Who is Black Widow?
First appearing in Tales of Suspense #52 (1964), created by Stan Lee, Don Rico and Don Heck, Black Widow was first a Russian spy, an antagonist of Iron Man (shocking, I know!). Within the comic universe, Widow was born Natalia Romanova in Russia circa 1928, orphaned in a burning building, she was rescued by a Soviet Soldier before she caught the attention of Soviet Intelligence and was drafted into being trained as an assassin and spy.
By World War II, Natasha was recruited into the Black Widow Program and trained as a sleeper agent, in part by the Winter Soldier. Natasha has come across many of her now friendly work partners in many different ways, working alongside Clint Barton, Matt Murdock, Wolverine and others along the way. She has been a spy, an assassin, an antagonist, a protagonist, a SHIELD agent and many other things, and that’s just within the comic verse.
Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) is just a tad bit different. We’re first introduced to Natasha as an assistant hired by Pepper Pots in Iron Man 2, but of course she wasn’t what she appeared to be and revealed herself to be a SHIELD agent working under the orders of Nick Fury. She soon joins the ranks of the newly formed Avengers within Avengers Assemble, recruiting Bruce Banner, knocking some sense back into her friend Clint and fighting alongside the other Avengers in the Battle of New York.
We next saw her in Captain America 2: Winter Soldier, where her own loyalties to SHIELD were tested and her friendship with Steve Rogers grew. Natasha’s last appearance was in Age of Ultron where a romance with Bruce Banner blossomed (which I hated, but that’s my own opinion), her loyalties to her team mates shone through and her leadership skills came to the forefront.
What powers does Black Widow have?
Well, when we talk about powers and Black Widow, we’re not exactly going down the mutant / X-Men route.
Black Widow is trained in martial arts; judo, karate, aikido, boxing, wrestling and kung fu, just to name a few. She is an expert acrobat, a talented hacker, an expert marksman and tactician, a master interrogator, and an expert spy who is fluent in Latin, Russian, French, German, Chinese, English, just to name a few.
She uses various weapons within the films and comic book universe; glocks, ppks, batons, electrified batons, her Widow’s Bites, taser discs, daggers and even a garrote.
It focuses predominantly on Widow herself on her own mission outside of SHIELD and outside of the Avengers, although we do see some team ups with Matt Murdock, Hawkeye and a drop in visit with the Avengers. We get to see Natasha’s inner workings, her thoughts, her fears, her weaknesses and believe me, it’s so amazing to see this woman who seems so steely cold at times be moved by something as small as a little black cat.
Just go and read it, seriously!
Widow’s role in Civil War?
Widow, from what we’ve seen in the trailers and different interviews, is on Team Iron Man, something which has shocked a few fans as her friendship with Captain America was quite prominent and important within Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron. Although, from what we’ve seen in the most recent trailer, it seems as though Natasha may be having second thoughts about which side she seems to have chosen.
It seems as though we may see a conflicted Natasha throughout, not wanting to fight those who she has come to call friends, yet we do know that she does come to blows with her closest friend, Hawkeye. Only time will tell whether Natasha is going to stick with Iron Man or move over to Team Captain America in Civil War.