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[[caption-width-right:350:International Woman of Mystery]]

Black Widow (Natalia Romanova, aka Natasha Romanoff) is a Creator/MarvelComics superheroine. Introduced in UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks in the pages of ''[[ComicBook/IronMan Tales of Suspense]]'' #52 (April 1964), she has been a fixture in the Marvel universe ever since, graduating from a [[UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks Bronze Age]] socially conscious solo feature and a co-lead in ''[[Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} Daredevil and the Black Widow]]'' to leader of the Champions, and even ComicBook/TheAvengers for a time.

Natasha began her career as a FemmeFatale spy in the service of the Soviet Union, sent to seduce famed American industrialist Tony Stark, to which end she also manipulated the young ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}}. Hawkeye eventually [[HeelFaceTurn joined the side of good]], and eventually Natasha followed as well, beginning a long career as a superhero in the United States of America. She has no particularly enhanced physical abilities beyond suppressed aging, relying instead on being an all-around awesome spy and martial artist.

Bring her up in comics fandom and inevitably one of the first things to be mentioned is her numerous LoveInterests. Apart from the aforementioned Hawkeye, she has also, over the years, been romantically linked to Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} (even getting billed alongside him on the title for a while), [[ComicBook/TheIncredibleHercules Hercules]] (while they were on the Champions), and ComicBook/BuckyBarnes.

Natasha has had various miniseries and graphic novels in the past, and has led three solo ongoing books: one in 2010, and one in 2014, and a new book launching in 2016.

Black Widow has appeared in a number of adaptations, and was most prominently portrayed by Creator/ScarlettJohansson in the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse, featuring in ''Film/IronMan2'', ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'', ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'', and ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar''. You can't go anywhere that talks about superhero movies without tripping on speculation about whether or not Natasha will get her own movie -- a common click bait article is to claim that Marvel is "developing" one, citing vague comments about how Kevin Feige is open to the idea, or, more recently, an unrelated interview with a celebrity openly wondering why it hasn't happened yet, considering that superhero movies, Scarlett Johansson, ''and'' Natasha herself are all at the historic peak of their popularity. Officially, there are no plans for a Black Widow movie at any time in the foreseeable future, but Marvel Studios is coming under increasingly heavy fire for neither committing to nor rejecting the idea.

* ''Anime/IronManRiseOfTechnovore''
* ''Anime/AvengersConfidentialBlackWidowAndPunisher''
* ''Anime/MarvelDiskWarsTheAvengers''

* ''Amazing Adventures Vol. 2'' (1970)
* ''Daredevil & the Black Widow'' (1972)
* ''Black Widow Vol. 1'' (1999)
* ''Black Widow Vol. 2'' (2001)
* ''Black Widow Vol. 3'' (2004)
* ''Black Widow: The Things They Say About Her'' (2005)
* ''Black Widow and the Marvel Girls'' (2010)
* ''Black Widow: Deadly Origin'' (2010)
* ''Black Widow Vol. 4'' (2010)
* ''Black Widow Vol. 5'' (2014)
* ''Black Widow Vol. 6'' (2016)

* ''WesternAnimation/UltimateAvengers''
* ''Ultimate Avengers 2''
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse (2010 – present)
** ''Film/IronMan2'' (2010)
** ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' (2012)
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' (2014)
** ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' (2015)
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'' (2016)

* ''VideoGame/ThePunisher''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelContestOfChampions''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelUltimateAlliance''
* ''Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2''
* ''VideoGame/SpiderManWebOfShadows''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelAvengersAlliance''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelHeroes''
* ''VideoGame/LEGOMarvelSuperHeroes''
* ''VideoGame/DisneyInfinity''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomInfinite''

* ''WesternAnimation/TheMarvelSuperHeroes''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperHeroSquadShow''
* ''WesternAnimation/IronManArmoredAdventures''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes''
* ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble''

!!She provides examples of:

