Quote1 How many more jobs... How long will it take... I don't know if I can do it... Even if I could forgive myself... This is what I am now. And you'll never know who I was before. Quote2
-- Black Widow src

Early Years

It was rumored that Natasha Romanova (Russian: Наталья Романова, Наташа Романова, Наталья Романова-Шостакова) was somehow related to the last ruling czars of Russia, but this was never proven.[14]

There are varying accounts of Romanova's early life. One account states that in 1928, Nazis set the building in Stalingrad that Natasha and her mother were living in on fire. Her mother threw her out the window to a Russian soldier before dying in the fire.[10][14] The soldier's name was Ivan Petrovitch, and he watched over Natasha for her entire life, remaining by her side as her "foster father".

While under Ivan's protection, many adversaries attempted to attack her. Baron von Stucker abducted Natasha and presented her to the Hand in Madripoor. There, she was to become their Master Assassin until Captain America, Logan, and Ivan saved her. As Natasha grew and matured, she proved to be an amazing athlete and scholar, while gaining distinction in the USSR as a ballerina.[15]

Red Room (Earth-616)

Red Room

Red Room

Another account establishes her as being raised from very early childhood by the U.S.S.R.'s "Black Widow Ops" Program, rather than solely by Ivan Petrovitch. Petrovitch had taken her to Department X, with other 28 young female orphans, where she is trained in combat and espionage at the covert "Red Room" facility. There, she is bio-technologically and psycho-technologically enhanced; an accounting that provides a rationale for her unusually long and youthful lifespan. She never really trained in ballet in the Bolshoi Theatre, having instead artificial memories.[16] During her training, Romanova was contacted by the Enchantress, who manipulated her simply for the sake of it suggesting that Romanova may be freed only to prevent her from escaping - however, Romanova's effort attracted attention of the program's organizers, who would had otherwise "discard" Romanova.[17]

Regardless of which account is accurate, she was eventually arranged to marry Alexi Shostakov, a distinguished Soviet test pilot.

Ivan Petrovich Bezukhov (Earth-616) Black Widow Deadly Origin Vol 1 1


The Soviet government intelligence (KGB) decided that the skill set of this couple would make them superb special operatives, and split them up while Alexi was away on a mission. Trained as the Red Guardian, Alexi became the Soviet Union’s answer to the United States’ Captain America.

Natasha was told that her husband died in an experimental rocket crash, and was drafted into the KGB. She became their best operative from being trained in the infamous Red Room Academy, becoming excellent at fighting and information gathering. During this time she had some training under the Winter Soldier.[18] It was there she was first dubbed the “Black Widow.”

The man named Logan resurfaced in America years later without any memory of his past, and in danger from Hydra assassins. She saved him and came upon him again when he stole the Red Storm Project from Russia alongside Carol Danvers and Ben Grimm.[19]

Natalia Romanova (Earth-616) from Tales of Suspense Vol 1 52 001

Early clashes with Iron Man

Black Widow was assigned to assist Boris Turgenov in the assassination of Professor Anton Vanko for defecting from their country by infiltrating Stark Industries in America.[20] Tony Stark, the original Iron Man, continually foiled her schemes against Stark Industries.[21] Romanova later met the novice archer Hawkeye and set him against Iron Man,[22] and later helped Hawkeye battle Iron Man.[23] Unfortunately, Hawkeye's association with Russian spies would label him a criminal in his early career.[22] Black Widow and Hawkeye next clashed against the novice super-hero Spider-Man.[24] They resumed their focus on Tony Stark, clashing with Iron Man twice more - the first being an attempt to raid Tony Stark's munitions plant.[23]

When that mission ended in failure, she was taken back to Russia by her masters and given a new costume that allowed her to scale walls as well as a device that allowed her to fire lines to swing from. She once more attempted to get Hawkeye to help her destroy Iron Man. The pair almost succeeded, but when Black Widow was injured, Hawkeye retreated to get her to safety.[25] During this period, Romanova was attempting to defect from the Soviet Union and began to feel love toward Hawkeye, weakening her loyalty to her country. When her employers learned the truth, they had her gunned down, sending her to a hospital, convincing Hawkeye to go straight and seek membership in the Avengers.[26]

Association with the Avengers

Captured by her masters again and brainwashed, Black Widow was forced to hire the Swordsman and Power Man to destroy the Avengers.[27] This plot eventually failed when the Avengers defeated both of the villains and Natasha shook off the effects of the brainwashing.[28] Attempting to make amends with the group, she assisted them against the racist group known as the Sons of the Serpent.[29]

