With the unprecedented popularity of the latest Marvel blockbusters Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), plenty of novice fans of the Marvel universe are emerging, many of which have probably been enchanted by the gorgeous Natasha Romanov, better known as Black Widow. When seeing someone with such a wide set of skills, an expert in martial arts such as jiu-jitsu, aikido, boxing, judo, karate, and ninjutsu, it is only natural to be curious about their origin story. Nonetheless, a crucial characteristic of the fan-favorite Black Widow is the mystery that shrouds her past.
ِAs it is not so clear and varies from one comic series to another, Romanov’s origin story is not definite, however, there are two popular accounts of Black Widow’s early life.
According to the first volume of Black Widow: Deadly Origin, when she was a mere infant, Romanov’s house in the Russian city Stalingrad was set ablaze by Nazis in the 1920s during which she was rescued by a Russian soldier with the name of Ivan Petrovitch who becomes her adoptive father. Eventually, the girl was kidnapped to join a secret group of ninjas called “Hand” in the principality of Madripoor where she was trained to become the top assassin in the organization. This narrative concludes the origin story by an incident where Black Widow was rescued by Captain America, Wolverine, and Ivan Kronov. In this storyline, Natasha later lives on to become an eminent ballerina.
Joining Department X
A more popular version is one in which Natasha was taken by her foster father to Department X, a secret USSR organization that was created to train and produce biologically enhanced soldiers that could be used to fight the Cold War on the side of the main security agency of the USSR, the KGB. Natasha joined a program called “Black Widow Ops Program” where she joined 28 other orphaned girls at a facility called “Red Room” where they were thoroughly trained to become deadly female Russian spies. In an effort to guarantee her loyalty, she had false memories implanted in her brain, one of which is the memory of her being a trained ballerina in the Russian Bolshoi Theatre.
In the facility, she was both biologically and psychologically enhanced. Her physical strength was boosted immensely. She has increased stamina, swift movements, quick healing abilities, and superior reflexes. Natasha’s immune system was also strengthened which gave her a significantly long life-span and a youthful appearance despite being born in the 1920s. Regardless of how advantageous these modifications have been to Natasha, it rendered her unable to bear children.
In addition to being a master in espionage and a superb assassin and martial artist, she is an expert in most weapons and vehicles. Natasha is not merely physically skilled; she is multilingual, an excellent hacker who can infiltrate any system, and infamously deceptive as she has the ability to seduce male enemies.
Relation with the Avengers
Iron Man and Hawkeye
One of the first missions given to Natasha by the KGB was to infiltrate the Stark organization in order to assassinate the former Russian spy Professor Anton Vanko who turned against his country. There she met Hawkeye whom she convinced to fight Tony Stark with her. Although her mission to win against Iron Man failed, her relation with Hawkeye escalated when he rescued her as she was injured, the thing that made her fall in love with him and plans to defect her country.
Later on, Black Widow was abducted by the USSR and was brainwashed to rejoin the Russian side. Her next mission was to defeat the Avengers, an assignment that ended up with the Avengers winning and Black Widow defying her brainwashing to come back to her senses. She then aided the avengers in a couple of battles as well as did some assignments for S.H.I.E.L.D.
After numerous glimpses into her past in different Marvel movies, fans of the former Soviet spy are finally getting a deeper look into her life on the silver screen with the release of Black Widow’s own movie in May of this year.