Natalia "Natasha" Alianovna Romanova
Adventurer, intelligence operative, former ballerina
Place of Birth
Stalingrad, former U.S.S.R.
Unrevealed; intensive espionage training through Red Room Academy, others
Red-auburn (formerly dyed black)
The Black Widow has received a variant of the Super-Soldier Serum which has enabled her to remain in peak physical condition for the past several decades, as well as slowing her aging process to some degree.
Natalia Romanova, known to most as Natasha Romanoff, is rumored to be a relative of the famous Romanoffs (the last ruling czars of Russia). However, nothing else is known of her family.
During World War II, a Nazi assault upon Stalingrad set the building she was in on fire. A woman (possibly her mother) threw her into the arms of a Russian soldier named Ivan Petrovich before being consumed by the flames. (To learn more about the above character and group, just click on their names.)
Ivan brought Natasha under his protection and soon had to defend her from her many enemies. In 1941, Natasha was sought by the Nazi Baron Strucker, who presented her to the Hand to become their master assassin. She was saved from Strucker and the Hand by Ivan, Captain America, and Logan (aka future Wolverine). (Click on the highlighted names above to learn more about those characters).
Under Ivan's care, Natasha grew to pursue her goal of becoming a ballet dancer and studied under Oksana Bolishinko (a famous Bolshoi instructor). When she grew up, she fell in love with a Soviet test pilot named Alexi Shostakov, but was grief-stricken when he apparently died testing an experimental rocket. Natasha decided that she would honor Alexi's memory by becoming an intelligence operative (not realizing that this was what the K.G.B. had hoped would happen when they informed her of Alexi’s death). She was instructed by the K.G.B. in their infamous Red Room Academy and under their training, she became their most skilled operative, a superb fighter and information-gatherer. The K.G.B. gave her the code name "Black Widow," and quickly sent her into the field. (To learn more about the above place and/or person, just click on their names. The third picture posted is of the Black Widow's first costume.)
The Black Widow's first encounter with Iron Man came when she was directed to slay Anton Vanko (the creator of the Soviet Crimson Dynamo armor), who had fled to America. Natasha attempted to distract Tony Stark while her partner Boris Turgenov used the Crimson Dynamo to destroy Stark's plants. However, Turgenov and Vanko wound up perishing in battle, and Natasha remained in America to find some way of regaining the K.G.B.'s favor. (Click on the the characters' highlighted names to learn more about them.)
During this time, since Tony Stark was still unaware that she was a K.G.B. operative, she continued to romance Stark so that she could steal a new anti-gravity device he had created. She managed to use the device to commit various acts of sabotage, but Iron Man nullified the device and she barely escaped capture, now unable to trick Stark into lowering his guard.
Later, Natasha ran into the new costumed crime fighter, Hawkeye. Hawkeye was so taken with Natasha that she was able to entice him into an attempt at stealing plans from Tony Stark. Hawkeye fought Iron Man while Natasha watched from a distance. But, when Iron Man deflected one of Hawkeye's explosive arrows, the force of the impact struck Natasha down, knocking her unconscious. Hawkeye fled the scene to help Natasha recover. (To learn about Hawkeye, just click on his name above.)
After Natasha recovered, her superiors instructed her to avoid Stark Industries for a time and directed her instead to target Williams Innovations. She tricked Hawkeye into assaulting that firm as well, but Spider-Man intervened and Hawkeye turned back as he had begun to suspect his lover's true motivations. Natasha later sent Hawkeye out on a second attempt to steal Stark's plans; however, while Hawkeye was gone, she was kidnapped by the K.G.B. and returned to Russia. (Click on the companies and/or character name above to learn more about them.)
In Russia, the K.G.B. designed a new costume for Natasha and equipped her with her "widow's bite" and "widow's line." (The "widow's line" fires a cable, and the "widow's bite" releases electric bolts to stun her opponents with a charge of up to 30,000 volts. Also, her gloves and boots are equipped with miniature suction cups which enable her to cling to surfaces. In addition, her belt contains plastic explosives.) With these new weapons Natasha joined Hawkeye in battle against Iron Man in an attempt to destroy him. But, when Iron Man shocked Natasha with an electrical blast Hawkeye disobeyed her orders to save her life once again. The K.G.B. then returned and stole Natasha away from Hawkeye. (Black Widow's new costume is shown in the first picture posted above.)
This time the K.G.B. brainwashed Natasha to ensure her loyalty. In her next mission, she found herself allied against Hawkeye, who had become a member of the Avengers. Her love for Hawkeye allowed her to resist the brainwashing, and she finally turned against the K.G.B. (To learn about the Avengers, just click on their name above.)
After this, Natasha returned to America. Here, she divided her time between freelance work for Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D., and assisting the Avengers. When assisting the Avengers, she helped them against the Sons of the Serpent, and proved to be very instrumental in defeating the alien Ultroids who were certain the Avengers would not kill their leader Ixar because of their oath against killing; however, Natasha forced Ixar to surrender because she mentioned that she was not an Avenger and therefore was not bound by their oaths. (Click on the teams, races, and/or character above to learn more about them.)