Having been granted amnesty, Natasha made a bid for membership in the Avengers, aiding them in their battle against the Ultroids.[30] She threatened to kill their leader Ixar if he did not leave the Earth, winning the victory, however Hawkeye covered up this fact so that she could get membership in the group even though she violated their code of ethics regarding killing.[31] However when Nick Fury hired her to spy on her former master on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D., she was be forced to decline membership with the Avengers and publicly broke off her relationship with Hawkeye.[32] As part of her mission, the press branded her as a traitor, breaking Hawkeye's heart.[33]

Arriving in China, the Black Widow was not easily trusted and subjected to the Psychotron device, a machine that could brainwash anyone.[34] She proved to be too strong willed and had to be gassed and kept locked up.[35] Learning that Natasha was now a prisoner of her former Communist masters, the Avengers traveled to China to rescue her, clashing with the Red Guardian, Natasha's ex-husband who was thought to be dead.[36] The Avengers with the help of Natasha defeated the Communists plot to use the Psychotron against the western world. During the course of the battle Natasha was injured and the Red Guardian seemingly perished in the battle.[37]

After time recovering in the hospital, Natasha returned to Avengers mansion and came to the decision to give up her career of costumed adventuring.[38] However this proved to be short lived as she returned to super-heroics shortly thereafter,[39] however her romance with Hawkeye became strained as he was usually too busy with Avengers business to pay attention to her.

Fed up with staying out of action, Black Widow accepted another assignment from S.H.I.E.L.D. to prevent Egghead from using an orbital platform to hold the world ransom. She was captured, prompting Hawkeye (who still loved her) to use Henry Pym's growth formula to become the new Goliath and rescue her.[40] She aided the Avengers in stopping Egghead, although it ended in the seeming death of Egghead and Goliath's brother Barney.[41] After a prolonged absence, the Black Widow eventually ended her relationship with Goliath.[42]

Going Solo

Natasha was not be able to avoid super-heroics for long and, after designing a new sleek black costume and adapting her bracelets with electric "Widows Bites", she sought to prove herself a capable adventurer by besting Spider-Man in battle. Although Spider-Man was ill and not at his full capacity at the time, he was still able to beat the Widow, however she resolved to continue her career as a costumed adventurer.[43]

She mostly clashed with underworld figures and costumed villains during this period, notably the Astrologer and Watchlord.[44]

Partners with Daredevil

The Black Widow soon became a pawn manipulated by the computer known as Baal from the distant future Earth-71778. In that reality, mankind was wiped out and the past history of Daredevil and Black Widow played a crucial role. This ultimately lead to a long relationship and partnership between the two heroes, but it eventually came to an end.[45]

Nancy Rushman

While working with S.H.I.E.L.D., Black Widow was briefly captured as part of a Hydra plot to infiltrate and brainwash the organization, causing her to regress to an old cover identity of teacher Nancy Rushman. Fortunately, she was discovered and rescued by Spider-Man, subsequently working with him, Nick Fury, and Shang-Chi to defeat their plan; she even admitted that the Nancy identity was attracted to Spider-Man after the crisis was over, even if she preferred to retain her independence.[46]

Champions of Los Angeles

She co-founded the Champions of Los Angeles after they had successfully foiled a plot by Pluto to invade Olympus.[47] The team soon disbanded due to bankruptcy, and Natasha attempted a partnership with Hercules without success.[48][49]

Solo Again

After these two failures, Natasha decided to stay on her own and freelance as an agent for a while.

It was during this time that an enemy from her time alongside Daredevil kidnapped Ivan to lure her to her death. Damon Dran planned to bring Natasha to his island so a small army of female combat specialists could destroy her. Once she was out of the way, he would send a fake Black Widow back to S.H.I.E.L.D. to assassinate Nick Fury. Unfortunately for Dran, Natasha defeated the army, saved Ivan, and notified Fury (who in turn bombed Dran's island).[50]

On a freelance mission, the Black Widow attempted to prevent the Hand from stealing the long-dead body of their Master Warrior, Kirigi.[51] Utilizing deadly poisons, Natasha was killed by the Hand. She was revived by Stone of the Chaste, and joined forces with Stone and Daredevil to stop the Hand from reviving Elektra. Natasha knew that they failed in this endeavor, but kept the information from Matt for his well-being.[52]

On a mission, Natasha found her husband Alexi Shostakov alive. Little did she know that it was only a Life Model Decoy created by Russian agents to blackmail her back into service of mother Russia. Once she finished the tasks they gave her, the Russians told her the truth and attempted to kill her. With Ivan’s assistance, she defeated the Russians and destroyed the LMD.[53]

