Black Widow
Black Widow
Portrayed by Scarlett Johansson
Full Name Natasha Romanoff
Age 28 (86)
Height 5'3"
Build Small and athletic
Eyes Blue
Hair Red
Factions Avengers | SHIELD
Occupation SHIELD agent.
Alignment Hero

Claim to Fame

Woman with a thousand identities, master spy, assassin, and femme fatale.


The Black Widow is a legendary figure in the intelligence community, though the name is thought to have been handed down from operative to operative over the years. Very few people realize the Black Widow today is the same Black Widow who first emerged during the Cold War 60+ years ago. Russian and US spymasters know the Widow defected to the US approximately 10 years ago. Few of them, however, know if the defection is genuine or not.


Born in Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in 1928, Natalia lost her parents when she was very young. They died in a blaze that broke out in their apartment building thanks to anti-Soviet attacks on the city. Her mother was able to pass her to a Soviet soldier through a broken window before she succumbed to smoke, herself. The solider took Natalia in, but was eventually forced to relinquish her to "Department X" and its Red Room program.

Midway through WW2, the adolescent Natalia wound up in Madripoor, where she had been brought by Nazis, who had kidnapped and subsequently given her to the Hand with the intention that she be brainwashed and trained as a master assassin and, perhaps, reinserted under Russian control as a sleeper agent. Ultimately, that didn't happen. She was rescued and returned to the Red Room by the same soldier that had taken her there in the first place. Indeed, the man would become a recurring character in her life for the length of his, sometimes even going so far as to 'assist' her on her missions, acting a chauffeur and bodyguard when she was masquerading as a woman of society on behalf of her superiors.

Regardless, by the time the War was over, she was well indoctrinated by her Russian masters, and already an expert in espionage, hand-to-hand, and countless weapons. She had been bio- and psycho-technologically enhanced by the Russian version of the super soldier serum (which wasn't quite as effective as the American version used at around the same time on Steve Rogers), and, consequently, was faster, stronger, and more resilient than most of the men she encountered. Further, she was trained in more subtle arts of psycho-, social- and sexual-manipulation, turning her into the perfect femme fatale — though it would be several years before she would exercise those skills to any great degree.

Indeed, her training was enhanced by rigorous training as a ballerina, which resulted in a position at the Bolshoi in the early-to-mid 50's. She retired from the ballet to become the wife of celebrated Soviet test pilot Alexi Shostakov in a state-arranged, but remarkably happy marriage. Indeed, when Shostakov apparently died in a rocket test several years later, Natasha was genuinely grief-stricken, as a result.

However, the whole thing was planned by the Red Room administrators to strengthen her loyalty, given her independent, intelligent nature did sometimes make it difficult to ensure the indoctrination they put her through held properly. Shostakov's death gave them the emotional leverage they needed to get Natasha "into the fight", as it were. It was remarkably successful…

For a time, anyway.

She spent much of her time from the late sixties to late nineties working as a corporate infiltrator and sleeper agent for Russia. This brought her into conflict time and time again with several counter-intelligence and espionage agencies in the West, including international organizations like the U.N. sanctioned S.H.I.E.L.D. and the C.I.A.'s "International Operations" initiative (which was eventually dissolved in favour of Stormwatch).

During this time, she went through a frequent cycle of missions, debriefs (some hostile), and subsequent re-education (i.e. brainwashing and memory adjustment), all orchestrated to keep her loyal to the Motherland — and all acerbated by the Russian spymasters' tendency to jar her out of one life and into another by sending her ex-husband after her to bring her home. (Discovering he hadn't died was one helluva shock, to be sure.) To this day, she can't honestly say which of her memories of anything prior to her defection and subsequent work for S.H.I.E.L.D. are truly hers. She fears very few of them may be.

It was, in fact, encounters with a couple of young S.H.I.E.L.D. field agents, and perhaps a choice encounter or two with a grizzled war vet in the same agency who was actually older than she, in the late eighties/early nineties that laid the groundwork for her eventual defection in the early-to-mid-2000's. Each encounter left her questioning her employers' motives a little more, making each cycle of debrief and consequent re-education that much more difficult. Eventually, enough was enough and she broke free and fled to America.

