Natasha Romanova

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Character
Name: Natalia "Natasha" Alianovna Romanova, Natasha Romanov, Natasha Romanoff
Occupation: Assassin/Spy/Superhero
Title/Rank: Black Widow
Agent/Specialist
Location:
Status: alive
Relationships: Canon: Bucky/Natasha, Natasha/Matt Murdock, Bruce/Natasha Fanon: Clint/Natasha, Pepper/Natasha, Natasha/Steve
Fandom: The Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Other:
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comic fandom history

Natasha Romanova, also known as the Black Widow, is a Marvel Comics character. She also appears as a main character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Natasha Romanoff and appears in other Avengers cartoon related shows.

Canon

Comics

An edit of Natasha as she appears in the comics[1]

Natasha Romanova first appeared in Tales of Suspense No. 52 (April 1964). Her origin story has changed over time. In the original version, she was a ballerina-turned-KGB agent who eventually defected from the USSR and moved to the US. In 2004, this was all retconned; the Red Room that was originally added to her backstory in 1999 was turned into a place that brainwashed and trained her from a very young age to become an assassin.[2]

MCU

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Widow (portrayed by Scarlett Johansson) first appears in the movie Iron Man 2, posing as "Natalie Rushman", a Stark Industries employee of Pepper Potts. It is revealed that she was assigned to evaluate Tony Stark for the Avengers Initiative by Nick Fury and SHIELD.

She has a significant role in the movies The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. She will appear in The Avengers: Infinity War and the untitled Avengers film.

Fandom

But Not Black Widow

Many fans noticed a lack of Natasha representation in The Avengers film promotional posters and merchandise. The tag #but not black widow started appearing on Tumblr to show examples. A Tumblr blog ...But Not Black Widow was created.

MarvelCanadaTweet-BlackWidowWinner.jpg

This happened again with the promotion of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, the official Twitter account for Marvel Canada poses the question of "Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America - who are you excited to see in the film?" Many fans noticed the fact that Natasha was not included in the list (as was Hawkeye). This angered a lot of fans and they voted for her anyway, making her the winner even when she wasn't a contender (see side image).

Black Widow Movie

Many Marvel fans often wonder why the Black Widow aka Natasha, who's appeared in several of the films in MCU has yet to get her own film but yet a Ant-Man film was created. However the Marvel Studios continuously denies the ability to rearrange the already scheduled films and could only produce so many films at once, that there were no way that an unplanned Black Widow film could be scheduled for Phase 3 of MCU. This is despite the fact that a script has been ready since at least 2004 and the fact that Captain Marvel (a film about Carol Danvers) is set to appear in 2018, and the recent news of Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe[3] which actually pushed back several of the upcoming films release dates. Many fans are upset on the aspect that the studio shifted around four film production schedules for Spider-Man, but yet could not do so for Natasha/Black Widow.

Even Marvel Studios didn't sway in their opinion even when Johansson's film "Lucy" earned up almost $459 million. Many Black Widow fans went and saw the film due to Johansson being part of the film, and to show the fact that a Black Widow movie could indeed earn big bucks just like any of the other male-lead superhero films.

Fanworks such as vids, fake trailers, and fake movie posters are constantly created and reblogged on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook in order to show support of a Black Widow Movie.

SNL actually did a Black Widow sketch to call out Marvel (and rom-coms cliches) by showing a fake movie trailer for a new Black Widow movie during Scarlett’s hosting gig.

"Obviously if you’re going to make a movie about a female superhero, it’s got to be a cheesy, predictable rom-com with every genre trope thrown in, from the unrealistic city apartment to the job at a fashion magazine to the clumsy heroine. Except things are a little different here since, well, it’s Black Widow. So her love interest is obviously the villainous robot Ultron and his crazy light-up penis, and Thor is her sassy gay friend. But the best part of the trailer is the movie’s title: Black Widow: Age of Me."[4]

Common Tropes and Themes

  • Robot Natasha: Some fans have complained that fanfic often depicts Natasha as an emotionless robot.
  • Budapest: Several fanworks have attempts to explore an exchange between Natasha and Clint in The Avengers in which Natasha says "Just like Budapest all over again!" and Clint responds "You and I remember Budapest very differently."
  • Domestic Avengers (also known as Superfamily): a common fanfic idea where Natasha and the other Avengers characters live together and/or are family. Natasha is sometimes considered a parent or aunt of the "family".

Terminology

Pairings

With the release of Iron Man 2, the femslash pairing of Pepper/Natasha became very popular and is one of the more common fanon pairing for Natasha. Natasha/Tony was also common. Since the movie Thor and later The Avengers came out, an increase of Clint/Natasha fanwork appeared. This is due to their partnership in the comics (and again confirmed in the The Avengers film). Another popular pairing that grew out of film would be Bruce/Natasha, due to the fact that Natasha was brought in to recruit Bruce to come work with SHIELD.

Also with the release of The Avengers film came some other pairings started to grow more common as well; such as Natasha with Steve Rogers/Natasha Romanova, Loki/Natasha Romanova, Maria Hill/Natasha Romanova, Bucky Barnes/Natasha Romanova (Winter Soldier), Darcy Lewis/Natasha Romanova, and Phil Coulson/Natasha Romanova.

Fanworks

See individual Natasha pairings for more fanworks.

Meta

Fanfiction

Artwork

Comics:

MCU:

Fanvids

Archives and Fannish Links

DeviantART

Tumblr

Resources

References

  1. Source: latrodectus.dreamwidth.org
  2. Where was the Red Room retcon introduced? FYBW. September 25, 2015. (Accessed May 28, 2017)
  3. Sony and Disney reach deal to bring Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Examiner. February 10, 2015. (Accessed February 27, 2015)
  4. SNL‘s Black Widow Sketch Skewers Marvel And Romantic Comedies At The Same Time. Jill O’Rourke @ Crushable. May 4, 2015 (Accessed May 23, 2015)