Iron Man teamed up with Black Widow to prevent an agent named “Oktober” from attempting to start World War III by launching missiles. The missiles were launched, but Iron Man kept them from detonating. Oktober ended up actually being Natasha under some old KGB reprogramming that had been dormant in her mind. Together, they captured the agent responsible.[4]

Black Widow Vol 4 1 Textless

From Russia with Love

In time, Black Widow came back to the Avengers and became a co-leader, managing ops at home base while Black Knight lead in the field. When the majority of the Avengers were killed during the Onslaught saga, she was unable to rebuild the team while fighting off lawsuits from the Maria Stark Foundation. She always felt as if the Avengers dissolution was solely her fault.

The Black Widow then vowed to apprehend all of the Avenger's former foes, and ran into Daredevil while hunting the Grey Gargoyle. Matt feared for her mental state as he noticed how obsessive she became about bringing the Gargoyle down.[54] As he attempted to help her, his girlfriend, Karen Page, became increasingly more angry and jealous.[55] Natasha acknowledged Matt's love for Karen and left them to be together.[56] Later, Natasha would even offer to help Karen clear her name from a murder Mr. Fear framed her for.[57]

Once the Avengers who were thought killed returned, Natasha was more relieved, but decided to work with S.H.I.E.L.D. instead, assisting them in destroying Freedom Light by pretending to be Ebon Flame.[6]

Daredevil came into her life once again when he needed her to take care of Baby Karen, who he believed to be the Antichrist.[58] He eventually came back to attempt to kill the child, and Natasha stood in his way. While they were fighting, Bullseye killed the child and Natasha was badly beaten.[59] Upon the child’s death, Matt realized what he was doing, and he and Natasha reconciled. While she could admit that she still cared for him, they both decided they would never be together.[60]

Another Russian agent claimed the mantle of Black Widow, which brought her up against Natasha. Yelena Belova tried to keep Natasha from retrieving the Endless Fury Serum but failed.[61]

A short time after, Natasha captured Yelena and had their faces surgically swapped in an effort to find out what General Stalyenko was doing with the Rhapastani Government in the Hudson River Valley.[62] After meeting with whom he thought was Yelena, Stalyenko figured out it was not really she and attempted to kill her.[63] Even though her plan failed, Natasha was able to prevent Stalyenko from selling the Cold War nuclear weapons he was hiding in the valley to Rhapastan.[2]

The government of Bulgaria later captured Madame Hydra and requested an exchange with the United States for the Black Widow. As part of a sting to find out who it was that was going to allow Natasha to be exchanged, Daredevil and S.H.I.E.L.D. teamed up with Natasha and found out that her husband, Alexi had orchestrated the entire exchange. Alongside the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Daredevil, Natasha took Alexi into custody.[64]

Widow's Hunt

The stress of seeing her once-dead once-living once-dead once-robot now alive again husband drove Natasha to retirement. She lived for a short time in Arizona before agents from the Red Room began tracking down ex-Black Widow agents and killing them. Natasha recruited Phil Dexter, an associate from S.H.I.E.L.D., and attempted to track down the killers. In her hunting, she found Sally Anne Carter[65] as well as Antonovna Kudrin, who was the former head of biotech for the Red Room. It turned out that the Black Widows included twenty-seven girls trained to be perfect killers. They were implanted with false memories, psycho-chemically conditioned, and chemically enhanced to be loyal and perform perfectly for the program.[66] Even pheromonal locks and keys were implanted into the Black Widows as a control mechanism to keep them from rebelling. While taking Lyudmila to S.H.I.E.L.D., Natasha learned that Nick Fury had used the pheromonal keys to make her defect from her home country and begin working for S.H.I.E.L.D. She also learned that Sally Anne was kidnapped and Phil was killed in the process.[67]

The trail of Black Widow killings lead to Vassily Ilyich Ulyanov from the Red Room and Ian McMasters, CEO of Gynacon. Natasha caught up to them on his yacht and killed them, making her the number one most wanted criminal in the United States.[67]

Natasha sought help from Yelena Belova in Cuba. Yelena was running a lingerie company and soft pornography television channels at the time. In return for a place to stay, Yelena asked Natasha for help in exporting stolen medical supplies from Miami. To her surprise, Natasha found the medical supplies to be from Gynacon and that Sally Anne was actually taken by the mafia.[68] Kestrel and Martin Ferris captured Natasha in Miami and attempted to alter her mind using drugs to find out what she knew. With the help of Yelena, Daredevil rescued Natasha, who then tracked and killed Kestrel and Ferris. In all the madness, Natasha learned that Sally Anne had been experimented on by Gynacon but had escaped.[16]