In America, she took up freelance work for S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as other agencies on the side. She became a gun for hire, sure, but a good one. The legend of the Black Widow was, by this point, long and storied, apocryphal, in some ways, but still impressive. (Who, after all, could really believe the twenty-something redhead with the tasers on her wrist was the same woman whispered about by vets of the Cold War, right?)

Eventually, however, she was brought into the S.H.I.E.L.D. fold. She's spent much of the last 10 years doing extensive field ops for them, handing highly sensitive operations the Director really couldn't trust to 'regular' agents. And her operational parameters have been so wide, her discretionary authority is positively impressive. Few, other than director-level operatives can counter her and her personnel file and history is locked down against everyone except a scant handful the Director has personally cleared.

Thus, even in that agency, she's still largely a mystery to everyone except a select few. Less than a handful of S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel really know who she is and what she does; most agents only know her code name, at best, and have only heard rumours of her exploits. Her mission reports are almost always Level 7 security and above. Indeed, she's one of less than a handful of agents that actually merits a Level 10 security clearance rating, which is higher than most Regional and Special Directors. What is known about her, however, is this: If the Black Widow's been called in, Things Just Got Real.

Character Details

The Black Widow is a chameleon. She alters her appearance and her personality to suit those she's trying to impress… or intimidate, depending on the situation. Regardless, some things about her are sure: She's typically gracious, charming, and intelligent, perhaps even a little beguiling. She can set someone at ease with a smile, or threaten them with a single arch of her brow. She can be incredibly subtle, when she wants to be, and is exceptionally observant and meticulous in her attention to detail. Very, very few people know who she really is behind the mask.

When left to her own devices, with no one around to impress or manipulate, she tends to be faintly self-deprecating with a dry sense of humour. Even she's not entirely sure who she is, when she's alone with herself. Too many years of brainwashing, indoctrination, deprogramming, and lies have made her own mind the one thing she can never know with any true certainty.


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Character Gallery


Changing Socks
March 24, 2015: Black Widow has a word with Nick Fury about a… problematic agent.
(log: 20150324-changing-socks | tags: black_widow nick_fury | posted: 25 Mar 2015 03:00)

Buck Hunting
March 22, 2015: The Invaders and friends go after one of their own. It doesn't work out how they expect. * NOTE: This scene will be pushed forward in the timeline to help it be congruent with Peggy and Howard's World On Fire plot
(log: 20150322-the-search-for-buck | tags: black_widow captain_america fenris fracture howard_stark namor spitfire winter_soldier | posted: 22 Mar 2015 14:22)

About Bucky
March 21, 2015: About Bucky
(log: 20150321-about-bucky | tags: black_widow captain_america | posted: 21 Mar 2015 20:13)

The Short Artificially Lit Tea Time Of The SHIELD
March 13, 2015: Various SHIELD agents come and go, talking about various things over coffee and tea. There are no pastries or cucumber sandwiches.
(log: 20150313-the-short-artificially-lit-tea-time-of-the-shie | tags: black_widow emmett_argyle fitz paul_manning shield simmons the_cavalry witchblade | posted: 14 Mar 2015 15:50)

Piercing The Haze
February 23, 2015: Acting on old intel from his last days as a Russian agent, the Winter Soldier seeks out the deep cover Russian operative known to a very few as 'Keeper'— aka S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Emmett Argyle.
(log: 20150223-piercing-the-haze | tags: black_widow emmett_argyle who_is_james_buchanan_barnes? winter_soldier | posted: 25 Mar 2015 20:10)

Snakes on a Boat
February 19, 2015: Midnighter and Black Widow discover they have some similar interests.
(log: 20150219-23:45-snakes-on-a-boat | tags: black_widow midnighter | posted: 07 Mar 2015 04:49)

He flipped a dumpster on me
February 27, 2015: In which Lunair infodumps some of her latest HYDRA-related mishaps, including that she totally got dumpstowned.
(log: 20150217-he-flipped-a-dumpster-on-me | tags: black_widow lunair rp the_cavalry | posted: 09 Mar 2015 22:32)

