November 22, 2000
"I'm unfixable. I'm a damaged, broken wind-up toy who keeps getting put back together with spare parts that don't fit. I'm a machine, a virus set upon the world by a programmer who didn't give a single fuck how it would shape the world today. I am rage. I am hate. I am a killer. I am the monster who haunts your nightmares. The woman who has seen the fires of Hell and walked out unscathed. I am the last thing you will ever see of your wretched life."
- Natasha during the Battle of Gotham against a resurfaced Talia Al Ghul
Natalia Alianovna Romanova (Наталья Альяновна "Наташа" Романова), callsign: Black Widow (Чёрная Вдова, translated as Chyornaya Vdova) is one of the world's best and most dangerous spies. Originally under Soviet Intelligence, she later defected to the United States and was recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D. where she has become part of several adventures and incidents, growing in fame and imfamy.
Natasha was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her parents were killed when she was 6, but a man by the name of Sypre adopted her. He quickly took her to the KGB, where they placed her in the Red Room, a secret academy dedicated to making young girls into killers for Russia. Natasha submitted to the rigorous training and became mind-controlled. While this occurred, however, Natasha was the Room's finest student and graduated at the age of 16. Her first mission was to assassinate President Gorden Sevrigg of Sweden, which she completed. This set in motion a turn for the worst in the next ten years, which saw the collapse of the African continent to foreign invaders.
Romanoff was assigned to Gotham in order to undermine the criminal society holding the city in fear. However, shortly after her arrival she found out that those in charge of Gotham were already expecting her to show up, and had set up a bounty for her: $50 million to anyone who could bring her in alive, or failing that, kill her and show the corpse. This made her a target for virtually every criminal in the city.
Natasha successfully repelled attacks from her first attackers which were Deadshot, Killer Moth, Firefly, and Killer Croc. While doing so, she ran into the Mad Hatter; breaking free from her entrapment, she tried to catch some relief at a bar but was targeted by Calendar Man. After she subdued him, he directed her to two of her other hunters who were waiting to ambush her in a secret arena beneath the building: Electrocuitoner and Deathstroke the Terminator. After defeating them, she was visited and tested by Lady Shiva, who would attempt to persuade her to leave the city after her defeat by Natasha.
Later on, Natasha was ambushed by Hush, who attempted to steal her face as well as the prize money on her head, but was defeated. Immediately after, Natasha was ambushed by Killer Moth and Firefly teaming up together; despite the odds against her, she was able to use her skills to get them to accidentally attack each other, devastating their equipment and dealing some injury to the pair. She managed to escape with her life; however, she was soon attacked by Copperhead, who had been watching her fight against the other assassins and had studied her moves. However, Natasha was still able to beat her into a retreat, though this would not be their last encounter.
Romanoff's demonstration of capability against her first hunters brought more attention to her, eliciting attacks from Prometheus, Penguin and the subsequent fight with Solomon Grundy, and Scarface. These encounters impressed the Riddler, who had been secretly monitoring Natasha ever since she entered Gotham. He contacted her, showing his interest in her skills and capabilities, and offered her information on the ones targeting her and the one who set up the bounty if she would search for his trophies and solve his riddles. Natasha later had a run-in with Victor Zsasz as well as Copperhead once more. This time, Copperhead used her seductive skill to lure Natasha close so she could land a killing stroke; when she did manage to get close, Copperhead decided instead to let her seduction play out, bringing Natasha to her hideout and making love with her, holding out to use her poison until she had her asleep.
This ended up not working well for Copperhead, as somehow Natasha was able to resist the lethality of her poison despite being nearly overwhelmed by its other effects; she managed to escape Copperhead's lair. Soon after, Natasha was attacked by Copperhead again, who managed to successfully seduce her once more. This time, Copperhead had grown attached to her target, and instead of trying to kill her she brought her back to her lair, to hide out from the other assassins and keep her for herself. This worked out, and for the next three weeks Natasha was Copperhead's lover and partner, with Copperhead throwing off the other assassins off of Natasha's trail in exchange for Natasha staying with her and being hers.