Nick Fury's Secret War

Secret War Vol 1 4

Natalia during the Secret War

Black Widow was assigned to track down the Tinkerer in an effort to find the financier behind the super-villains of America. Disguised in a burqa, she tracked the Tinkerer to the castle of Lucia von Bardas, the current prime minister of Latveria. Unfortunately, the President refused Fury's request for a S.H.I.E.L.D.-focused overthrow of von Bardas. Forced to act alone, Fury gathered Widow, Captain America, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Wolverine and Daisy Johnson to overthrow von Bardas. Unfortunately, the heroes disapproved of bringing down Castle Doom down on von Bardas. Afterwards, Fury erased the memories of the non-level 10 participants in his secret war.

Daredevil Goes to Jail

When Matt Murdock's identity as Daredevil was leaked to the press, the government came to arrest him along with Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Foggy Nelson. Natasha was able to keep everyone but Matt from going to jail.

Civil War/Initiative

During the Superhero Civil War, Natasha became a supporter of the Superhuman Registration Act and a member of the task force led by Iron Man.[69] Afterward, Natasha allowed herself to be registered and joined the reconstituted Avengers.[69]

Natasha, still one of the world’s most sought-after espionage agents alive, was recruited by Iron Man and Ms. Marvel to be on the newest team of Avengers alongside the Sentry, Ares, the Wasp, and Wonder Man. When S.H.I.E.L.D. director Tony Stark was presumed killed and deputy director Maria Hill incapacitated, Natasha assumed temporary command of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the highest-ranking agent present.[citation needed]

Natasha was among the Avengers infected along with hundreds of other New York citizens by a symbiote virus, but were cured by Iron Man. Natasha became very suspicious of Jessica Drew, who was later discovered to be the Skrull impostor, Veranke.

Black Widow Deadly Origin Vol 1 2 Textless


Natasha assumed the identity of Yelena Belova to infiltrate Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts for Nick Fury.[70] Osborn discovered her breaking into an abandoned S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, and offered her the position of field lead. On her first mission, she and Ant-Man took control of Air Force One with the Goblin, Doc Samson, and the new President aboard.[71] Osborn began impersonating Fury in messages to set Natasha up in order to strengthen the Thunderbolts and lead him to Fury.

Osborn ordered her to lead the current Thunderbolts to kill former Thunderbolt, Songbird. Fury orders "Yelena" to rescue and retrieve Songbird, for the information she might have possessed about Osborn and his operations. Natasha found Songbird, and revealed to her that she was really Natasha Romanova in disguise. She tried delivering Songbird to Fury, but the Thunderbolts also followed them.[72] The trio was captured as Osborn revealed he had been impersonating Fury in messages all along. He ordered the team to execute Natasha and Songbird, but they managed to escape when Ant-Man, Headsmen and Paladin turned on the rest of the Thunderbolts and let them go. After being rescued by MACH-V and Fixer, they learned that the Fury Osborn shot was actually an LMD.[73][74]


Natasha was framed in a plot targeting global spies. She was accused of assassinating U.S. senator Whit Crane. The senator's son, Nick, was captured by a rival spy Fatale, who wanted to know his source for implicating Natasha. Natasha stole Nick away from her and took him to a secret CIA base to scare him into giving her his source instead. The plan backfired when both of them were attacked. Natasha and Nick escaped, but while in Poland they were attacked by Fantasma and Crimson Dynamo. Natasha took down Crimson Dynamo, but then Fatale showed up and knocked out Fantasma. Fatale revealed that she was hired to kill Whit Crane but found he had already taken his own life and she needed to use Nick to track down who had actually paid for the hit. Nick gave them the name of a source 'Sadko' (not his true source of info), but when they arrived it was a trap wired with explosives and they were forced to escape. The conspiracy against spies turned out to be wider and Natasha encountered Mockingbird and Hawkeye on the same trail in Russia where they found many trainee spies and a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent have been killed. Soon Perun, Crimson Dynamo, Fantasma and Sputnik showed up to apprehend Hawkeye, believing him to be the Ronin behind the spy deaths. Discovering that this was merely a diversion, the three heroes and Dominic Fortune alerted the true target -- an ambassador in St. Petersburg, Russia. They next traveled to Japan. Dominic and Mockingbird discovering an amassing battle force on the Russian coast near to the northern Japanese islands, while Natasha and Hawkeye tracked down 'the Madame' -- an old ninja working with the new Ronin to bring about this Russian attack. The four heroes met up on the disputed island 'Iturup' where they met the Ronin, who was revealed as Alexi Shostakov. His plan was to kill off world intelligence operatives leaving countries blind while he made his attack, and brought the four heroes to him so he could kill them. Shostakov set off the volcano on the island, but Natasha and the others used the lava to defeat his forces. He was defeated when Natasha showed Fantasma his true plan and Fantasma then hypnotized him into seeing Natasha's death, allowing the real Natasha to take him down.[75]

