Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow is one member of the Avengers whose past has remained shrouded in mystery, both in the comics and movies. It’s always been more intriguing to only give out hints as to her history as an enemy agent before defecting to the other side, but now that she’s finally getting her own origin film, Marvel Comics has decided to reveal more details about her backstory, including why her superhero name takes after one of the deadliest spiders in the world.
In the new comic The Web of Black Widow #1 by Jody Houser, we examine the life and times of Natasha before she became an Avenger. In it, readers are taken within the Red Room, a top-secret Russian institute dedicated to the training and education of female spies and assassins. The star pupil of the academy is a very young Natasha Romanoff, who’s introduced to a client by the Headmistress of the Red Room as Black Widow because she’s said to be “like the deadliest of spiders, easily escaping notice, until it is far too late.”
That’s certainly an apt description of Natasha’s unique tactical expertise. While other heroes with more obvious powers like super strength or a suit of armor prefer to kick down the villain’s front door and jump in guns blazing, Widow opts for the stealthy approach, infiltrating the enemy’s lair without their knowledge and taking out their defenses before they even realize she’s standing right behind them. It was this ability that made Black Widow such a great partner for Captain America in Marvel’s closest analog to a spy flick: The Winter Soldier.
With her origin movie quickly approaching, the explanation for Natasha’s codename from the comics will most probably be used in the film as well, which will also shed a lot more light on her past. And it’ll all go down on May 1st, 2020, when Black Widow shoots its way into theaters.