Black Widow ("Natalia "Natasha" Romanova") is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics Universe.
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.
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. The 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 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 respond 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 were also introduced to her body so as she could neutralize the activated nanites in another.
- Black Widow (Ultimate Marvel) - Dark version of her in Villains Wiki.
- Black Widow (Marvel) - her dark side in Villains Wiki.