Again an Avenger

After the Siege of Asgard, Black Widow joined Commander Rogers' new Secret Avengers. Some time later, when the Stark Tower was rebuilt, she joined the Avengers' main team and even had a room there. She played a vital role in helping Spider-Man foil the Sinister Six's latest scheme when she, Spider-Man and Silver Sable were the last heroes left standing after the Six defeated the rest of the Avengers (albeit because she was the Avenger closest to Sable's cloaked plane).[76]

During the Avengers' war with the X-Men, Natasha sided with her fellow Avengers. After the war, she was called upon to join the primary Avengers squad.[77] Several months later, when S.H.I.E.L.D. took over the Avengers to find the Illuminati and bring them into custody, Black Widow left the team and joined Sunspot's Avengers.[78] When the Illuminati and the Avengers set their differences aside in light of the imminent destruction of the universe as a result of the Multiversal phenomenon known as an incursion, Black Widow was tasked with bringing selected people aboard the Future Foundation's Life Raft.[79] When the final incursion was coming to a close, Widow's ship was damaged and Natasha died in the ensuing explosion.[80]

Secret Empire

Following the eventual restoration of the Multiverse,[81] Natasha left the Avengers and returned to a life of espionage. Black Widow was forced to betray and deflect from S.H.I.E.L.D. when a new adversary nicknamed the Weeping Lion blackmailed her.[82] In an ensuing mission, Natasha discovered the existence of a Dark Room Academy founded by the Red Room's former Headmistress.[83] After turning the tables on the Weeping Lion and getting him to work for her,[84] Black Widow further investigated the Dark Room.[85] She managed to stop an assassination attempt in the White House from Dark Room recruits,[86] and subsequently prevented the Headmistress' daughter Anya from compromising S.H.I.E.L.D., freeing the remaining recruits from the Dark Room's grasp, driving them to a path of recovery, and cleaning her name in the process.[87]

When Hydra abruptly conquered the United States guided by the hand of Captain America, or rather a twisted fascist version of him that had secretly taken his place due to a Cosmic Cube, Black Widow joined the last line of resistance, the Underground.[88] Having grown tired of the Underground's reluctance to take the extreme approach to end Captain America even after his regime had leveled Las Vegas, Natasha parted on her own to kill Rogers. She was followed by the Champions, who joined her enterprise in an attempt to talk her out of murdering Captain America.[89]

Over the course of the following weeks, Natasha trained the Champions in hopes to prepare them for the grim future, while scheming her murder plot.[90] Black Widow also planned to kill Captain America herself to lift the burden from Spider-Man's shoulders, as a vision projected by an Inhuman profiler named Ulysses Cain had predicted the young hero was going to murder Rogers. Unfortunately, the intervention of a Hydra agent delayed the execution of Black Widow's plan, which gave Spider-Man enough time to confront Captain America alone. While Steve and Spider-Man were trading blows, Black Widow stepped in for the kid's safety, taking a hit from Captain America's shield which broke her neck. Enraged, Spider-Man beat up Captain America severely. Wasp stopped him, and convinced him to follow Natasha's wish, that he avoided becoming an assassin like her.[91]

Natasha is a professional and sly agent who will get any job done regardless of the difficulty. She went from being one of the best operatives in S.H.I.E.L.D. to a superhero. She held her own as a part of the Avengers for years, even leading them for a time. However, she doesn't belong with the superhero set due to her helping with S.H.I.E.L.D. Nevertheless, she will keep her word by being behind the scenes or assist the Avengers if needed. Despite of Natasha as a superhero, she will always resume her mission to be a spy. Nick Fury commented on Natasha that "running in the shadows is what she was born to do."[92]


Quote1 If... She was pregnant, she'd need to. She'd have to. We rewired you all biochemically. Gave you ramped up immune and cell repair systems. All the Black Widows have it. Your wounds heal four, maybe five times as fast as a normal human's would. You hardly get sick, you don't age as fast... Your hair doesn't fall out, your skin can take wind and sun without-- Quote2
--Dr. Lyudmila Kudrin (Red Room Genetic Scientist)[src]

