Hello and welcome to another edition of Marvel Snapshot! In this week’s character spotlight, we’ll be taking a look at one of the stars that will be on the big screen this May in the new Avengers movie. A sultry, red-haired vixen named Black Widow! Yes, Natalia Romanova, who was created by Stan Lee, Don Rico, and Don Heck back in April 1964 (Tales of Suspense #52). Well, let’s take a look at this super spy from Russia, right now!
Natasha (as she was first called) was first introduced as a super Soviet spy that was in league with the Crimson Dynamo, and attacked Tony Stark/Iron Man. When that didn’t work out, she then tricked Hawkeye into fighting Iron Man. That didn’t turn out well in the end, either, so after a while, she defected from the Soviet Union to the United States. It has been revealed that during her time as an operative with the KGB, Natasha had a relationship (and it still continues to this day) with Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier). Now, at the time, Bucky was brainwashed, but he eventually regained his memories, and he still loves Natasha.
After some romance with Hawkeye and previously with Bucky, the Widow moved on to Daredevil. She appeared in several issues of that book, and even went as far as to fight Elektra for his love. She and Matt were on and off for a while, and eventually she returned to being with Bucky. She also became a full fledged agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and then also had to come face to face with her former lover, Alexi Shostakov (Red Guardian). She was told that he died in combat when they were young, but it was just a ploy to get her into the program. This program, the “Red Room,” trained her to become a super spy and a killer, among other things.
She eventually became reacquainted with the man who helped raise her (Ivan Petrovich), and through a sequence of events, she killed him. This, you would think, would put her in a talespin, but actually it liberated her. You see, by this time Natasha had realized that she had been manipulated her entire life and wanted to rid herself of old ties. She also eventually figured out that the Red Room produced more than one Black Widow, and the worst of them was Yelena Belova!
As usual, check out my recommended reading list below, along with some really cool covers featuring the Black Widow herself! Oh, and don’t forget to check out the movie this May, it looks awesome (click here for trailer)!
Tales of Suspense #52, 53, 57, 60, & 64 (1964)
Essential Avengers vol. 1 & 2 – Tpb
Captain America vol. 6-9 – Tpb
Black Widow: Deadly Origin – Tpb