Recently, it was announced that actress Scarlett Johansson is pregnant with her first child--just as Avengers: Age of Ultron is about to begin principal filming. Collin and I traded a lot of jokes that began with the classic "what if" question--what if Black Widow were also pregnant? In the comic books, she's had a lot of lovers, so maybe a paternity test would be needed. And maybe this would make an interesting episode of Maury Povich's show, since he's known for doing paternity tests....
"I'm Maury Povich. Welcome to the show," Povich greets his audience. "Today we have a most interesting case. The beautiful Natasha Romanoff, also known as the Black Widow, is pregnant. To our knowledge, she didn't kill the baby's father after mating, so we're here to try to determine which of the gentlemen on our stage is the lucky daddy. First off, we have Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man--genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist."
Tony Stark looks surprised. "Me? She hates me...not that I'd let that stop me if she still wanted to--"
"Tony!" a woman in the audience shouts.
"I was just kidding, Pepper!" Stark responds.
"If I mated with him, I would kill him afterward!" Natasha snaps.
Povich interrupts, trying to break the tension. "Next we have Thor, also known as the God of Thunder."
"Thor!" This came from another woman in the audience.
"It wasn't me, Jane!" Thor insists.
"That's what you said last time--and I caught you with Sif!"
"At least I'll live as long as he will!" Sif calls out from another section of the audience.
"Ladies, please!" Maury again tries to maintain control of his own show. "Possible Daddy #3 is Steve Rogers, also known as Captain America."
"It can't be me," Rogers insists. "I'm a gentleman. I'd wait until marriage."
"Yeah--he's the ninety-year-old virgin," Stark quips.
"We can't all be as promiscuous as you are, Stark!" This came from Clint Barton, the Avenger known as Hawkeye--and the only one in the group who insists he is the baby's father.
"Maybe you just don't get the offers, Legolas," Stark shoots back at him.
Maury interrupts. "And we also have Dr. Bruce Banner--"
Banner shakes his head. "I can't risk getting excited," he maintains.
Stark turns on the snark again. "That's a convenient excuse for, shall we say, performance issues," he comments.
Banner jumps up. "You want to see my performance issues firsthand, Stark?"
Stark just grins. "You're not my type, Jolly Green Giant."
"Gentlemen!" Maury shouts, exasperated. "Let's continue. We also have Thor's brother, the God of Mischief--Loki!"
Loki stands up, takes a bow. Natasha rolls her eyes. "Never in a million years."
Loki winks. "You know you want me."
"Yeah, I want you--dead!"
"Please!" Maury begs. "Three more to go, okay?"
Natasha looks puzzled. "Three more?"
"Bear with me, please," he tells her. Then, to the audience: "Next we have James Buchanan Barnes, also known as Bucky on his good days, Winter Soldier on the not-so-good days."
Barnes shakes his head. "I was with her--often--but that was a long time ago!"
Hawkeye looks at Natasha. "You were with...him?"
She pats his arm affectionately. "As he said, Clint, it was a long time ago."
Maury proceeds. "Next we have SHIELD agent Phillip Coulson."
Coulson also shakes his head. "Can't be me. I was dead at the time."
And last, we have one of the world's all-time most dastardly villains, Red Skull--who couldn't be with us today but joins us via satellite...."
Red Skull appears on the jumbo screen, whereupon most members of the studio audience faint. Natasha is outraged. "Not if he were the only--whatever he is--on earth!" she argues. "I'd be vomiting during conception, not during pregnancy!"
"We could create a brood of superior beings," Red Skull insists.
"I'd prefer my baby be human!"
Maury's relieved when his assistant arrives with the results of the paternity test. "The moment of truth," he announces to the unconscious audience. He opens the envelope and reads the results. "The father of Natasha's baby is...SHIELD director Nick Fury?"
Fury strides onto the stage as Natasha and the other men look confused. "Not exactly. Romanoff, we need more women like you," he says, almost apologetic. "So, during your last physical, we impregnated you with genetically-engineered embryos."
Before he can finish, Natasha has him on the floor, beating him mercilessly. Rogers, Barnes, Coulson and Banner try to pull her off him. Loki just laughs. Thor tries to break up a catfight between Jane and Sif. Stark takes the microphone from a speechless Maury and says, "I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm really enjoying this...."