Like her namesake, the Black Widow ranks as one of the deadliest of her species and a woman never to be underestimated--or forgotten.
She’s made her mark on many a man and criminal alike, but in the end she remains an enigmatic figure with a dark past and often times an even darker attitude. You may think you know the Black Widow, but what you know may simply be nothing but smoke and mirrors...
Born in Russia and raised by the Russian government to be a deadly secret agent, Natasha Romanova excelled in her studies and as an athlete and dancer. Bioenhanced in the 'Black Widow' program, she graduated with flying colors and accepted assignments abroad, putting Natasha into direct conflict with American heroes Iron Man and Hawkeye.
The Black Widow operated at first as a plainclothes operative, but soon adopted a costume and gadgetry to better suit her spider-like persona and codename.
Teams and Tests
After striking out on her own, Natasha became romantically involved with the costumed crusader Daredevil and entered into a long series of adventures alongside him. Eventually, the two drifted apart and ended their relationship, with the Widow moving on and taking part in the founding of the super hero team called the Champions, based in Los Angles, California.
Natasha’s talents and prowess also made her a prime candidate for Avengers membership and she went on to become not only a valuable asset to the team but also their leader for a time.
Too Many Widows
At one point, deep into her career, Natasha discovered another Russian agent who claimed the title of Black Widow and the privileges that came with it. Yelena Belova, a product of the same Widow Project as Natasha, became her bitter rival as the two women clashed furiously over the right to continue operating in the wider world.
The original Black Widow came out on top, eventually, due to her long experience and heightened capabilities against any and all opponents.
At the Center of the Web
The original Black Widow found herself in the middle of the so-called 'Civil War' among super heroes and chose to fall in line with Tony Stark’s bold Superhuman Registration Act. When Stark appears to perish, Natasha became the acting commander of S.H.I.E.L.D, an incredible circumstance for a former Russian secret agent.
The Widow also witnessed the tragic events surrounding the death of Captain America around this time, after which her former lover, Bucky Barnes, took up the famous shield. A newly-revived Avengers also coaxed her back to the team for a while.
Natasha Romanova now enjoys her own exciting solo career as the Black Widow and as a member of Steve Rogers’ covert Secret Avengers team. What the future holds for one of the most deadly women on the planet will only be limited by her drive for action and her taste for adventure.
By Jim Beard
Avengers Assemble is out now