|“||My name is... Madame Natasha... but you... can call me The Black Widow!||„|
|~ Black Widow.|
|“||How many more jobs... How long will it take... I don't know if I can do it... Even if I could forgive myself... This is what I am now. And you'll never know who I was before.||„|
|~ Black Widow.|
|“||I know what I am. And I think I'm done for the night. You have fun playing the hero. I'm still dead.||„|
|~ Black Widow's Red Room Clone to Captain America.|
Black Widow (real name "Natalia Alianovna"), also known as Natasha" Romanova, is a fictional character and superheroine in Marvel Comics, appearing as the main protagonist of the titular comics, a major character in The Avengers comics, and a supporting character in other individual heroes' comics.
She is a highly trained and former Russian spy, who was originally an antagonist of Iron Man and other heroes. Eventually becoming a superheroine, she defected to the United States and became the partner of Captain America, Daredevil, Winter Soldier and Hawkeye. In addition, Black Widow became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and later the superhero group, the Avengers, where she also acted as a co-leader during the Onslaught saga. Since her tenure as a superhero and adventurer, she has been a member of numerous groups, such as the Lady Liberators, Marvel Knights, Mighty Avengers, Champions of Los Angeles, and the Posse.
The character has been featured in several incarnations of her own various comic book series. Black Widow has been adapted for several animated TV shows, films and video games since her debut. Scarlett Johansson portrayed Natasha Romanoff in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
She was created by the late Stan Lee, the late Don Rico, and the late Don Heck, and first appeared in Tales of Suspense # 52 in 1964.
Black Widow was trained from a young age to be a Soviet spy and secret agent with no equal. She was, along with fellow future Avenger Hawkeye, an early antagonist of Iron Man due to the Soviets desiring his technology. Like Hawkeye however, Black Widow defected to the United States and since then has become a freelance agent who acts largely in their interests, though she has also long been associated with both the Avengers and the world-wide peace-keeping organization SHIELD.
Widow's past is one that she often struggles to remember in detail, and there is some evidence to suggest that it may in fact be a lie. This is supported by the fact that she has been shown to be not the only Black Widow but rather one of many. Another Black Widow, Yelena Belova, is a recurring enemy of Natasha.
Black Widow recently lost her memories of her associate, mentor, and lover Bucky Barnes, and has yet to get them back.
During Secret Empire where she attempt to kill a HYDRA influenced Captain America, with the help from one of the Champions members like Miles Morales (New Ultimate Universe's Spider-Man) and Amadeus Cho (Totally Awesome Hulk), she sacrifice her life saving Miles from Captain America while also preventing Ulysses Cain's vision of Spider-Man killing Steve Rogers from happening, with Cap's shield breaking her neck, killing her off. Despite this, Black Widow was cloned by the Red Room, and the clone retained her past memories of the original Natalia.
Natalia Romanova was born around the 1920s-1940s in Stalingrad, Russia, USSR to unnamed parents, and her mother would saver her child's life by throwing out of a burning building. Though her mother perished in the fire, Natalia was saved by a Russian soldier named Ivan Petrovitch, who became her foster father. After being fostered by Ivan, there are different accounts of her childhood and training from the government. One account had her be abducted by Baron Strucker to be presented to the Hand, but she would later become an renowned ballerina at the Bolshoi Theatre. The second account was that Natalia was taken in the Black Widow Ops Program, and was brought to the Red Room by Petrovitch.
The Red Room
She would receive training in combat and espionage from numerous individuals, the most notable being the Winter Soldier. Romanova was also biologically enhanced, which explains her extended lifespan during the modern era. Additionally, Natalia was forced to marry Alexi Shostakov, a renowned pilot for the Soviet Union. Natalia and Alexi's skills were considered absolute by the KGB, and they decided to trick Romanova into joining the agency by faking her husband's death. Within the agency, Romanova became one of their top operatives, and was often partnered by the Winter Soldier. The two began a secret relationship, but she was later devastated when he was put under cryo-stasis when he became unstable. Natalia also had several encounters with heroes around this time, such as Wolverine, the Thing, and Carol Danvers.
