Melinda May vs. Natasha Romanoff: Which MCU Hero Would Win in a Fight?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is an ever-expanding, ever-growing universe featuring literally hundreds of characters.

Fans love to debate every aspect of the MCU, from what has been portrayed in the films to elements of the auxiliary materials, such as books or TV shows. Reddit has become especially active, especially with fans who discuss some of the more random aspects of the Marvel world. Recently, a lively debate sprung up that compared the merits of two Marvel characters, and which one of them would win in a fight.

Who is Melinda May?

Ming-Na Wen on the red carpet
Ming-Na Wen | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

One fan-favorite character that Reddit posters discussed was Melinda May. Melinda has the distinction of being one of the few characters who was created for the MCU prior to being featured in the comics. Melinda first appeared in 2013, in the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as Phil Coulson’s personal pilot and field agent. Melinda has been portrayed since her first incarnation by the accomplished actress Ming-Na Wen

Melinda May goes through an incredible character arc on the show, and goes from being Coulson’s deputy of sorts to being sent to an alternate dimension, where she survives a stabbing and is placed in a stasis pod in order to fully recover.

Melinda ultimately escapes her stasis pod and discovers that she is no longer able to feel emotions — rather, she is sensitive to everyone else’s feelings and can discover what others are feeling by touching them. Through it all, Melinda is a figure of authority, and even though she rarely speaks, when she does, she commands respect from all those around her. 

Natasha Romanoff is a fan-favorite

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Black Widow, also known as Natasha Romanoff, was introduced in comic books in the sixties. As a longtime favorite of comic book fans, it was a daunting task to bring Natasha to life on-screen — however, Scarlett Johansson proved to be more than up to the task. A deadly assassin, Natasha is a mysterious figure, haunted by shadows of her past while grappling with villains of the present. She is loyal to her friends, and it is her loyalty that ultimately proves to be her undoing, as depicted in Avengers: Endgame

Still, Natasha will still be around in some form. The upcoming film Black Widow will give eager fans even more content featuring their favorite assassin, and it is set to be released in the fall. Fans have also not ruled out an appearance in the film by Melinda — after all, Natasha’s work in S.H.I.E.L.D. would have put her in close proximity to Melinda, so it is very feasible that the two could have crossed paths. 

Would Melinda May or Natasha Romanoff win in a fight?

In the Reddit thread, fans were tasked with picking who the victor would be in a fight between Melinda May and Natasha Romanoff. Fans seemed to be divided, with one poster stating that “hand to hand- May. Weapons- Widow. But they would become really good friends after!”

Another fan said “Natasha is an Avenger. She’s fought chitauri, Ultrons, proxima, Winter soldier, and Hawkeye several times. She’s taken a swat from the Hulk before. She would not lose a fight to an unpowered shield agent.”

Still, a fan challenged that assertion, claiming “Nat would definitely put up a challenge, but just because she’s an Avenger doesn’t mean there are non-Avengers who can’t beat her. “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” is a slogan, not an objective qualification.”

Ultimately, both heroes had many defenders, and there wasn’t a clear winner in the unofficial poll.