marvel’s best? Although it is not explicitly stated, there is almost no doubt that she is a member of the Dora Milaje (dora-meh-LAH-shay), the King of Wakanda’s personal bodyguards and some of the most deadly fighters on the planet.

In Wakandan tradition, the Dora Milaje are also a pool of potential brides for an unmarried king. Each tribe of Wakanda puts forth their best representative so that all tribes have an interest in maintaining the peace as one of their own is in running for the crown. In current comics, T’Challa has announced that his bride will no longer be selected in such an arbitrary fashion.

Dora Milajae in Captain America: Civil War
Dora Milajae in Captain America: Civil War

The Dora Milaje are also featured prominently in the first few issues of Ta-Nehisi Coates run on the rebooted Black Panther comic book, and their role in Wakanda society is slowly being fleshed out with complexities that make them far more than a fantasy for adolescent boys.

With the Black Panther movie on the way there is no doubt in my mind that we have not seen the last of the Dora Milaje, and based on first impressions — that’s a very good thing.

#HeresNatasha — Black Widow Toys, Clothing and Merch Has Finally Arrived

Appearing in five movies, the Black Widow is Marvel’s most recognizable female hero. But her ubiquitous presence on the silver screen has historically not translated to an abundance of choices in the toy aisle. There are likely multiple reasons for this. She is always a supporting character in the movies and traditional toy marketing discourages boys from buying toys featuring women, and girls from entering the action-figure aisle to find merchandise designed for them.

Marvel’s deliberate strategy of carefully proving a market for female action figures, toys and clothing has frustrated many fans, leading to multiple social media hashtag campaigns to pressure them into speeding up the release of merchandise aimed at women and girls. With Captain America: Civil War, the dam holding back merchandise featuring — and for — women appears to have broken.

One industry insider confided, “Marvel has licensed hundreds of products featuring Black Widow for this movie — if not thousands.”  And the  Widow is just the first. Scarlet Witch is already traveling down her established path in the movies, and Marvel has announced that they will be expanding products featuring female heroes like Spider-Gwen, Ms Marvel, Spider-Woman and Squirrel Girl through specialty retailers like Hot Topic.

But it all starts with Black Widow. From the toy aisle to apparel to home furnishings, everyone’s favorite Russian assassin is popping up everywhere.And we’ve put together a cheat sheet to show some of our favorite merch — and this is just a fraction of what is out there.

Toys & Collectibles

While not as widely available as some of the more core characters like Iron Man or Captain America, the Black Widow has an extraordinary amount of action figures available at a variety of price points. Most of these can be found at Target, Toys ‘r’ Us or other retailers; while a few items are Disney Store exclusives.

Action Figures


There are some great desk chotskies here from adorable (and inexpensive) Tsum-Tsums and FUNKO Pops to hyper-detailed (and pricey) action figures for adults from Hot Toys, Square Enix and Marvel Select.

Kids’ Toys

A lot of people felt that you couldn’t market Black Widow to little kids. It just took one look at that Playskool Hero to prove the naysayers wrong. I think I kind of need one of those.

LEGO Building Set

LEGO righted one of the most egregious slights of Avengers: Age of Ultron by giving us a Black Widow playset and finally letting Natasha rock the motorcycle she uses in the films.


Finally, a costume for girls who want to kick butt — not look cute.

Clothing and Apparel

Retailers from Target, to Walmart, to JC Penney’s to Macy’s all have Black Widow and Avengers apparel for women on the shelves. No more sneaking over to the boys department for an ill-fitting shirt. Girls today have lots of mass market options to show their fandom.


Marvel has been expanding their line of purses, wallets and handbags over the past few years and that trend continues for Civil War. An the Disney Store has an entire line or lamps, bags and tablet sleeves featuring the world’s greatest spy.


Black Widow Header

Russo Bros. Vote “Hell, Yeah!” on ‘Black Widow’ Solo Movie

Captain America: Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo are doing the press circuit to promote the upcoming film. At a recent press conference in China, they were asked what they thought about a Black Widow solo movie.

“Hell yeah! We love that character,” said Joe Russo.

“And we love Scarlett,” Anthony added, referring to Scarlett Johannson.

“We find that [Black Widow] is one of (if not the) richest character in the Marvel universe,” continued Joe Russo. “A very complex character, haunted by demons and her understanding of the world is fascinating. I think there is a lot that can be done with that character.”

(Black Widow discussion occurs at 6:30 in the video above)

The Russo Bros. themselves are likely too busy. After the success of Captain America: Winter Soldier, Marvel gave them the keys to their biggest franchise with Avengers:Infinity War, parts I and II. But their voices carry considerable weight in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point. Hopefully, that will be enough for Marvel to find a space for Black Widow on a very busy schedule of upcoming superhero movies.

via Newsarama