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I have a very specific skill set. I didn't care who I used it for, or on. I got on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s radar in a bad way. Agent Barton was sent to kill me, he made a different call.
~ Black Widow explaining her former occupation as an assassin.

Natalia Romanova, also known as Natasha Romanoff or Black Widow, is a major character in Marvel Comics. She started off as a former villainess serving as a spy before becoming a superhero by initiating herself as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a longtime member of the superhero team called the Avengers. She is also a major character of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she was portrayed by Scarlett Johansson, who also voiced Kaa in the 2016 The Jungle Book.

Comic Book History

She appeared for the first time in "Tales of Suspense 52" as one of the main enemies of Iron Man, but later she becomes one of the main heroines of the Marvel Universe, fighting off many villains who are far more worse than her. Even before her criminal ways and during her days as a agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., she has many allies on her side, including Spider-Man, Daredevil, and her best friend Hawkeye.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

Origins

Natasha Romanoff was recruited by the KGB as an orphaned child and excelled in her training as a future assassin for the Russian government. During the graduation ceremony, she was sterilized by her mentor Madame B to avoid any distractions and focus on her missions, something which she later regretted in her life. Due to both her expertise and her growing threat to global security, S.H.I.E.L.D was tasked to eliminate her at all costs, but Clint Barton (known as Hawkeye) foiled this by convincing Romanoff to be recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D.. Due to her trauma of the graduation ceremony, Romanoff accepted this by defecting from Russia and joined the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. before developing a partnership with Hawkeye, fighting off many criminals in their plots.

Iron Man 2

Romanoff serves as a supporting protagonist of the film. She first appeared posing as an newly hired executive named Natalie Rushman for Stark Industries, eventually learning that the criminal Ivan Vanko is plotting to kill Tony Stark in revenge for his father being deported by Stark's father years ago. She also learned that Justin Hammer is involved in freeing Vanko from jail and providing him the machinery in creating Hammer Drones to take down Iron Man. To that end, she broke into Hammer Industries HQ and took down many of Hammer's security guards before seeing that Vanko has escaped. She eventually managed to free War Machine from Vanko's control by rebooting his armor, allowing both War Machine and Iron Man to defeat Vanko for good.

The Avengers

Black Widow returns as a major protagonist of the film. She is first seen taking down Georgi Luchkov and his thugs of their plot of selling weapons in the black market. Following the capture of Loki, she learns of Loki's true intent in angering the Hulk to set him free as part of his true plan to initiate a Chitauri invasion in New York. Black Widow tries to warn the other Avengers about Loki's intents, but it was too late. Despite the setback, Black Widow was able to help out the Avengers in fighting off the Chituari soldiers to their deaths while Thor teleports himself back to Asgard, taking a captive Loki with him to make him pay for his crimes.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Black Widow returns again as a major protagonist of the film as she is assigned to collect confidential S.H.I.E.L.D. files on a hijacked ship following the arrest of Georges Batroc and his pirates. As it turns out, she, along with Director Fury, have learned that Alexander Pierce has formulated a plot in utilizing S.H.I.E.L.D.'s major weapons and an algorithm (formulated by Arnim Zola) to wipe out millions of people to bring a new HYDRA order. To that end, Black Widow aided Captain America in taking down many of the HYDRA agents before posing as one of the World Security Council executives to expose HYDRA's secrets to the public and help Fury take down Pierce for good. However, S.H.I.E.L.D was shut down due to HYDRA's secrets being exposed, and Black Widow was called in for a hearing before leaving away to help the Avengers fight off the remaining HYDRA forces.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Romanoff returns again as a major protagonist of the film, as she helps the Avengers take down the remaining HYDRA forces (led by Wolfgang von Strucker). She is also revealed to hold a romantic relationship with Banner, even able to tame his alter-ego (the Hulk). During a celebration following von Strucker's arrest, Romanoff is shocked to learn that a ruthless cyborg named Ultron has come to life after being created as a peacekeeper A.I. built by Stark and Banner while utilizing Loki's scepter.

Deeming humanity as a threat after killing von Strucker, Ultron plotted to take down the Avengers with his army of Ultron Sentinels, even recruiting Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to his cause (though they later defected to the Avengers after realizing his true intents). During Ultron's next plot to create a synthetic body, he captures Romanoff in Sokovia, intending to use her as a witness of his ultimate plan to create a massive meteor that will cause the extinction of humanity. Fortunately, Banner came to the rescue, and Romanoff kisses him before they help the other Avengers fight off Ultron's Sentinel Army. Following the destruction of Sokovia and the death of Ultron, Romanoff is saddened to see the Hulk leaving in a Quintjet.