While on a future assignment for S.H.I.E.L.D., Natasha discovered that Alexi Shostakov was still alive (he had been transformed by the K.G.B. into the costumed hero, the Red Guardian). She and the Avengers opposed the Red Guardian and his masters, and Alexi died in the battle. Afterward, Natasha abandoned her identity as the Black Widow, just as the Avengers were about to make her an official member.
Natasha finally decided to resume the Black Widow identity, but soon broke off her relationship with Hawkeye so that she could pursue a solo career. She became a vigilante, battling street gangs and organized crime in New York. Ivan had come to America by then, and he served as her chauffeur and confidant. Her new methods of operation brought her into contact with Daredevil, and she soon developed both a professional and personal relationship with him. (To learn about Daredevil, just click on his highlighted name above.)
Matt broke up with his long-time love, Karen Page, so that he could be with Natasha, and the two of them moved to San Francisco to start a new life together. They fought against menaces such as Man-Bull, Blue Talon, Dark Messiah, Angar the Screamer, Ramrod, Terrex, Kraven the Hunter, Death-Stalker, Owl, el Jaguar, and HYDRA. (Click on the highlighted names to learn about the many characters and/or team above. Note: Beware of the low-cut outfit on Karen Page's bio page.)
Natasha wanted to find a new career for herself beyond the day-to-day adventures she and Daredevil enjoyed. Therefore, she attempted to become a fashion designer, but her career never took off, and her relationship with Matt became strained. Natasha and Matt reconciled for awhile, but after a lengthy romance, Natasha finally broke up with Matt because she felt he did not treat her as an equal in battle.
During this time, Natasha accepted an offer to join the Avengers after aiding them against Magneto. However, soon after she left the team after determining that she did not fit into a team environment. (To learn about Magneto, click on his name above.)
Still on the West Coast, Natasha joined forces with Ghost Rider (John Blaze), Angel, and Iceman when the gods Hercules and Venus were captured by the armies of Pluto and Ares. After having saved Hercules from a forced marriage, he joined the four heroes to found a new super-hero team, the Champions. Based in Los Angeles (and bankrolled by the Angel), the team enjoyed modest success in their adventures. During this time, Natasha became romantically involved with Hercules, but his perspective as an immortal made a long-term relationship seem unimportant and they ended their relationship. The Champions finally disbanded due to bankruptcy. (To learn about the above characters and/or team, just click on their highlighted names.)
Later, Russian agents created a Life Model Decoy (LMD) of Alexi Shostakov, which they used to trick Natasha into believing her husband was still alive. With threats of terminating Alexi, they coerced Natasha into performing acts of espionage for Russia against the U.S. Upon gaining the desired technology, the Russians revealed the truth and tried to kill the Black Widow; however, with the aid of Ivan, she defeated them and destroyed the LMD.(To learn more about LMDs, just click on the highlighted name above.)
Natasha eventually returned to the Avengers and assumed the mantle of leadership, usually managing the team's operations from Avengers Mansion while allowing the Black Knight to lead in the field. Her tenure as the Avengers' leader came to an end when most of the team was apparently slain battling Onslaught. Unable to rebuild the Avengers roster herself, and threatened with legal action from the Maria Stark Foundation, the Black Widow allowed the Avengers to dissolve. (To learn about the above place, characters, and company, just click on their names above.)
Considering herself to be the last Avenger, Natasha embarked upon a personal mission to bring down all of the Avengers' former enemies, including the Grey Gargoyle and Masters of Evil. (Click on the highlighted names above to learn about the character and/or team. Note: Beware of a revealing outfit wore by one character in their picture on the Masters of Evil bio page.)
After some time, the Avengers finally returned and resumed their operations, but the Black Widow has only occasionally assisted them on missions (still feeling responsible for the team's disbanding). Instead, she has focused on her espionage work. Natasha has accepted several more assignments from S.H.I.E.L.D.
Natasha came close to learning some truths about her past when she was led into a trap by a man named Vindiktor, who claimed to have a copy of Natasha's mother's diary. This turned out to be false, but as Natasha fought him, he claimed that he was her brother. Unfortunately, Vindiktor died during their battle before Natasha could find out if he was telling the truth or not. (To learn about Vindiktor, just click his name above.)
Recently, Natasha became aware of the presence of another Black Widow, a younger woman named Yelena Belova (she too had been trained at the Red Room). The two Black Widows first encountered each other while attempting to retrieve the Endless Fury bio weapon. Natasha later had herself and Yelena trade appearances through plastic surgery to help teach Yelena that her superiors considered her expendable. (To learn about this other Black Widow, just click on her highlighted name. Note: Beware of her revealing/tight-fitting outfits on her bio page.)Natasha Romanoff remains one of the world's most accomplished hand-to-hand combatants, and is quite possibly the most skilled espionage agent alive, still in high demand with S.H.I.E.L.D.
To learn more about Black Widow, click on the following link, http://marvel.com/universe/Black_Widow_%28Natasha_Romanova%29. (Note: Beware of her tight-fitting outfits on her bio page.)
In Iron Man 2, Black Widow goes by the name Natalie Rushman. I don't know if this is a cover-up, but she does have a America accent in the movie. So, either she is covering up her Russian background, or they have changed the Black Widow's background history to make her American for the movies. We'll just have to wait and see.