Red Room (comics)
Interior of the Red Room
Art by David López
|First appearance||Black Widow vol. 1 #2|
In the Marvel Universe, The Red Room (Красная комната) is one of the K.G.B.'s espionage training programs. For decades the Red Room had been a Cold War facility to train female spies known as Black Widows. The Red Room wasn't only a training facility, but, in certain stories, employs biochemical enhancements for its agents and also implants them with false memories reminiscent of those used by the Weapon Plus Program.
Black Widow Ops Program
In the work of Richard K. Morgan, the Red Room recruits 28 orphan girls to raise them to become undetectable deep-cover agents to infiltrate China and the West. The core methodology was designed by Professor Grigor Chelintsov, a leader in the field of psychotechnics, and which imprints people with completely fabricated memories. These girls are made to believe that they were trained in ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre. During her training, Natalia Romanova was contacted by The Enchantress, who manipulated her just to suggest that Romanova may be freed, only to prevent her from escaping - however, Romanova's effort attracted attention of the Red Room's organizers, who would have otherwise "discarded" Romanova. Natasha was paired with handler Ivan Petrovitch. Furthermore, the girls all received a special treatment designed by biochemist Lyudmila Kudrin. The Kudrin treatment allows women to appear young for many decades, as well as healthy and resilient at superhuman levels.
Wolf Spider Ops Program
Niko Constantin was the only male trainee of the Red Room's male equivalent of the Black Widow Ops program dubbed "Wolf Spider". Niko proved to be an effective killer, but impossible to handle or control, leading to the program to be declared a failure. Years later, he was found to be imprisoned in a Russian gulag, leading a gang of convicts dubbed the Wolf Spiders, and holding a grudge against Bucky Barnes, one of the trainers for the Wolf Spider program.
The K.G.B. continued to use the Red Room in the late 1970s. The new Black Widow program was making a reality out of the disinformation, thus helping hide what the real project had been. This Red Room successfully trained their agent Yelena Belova, though she soon left the service.
Natasha Romanova, weary of espionage and adventure, retires to Arizona but is targeted, as were the other Black Widow graduates of the Red Room by the North Institute, on behalf of the corporation Gynacon. Natasha’s investigations leads her back to Russia, where she is appalled to learn the extent of her past manipulation, and she discovers the Black Widows are being hunted because Gynacon, having purchased Russian biotechnology from Red Room’s successor agency 2R, wants all prior users of the technology dead. After killing Gynacon CEO Ian McMasters, she clashes with operatives of multiple governments to help Sally Anne Carter, a girl Natasha befriended in her investigations, whom she rescued with help from Daredevil and Yelena Belova.
The Red Room featured in Uncanny X-Men. The group bought Omega Red's freedom with the hopes of using him to their own ends. Wolverine, Colossus, and Nightcrawler encounter him after he escaped from his master and they engage in combat. Omega Red is mostly impervious to Wolverine's claws; the Red Room had been experimenting on him in an effort to enhance his healing factor. After Nightcrawler intervenes and knocks Omega Red unconscious, he is returned to S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.
In the Widowmaker comic, the Red Room was the site of a mass slaughter of K.G.B recruits carried out by the Dark Ocean Society and Ronin as part of a false flag operation to force a war between Russia and Japan, intended to restore Russia's former glory. However the operation is foiled by the combined efforts of Natasha Romanova, Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and Dominic Fortune.
All-New, All-Different Marvel
In other media
- The Red Room is alluded in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. It was used as Natalia Romanoff's password in the micro-episode "Beware the Widow's Bite" (which was later included as part of the episode "Hulk vs the World").
- The Red Room is alluded in Avengers Assemble. Nighthawk uses this in the episode "Nighthawk" as a sleeper codeword to knock Natalia Romanoff out as part of a S.H.I.E.L.D. contingency plan in the event that the Avengers either went rogue or were mind-controlled carefully planned out by Sam Wilson. In the third season the Red Room is properly mentioned when Black Widow admits she has few to no memories of her life before the Red Room as a result of her brainwashing.
- The Red Room appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- The television series Agent Carter depicts Dorothy "Dottie" Underwood (portrayed by Bridget Regan) is a precursor to the Black Widow program.
- The 2015 film Avengers: Age of Ultron shows Natasha Romanoff forced to recall her own training by Madame B. (portrayed by Julie Delpy) thanks to Wanda Maximoff.
- The 2016 film Captain America: Civil War reveals that Vasily Karpov oversaw the Winter Soldier program in a HYDRA Siberian facility. After the original Winter Soldier was dispatched to intercept a case of super-soldier serum and assassinate Howard Stark and Maria Stark, the Hydra scientists used the super-soldier serum on the other brainwashed Winter Soldiers which were later kept in cryogenic stasis. Years later, Helmut Zemo discovers the Hydra facility and subsequently kills the other Winter Soldiers as they and Bucky Barnes were used to get Tony Stark and Steve Rogers in front of Zemo.
- Black Widow and the Marvel Girls vol.1 #1
- Black Widow vol. 2 #6
- Captain America #616-619
- Black Widow #1
- Black Widow vol. 2 #1
- Uncanny X-Men 497–499
- Widowmaker, #1-4 (December 2010 - January 2011)
- All-New, All-Different Avengers #9
- "Marvel's Agent Carter Explores the Origins of the Black Widow Program". Marvel.com. February 3, 2015.
- "MARVEL'S AGENT CARTER EXCLUSIVE: SHOWRUNNERS REVEAL WHO DOTTIE WORKS FOR". IGN. January 28, 2015.
- Doty, Meriah; Errico, Marcus (May 1, 2015). "'Age of Ultron': We Decode Those Angst-Ridden Avengers Dreams (Spoilers!)". Yahoo! Moview. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- Red Room at Marvel Wiki