Captain America: Civil War

Romanoff returns as a supporting antagonist/anti-hero in the film, where she helps the Avengers in taking down Crossbones and his thugs in Nigeria, though this resulted the accidental deaths of several Wakandan workers, much to Romanoff's shock. Romanoff and the other Avengers are told by Secretary Ross of a document called the Sokovia Accords that would put the Avengers under world government control due to the past events. Romanoff sided with Iron Man's decision to sign the Accords, putting her at odds with Captain America and Hawkeye (who both opposed the Accords for good reasons).

Following the attack in Vienna seemingly caused by the Winter Soldier, Romanoff was assigned to capture him, despite knowing that he is Captain America's best friend who was brainwashed by HYDRA to do its bidding. She later aided Iron Man and his allies in fighting off Captain America and his allies at an airport terminal, though she later let Captain America and the Winter Soldier escape after learning that Helmut Zemo is the true mastermind behind the Vienna bombings. It later turns out that Zemo has gotten hold of several HYDRA files that were released by Romanoff and utilized them and the Winter Soldier in his true plan to tear the Avengers apart (as Zemo lost his family to the battle of Sokovia).

In the end, Romanoff is declared a criminal by the authorities after her actions are reported by Black Panther and she is forced to go underground to avoid capture, even after Zemo is arrested for his crimes following the fracture of the Avengers.

Avengers: Infinity War

Romanoff returns in the film, as she helps Rogers and Wilson in rescuing Scarlet Witch and Vision from Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive of the Black Order. Returning back to Avengers HQ, Romanoff soon learned that the Black Order's leader and adoptive father Thanos was the one who sent Loki to invade New York and provided the Mind Stone inside Loki's scepter that brought Ultron to life in the first place. She also learns that Thanos intends to collect all six Infinity Stones to wipe out half of the universe's populace and that Vision has possession of the Mind Stone ever since Ultron was destroyed. She tagged along with Rogers' plan to head over to Wakanda, where they can use its advanced technology to remove and destroy the Stone without killing Vision.

After Thanos collected five of the Infinity Stones, he assembled the Black Order and their army of Outriders to attack Wakanda. Romanoff helps the other Avengers and the Wakandan warriors in fighting off Thanos' forces; even when Thor arrives with two Guardians of the Galaxy (Rocket Racoon and Groot) to help out finish off the remaining Outriders with a new powerful weapon called Stormbreaker.

When Thanos arrives to collect the Mind Stone, Romannoff tries to help the other Avengers and Guardians stop him, but he defeats them, though this buys enough time for Scarlet Witch to remove the Mind Stone and destroy it. Unfortunately, Thanos foiled this by using the Time Stone to reverse the event, allowing himself to take the Mind Stone while killing Vision. Even when Thor managed to use Stormbreaker to painfully stab Thanos in the chest, Thanos proceeded to use the six Infinity Stones to wipe out half of the universe's populace before escaping away, taunting Thor that he should've aimed for the head instead. Though Romanoff survived Thanos' rampage, she is horrified to see that several Avengers and Guardians have perished away to their deaths. She is last seen with the other survivors moping over their failure while a triumphant Thanos oversees a sunrise from another planet.

Ultimate Marvel

Main article: Black Widow (Ultimate Marvel)

In the Ultimate Universe, Black Widow is portrayed as is a villain who feigns heroism, but is truly evil all the time.

Gallery

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           Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains

Movies
Iron Monger | Raza Hamidmi Al-Wazar | Abu Bakaar | Ahmed | Omar | Abomination | Thunderbolt Ross | Kathleen Sparr | Samuel Sterns | Tough Guy Leader | Whiplash | Justin Hammer | Jack | Senator Stern | Black Widow | Anton Vanko | Loki Laufeyson | Laufey | Grundroth | Hailstrum | Raze | Jotunheim Beast | The Destroyer | Jasper Sitwell | Red Skull | Arnim Zola | Heinz Kruger | Velt | Adolf Hitler | Roeder | Hutter | Schneider | Thanos | The Other | Georgi Luchkov | Gideon Malick | Aldrich Killian | Eric Savin | Trevor Slattery | Ellen Brandt | Maya Hansen | Vice President Rodriguez | Herman | Jackson Norriss | The Mandarin | White Power Dave | Malekith | Kurse | Duhg | Kronan Marauder | The Collector | Alexander Pierce | Winter Soldier | Crossbones | Jack Rollins | Russo | Georges Batroc | Ferdinand Lopez | Gerald Durand | Wolfgang von Strucker | List | Scarlet Witch | Quicksilver | Ronan the Accuser | Nebula | Korath the Pursuer | Yondu Udonta | Kraglin Obfonteri | Horuz | Vorker | Garthan Saal | Moloka Dar | Eson the Searcher | Ultron | Ulysses Klaue | Madame B | Yellowjacket | Mitchell Carson | HYDRA Buyer | Helmut Zemo | Vasily Karpov | Kaecilius | Lucian | Karl Mordo | Dormammu | Ego | Ayesha | Sovereign Admiral | Zylak | Taserface | Tullk | Oblo | Gef | Retch | Halfnut | Brahl | Narblik | Huhtar | Abilisk | The Grandmaster | Vulture | Tinkerer | Shocker #1 | Shocker #2 | Randy Vale | Mac Gargan | Aaron Davis | Hela Odinsdottir | Skurge | Fenris Wolf | Topaz | Surtur | Fire Dragon | Erik Killmonger | W'Kabi | M'Baku | Linbani | Linda | N'Jobu | Ebony Maw | Cull Obsidian | Proxima Midnight | Corvus Glaive | Ghost | Sonny Burch | Bill Foster | Uzman | Stoltz

Television
John Garrett | Grant Ward | Ian Quinn | Deathlok | Camilla Reyes | Franklin Hall | Raina | Blizzard | Lorelei | Daniel Whitehall | Sunil Bakshi | Werner von Strucker | Absorbing Man | Jiaying | Calvin L. Johnson | Lash | Vin-Tak | Katya Belyakov | Johann Fennhoff | Dottie Underwood | Whitney Frost | Kingpin | James Wesley | Leland Owlsley | Vanessa Marianna | Madame Gao | Nobu Yoshioka | Bill Fisk | Hive | Hellfire | Kilgrave | Will Simpson | Dorothy Walker | Audrey Eastman | Punisher | Elektra Natchios | Blacksmith | Diamondback | Cottonmouth | Black Mariah | Shades | Eli Morrow | Lucy Bauer | Aida | Anton Ivanov | Ellen Nadeer | Holden Radcliffe | Harold Meachum | Bakuto | Jim Pierce | Alexandra Reid | Sowande | Murakami | Maximus | Agent Orange | Jigsaw | Lewis Wilson | Jonah | Geoffrey Wilder | Kasius | Sinara | Graviton | General Hale | Ruby Hale | Alisa Jones | Karl Malus | Pryce Cheng | Detective Connors | Bushmaster

Organizations
Ten Rings | Strategic Operations Command Center | Hammer Industries (Hammer Drones) | Frost Giants | HYDRA (STRIKE & Winter Soldiers) | Chitauri (Leviathans) | A.I.M. | Dark Elves | Marauders | Kree Empire (Sakaaran Mercenaries) | Yondu Ravager Clan | Celestials | Ultron Sentinels | Watchdogs | The Hand | Zealots | Sovereign | Bestman Salvage | Berserker Army | Sakaaran Guards | Fire Demons | The Pride | Confederacy | Black Order | Outriders | Roxxon Oil Corporation

