Natalia Alianovna Romanova (Black Widow)

blackwidowfilmThe first trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier is finally out, and we got our first look at some of the characters in the movie. Let’s start with one of our old acquaintances: Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, portrayed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by Scarlett Johansson. Natasha made her debut in Iron Man 2, where she “infiltrated” Stark Industries as Tony Stark‘s personal secretary, collecting intel for her boss, Nick Fury; she then actively took a role in defeating Whiplash. She then appeared as a fully operational S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in The Avengers, where she became part of the team and helped fighting Loki and his Chitauri army. In The Winter Soldier, she’ll act as Captain America‘s ally and partner, fighting a menace putting at risk S.H.I.E.L.D. itself. Let’s see together who the Black Widow is in the comics.

Little is known about Natalia Alianovna Romanova‘s early life: she was born in 1928 in Stalingrad, daughter of an unnamed Russian soldier who was said to be relative to the czar’s family. When the Nazis invaded Russia, Natalia’s house was set on fire with all the occupants inside, but the kid’s mother threw her daughter from a window, in the arms of a soldier friend, Ivan Petrovitch Bezukhov, who raised her as she was his own daughter. When she was still very young, Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker kidnapped her, wanting to sell her to the mystical ninja sect The Hand, since they were looking for a child to be trained as their Master Assassin. In Madripoor, Von Strucker’s plans were thwarted by the unlikely alliance of Ivan, James Howlett (a Canadian soldier who would have later blackwidowcomics1become Wolverine) and Captain America, who brought the child back to Russia and defeated the Hand. Growing under Ivan’s tutelage, Natalia became an amazing athlete, making herself known in all USSR. Wanting to ensure her a glorious future in the mothercountry, Ivan brought her to Department X, a secret Russian facility collecting young orphans. There, Natasha became part of the Black Widow Project, aimed to create the perfect spy for the upcoming Cold War. Trained to physical and mental perfection in the Red Room Academy, Natalia’s already amazing athletic abilities reached the human peak, and she became a master hand-to-hand combatant, a brilliant strategist, and overall a spy with no equal, imposing herself as the Project’s greatest succcess (they also gave her false memories about a happy past as a ballerina to ensure her loyalty). She also underwent bio-technological experimentations, that gave her an unusually long and youthful lifespan. Out of the Department, she had a marriage arranged with another KGB operative, Alexi Shostakov, who would have become the Russian response to Captain America, Red Guardian. She entered KGB, and her training was perfectioned even more under the guide of the Winter Soldier, a cyber-enanced veteran who made her become the greatest spy ever lived, and became her lover for a while. Nicknamed “Black Widow” by the Soldier, Natalia was finally ready for the field.

During one of her first missions in America, in the 60s, she met again James Howlett, who now called himself Logan, and seemed to have no memory of his past at all. Since he was hunted by Hydra assassins, the Widow saved him to settle her past debt, without reminding Logan their past together. Natasha was then assigned with the mission of supporting Boris Turgenov, the second Crimson Dynamo, in the killing of the first Dynamo, Anton Vanko, who had betrayed their country. Their attempt was foiled more than once by American superhero Iron Man, who also exposed Natasha, infiltrated in Stark Industries. In her long-lasting battle with Iron Man, Black Widow seeked the help of a formidable young archer, Clint blackwidowcomics2Barton, aka Hawkeye, who fell in love with her and agreed to help her killing the hero. The two of them almost succeeded once, but the Widow got injured, and Hawkeye preferred to bring her to safety than eliminating Iron Man. During this period, Natalia started reciprocating Clint’s feeling, and also questioning herself about her loyalty towards the Soviet Union. After many failures, Natalia fell in the target of her former masters, and, when they learnt about her potential betrayal, they shot her down, sending her to hospital. When she came back to her senses, she took Clint and went to the Avengers asking for protection. Hawkeye became a member of the team, but Natasha was kidnapped by KGB and brainwashed into attacking Clint and the other Avengers. She hired Power Man and Swordsman, and started to battle the heroes, but the trio was defeated, and Hawkeye helped her to get free of the mind control. From that moment, Natasha tried to amend, helping the Avengers with some missions, like when she battled with them the racist Sons of the Serpent, without joining the team, since she didn’t embrace their “no killing” rule. She gained true membership only after a battle with the Ultroids, despite Hawkeye covered the fact that the battle was won only when Black Widow threatened to kill their leader Ifax. Her talents, also the ones that made her unsuitable for the Avengers, attracted Nick Fury, who offered her a place in S.H.I.E.L.D., where she became one of the top agents.

Natasha Romanoff is a brilliant woman, with intelligence and physical capabilities at peak human condition. The experimentations she went through grant her an elongated life span, that makes her look youthful despite being more than eighty years old. She’s an expert marksman, martial artist, an incredible athlete and acrobat, a master of any espionage and infiltration techniques to the point of being considered the best spy ever lived. Her costume is incredibly resiliant, and allows her to cling on to any surface; she moves via her Widow’s Line, a grappling hook with a retractable line that increases her mobility; her Widow’s Gauntlets are her main weapon, charged with various munitions that vary from narcotics to tasers. Ruthless, cold-hearted, extremely loyal to her friends and relentless with her enemies, Black Widow is the fruit of her time and her political environment, a killing machine who tries to rediscover her humanity in a world that didn’t change that much in the latest decades to allow her a complete redemption.