However, Copperhead was pressured by her leadership to resume her hunt for the Black Widow; against herself, Copperhead was forced to comply and tried once more to kill Natasha in her sleep. This worked even less than the first time, with Natasha building up some resilience to her poison; during her escape, the pair came across a more mutated Killer Croc in the sewers, who forced Copperhead to retreat allowing Natasha to defeat Croc using her intelligence and escaping death. On her way out she ran into Catwoman; after a brief scuffle, the pair realized they had nothing to gain from fighting each other, and let each other go about their business. She was briefly contacted by the Riddler again, who wondered if Natasha had any intention of leaving the city alive if she wasn't keen on playing his game for information.
League of AssassinsEdit
After this, she was no longer safe and had to resort to being more stealthy in order to survive. Using the sewers to travel, she accidentally came across the Ratcatcher, who immediately attacked her for invading his territory. Escaping from Ratcatcher's lair, she came across the hiding place for the League of Assassins. Romanoff was attacked by the League's defenders, but the fight was put to a stop by Henri Ducard who was intrigued by Romanoff's skills. She was offered a place to stay in the lair in exchange for becoming a member for life; she reluctantly agreed, and was subjected to intense training by the League. While staying, she met Nyssa and Talia Al Ghul, daughters of the League's leader, Ra's Al Ghul.
Though she satisfying her curiosity and made love with Talia one time, Natasha's feelings drove her more towards Nyssa who had a secretive lesbian orientation herself. The pair became quick friends and eventual secret lovers. This was discovered, and Henri confronted the pair and demanded they end their ties. When it was later found they continued meeting with each other intimately despite promising never to do so again, this brought conflict with Natasha, whose loyalty was tested in combat against several members of the League, including Ducard himself. When she defeated him, Talia emerged and decreed that Ra's had banished Natasha; this enraged her, and though she managed to hold off Talia in combat, the entire remainder of the League was directed to kill her, forcing her to flee through the catacombs where their hideout was hidden in. After throwing off her pursuers, she managed to escape back to the surface. She promised herself she would return to rescue Nyssa from the League of Assassins.
Ending the ContractEdit
This single-handed escape from the League drew the attention of Bane, who wasn't too impressed by Natasha's initial skillset despite being reputed as the deadliest spy in the world. He began to watch her as she began solving the Riddler's riddles faster than he could anticipate, defeating Great White Shark, and surviving an assault from Two-Face. After she was targeted by Mr. Freeze and managing to beat him, Bane revealed himself to Natasha, who decided it was time to test her himself. Not using too much power to begin, Bane held back most of his strength while Natasha was able to hold herself in the fight about evenly. He then retreated, promising he would return and that she had better be more prepared than she was at that time.
Coming across Catwoman once more, the two sparred so that Natasha could perhaps learn something that Catwoman could teach her to use against her hunters. After this, she was redirected into Gotham's city park, which had been taken over by Poison Ivy. Here, she tried to escape by fighting her way out but to no avail, as Ivy had found use out of Natasha and was interested in keeping her; Ivy used her pheromones to seduce Natasha into staying with her, and poisoned her with her toxic touch and kiss. Ivy hadn't used a lethal variant so she could keep Natasha alive, merely overwhelming Natasha's state of mind so she would have no intention to ever leave. This worked for a few days, with Ivy using Natasha's body to create specialized plants to help her overtake the city; however, Natasha was eventually released from Ivy's pheromones after going out of the park to wander. She continued her search for those after her, tested again by Bane, and finished the Riddler's riddles and found his lair. She interrogated him for information, and finally acquired what he had promised; the location of the one trying to kill her. She then ran into Man-Bat, Killer Moth who transformed into a Man-Moth creature, Firefly, Mr. Freeze, Maxie Zeus, and the Joker. The Joker had actually managed to capture her, holding her prisoner in his hideout as a trophy of sorts; while he was out causing some mayhem, she talked Harley Quinn into being her friend, letting her out of her binding, and making love to satisfy their curiosities before escaping. She then was found by Scarecrow, who used his Fear Toxin on her.