           Avengers Villains

Comics
Abomination | Absorbing Man | A.I.M. | Air-Walker | Alkhema | Amatsu-Mikaboshi | Amora | Annihilus | Apocalypse | Arcade | Ares | Arkon | Arnim Zola | Atlas | Attuma | Avalanche | Awesome Android | Baron Mordo | Baron Von Strucker | Baron Zemo | Baron Zemo II | Batroc | Beetle | Beyonder | Black Knight | Blackout | Black Order | Black Talon | Black Widow | Blastaar | Blob | Blood Brothers | Boomerang | Brotherhood of Evil Mutants | Bullseye | Bushmaster | Bushwacker | Chameleon | Chemistro | Chitauri | Circus of Crime | Collector | Constrictor | Corruptor | Count Nefaria | Crimson Dynamo | Crossbones | Crossfire | Daken | Dark Avengers | Deadpool | Deathbird | Deathurge | Diablo | Doctor Doom | Doctor Octopus | Doctor Spectrum | Dormammu | Dracula | Dragonfly | Dragon Man | Eddie Brock | Egghead | Ego the Living Planet | Electro | Elements of Doom | Enclave | Equinox | Exodus | Fabian Cortez | Fin Fang Foom | Firebrand | Firelord | Fixer | Frost Giants | Galactus | Gargantus | Goliath | Grandmaster | Graviton | Griffin | Grim Reaper | Grizzly | Growing Man | Hela | Hera | Herr Kleiser | High Evolutionary | Horsemen of Apocalypse | HYDRA | Immortus | Ironclad | Jack O' Lantern | Juggernaut | Justin Hammer | Kang | King Cobra | Kingpin | Klaw | Korvac | Kraven the Hunter | Kree | Lady Deathstrike | Leader | Living Laser | Living Monolith | Lizard | Loki | Lucia Von Bardas | Machinesmith | Madame Masque | Madelyne Pryor | Maelstrom | Magneto | Malekith | Man-Ape | Mandarin | Mandrill | Master Pandemonium | Masters of Evil | Maximus | Melter | Mentallo | Mephisto | Midgard Serpent | Mister Hyde | Mister Sinister | M.O.D.A.M. | M.O.D.O.K. | Mojo | Molecule Man | Mole Man | Molten Man | Moonstone | Morgan Le Fay | Moses Magnum | Mystique | Namor | Nebula | Nekra | Nitro | Omega Red | Onslaught | Phalanx | Piledriver | Pluto | Presence | Princess Python | Proctor | Puma | Purple Man | Radioactive Man | Ragnarok | Red Ghost | Red Skull | Rhino | Ronan | Roxxon | Sabretooth | Sandman | Sauron | Savage Land Mutates | Scarecrow | Scarlet Witch | Scorcher | Secret Empire | Sentinels | Serpent Society | Shocker | Sinister Six | Skaar | Skrulls | Space Phantom | Squadron Sinister | Stilt-Man | Stranger | Super-Adaptoid | Super-Skrull | Supreme Intelligence | Superia | Surtur | Swordsman | Taskmaster | Technovore | Thanos | Thunderball | Thunderbolts | Thunderbolt Ross | Thundersword | Tiger Shark | Tinkerer | Titania | Toad | Trapster | Trick Shot | Typhoid Mary | U-Foes | Ulik | Ultron | Vapor | Vector | Whirlwind | Winter Soldier | Wizard | Wonder Man | Worthy | Wrecking Crew | X-Ray | Yellow Claw | Ymir | Zodiac | Zzzax

Movies
The Avengers: Loki Laufeyson | Chitauri (The Other & Leviathans) | HYDRA (Gideon Malick & Jasper Sitwell) | Georgi Luchkov | Thanos
Age of Ultron: Ultron | Ultron Sentinels | HYDRA (Wolfgang von Strucker, List, Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver) | Ulysses Klaue | Madame B | Chitauri (Leviathans) | Thanos
Infinity War: Thanos | Black Order (Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian, Proxima Midnight, Corvus Glaive & Nebula) | Outriders | Chitauri (Leviathans) | Red Skull | Loki Laufeyson | Winter Soldier | Scarlet Witch | The Collector | Thunderbolt Ross

           Iron Man Villains

Comics
Actor | A.I.M. | Ani-Men | Arcade | Batroc | Beetle | Black Widow | Blizzard | Blood Brothers | Boomerang | Brothers Grimm | Collector | Commander Kraken | Count Nefaria | Crimson Dynamo | Crossbones | Crusher | Death's Head | Diablo | Doctor Doom | Doctor Octopus | Dreadknight | Ego | Ezekiel Stane | Fin Fang Foom | Firebrand | Fixer | Gargantus | Ghost | Gladiator | Goliath | Godzilla | Graviton | Griffin | Growing Man | Hammerhead | Hand | HYDRA | Justin Hammer | Kang | Killer Shrike | Living Laser | Mad Pharaoh | Madame Masque | Malekith | Mandarin | Masked Marauder | Melter | Mister Hyde | M.O.D.O.K. | Morgan Le Fay | Nitro | Obadiah Stane | Omega Red | Paladin | Radioactive Man | Red Ghost | Rhino | Ronan | Roxxon | Scarecrow | Secret Empire | Shocker | Shockwave | Skrulls | Stilt-Man | Super-Adaptoid | Super-Apes | Supreme Intelligence | Taskmaster | Technovore | Temugin | Thanos | Ten Rings | Thunderball | Thundersword | Titania | Titanium Man | Ultron | Unicorn | Vulture | Warlord Krang | Whiplash | Whirlwind | Wrecker | Wrecking Crew | Yellow Claw | Zodiac