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32 Comments

  1. […] The first time Carson felt totally powerless was when Spider-Man, Captain America, X-23 and Black Widow captured an alternate-Earth version of Tony Stark, a techno-psychopath who went by the name Iron […]

  2. […] long time friend Nick Fury, who he helped founding a new intelligence agency, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Natasha Romanov, an ex-KGB spy codenamed Black Widow, who was Clint’s partner on the field. Apart from these […]

  3. […] new continent, and joined there Stick, his other pupil Daredevil, and another female warrior, the Black Widow. The four ninjas of the Chaste managed to kill Kirigi, The Hand’s deadliest warrior, and […]

  4. […] to escape. When Angar managed to track down Daredevil once again, he was accompanied by the Black Widow: the killer used his powers to make them fight each other, but eventually they snapped out of his […]

  5. […] Corcoran in the comics, but he serves KGB instead of S.S.R.; he however has some relation with the Black Widow (the modern one, not this Dottie Underwood), but they are far more friendly with each other […]

  6. […] weary again when the mysterious Mr. Klein started blackmailing Foggy, forcing him to prosecute the Black Widow…unfortunately, Matt was dating her in that period, so he defended her in trial. The clash […]

  7. […] which Russian top assassins are trained (it’s the same program that will give birth to the Black Widow)…but the experience doesn’t prove to be one to remember for him. While mourning the […]

  8. […] she got a Level 10 security clearance, the highest on the planet (only Fury himself and the Black Widow had it), at only eighteen years old. Daisy’s first on-field mission was one Fury was […]

  9. […] where he got brainwashed by Loki and turned into his loyal servant, until a hard fight with the Black Widow brought him back to his senses. Just in time, so that he could join the other heroes in the battle […]

  10. […] to be a HYDRA agent, and assists Brock Rumlow, the new squad leader, in the hunt for Cap and Black Widow. As both an ally and a foe, Rollins acts as a secondary character in the movie, much like his […]

  11. […] America and Black Widow visit the place in which S.H.I.E.L.D. was born, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they […]

  12. […] America: The Winter Soldier, when Captain America and Black Widow discover Anim Zola‘s hideout, the good old scientist offers a summary of HYDRA‘s […]

  13. […] in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. When Steve Rogers arrives in Camp Lehigh with the Black Widow, he has a flashback about his training: spurring skinny Rogers on with his running, […]

  14. […] public enemy number one Iron Man down to Russia, an operation that led to the arrest of Pepper, Black Widow and Maria Hill; allying with dangerous characters such as Doctor Doom to encrease […]

  15. […] team known as the Champions of Los Angeles along with Angel, Ghost Rider, Hercules and Black Widow. He became also a member of the Defenders, first, and of X-Factor, later, but he came back to the […]

  16. […] In the movie, he’ll be an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. paired up with Captain America and the Black Widow on the field. He’ll help the heroes when things go in a mess, and Nick Fury himself is sent […]

  17. […] He also started training Soviet spies and agents: among them, he met a very skilled one, Natasha Romanoff, who he nicknamed the Black Widow. The two became lovers, even if Natasha had already a marriage […]

  18. […] a formidable couple. At the Viper’s service, Silver Samurai fought many heroes, such as the Black Widow, Spider-Man, the master of kung fu Shang Chi, the New Mutants, even Nick Fury and […]

  19. […] War II, Logan teamed-up with Captain America and Bucky to rescue a young Russian girl, Natasha Romanova (later known as the Black Widow) and became a war hero. Finally, he entered the Weapon […]

  20. […] Nelson, the man’s friend, Daredevil, joined Nick Fury and his strike team along with Black Widow to save him: in the following battle, Hydra was defeated, and Blackwing lost once again in a duel […]

  21. […] for Tombstone, but also his criminal career was short lived, as the combined forces of Daredevil, Black Widow and Cloak made short work of him. Big Ben Donovan was subsequently imprisoned in The Cage, an […]

  22. […] New York, Star and the others reached Stick, as well as his new allies, superheroes Daredevil and Black Widow, and faced with them The Hand in a first, fierce battle. The Chaste collected an important victory, […]

  23. […] a HYDRA-run bank, then, along with Phobos, he tried to steal the scene by intercepting an SOS from Black Widow and Songbird and going to the rescue alone with Phobos: as a result, they provoked a massive […]

  24. […] his Super Soldier had started a relation with one of the best recruits of the Black Widow Program, Natalia Romanova. Karpov kept controlling the Winter Soldier for years, reprogramming him from time to time and […]

  25. […] transformation into The Leader. We know from the comicbook tie-in that he’s been captured by Black Widow and taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D., but he still has to come back in his enhanced form. […]

  26. […] Knights, a team of urban superheroes composed of Daredevil, Luke Cage, Cloak & Dagger, Black Widow, Moon Knight and Shang-Chi. Even this time Shades wasn’t lucky, and he got badly defeated, […]

  27. […] America: Civil War, when Natasha Romanoff tries to approach Prince T’Challa, she’s intercepted by a bald woman, only credited as […]

  28. […] and once she even borrowed her physical appearance, using it to gather some Earth female heroes (Black Widow, Wasp, Madame Medusa and Scarlet Witch) and to form the Lady Liberators, later leading them in […]

  29. […] also Attilan’s best martial artist, capable of besting accomplished fighters such as Black Widow or Fantomex. Often (rightfully) considered the most dangerous Inhuman in the Royal Family, Karnak […]

  30. […] Attah. In the movie, he’s the one who complains when Flash boasts about having a date with Black Widow (it was meant to be a joke, but Abe doesn’t seem so ready to catch it). This version of the […]

  31. […] promptly joined Stick, who had found new allies in his former student Daredevil and in his lover Black Widow: the two heroes were not remotely as prepared as the ninjas were, but they offered a good help in a […]

  32. […] by the Shadow King to destroy the plane the mutants were travelling on. When Wolverine and Black Widow started hunting for them in Madripoor, Fenris escaped once again, this time moving to England. […]


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