Natasha Romanoff, The Black Widow, is finally getting her own solo movie (though it won’t be released as soon as was initially promised). She has quite a history in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and on the page of Marvel Comics.
She’s been around the comic universe since 1964, originally playing more of the villain against beloved industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man. That’s a bit like how she makes her first appearance on screen, though obviously not as evil, and working for Tony’s benefit. But with her complex history and the red in her ledger, Natasha doesn’t work well with everyone.
10 Love – Captain America
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even when she is “working” against Cap in Captain America: Civil War Natasha is still on Captain America’s side, letting him get away from the airport in Germany. In the comics, Steve also assisted preventing Black Widow from being kidnapped by the Hand and worked with her to fight ninjas in Soviet Russia.
Their timeline is long and involved, but they keep coming back together. They understand the underlying politics of the superhero game, and that makes them even better allies.
9 Despise – Ultimates Hawkeye
Of course, on-screen, Hawkeye and Black Widow are BFFs, and Natasha even wears a necklace with an arrow on it to represent their friendship and long history. In the Ultimates universe of Marvel comics, their relationship is a little more complicated.
In fact, Ultimates Hawkeye sees his entire family murdered by the Black Widow. Obviously, this would not lead to the same loving relationship or let the pair work well together ever.
8 Love – Captain Marvel
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel and Black Widow have only really interacted with one another in passing, but that is not the case in the Marvel comics. In fact, the pair go back to a time before Carol Danvers was even Captain Marvel at all.
They worked together to rescue Logan/Weapon X from being killed by Hydra. Watching the two women continue working as superheroes, side by side today is the feminist pairing the world needs.
7 Despise – Iron Maiden
Melina Vostokoff was once a member of the Russian Black Ops just like Natasha Romanoff. They worked for the same side and were both incredibly effective as assassins and undercover agents.
However, unlike her relationship with Carol Danvers, Melina became overly jealous of Natasha, and instead of cultivating a positive working relationship began working against her former friend and becoming one of the Black Widow’s major enemies.
6 Love – Nick Fury
Both on-screen and off Nick Fury has always loved and respected Natasha Romanoff as one of his best, and most loyal, agents. They began as enemies when Romanoff was still working for the Soviet Union in the comic universe but became the best of allies when Romanoff switched sides (their alliance a major part of their relationship in the Marvel Cinematic Universe).
They both understood the gray areas that existed in protecting the world. Fury having Natasha be the second agent (after Coulson) to infiltrate Iron Man’s world in the MCU highlights this history.
5 Despise – Ivan Petrovich
Ivan Petrovich, who at the moment only exists in the world of Marvel comics, actually rescued Natasha when she was just a baby in World War II. Their falling out came when Petrovich started pressuring Natasha to join the KGB years later.
He was later transformed into a strong and powerful cyborg monster, a major villain and problem haunting Natasha’s life as she tried to move on from the Red Room and become a hero in the world rather than a villain like Petrovich himself.
4 Love – Hawkeye
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there is probably no pair who enjoys working together more than Hawkeye and the Black Widow. Their more human powers set them apart from the “super” heroes who work around them and strengthen their bond as members of SHIELD. They have a long history, including Budapest, though they remember it very differently.
In the comics, he plays a major role in helping her leave her life behind in the Soviet Union. They are so close that Clint even asks Natasha to marry him on the page. In the end, she turns him down, but their working relationship remains strong and effective.
3 Despise – Bucky Barnes
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe Bucky causes all sorts of problems for Natasha (his taking over as the most important person in Captain America’s life certainly forces Natasha to play both sides, protecting her friends and trying to save the world in Civil War).
In the comics, he causes a different sort of problem for her, as Barnes, while still brainwashed as the Winter Soldier, falls in love with Natasha, while she still works as an assassin. They fell in love while both were still working for the Soviet Union which was not a great alliance as the government then had to break them up.
2 Love – Iron Man
Once Natasha is honest with Tony in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (post-Iron Man 2) the pair work well together, with Natasha even taking Tony’s side against Captain America in Civil War. Their adorable back and forth, insults and sarcasm, make for some of the best on-screen dialogue from the very beginning of Marvel movies.
On the page, the pair make a good team where, again during the comic Civil War storyline, Natasha takes Tony’s side and sticks with him even after Captain America himself is killed. Tony, due to the demons in his own past, is able to work with Natasha and forgive many of her past actions as well.
1 Despise – Cyclops
The Avengers and the X-Men seem to always be held apart on-screen by corporate overlords, but in the pages of Marvel comics, the characters are always coming together to both assist and fight one another. Cyclops is not one of Natasha’s favorite X-Men as he continues to make her life and her job harder.
On the page Cyclops’s own daughter, Rachel, attacks and kidnaps Hope Summers from Natasha’s protection. Leading to Natasha and company eventually having to fight Phoenix/Cyclops.
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About The AuthorJessie Atkin holds an MFA in creative writing. She is a storyteller, writer, and reader. She’s a YA connoisseur, Star Wars enthusiast, Harry Potter fanatic, Mets devotee, and trivia aficionado.
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