* AbortedDeclarationOfLove: In ''Black Widow 008'', Natasha meets up with [[ComicBook/BuckyBarnes the Winter Soldier]], [[spoiler:whom she doesn't remember her relationship with]]. Just before she leaves, he calls her back and is clearly about to tell her that he loves her, but tells her to stay warm and be careful instead. [[spoiler:This is presumably right before he leaves earth for good to become 'the Man on the Wall', in part because he's been a bit of a loose cannon without her.]]
* ActionGirl: In her first appearances as a villain, she was mainly just a seduction agent who relied on incompetent minions to handle the violence, but over time she’s been {{retcon}}ned into always having been a total badass.
* AffirmativeActionLegacy: In the ComicBook/UltimateMarvel universe, Natasha has a successor in the form of Monica Chang, a young Chinese American woman who ends up taking over the Black Widow identity.
* AnimalMotifs: Despite the fact that Natasha lacks inherent spider-power or a close connection to Marvel's [[SpiderMan other spider-named heroes]], she invokes this fairly often.
** Her wrist gauntlets which shoot an electric pulse are referred to as her "Widow's Bites."
** She travels the rooftops using grappling lines ejected from her gauntlets which she (usually) calls her "Widow's Web."
** Though often forgotten these days, her costume is outfitted with suction cups which allow her to cling to walls, just like a spider.
** In volume 5, she has a large network of safehouses across the globe, repeatedly referred to as a "web".
* AnimalThemedSuperbeing: Of the ''Animal Alias'' variety.
* AntiHero: Varies depending on the storyline. In some stories, she is depicted as a straight hero who shoots stun pellets from her gauntlets. In other stories, she's a cold-blooded killer. In still others, she's a mixture of both (for example, in one graphic novel, she tells two thugs that if they don't walk away from a confrontation with her, neither of them will walk ever again. She kills one of the men, and knocks the other unconscious. But she proceeds to ''break the unconscious man's spine'' to keep true to her word, greatly disturbing her companion. So in some respects, she's a hero for staying true to her word, but ... really?). Some adaptations make her an outright villain.
** Very obvious in Avengers #11 under Hickman's pen. Natasha shoots and kills the men they've been distracted and Jessica Drew (whose past work includes both SHIELD and HYDRA) is horrified, proclaiming Natasha's executions unnecessary.
** The film version of the character states several times that she doesn't consider herself a hero, and claims one reason she is with SHIELD is to clean the "red from her ledger", the nature of which is left unrevealed.
* TheAtoner: One of the motivations for her becoming an Avenger. Played up more in the movies than in the comics.
* BadassNormal: Like Nick Fury, beyond her immortality, most of her badassery is from training. Might cross into BadassAbnormal, depending on the writer.
* BattleCouple:
** First, when she worked together with ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}} as a supervillain pair against Iron Man. This was reflected in Ultimate continuity and the movies with the two working together as SHIELD partners.
** Later, after her costume change and her stint as a New York solo heroine, she saved Daredevil's life and sparked a fairly long-lasting partnership and romantic relationship.
** Most recently, she dated the newly returned ComicBook/BuckyBarnes, and fought alongside him in his capacity as Captain America and later, when he returned to the Winter Soldier identity.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Averted reasonably often in Natasha's case. She's had her nose broken at least once and has received her fair share of black eyes, facial cuts, and bloody noses in her line of work.
* BlackWidow: Natasha is actually a notable subversion: in the pages of the Avengers, it's revealed that her husband's death was faked in order to manipulate her into becoming a spy for the USSR. Later stories continued to play with this theme by introducing the concept of the Widow's Curse - all those who got close to her died (similar to Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}, although this was before the days of Elektra). The introduction of her ExpansionPackPast doubled down on this; she didn't kill her loved ones, she survived and outlived generations of them.
* CarCushion: In #2 of the 2014 series, the Widow dives off a skyscraper in Shanghai to avoid an assassin. After attempting to slow her fall, it eventually ends with her landing atop a car.
* TheCasanova (see also ReallyGetsAround, LauncherOfAThousandShips): Her famous love life has led her to be involved with a number of superhero suitors: Hawkeye, Daredevil, Iron Man, Hercules, and Bucky Barnes (as Captain America). In her original redemption arc, it was revealed that she was the widow of the Russian Captain America {{Expy}}, the Red Guardian.
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: At times.
* ChestInsignia: In the 80s and 90s, she wore a chest insignia of a Black Widow spider (along with a larger matching one on her back). Modern stylings of her costume generally prefer to put an hourglass on her belt instead.
* ChildSoldier: In one version of her backstory, she was trained as a spy and assassin from a young age, although this was later altered so that she had fought in World War 2 as a child. Invoked by her film counterpart, who offhandedly mentions she began spying at somewhere around eight years old.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: See also ExpansionPackPast.
* DistractedByTheSexy: An issue of X-Men: First Class detailing Natasha's first foray into catsuits had several concussed members of A.I.M. taking the time to discuss her, rather than their severe Natasha-inflicted injuries.
* TheDragAlong: How she joined the Avengers in the first place. They'd gone looking for Daredevil for help dealing with Magneto (who was using his powers to control most of the team), and she came with. Afterward, she opted to join them.