Becoming Black Widow
Given the codename "Black Widow", Romanova was assigned by the KGB to assassinate Anton Vanko for his defection, and had to infiltrate Stark Industries. Her assignment was foiled by Tony Stark, whom had become the superhero Iron Man, and they would frequently clash when they encountered each other. Around this time, Black Widow met the archer Hawkeye, whom she manipulated in helping her fight against Iron Man and later Spider-Man. Due to their partnership, Natalia started to develop feelings for Hawkeye, which further developed after he rushed to hospital when she was injured during a fight against Iron Man. When the Soviet Union learned of her plans to defect, they attempted to eliminate her, but she managed to survive despite her injuries. While hospitalized, she managed to convince Hawkeye to redeem himself and join the Avengers.
She was taken and brainwashed by her employers, who sent her back to the United States to defeat the Avengers with the assistance of Swordsman and Erik Josten. The mission was a failure and Natalia was able to break free from her programming, and decided to become an ally to the Avengers by helping them fight the Sons of the Serpent. Due to her association with the Avengers, Black Widow was given amnesty by the states, but she was later hired by Nick Fury to become a S.H.I.E.L.D. spy. She was considered a traitor by the public when she declined a membership to the Avengers, much to Hawkeye's dismay. Traveling to China, Natalia was captured and encountered Alexi, now known as the Red Guardian. She was able to escape with the assistance of the Avengers, who traveled there to stop the enemy from using the Psychotron device.
She returned to the states and decided to take on another for S.H.I.E.L.D., being assigned to stop Egghead from using an orbital device to hold the world in ransom. She was captured during her mission, but was saved by Hawkeye, who used Ant-Man's formula to become the new "Goliath". Though initially deciding to end her heroics, she returned to them and started a solo career, wanting to prove herself a capable adventurer. She would soon begin a partnership with the blind vigilante Daredevil, as the two were manipulated by the computer known as Baal from a distant future. Later on, Black Widow returned to a solo career after the Champions of Los Angeles disbanded and an attempted partnership with the demigod Hercules failed.
During this time, Black Widow assisted Daredevil and Stone from preventing the Hand from reviving both Kigri and Elektra, but she learned that they failed in stopping the group from reviving the latter. She then traveled to Russia where she discovered Alexi to be alive, but learned that he was life-model decoy made by the Russian government to make her do their bidding. After completing their assignments, they attempted to kill her, but she managed to stop them with the assistance of Petrovitch. Romanova then eliminated the life-model decoy of her ex-husband, and continued to work as a freelancer. She then worked with Iron Man to stop the agent "Ocktober", but later learned that it was her via some of the KGB's old programming.
At some point in time, Black Widow joined the Avengers and became the team's co-leader alongside the Black Knight. When the team was killed during the Onslaught storyline, Romanova worked with Quicksilver to find new recruits to form a new roster. The attempts failed and Quicksilver left when the United Nations decided to just blame mutant-kind on the Avengers' deaths, and Natalia decided to disband the team. However, the Avengers members that were dead returned, but Romanova decided to work with S.H.I.E.L.D. to stop the terrorist organization known as Freedom's Light. Around this point, Natasha would encounter a spy who used the name "Black Widow", an assassin named Yelena Belova, who failed to prevent Romanova from obtaining the Endless Fury serum.
After the end of the Onslaught storyline, Black Widow worked with Daredevil and S.H.I.E.L.D. when she was part of an exchange with Bulgaria's demand. The group learned that it actually Alexi who made the exchange, and Natasha was forced to fight her ex-husband once again. The event left her stressed, and she briefly retired until she learned that the Red Room was hunting down former Black Widow agents. During her mission, she worked with Yelena and Daredevil in stopping Martin Ferris and Kestrel. When the superhero registration act was formed, Black Widow supported it and was recruited into the Mighty Avengers and the Initiative by Iron Man and Ms. Marvel. After Stark was presumably killed and Maria Hill was injured, Widow was given control over S.H.I.E.L.D. but later left the position. Natalia also reunited with the Winter Soldier, and the two began a romantic relationship.