Artificially Enhanced Physiology: Natasha was biochemically enhanced through the Black Widow Ops Program when she was a infant. She artificially received the Red Room's version of the Super-Soldier Serum that was created by Dr. Lyudmila Kudrin to enhanced her immune system, bodily condition, and longevity.[93][12]

  • Peak Human Strength: Natasha's strength is enhanced to the maximum limit of female human potential. Her enhanced strength is beyond the natural limits of female humans, enabling her to consistently press lift 500 lbs (226 kg).[94] Natasha's strength extends to her legs, enabling her to leap at least 10 ft (3 m) into the air without a running start.[95] She was able to leap on top of a water tower building in a single bound.[95]
  • Peak Human Speed: Her speed is enhanced to the peak of human capability. Natasha is capable at running speeds of 30 mph. At peak capacity, she is capable of extending speeds up to 35 mph.[96]
  • Peak Human Durability: Natasha's body is enhanced to withstand greater physical injuries than normal humans.[9] She is durable enough to withstand falls from several stories of tall buildings.[97][95] She has also withstood blows from superhumans like Imus Champion,[98] and Black Dwarf.[99] She was able to withstand a nearby grenade explosion,[100] a dark matter blast from Darkstar,[101] and even managed to continue fighting after being shot through her shoulder.[102]
Natalia Romanova (Earth-616) from Fear Itself Black Widow Vol 1 1 0001 (2)

Black Widow dodging gunshots from Rapido's weapon.

  • Peak Human Agility: Natasha's agility, balance, flexibility, and dexterity are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural limits of an Olympic gold medalist.[12]
  • Peak Human Reflexes: Natasha's reflexes is enhanced to the very peak of human potential.[103] Her reaction speed is faster than normal humans, which makes it possible for her to dodge several attacks from Bullseye,[104] as well as easily dodge gunfire at mid-range,[105] and can even dodge shots from multiple gunmen at close range.[106]
  • Peak Human Stamina: Natasha's musculature produces less fatigue toxins during physical activity. She is capable to exert herself at peak capacity for up to one hour before the build up of fatigue toxins in her blood begin to impair her.[13]
  • Peak Human Healing: Natasha's healing speed and efficiency is at the highest limits of human potential, which means she can heal faster than most humans.[13] Dr. Kudrin theoretically stated Natasha's wounds heal five times faster than average human rate.[13] She is able to heal broken bones, fractures, torn muscles, several gunshots, puncture wounds, and other serious injuries in three days time and most lesser physical injuries like cuts, scrapes, and burns in a matter of hours.[13]
  • Peak Mental Resistance: Natasha's mind is capable at withstanding extraordinary torture. She is often required to go undercover for S.H.I.E.L.D. and has been extensively trained to endure long-term inhumane interrogation methods.[18]
  • Enhanced Immune System: The Black Widow has been enhanced by biotechnology that makes her body immune to aging, disease, etc.[13][8][9]
  • Enhanced Longevity: The serum extends Natasha's lifespan and youth, resulting in her maintaining the appearance of a woman in her 30's despite being born in 1928.[13][12]
  • Peak Human Endurance: Natasha exhibits extraordinary levels to physical pain. She once resumed functioning in spite of her undergoing unbearable surgery without anesthesia.[107]


Master Martial Artist: Natasha has mastered in many fields of martial arts.[12] These include sambo, boxing,[9] karate,[9] judo,[9] aikido,[9] ninjutsu, savate,[9] muay thai, and multiple styles of kung fu.[9][8] She have shown impressive skills to easily defeated one hundred armed soldiers,[105] and fought Wolverine during her training in the Red Room Academy.[14] She was able to hold her own against other dangerous opponents like Winter Soldier,[18] Elektra,[108] and Punisher.[109]

Master Acrobat: Natasha is a extraordinary skilled gymnast, acrobat, and aerialist.[9] She is capable of achieving very difficult maneuvers and feats that no greatest athletes can accomplish.[110]

Master Assassin: Natasha is heavily skilled in assassination techniques. She uses her skills as a martial artist, acrobat, and spy to further enhance her skills as an assassin. She has been sent by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the KGB to eliminate numerous enemies. Her assassination skills are on par with, if not surpassing, those of the Winter Soldier, Deadpool, Domino, and Lester.[20]

Indomitable Will: Natasha is a very strong willed woman. Her will is so strong to the point that she will never surrender to her opponents, no matter how powerful they intent to be.[35]