Against Scarecrow, Natasha was forced to relive her fears and experience the horrors of her past; after continued exposure to these fears, she managed to rise above them and break from Scarecrow's grasp, and single-handidly managed to defeat him, destroying his aircraft and presumably killing him. She was finally able to go after her assassins; sneaking into their building, she found the one who hired the killers to go after her was none other than Black Mask, who had grown frustrated and furious at the failures of some of Gotham's best in trying to capture her. She then broke in, stormed the place and took out all of Black Mask's henchmen; she then subdued Mask, and managed to escape the building but was then captured by Hugo Strange, who took her to his hideout.
Pitted against Strange's psychological test, Natasha was forced to watch him execute Copperhead, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn, whom he had discovered had some close relationship with her. She endured the test, easily dismissing the other women and eager for Strange to reveal Nyssa so she could save her; however, Strange revealed that Nyssa was killed by the League of Assassins. Enraged and thinking Strange was lying, Natasha tried to break free and interrogate him when the place came under attack from armed assailants, who sought to bring Strange down. The armed attackers were quickly defeated by Batman, who came in to capture Strange for his own agenda. He found Natasha, and rescued her, bringing her back to health in his Manor while continuing to crack down on the high rate of chaos going on in Gotham.
Eventually, Natasha returned to Gotham, trying to find and rescue Nyssa from the League of Assassins. As she did, she fought Bane once more, and found that the city was now under the grip of a terrorist overtaking by a returning Scarecrow, supported by a massive mercenary movement. Working with Batman, Catwoman and a shaky alliance with Mr. Freeze, Natasha managed to find her way to the League's new hideout beneath an abandoned hospital, defeated the members of the League, and repelled Ra's Al Ghul in combat. To her horror and grief she found that Nyssa really was dead, and tried to intimidate Ra's into resurrecting her using a Lazarus pit. When the League revealed that Ra's was deteriorating due to a defect in the current use of the pits, and that trying to restore Nyssa would not bring her back to the way she was, Natasha attempted to retrieve her corpse and try it anyway. This did not work, as Nyssa's body was nowhere to be found, and after receiving heavy wounds from several attackers Natasha was forced to retreat, broken physically and mentally. She managed to make it to a secluded outcropping in the building tops of Gotham before she passed out from her wounds, where she would remain crippled for the next few days.
Deal with the DevilEdit
Not long after Natasha's latest encounter with the League of Assassins, she was visited in a dream by Mephisto. Knowing her sorrow and desire, Mephisto offered to bring back a fully restored Nyssa Al Ghul to Natasha, if she would play his game. The game involved Natasha being placed back in a moment of her recent past, infinitely reliving the same day over and over again. The time she would be placed in would be of his choosing, the circumstances of his choosing, those she would see of his choosing, and the amount of time would be of his choosing. Initially refusing, Natasha was reluctant to pass on the offer to have Nyssa be brought back to life and ultimately agreed.
After signing herself to his contract, Natasha was returned to one of her days she had spent with Copperhead, while the pair were secret lovers hiding from society, a day Natasha had to live repeatedly for three weeks. Though she no longer had feelings for Copperhead at this point, Natasha couldn't put aside her strange beauty and went along with the game for the sake of saving Nyssa. This day involved her waking up in bed with Copperhead, going out to scour around the city, and coming back during the late afternoon to Copperhead's lair where the two would spend the rest of the night with each other, which always culminated in some form of deeply intimate sexual activity followed by sleeping together.
