Women in Comics: Black Widow

black widow 3Black Widow is today’s topic for my Women in Comics post. Black Widow as created by Stan Lee, Don Rico, and Don Heck for Marvel Comics. She debuted in Tales of Suspense #52 (April 1964).

Black Widow is a Russian espionage agent who was originally an enemy of Iron Man, trying to steal plans for his armored suit for the Russians. She would eventually defect to the United States and became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers. Black Widow is in peak physical condition. She is a trained gymnast and hand to hand combatant.  She is a spy who has no problem using her womanly wiles to achieve her mission. Black Widow has been a very big part of what has been going on in Captain America in recent years, especially with the return of Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier.

Like most comic book characters, Black Widow’s history is a little convoluted, with many retcons to her origins. The origin they are going with now is that Black Widow, whose real name is Natalia Alianovna “Natasha” Romanova, was taken into a Russian black ops program at a very young age, where she received training and enhancements to carry out her missions. While in this program, she worked often with the Winter Soldier. They eventually became lovers for a short time. Black Widow eventually grew tired of performing her government’s dirty work, and defected. Besides teaming with the Avengers and working for S.H.I.E.L.D., she has also teamed with Daredevil, Hawkeye, and Spider-Man.

Black Widow has appeared various Marvel cartoons and animated movies. Black Widow made her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Iron Man 2, played by Scarlett Johannson. Black Widow became one of the original members of the Avengers in the Avengers movie. She will return to the big screen in Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Black Widow is a character I didn’t know much about until Bucky became Captain America for a short time. I loved her in that book, and she is awesome in Iron Man 2 and Avengers. You can learn more about Black Widow here.

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