Movies
Iron Man: Iron Monger | Ten Rings (Raza Hamidmi Al-Wazar, Abu Bakaar, Ahmed & Omar)
Iron Man 2: Whiplash | Hammer Industries (Justin Hammer, Jack & Hammer Drones) | Senator Stern | Anton Vanko
Iron Man 3: Aldrich Killian | A.I.M. (Eric Savin, Trevor Slattery, Ellen Brandt & Maya Hansen) | Vice President Rodriguez
All Hail the King: Trevor Slattery | Herman | Ten Rings (Jackson Norriss & The Mandarin) | White Power Dave | Justin Hammer

          Captain America Villains

Comics
Absorbing Man | Adolf Hitler | A.I.M. | Aleksander Lukin | Arcade | Arnim Zola | Awesome Android | Baron Blood | Baron Von Strucker | Baron Zemo | Baron Zemo II | Batroc the Leaper | Black Talon | Blitzkrieg | Blizzard | Boomerang | Bullseye | Cache | Constrictor | Count Nefaria | Cowled Commander | Crime Wave | Crimson Dynamo | Crossbones | Cutthroat | Dark Avengers | Doctor Doom | Doctor Faustus | Doctor Octopus | Dragonfly | Dragon Man | Electro | Famine | Firebrand | Fixer | Flag-Smasher | Ghost | Grand Director | Griffin | Grim Reaper | Heinz Kruger | Herr Kleiser | HYDRA | Hydro-Man | Jack O' Lantern | Killer Shrike | King Cobra | Kingpin | Klaw | Kligger | Korvac | Lady Deathstrike | Living Laser | Machinesmith | Madame Viper | Madcap | Magneto | Man-Ape | Mandarin | Master Man | Mentallo | Mesmero | Mister Hyde | M.O.D.A.M. | M.O.D.O.K. | Mole Man | Moonstone | Nightmare | Nightshade | Obadiah Stane | Punisher | Quicksand | Red Skull | Rhino | Ringmaster | Ronan | Roxxon | Säurespritze | Scarecrow | Scorpion | Secret Empire | Selene Gallio | Serpent Society | Shocker | Shockwave | Sidewinder | Sin | Skeleton Crew | Slug | Stilt-Man | Super-Adaptoid | Superia | Super Patriot | Supreme Intelligence | Tarantula | Taskmaster | Terminus | Thanos | Titania | Titanium Man | Trapster | Typhoid Mary | Unicorn | Ultron | Vermin | Watchdogs | Whirlwind | Winter Soldier | Worthy | Wrecker | Wrecking Crew | Yellow Claw | Zahnmörder | Zodiac

Movies
Captain America (1990): Red Skull | Valentina de Santis
The First Avenger: Red Skull | HYDRA (Arnim Zola, Heinz Kruger & Velt) | Adolf Hitler | Roeder | Hutter | Schneider
The Winter Soldier: Alexander Pierce | HYDRA/STRIKE (Winter Soldier, Brock Rumlow, Jack Rollins, Jasper Sitwell, Russo, Senator Stern, Arnim Zola, Wolfgang von Strucker, List, Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver) | Georges Batroc | Ferdinand Lopez | Gerald Durand
Civil War: Helmut Zemo | Thunderbolt Ross | Winter Soldier | Black Widow | Crossbones | HYDRA (Vasily Karpov & Winter Soldiers)

           One Minute Melee Villains

Akuma | Albert Wesker | Juri Han | Meta Knight | Bowser | Dr. Eggman | Deadpool | Deathstroke | Mewtwo | Frieza | Sakuya Izayoi | Dio Brando | Catwoman | Black Widow | Oni | Scorpian | Wario | Ryu | Vergil | Sephiroth | Baby Bonnie Hood | Peacock | Bowser Jr. | Metal Sonic | Mecha Sonic | Master Hand | Polygon Man | Sasuke Uchiha | Heihachi Mishima | Geese Howard | Kuma | Godzilla | Cell | Meruem | Broly | Shadow the Hedgehog | Vegeta | Shang Tsung | Goomba | Ivy Valentine | Sasori | Decapre | M. Bison | Rugal Bernstein | Hiei | Bill Cipher | Gaara | Sir Crocodile | Terra