Real Name: Natasha (Natalia) Romanov
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #52 (April, 1964)
Powers: Martial Artist, Gymnast, Spy, Contains Wrist Cartridges that fire energy blasts know as Widow’s Bite, Healing Factor, a boost to the Immune System and an Unnaturally Long Life.
Affiliation: Avengers, Secret Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., Heroes for Hire, Lady Liberators
Enemies: KGB, Yelena Belova, Most Avenger Enemies,
Did You Know: Natasha Romanov was not the first Marvel Character known as the Black Widow. This was actually a character called Claire Voyant.
A Little History
Natasha Romanov was born in 1928). Like so many other comic book characters, she too was orphaned as a child and raised by someone not her parents. In Natasha’s case, her surrogate father was a man named Ivan Petrovich.
Noticing her natural abilities, he sent her to the KGB to be trained in the Black Widow program, or as it is referred to, The Red Room. Within the program, she was granted the ability to quickly heal, an increased immune system, and an unnaturally long life. Over the course of her training, she was seen as the best recruit and given the name, Black Widow.
On her first mission, she was asked to help in the assignation of Professor Vanko. Unbeknownst to her, on the mission she encountered Iron Man who was able to quickly dispatch of her. To assist her, her employers bestowed her with a new costume and high-tech weaponry. In an effort to achieve victory, she enlisted a then amateur costumed individual named Hawkeye. Together, the two repeatedly battled Iron Man.
In one battle between the three, Black Widow sustained large injuries, leaving Hawkeye to carry her off. Due to his actions, Black Widow finally started to show feelings for him and began questioning her loyalty to Russia. Seeing what was happening, Russian operatives were tasked with bringing her back to be brainwashed back into service.
Now back with Russia, Black Widow was convinced to battle the newly formed, Hawkeye-including, Avengers. Ultimately, Natasha shook off the effects of the brainwashing and made her plea to join Hawkeye in the Avengers. Now apart of the Avengers, Nick Fury asked her to spy on her old employer, which she refused and leave the Avengers,
Shortly thereafter, she developed her own costume and added her well-known Widow’s Bite. No matter her history, Natasha has spent her time working as more of an anti-hero than a true hero or villain.
Title Image © Marvel