Master Markswoman: Natasha is an extremely accurate markswoman skilled in sharpshooting and knife throwing.[65]

Multilingual: Natasha is fluent in Russian,[111][85] English,[112] French,[113] German,[14] Chinese,[65] Japanese,[65] and various other languages.[114][9]

Gifted Intellect:[8] Natasha possesses the ability to quickly process multiple information streams, such as threat assessment, and rapidly respond to changing tactical situations.[13]

Graceful Dancer: Natasha is a profound ballet dancer.[115]

Master Tactician: Natasha is a very effective strategist, tactician, and field commander. She has lead the Avengers and even S.H.I.E.L.D. on one occasion.[112]

Talented Hacker: Natasha can hack into all computer systems without tripping any firewalls or security with ease.[85]

Master Seductress: She is an expert in the field of seduction. Natasha has been infamously known to bend many different men to her will and sometimes even get them to do her bidding for her. She sometimes continues deceiving certain men through means of acting if she still has a further use for them.[112]

Master Spy: Natasha is a dangerous secret agent trained in espionage, stealth, disguise, infiltration, and demolitions. She displays an uncanny affinity for psychological manipulation and can mask her real emotions perfectly. She is capable of killing in cold blood when the need arises. Her talents and years of experience have enabled her to reach a high ranking position as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D..[65]

Skilled Shield Fighter: Natasha is proficient with Captain America's Shield. She has been seen to use the shield to block several gunshots from Winter Soldier during their fight.[18]

Strength level

Natasha is capable of lifting 500 lbs.;[94] however, she stated that the Punisher was stronger than she is.[109] Nevertheless, she has demonstrated in the past to be as strong as it is possible for a female human without being strictly classified as superhuman.[116] She was capable of breaking an arm of an Aleph,[117] and was also strong enough to injure Imus Champion, who possesses superhuman endurance.[98]


Pregnancy: While not an encumbrance to her performance, the serum and biological modifications made to Natasha's physiology, granting her impressive resilience; the effects of a highly efficient immune system inhibit her reproductive capabilities rendering pregnancy impossible.[93]


Costume Specifications: Synthetic stretch fabric which has been augmented to be highly resistant to damage even small arms fire and high temperatures. Microscopic suction cups on her costume allow her to scale walls and cling to ceilings, just as her namesake.[9]


Natasha uses her Widow's Line, a grappling hook with a retractable line, to swing along rooftops for increased mobility. Avenger's Quinjets. Assorted S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft. Used an Avengers Issue Jet-Pack.[118]


Black Widow's Gauntlets: The Black Widow's Gauntlets are wrist cartridges containing various tools of the spy trade: tear-gas pellets, a radio transmitter and fire a 100 foot spring-loaded cable.[9]

Special Weaponry: Various automatic weapons and firearms, combat knives and explosives as needed. She also uses a device often referred to as the Widow's Bite that is capable of stunning a superhuman opponent and emitting highly potent electric shocks with a maximum of about 30,000 volts at the range of at least 20 feet.[9]

Source of Paraphernalia: Formerly Soviet Union, S.H.I.E.L.D., Avengers.

  • Despite the Black Widow having been introduced in 1964, it wasn't until 35 years later in 1999 that the Red Room was established as a part of her backstory in Black Widow #1.
  • Natasha has had romantic relationships with Clint Barton,[31] Matt Murdock,[119] James Barnes,[120] and Alexi Shostakov.[37]
  • She was a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Level Ten,[121][122] or "Level 10 Operative".[92]
  • Romanova occasionally cared for a cat that hung around her apartment until she eventually named it Liho and unofficially adopted it.[123][124]
  • Nick Fury's intel classified her as power level 7.[92]

