Who is Black Widow?

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Who is Black Widow?

Black Widow is a highly trained espionage agent that works for SHIELD and the Avengers.  Initially, Natasha was part of a secret Soviet experiment and received various biological enhancements that make her stronger and faster than a peak level human athlete.  The biological enhancements also slow her aging process.

Real Name: Natasha Romanoff

Alias: Black Widow

First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #52 (1964)

Black Widow Multimedia:

Black Widow News:

Bio: (New retconned version)
At a young age Natasha Romanoff was brought in a special Soviet military project called Division X that operated in what is called the Red Room.  At the Red Room the KGB run a special project called the Black Widow program.  The Black Widow program harshly trains its young females to be cold hearted killers.  The trainees are trained in espionage, martial skills, and seduction.  One of Natasha's trainers at the institute was the Winter Soldier.  Once trained Natasha was given biological enhancements called the Kudrin treatment and false memories.  She believed that she was ballerina in the Bolshoi Theater.  It would not be for many years until Natasha uncovered the truth of the full extent of events that took place while at the Red Room.

Natasha is given a handler who oversees her actions named Ivan Petrovitch.

Clashing with Iron Man:
Natasha Romanoff and another soviet agent Boris Turgenov are sent to kill the defector scientist, Professor Anton Vanko.  At the time Vanko was working for Tony Stark.  During the mission the pair of Soviet agents infiltrate Stark Industries and steal one of Stark's Iron Man suits.  Boris uses the suit to become the Crimson Dynamo. Vanko ends up sacrificing himself by using an experimental laser to kill Boris.  Natasha manages to flee the carnage before Stark's alter ego Iron Man can go after her.

Changing Sides:

Seeking revenge and a new partner Natasha befriends the criminal archer Hawkeye.  The nearly kill Iron Man but he manages to put Natasha in harms way forcing the pair to retreat.  During this period Natasha's Sovient mind control begins to wash away and she falls in love with Hawkeye.  As the begin planning for a new life in hiding from Natasha's former employers, she is found and shot by a Soviet agent.  In hospitable she begs Hawkeye to go straight.  He goes on to join the Avengers.

Not wanting to lose their prize agent the Red Room kidnaps and brainwashes Natasha again.  This time however the brainwashing does not last long.  She quickly defects from Russia and becomes a costumed hero in America.  After time she too eventually joins the espionage group SHIELD and the super hero team the Avengers.

Yelena Belova:
Natasha has several run ins with new Black Widows, the most notable of these being Yelena Belova.  The two have numerous battles with Natasha eventually capturing and torturing Yelena attempting to get her to stop being an agent.  Natasha's harsh methods fail and Yelena ends up becoming a test subject of AIM called the Human Adaptoid.

Civil War:

Natasha serves  on the side of Pro Registration services of Tony Stark.  She at one point becomes the director of SHIELD when the higher level agents are believed dead.  She also encounters Bucky Barnes the Winter Soldier and becomes his partner for a time.

Secret Avengers:
She becomes an operative of the Secret Avengers serving Steve Rogers.

Skills - Powers:

Natasha's foremost asset is her martial and espionage training that make her a deadly spy, assassin or in conventional fighting.

True to her moniker of Black Widow, Natasha can play the part of a femme fatale and use the powers of seduction to get men in compromising situations or to otherwise lower guard.

As part of the Black Widow program Natasha received various biological enhancements that make her stronger and faster than a peak level human athlete.  The enhancements also act to slow her aging.

Heightened immunities against parasites, bacteria, viruses and poisons.

Natasha also have access to variety of specialized espionage equipment that comes from the Soviets, SHIELD or the Avengers.

Bracelets - Can block bullets and also emit the "Widows Bite" a static electrical charge that incapacitates targets.

Widow's Hook is a grappling line used for climbing.

Widow's Kiss -Aerosol knock out gas

Belt - has a variety of bomb like disks that can explode with varied effects.  They can emit gases, explosives, or electrical charges.

Suctioncups - These are sometimes on her costume allowing her to climb.
Goggles - Special goggles that enhance her vision and offer technical schematic information.

Natasha Romanoff has been played by Scarlet Johanson in the Marvel films: Iron Man 2, Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Interview with Entertainment weekly about Civil War with Scarlet Johanson:
Scarlet Johanson provided some interesting answers on where her character stands in Civil War and her decision making in the film. 

I think when you find her in Civil War, she’s looking to strategize her position, putting herself in a place where she is able to let the powers that be fight it out or whatever amongst themselves. She’s always a little bit on the perimeter so she can have a better perspective of what’s really going on.
It sounds like she is more in the middle in Civil War.  Maybe she is the one to sleuth manipulations of Baron Zemo?
"When we last saw her I think the stakes were astronomical. And she basically had to make this choice between [duty] and what she probably deserves. I think up until this point, she has put the hours in and is ready for..."
"You know, I don’t think she’s ever aspired to become an Avenger. That’s not really a choice that she made. It’s kind of like the events in her life led her to that point and when we see her [in Civil War], she’s finally capable of making a choice for herself. Which is kind of a milestone in someone’s life when they’ve not really participated in the decisions that were made for them. She’s finally at a place where she’s going, ‘Okay, I actually kind of know what I want. And I think I kind of deserve it..Unfortunately the events that took place … she has this kind of greater calling and this huge pull towards doing what’s right for the greater good. And she chooses that, and it’s a really heroic thing that she does, I think."


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