Death and Return
During the Secret Empire storyline, HYDRA managed to conqueror the United States with the help of Hydra Supreme, who was an evil version of Captain America. Black Widow worked with the Underground, but grew tired of the group's refusal to use extreme methods to save America from HYDRA's grasp. Leaving the group, Black Widow worked with the Champions in fighting against HYDRA, and later learned that Miles Morales was prophesized to be the one to murder Hydra Supreme. She decided to kill Rogers herself to prevent Morales from becoming an assassin like her, but failed in killing him. Despite this, Natalia sacrificed herself to save Morales, who was prevented from killing Hydra Supreme by Nadia van Dyne. After her death, the Black Widow Ops Program would create a clone of her, but the clone was able to retain her memories due to Ursa Major's endeavor.
Powers and Abilities
The Black Widow is a world class athlete, gymnast, acrobat, aerialist capable of numerous complex maneuvers and feats, expert martial artist markswoman, and weapons specialist as well as having extensive espionage training. She is also an accomplished ballerina.
Widow's list of known fighting disciplines includes karate, judo, ninjutsu, aikido, savate, various styles of kung fu, and boxing, and she has had training from Winter Soldier and Wolverine in addition to the Soviets. This makes her a versatile fighter, though she is not without her limits; Diamondback has held her own against her and both Daredevil and Winter Soldier soundly defeated her. Nevertheless, she is a capable fighter, holding her own against fellow Black Widow Yelena Belova and defeating Clint Barton as Ronin.
The Black Widow uses a variety of equipment invented by Soviet scientists and technicians, with later improvements by S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists and technicians. She usually wears distinctively shaped bracelets which fire the Widow's Bite electro-static energy blasts that can deliver charges up to 30,000 volts, as well as "Widow's Line" grappling hooks, tear gas pellets, along with a new element introduced during her ongoing series during the "Kiss or Kill" arc called the "Widow's Kiss"; an aerosol instant knock-out gas she has modified.
She wears a belt of metallic discs, some with disc-charges containing plastic explosives, others have been shown to be compartments to house other equipment. Her costume consists of synthetic stretch fabric equipped with micro-suction cups on fingers and feet, enabling her to adhere to walls and ceilings. In the 2006 "Homecoming" mini-series, she was seen using knives, unarmed combat, and various firearms, but she has since begun using her bracelets again.
While in disguise as Yelena Bolova when infiltrating the then Osborn-sanctioned Thunderbolts during "Dark Reign" she used a specialed multi-lense goggle/head-carapace that demonstrated various technical abilities enhancing vision and communication. Later, she has used a modified gun based on her Widow's Bite wrist cartridge, during her adventures alongside the new Captain America.
Natasha has received the Red Room's variant of the Super-Soldier Serum. As a result, her physical and mental abilities had been enhanced slightly beyond human limits. Due to this serum, the white blood cells in her body are efficient enough to fight off any microbe, foreign body, and others from her body, keeping her healthy and immune to most, if not all infections, diseases, and disorders. Also, it takes quite a bit for Natasha to become intoxicated.
The Black Widow has been enhanced by biotechnology that makes her body resistant to aging and disease and heals at an above human rate; as well as psychological conditioning that suppresses her memory of true events as opposed to implanted ones of the past without the aid of specially designed system suppressant drugs, attempts to do so result in extreme biological reactions, indicated as vomiting and black-outs. Soviet experimentation has rendered her body infertile.
Her agility is greater than that of an Olympic gold medalist. She can coordinate her body with balance, flexibility, and dexterity easily. Natasha's reaction time is similarly enhanced and functions with the peak of human efficiency and capability, bordering on the superhuman level. It is possible for Natasha to dodge a bullet even at point-blank range.
Natasha has a gifted intellect. She displays an uncanny affinity for psychological manipulation and can mask her real emotions perfectly. Like Steve Rogers, she possesses the ability to quickly process multiple information streams (e.g., threat assessment) and rapidly responds to changing tactical situations.
Natasha is an expert tactician. She is a very effective strategist, tactician, and field commander. She has led the Avengers and even S.H.I.E.L.D. on one occasion.