Discover and Discuss


  1. All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #2: "Natasha" is the informal version of the name "Natalia", and is used by her close associates. Sometimes she has chosen to Anglicize her last name as "Romanoff." She has dropped her married name of "Shostakova."
  2. 2.0 2.1 Black Widow Vol 2 #3
  3. Black Widow Vol 3 #2
  4. 4.0 4.1 Iron Man #277
  5. Champions #7
  6. 6.0 6.1 Journey into Mystery #519
  7. Avengers Vol 3 #2
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Avengers: Roll Call #1
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #1
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Shadows and Light #1
  11. 11.0 11.1 Black Widow Vol 4 #4
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Civil War Battle Damage Report #1
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 Black Widow Vol 3 #5
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Black Widow: Deadly Origin #1
  15. Uncanny X-Men #268
  16. 16.0 16.1 Black Widow Vol 3 #4-6
  17. Black Widow and the Marvel Girls #1
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Captain America Vol 5 #27
  19. Before the Fantastic Four: Ben Grimm and Logan #1
  20. 20.0 20.1 Tales of Suspense #52
  21. Tales of Suspense #52-53
  22. 22.0 22.1 Tales of Suspense #57
  23. 23.0 23.1 Tales of Suspense #60
  24. Untold Tales of Spider-Man #17
  25. Tales of Suspense #64
  26. Avengers #12
  27. Avengers #29
  28. Avengers #30
  29. Avengers #32-33
  30. Avengers #36
  31. 31.0 31.1 Avengers #37
  32. Avengers #38
  33. Avengers #39
  34. Avengers #41
  35. 35.0 35.1 Avengers #42
  36. Avengers #43
  37. 37.0 37.1 Avengers #44
  38. Avengers #46
  39. Avengers #57
  40. Avengers #63
  41. Avengers #64
  42. Avengers #76
  43. Amazing Spider-Man #86
  44. Amazing Adventures Vol 2 #1-8
  45. Daredevil #81-124
  46. Marvel Team-Up #82-85
  47. Champions #1-3
  48. Champions #17
  49. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #17
  50. Marvel Fanfare #11-13
  51. Daredevil #187-188
  52. Daredevil #189-190
  53. Marvel Graphic Novel #61
  54. Daredevil #361
  55. Daredevil #362
  56. Daredevil #371
  57. Daredevil #375
  58. Daredevil Vol 2 #2
  59. Daredevil Vol 2 #4
  60. Daredevil Vol 2 #8
  61. Black Widow #1
  62. Black Widow Vol 2 #1
  63. Black Widow Vol 2 #2
  64. Daredevil Vol 2 #61-64
  65. 65.0 65.1 65.2 65.3 65.4 Black Widow Vol 3 #1
  66. Black Widow Vol 3 #4-5
  67. 67.0 67.1 Black Widow Vol 3 #6
  68. Black Widow 2 #1-2
  69. 69.0 69.1 Civil War #3
  70. Thunderbolts #134
  71. Thunderbolts #128
  72. Secret Warriors #7
  73. Thunderbolts #135
  74. Thunderbolts #136
  75. Widowmaker #1-4
  76. Amazing Spider-Man #684
  77. Avengers Vol 5 #1
  78. Avengers Vol 5 #38
  79. Black Widow Vol 5 #19
  80. Secret Wars #1
  81. Secret Wars #9
  82. Black Widow Vol 6 #2
  83. Black Widow Vol 6 #4
  84. Black Widow Vol 6 #6
  85. 85.0 85.1 85.2 Black Widow Vol 6 #7
  86. Black Widow Vol 6 #8
  87. Black Widow Vol 6 #12
  88. Secret Empire #1
  89. Secret Empire #2
  90. Secret Empire #3-6
  91. Secret Empire #7
  92. 92.0 92.1 92.2 Secret War: From the Files of Nick Fury #1
  93. 93.0 93.1 Black Widow Vol 3 #5-6
  94. 94.0 94.1 Mighty Avengers: Most Wanted Files #1
  95. 95.0 95.1 95.2 Captain America Vol 5 #29
  96. Punisher/Black Widow: Spinning Doomsday's Web #1
  97. Daredevil Vol 2 #64
  98. 98.0 98.1 Black Widow Vol 4 #5
  99. Avengers Vol 5 #23
  100. Black Widow Vol 6 #5
  101. A + X #10
  102. Daredevil Vol 2 #63
  103. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #5
  104. Daredevil #160
  105. 105.0 105.1 Marvel Two-In-One #10
  106. Winter Soldier #4
  107. Black Widow Vol 4 #1
  108. Black Widow Vol 4 #3
  109. 109.0 109.1 Punisher: War Zone Vol 3 #2
  110. Captain America #402
  111. AVX: Vs #3
  112. 112.0 112.1 112.2 Tales of Suspense #53
  113. Daredevil #105
  114. Black Widow: Deadly Origin #2
  115. Black Widow Vol 3 #4
  116. Winter Soldier #9
  117. Avengers Assemble Vol 2 #19
  118. Avengers: The Initiative #8
  119. Daredevil #84
  120. Winter Soldier #1
  121. Mighty Avengers #3
  122. Wolverine Files #1
  123. Black Widow Vol 5 #1
  124. Black Widow Vol 5 #13
  125. Marvel Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide #2
  126. Avengers: Roll Call #1

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