#ComicBytes: What is the origin story of Natasha Romanoff
When we first meet Natasha Romanoff in The Avengers (2011), we see an ex-KGB assassin turned S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, the Black Widow. However, her life before joining hands with Nick Fury was completely different. Natasha might be on the good side now, but her origins remain dark and evil. To completely understand her character, let us take a look at her origin story before S.H.I.E.L.D.
Natasha or Natalia Alianovna Romanova was born in the Soviet Union. Her exact parentage is unknown but some say that she was related to the late Romanov dynasty but no conclusive proof was ever found. She lost her parents during an attack on Stalingrad. Natasha was later rescued by Ivan Petrovitch Bezukhov, who looked after her and started her initial training.
As she grew older, Natasha's talents caught the attention of Soviet Intelligence, KGB and she was asked to join their ranks. Following World War II, Natasha entered KGB's Black Widow Program, where young girls were trained to become sleeper agents. At the Red Room (program training center) Natasha took the Soviet version of the Super-Soldier serum, which gave her immunity and peak strength.
The serum gave her strength and immunity, and she was trained in martial arts and gymnastics, to become an assassin. She became an excellent markswoman and expert in weaponry, especially knives. She showed skills in infiltration and stealth and became fluent in French, German, Chinese, Russian, and English. These and many more skills from her training molded the Black Widow we know today.
During her training, she first met Bucky, who was then KGB's brainwashed super-assassin Winter soldier. As Bucky trained Natasha, they fell in love but she decided to get married to Alexei Shostakov, a renowned test pilot. Though they had a happy marriage, the KGB faked his death (he became the Red Guardian), which pushed her to take up the mantle of Black Widow.
When her first KGB mission in the US failed, she faked her defection until Tony Stark blew her cover. This led to Natasha manipulating Hawkeye (who was an outlaw) to work against Iron Man. However, a morally good person, Hawkeye helped Natasha find her own moral compass, making her leave KGB for real. She fought off KGB's manipulation after this and joined Nick Fury.