Natasha Romanoff, better known as Black Widow, first appeared as an antagonist to Iron Man, making her comic book debut in Tales of Suspense #52 in April 1964. Romanoff was a Russian spy, later turned S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and eventual Avenger, when she defected to the United States. She was originally trained and raised in the Red Room as a part of the U.S.S.R.’s Black Widow Ops Program, brought up to be the “ultimate super-spy.” The Red Room Academy, located in Moscow, was a Department X (a covert Soviet agency tasked with creating Super Soldiers) espionage training facility. After their success with creating the Winter Soldier, the Red Room Academy designed the Black Widow Ops Program to train and create the perfect female assassin. The program selected 28 female orphan children to participate, Natashia Romanoff being one of them. This program, the false memories they implanted, and the Kudrin treatment they forced upon the trainees shaped Natashia into who she was and who she became.
Marvel brought this character to life through not only the comics, but also through the live action MCU movies starring Scarlett Johansson. In addition to playing Black Widow in the Avenger movies, Johansson will also star in her very own Black Widow origin story movie debuting in theaters and on Disney+ on July 9th, which will give us an in-depth look at the character we have grown to love over the last 57 years of comic book storylines. To celebrate 57 years with the epic character, you can assemble your own Avenger team with fan favorite Marvel character statues, available for purchase on www.gentlegiantltd.com/marvel, www.diamondselecttoys.com/marvel, and http://bit.ly/BlackWidow57!