Howard's 11: Situational Reasoning
February 09, 2015: Following a less than smooth discussion with Howard Stark, Natasha Romanoff shares some insight with Maria Hill. (Minor language)
(log: 20150209-howard-s-11:situational-reasoning | tags: black_widow maria_hill shield | posted: 12 Feb 2015 02:00)

Howard's 11: Party Busters
February 09, 2015: SHIELD operatives close in on some wanted individuals connected to the theft of Howard Stark's old inventions. (Some language)
(log: 20150209-howard-s-11:party-busters | tags: black_widow fitz hawkeye howard_stark maria_hill shield | posted: 10 Feb 2015 19:59)

Howard's 11: Theoretical Betrayal
February 08, 2015: Hill's team makes final plans for the sting, and Howard's loyalties come into question.
(log: 20150208-howard-s-11:theoretical-betrayal | tags: black_widow fitz howard_stark maria_hill shield | posted: 09 Feb 2015 00:59)

Howard's 11: A Matter of Mistrust
February 7, 2015: The Black Widow follows RoboStark out onto the dark streets of the French Quarter
(log: 20150207-howard-s-11:a-matter-of-mistrust | tags: black_widow howard_stark shield | posted: 07 Feb 2015 16:59)

Howard's 11: Portalbusters
February 02, 2015: Hill and Widow discuss their strategy with Howard, while Fitz shows off his shiny new 'Portal Buster'.
(log: 20150202-howard-s-11:portalbusters | tags: black_widow fitz howard_stark maria_hill shield | posted: 03 Feb 2015 16:17)

Howard's 11: Triple Play
February 1, 2015: SHIELD agents try to get some information out of the three lowlifes they apprehended in New Jersey.
(log: 20150201-howard-s-11:triple-play | tags: black_widow captain_america maria_hill shield | posted: 01 Feb 2015 22:57)

Howard's 11: Express Service to New Orleans
February 1, 2015: SHIELD agents pick up Howard Stark en route to Louisiana to track down arms dealers.
(log: 20150201-howard-s-11:express-service-to-new-orleans | tags: black_widow fitz howard_stark maria_hill shield simmons | posted: 02 Feb 2015 22:28)

Howard's 11: In Darkest Jersey
January 31, 2015: SHIELD agents investigate a weapons deal involving stolen tech.
(log: 20150131-howard-s-11:in-darkest-jersey | tags: black_widow captain_america firestorm maria_hill shield | posted: 01 Feb 2015 02:15)

Pizza League Initiative
January 28, 2015: Some SHIELDies and an ally come together to talk about the forming of the Justice League.
(log: 20150128-pizza-league-initiative | tags: black_widow falcon hawkeye jla maria_hill mockingbird shield | posted: 29 Jan 2015 03:36)

Off the Reservation
January 26, 2015: May is more than angry enough to want to distance herself from all things SHIELD. Where is an ideal place to do that? Gotham. It helps that she already has a contact here by the name of Oracle. SHIELD — or one of May's fellow agents — tries to follow.
(log: 20150126-off-the-reservation | tags: black_widow oracle shield the_cavalry | posted: 27 Jan 2015 05:32)

Elijah's Mantle, Part 5
January 24, 2015: SHIELD races to the Arctic to attempt to catch HYDRA before they take Skull's body
(log: 20150124-elijah-s-mantle-part-5 | tags: beast black_widow captain_america emmett_argyle maria_hill midnighter shift witchblade | posted: 25 Jan 2015 02:17)

Elijah's Mantle, Part 4
January 23, 2015: Alpha and Bravo Team get together to discuss what they believe HYDRA will be up to.
(log: 20150123-elijah-s-mantle-part-4 | tags: beast black_panther black_widow captain_america darce elijahs_mantle emmett_argyle fitz midnighter witchblade | posted: 24 Jan 2015 04:05)

Tree Farts
January 22, 2015: The SHIELD team in Maui unravels the mystery.
(log: 20150122-tree-farts | tags: black_widow hawkeye hawkeye_ii maria_hill maui mockingbird shield | posted: 23 Jan 2015 03:23)

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