At first, Natasha played along with the game, having been trained her whole life to fake intimacy in order to get something out of it. Her heart still belonged to Nyssa at this point, and she was willing to do anything, even living with another partner for three weeks, to have some chance to see her again. However, as time rolled on Natasha found that her comfort around Copperhead increased and that her old feelings for the assassin were returning. She grew conflicted within herself, finding her heart drifting towards Copperhead despite the nature of her contract to bring back Nyssa. It became more difficult to think about Nyssa, easier to play along with Copperhead, and the actual feelings of intimacy began to reemerge in her head and fill her heart for Copperhead once more.
Her feelings for Copperhead soon faded as her mind began to question the reality of her situation and realized she had been duped by the demon. On the last night of the contract, Natasha became increasingly paranoid as she exclaimed over and over again that “None of this is real.” She confronted Larissa and began to choke her to death. When Diaz questioned her motives, Natasha only replied, “You are my mission,” revealing that the brainwashing tech had taken her over. Natasha killed Larissa by crushing her windpipe and snapping her neck. Then the fabrics of the fake reality folded, with Natasha reappearing in front of Mephisto. She angrily shouted at him before pulling a gun and wounding the demon. Mephisto demanded to know how she broke free from his control. She said that her mind is her own personal hell, and he left the front door open for her demons to come out and play. She decided for the best that killing Mephisto was not enough to make him suffer. She broke both of his arms and crippled his left leg before asking him to reveal the location of Nyssa. He did this out of fear against the former Soviet’s rage. She had one last demand: Give her control of the LoA so that she can set the future right for everyone. He did this and whisked her away back into the real world.
Year 3 Edit
With the helm of the League of Assassins back in Natasha’s hand, she immediately reinforced the stylized teachings of the Black Widow program for female members while the men were taught a new form of the teachings as well, incorporating them into the Wolf Spider teachings. She has begun her conquest of transforming Gotham into a LoA city-state, which would allow more people to join and train under the new tyrant. She has also sent her best, Shiva, to find and locate Nyssa and immediately see she be returned to the League at once.
After discovering Nyssa's location, she had her personal squad invade the Helicarrier she was held on. Leading the charge herself, she found Nyssa wondering aimlessly aboard. After hugging and reuniting with her lost love, she promised to take her back and help reform the LoA into a peace-keeping operation. However, their reunion was short-lived as Nick Fury revealed himself and immediately question Natasha of her loyalties. Trying to persuade him that she remained loyal to SHIELD during her mission and her subsequent return, Nick did not believe her and had her arrested. He then kept the two lovers in separate cells on the Helicarrier.
Natasha potrays herself as a soft individual who’s innocence was ripped away. She comes off as caring, but motivated, one who strives towards the goal. This was shown during the month-long Gotham Crisis, as she used only her wits and skill to survive amongst the eight bounty hunters. Natasha has embraced love, evident by her strong feelings for Nyssa Al Ghul during her tenure in the League of Assassins and with Larissa Diaz, however it is unknown if these feelings were true or not. The Soviet brainwashing tech embedded in Natasha is still prevalent today, which controls her to carry out missions, even though the former Soviet Union does not exist. She has also claimed that the mind-control destroys her psyche every time she becomes under its control, and has no way of breaking it.
Despite Copperhead being one of the several assassins going after Natasha for a large amount of money, the pair found that there was an odd connection of interest between the two of them. After her decision to try to seduce Natasha to vulnerability so she could kill her easier, Copperhead slowly grew interested in preserving Natasha as a secret lover to enjoy as long as she could. Natasha, against her training for such situations, found herself intrigued by Larissa's strange body features and seductive traits and was lulled into a false sense of security and intimacy.
After Natasha was brought to Larissa's lair, the pair acted on their lust for each other and slept with one another. This continued, even though Larissa tried poisoning Natasha their first night, allowing the lovers to live with each other for quite some time. The more they spent, the closer they got, which was dangerous for them both. Eventually, Larissa was forced to try to assassinate her again by those who hired her; against her feelings, she complied, and only succeeded in causing Natasha to run away.