* ExpansionPackPast: There was originally nothing in her backstory to suggest that she was quasi-immortal. This only developed (confusingly) in order to keep a famous late 1980s team-up issue of ''{ComicBook/UncannyXMen'' set in the 1940s that had her as a young girl meeting {{Wolverine}} and ComicBook/CaptainAmerica in continuity. This concept has had some rather large implications for the character’s background.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: At the very least, Mockingbird has a crush on her. Going from their internal monologue when they first met, it's not entirely one sided.
** Rogue thinks she's a good kisser.
* FamousNamedForeigner: Romanov? Various writers have penned stories suggesting that she is a descendant of the Russian imperial family to justify the name.
* FemmeFatale: Check the codename. Though tempered by the conservative era of comics in which she debuted, the trope looms over her background, but it isn't the only card in her deck.
* FieryRedhead: Though she is usually calm, she is still a rather aggressive fighter.
* GoodIsNotNice / GoodIsNotSoft: Varies depending on the writer and the venue. The comic book version is more likely to be the former (while occasionally crossing the line into anti-hero territory, again depending on the writer and storyline - see the What the Hell, Hero? entry below), whereas the film version so far seems firmly in the latter category (she's everybody's buddy, has a crush on Dr. Banner, is great with kids, but if you're a HYDRA mook, you're dead).
* HeelFaceTurn: Started out on the wrong side of the law as a Russian spy before switching sides and eventually joining the Avengers. Notably, in the Ultimate Universe, [[spoiler:the ''opposite'' happens!]]
* HeroesWantRedheads: As demonstrated by how many heroes have wanted to date her, and how many that have.
* HomePornMovie: In the Ultimates continuity, a videotaped tryst with Tony Stark goes public.
* ImpossiblyCoolWeapon: Her "Widow's Bite" gauntlets, which shoot out energy blasts.
* KarmaHoudini: Natasha has never really had any backlash from her initial manipulation of Clint (she started dating him in order to set him against Iron Man) and they're still friends.
* KindHeartedCatLover: Natasha doesn't exactly admit to this, at first. In the 2014 series, a black cat keeps showing up at her apartment. Nat eventually warms to the animal, naming it "Liho".
* LegacyCharacter:
** Recent stories introduced a rival Black Widow from Russia, Yelena Belova. Various stories have played with the idea of Natasha coming from a group of multiple Black Widow trainees.
** In Ultimate continuity, Monica Chang and Jessica Drew both take up the Black Widow codename after Natasha Romanov.
** Marvel's predecessor, Timely Comics, published stories starring a character named the Black Widow in the 30s, although they share little in common beyond the name.
** Done explicitly in the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse, as [[spoiler:a predecessor Black Widow was active in the 1940s as a major enemy in ''Series/AgentCarter''.]]
* LighterAndSofter: Waid & Samnee's run of the character seems to be heading in this direction, much like how they reinvented Daredevil into more of a swashbuckling figure after years of darker tones with the character.
* MovieSuperheroesWearBlack: Inverted/played with; in ''Film/IronMan2'', her suit was made dark blue, rather than black like the comics, to make it look more like a SHIELD outfit. Then ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' and ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'', her suit is black, but also redesigned to look more like tactical gear than a simple catsuit.
* MsFanservice: Under the pen of certain artists.
* NoodleIncident: Recent depictions of Black Widow have occasionally made reference to a past action from her assassin days that continues to haunt her. In the comics, it's the fact she once destroyed a hospital during a mission, killing many innocents inside, including children. The first ''Avengers'' movie also references the hospital, among other acts, for which the film version of Natalia is shown to be TheAtoner.
** Another one from the ''Avengers'' movie that fans latched onto is the vague reference to 'Budapest'. Though the exact nature of what the incident is wasn't discussed beyond the fact that her and Clint 'remember Budapest very differently', but ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' has an extended scene where its revealed to have been one of the many atrocities she committed and regrets.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Thanks to a mysterious Soviet chemical, she’s around 80 years old and still looks fabulous.
* PrettyInMink: Has worn furs, like a brown mink stole in a silver age issue of ''Iron Man'', and a white mink coat and hat in a mid-90s issue.
* RealLifeSuperpowers: One of the best examples in comics. Her beauty, intelligence, and fighting skills are legendary.
* ReallyGetsAround: She has been accused of this time and again, though the actual number is not that large. Also notable that her many conquests include such notorious womanizers as Iron Man, Hercules, Daredevil, and Hawkeye, as well as Bucky Barnes, the fifth Captain America.
* {{Retcon}}: Started out with black hair and was only "revealed" as actually a redhead in her ASM #86 makeover.
* SensualSlavs: She is a Russian FemmeFatale. Certain writers really play up the Russian-ness in combination with sensuality and take it to some really stereotypical and creepy places! Rule of thumb: if she's being written with a Russian accent, she's usually being written as fanservice.
* SpyCatsuit: Has been rocking one for 40 years and counting.
%%* ShesGotLegs
%%* StealthExpert
* TheStoic: Natasha's usual demeanour in recent years is one of chilly professionalism.
* SuperSoldier: Received a mysterious formula from her Soviet masters that was shown to slow her aging. Some writers have implied that it also was responsible for placing her in peak human condition or gave vague enhancements to her strength and speed.
* TooKinkyToTorture: She once ended up BoundAndGagged after {{Deadpool}} captured the Secret Avengers. After freeing her, Deadpool remarked that she seemed to be enjoying herself while tied up. Widow's response? "[[CovertPervert A little, yes.]]"
* WhatTheHellHero: Natasha gets one from Spider-Woman after she executes five people in Avengers #11 [[spoiler:who were all mass murdering terrorists and/or criminals, but still...]]
--> Jessica: Unnecessary! ''Unnecessary''!