Black Widow (comics)

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For the Golden Age of Comic Books Black Widow, see Black Widow (Golden Age). For the Ultimate Marvel version, see Ultimate Black Widow.

The Black Widow is the name of several fictional characters published by Marvel Comics.

Natasha Romanoff

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Black Widow (Natasha Romanova). Art by Gabriele Dell'otto.

The current and most well-known Black Widow is a female spy who defected to the USA from the Soviet Union and subsequently joined the Avengers. She was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Tales of Suspense #52 (April 1964, the same month as sometime love interest Daredevil).

The Black Widow's real name is Natalia Alianovna Romanova. Her friends often call her "Natasha", the informal version of the name "Natalia". She sometimes chooses to Anglicize her last name as "Romanoff." She has been hinted to be a descedant of the Romanov and a relation to Nicholas II of Russia.

Although she fought Iron Man during her first few appearances, she and her ally Hawkeye were recruited by Captain America to join the Avengers. She later become romantically involved with Daredevil. She has served as the leader of the Avengers on several occasions.

The Black Widow is a skilled martial artist, sniper, and ballet dancer. Her equipment usually includes a grappling hook with a retractable line and a pair of wrist-moutned energy weapons (her "widow's sting"), although she is sometimes depicted as instead using more traditional weapons.

The Ultimate Marvel version of the Black Widow is a member of the Ultimates. She seems to be romantically involved with the universe's version of Iron Man. For more details, see Ultimate Black Widow.

A Black Widow motion picture starring Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, to feature the Natasha Romanov version, has been proposed.

Yelena Belova

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Widowcvr2.jpg
Black Widow (Yelena Belova). Art by J.G. Jones.

Yelena Belova, the second modern Black Widow, is another Russian spy. She first appeared in Inhumans #5 (March, 1999), and was created by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee.

Yelena is an amoral spy and assassin who was trained by the same Russian spymasters who trained Natasha Romanova, the first Black Widow. Having beaten Natasha's results in all of the tests presented to her, she was declared to be the new Black Widow. Yelena fought Natasha for the title of the Black Widow. The battle was inconclusive, and later confrontations between the two Black Widows led Yelena to doubt her place in the world. Both women are still using the Black Widow name.

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