Within 2010's Black Widow: Deadly Origin miniseries, another level to the Biotechnology is that Natasha has been subjected to wear "nanites", designed to be passed from her body with even the slightest touch. These nanites were a part of something called the "Icepick Protocol" and when activated could incite someone to homicidal rage. A counter form of these was also introduced to her body so as she could neutralize the activated nanites in another.
- In the Ultimate Avengers animated films, she was voiced by Olivia d'Abo, who also voiced Luminara Unduli in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
- In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she was portrayed by Scarlett Johansson (who also played Lucy Miller in Lucy and Rosie Betzler in Jojo Rabbit, and also voiced Princess Mindy in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, and Ash in the Sing films), and Ever Anderson young.
- In Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, she was voiced by Clare Grant.
- In Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher, she was voiced by Jennifer Carpenter, who also voiced Juli Kidman in The Evil Within.
- In Marvel Universe: LIVE!, she was portrayed by Louise Forsley.
- In The Marvel Super Heroes, she was voiced by Margaret Griffin.
- In The Super Squad Show, she was voiced by Lena Heady, who also played Sarah Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Chronicles.
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, she was voiced by Vanessa Marshall, who also voiced Hera Syndulla in Star Wars Rebels, Black Canary in Young Justice, Samus Aran in the Metroid Prime series, Irwin Dracula in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Eva in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, and Strangelove in the Metal Gear Solid series.
- In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, she was voiced by Ashleigh Ball, who also voiced Mary Test in Johnny Test, and Applejack and Rainbow Dash in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
- In Avengers Assemble, she was voiced by Laura Bailey, who also voiced Lust in 2003s Full Metal Alchemist, Rayne in the BloodRayne series, Chun-Li in the Street Fighter series, Serana in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim DLC Dawnguard, Helena Harper in Resident Evil 6, Abigail "Fetch" Walker in the inFamous sereis, Fiona in Tales from the Borderlands, Kait Diaz in the Gears of War series, Nadine Ross in the Uncharted series, Catwoman in Telltale's Batman series, Eltariel in Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Supergirl in Injustice 2, Mary Jane Watson in Marvel's Spider-Man, and Polina Petrova in Call of Duty: Vanguard.
- Bailey also reprised her voice for the character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload, Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors, Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Avengers Reassembled, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes and Disney Infinity 3.0, 2017 Spider-Man animated series, Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Black Panther: Trouble in Wakanda, Marvel Future Avengers, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, Marvel Powers United VR, and Marvel's Avengers.
- In What If...?, all versions are voiced by Lake Bell.
- In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Nika Futterman, who also voiced Luna Loud in The Loud House, Olga Pataki in Hey Arnold!, Chum Chum in Fanboy and Chum Chum, Alissa Vincent in Dead Space: Downfall, and Sticks the Badger in Sonic Boom.
- In Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, she was voiced by Salli Saffioti, who also voiced Ingrid Hunnigan in the Resident Evil series.
- In Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet, she was voiced by Grey DeLisle, who voices Daphne Blake in the Scooby-Doo franchise, and also voiced Mandy in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Sam Manson in Danny Phantom, Frankie Foster in Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, Kitty Katswell in T.U.F.F. Puppy, Catwoman in the Arkhamverse and Injustice series, and Kitana in Mortal Kombat: Scorpion's Revenge.
- In Marvel Heroes, she was voiced by Julianne Buescher, who also voiced Anko Mitarashi in Naruto.
- In Marvel Avengers Academy, she was voiced by Alison Brie.
- In Lego Marvel Superheroes 2, she was voiced by Maria Teresa Creasey.
- In Spider-Woman motion comics, she was voiced by JoEllen Anklam.
- Ranked 42nd in "The Top 50 Avengers".
- Ranked 74th on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes in 2011.
- Ranked 176th greatest comic book character in Wizard magazine.
- Ranked 31st on Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.
- She is classified as a power level seven by Nick Fury, and a Level 10 S.H.I.E.L.D. operative.
- Despite her death in the Secret Empire, she returned by having a Red Room clone that holds her past memories.
- Black Widow (Marvel) - Her dark side in Villains Wiki.
- Black Widow (Ultimate Marvel) - Ultimate Comics/Dark version of her in Villains Wiki.