If Black Widow were a real person rather than a comic book character introduced in 1964, she’d pride herself on being one of the most mysterious people in the Marvel Universe. Whether you look at comic books, television shows, or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you won’t find much concrete information about Black Widow since her inception. But that’s exactly what makes her so fascinating in the first place.
1. EMILY BLUNT NEARLY PLAYED BLACK WIDOW
Picture Credits: Flickr
Emily Blunt as Black Widow isn’t just another one of endless “nearly happened” superhero casting stories. This one actually did happen, as Blunt had officially signed onto the role and was ready to film her first MCU appearance for Iron Man 2. Unfortunately for her, but good news for Scarlett Johansson and everyone that’s a fan of her performance, Blunt had to drop out at the last minute after scheduling conflicts with the filmGulliver’s Travels interfered.
After Blunt dropped out, Marvel turned to Eliza Dushku, Angelina Jolie, and Natalie Portman before settling on Scarlett Johansson; who wasn’t yet the A-lister that she is today. Like they did with Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and most others who have donned a Marvel costume, Marvel Studios finally broke Johansson into the A-list and she is now looked at as one of the biggest female action stars on the planet. And as for Emily Blunt, well, she’ll be okay.
2. A BLACK WIDOW MOVIE WAS WRITTEN IN 2004
Before Marvel made their own movies and ruled the box office they were selling off characters to whichever studios would take them and hoping that a movie stuck. It was during this time, in 2004 to be exact, that Lionsgate bought the rights to Black Widow and started developing an origin story for her. They hired X-Menand X-Men 2 writer David Hayter for the script, and he turned in a draft that saw Natasha adopted as a child, trained as a child assassin, given the Black Widow Program super soldier serum, and eventually defecting from Russia. It was meant to capitalize on the success of recent female-led action films such as Kill Bill and Tomb Raider, but there were two sides to that coin.
With those hit films came bigger female-led bombs, like BloodRayne (what?), Ultraviolet (that’s not a thing, is it?), and Aeon Flux (that was essentially Ultraviolet, right?) When Aeon Flux bombed hard, Black Widow was cancelled three days later and the rights eventually reverted back to Marvel. While Black Widow went on to be played by mega-star Scarlett Johansson and is one of the best parts of the MCU, it’s now 2016 and we’re still waiting for the day that a Black Widow solo movie is announced. And while we’re looking and what could’ve been but ultimately wasn’t…
3. SHE’S BIOLOGICALLY ENHANCED, JUST LIKE CAPTAIN AMERICA
Picture Credits: Wikimedia
File this one under “not in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, yet” but Black Widow is very much a traditional superhero in the sense that she’s biologically advanced and not your average human. Having been given a serum very similar to Steve Rogers’ Super Soldier Serum during her time in the Black Widow Program, Natasha Romanoff is actually resistant to aging and disease, and she has the same super-human strength and agility that Captain America has. That explains why she’s got to keep her 1928 birthdate this long.
Slipping in some technological enhancements along with her biological ones, the Black Widow Program did a good job of creating the Black Widow we all know and training her to utilize her added skills. Having been broken down and built up to become the ultimate weapon, Black Widow is very much the Russian version of Captain America; which could explain why they get along so well as two sides of the same coin. And on top of all of this, Natasha was trained by Bucky after he had become the Winter Soldier. And that’s when she really came into her own and learned to fight, including with weapons we’ve yet to see on-screen…
4. SHE WAS OFFICIALLY BORN IN 1928 AND FOUGHT IN WWII
Different than the Black Widow of the MCU that was born in the 80s, the official Black Widow of the comics is unique because superheroes are often ageless as they move through the decades. Other than Captain America, whose key trait is being a man living in a different time, Natasha is one of the only heroes with a clear birthdate in the comics, and that’s because it’s so integral to her backstory.
Born in 1928 and orphaned during an attack on Stalingrad during WWII, Soviet soldiers rescued her and she was eventually induced into a secret USSR sleeper agent program. Trained with a team of elite female agents, Natasha was brainwashed, implanted with false memories, and continually refined to eventually become a bad-ass killing machine. And from there she became the Black Widow, which wasn’t just a cool name she got to pick, but was rather something not very creative at all considering the next fact…
5. THERE WAS ANOTHER BLACK WIDOW BEFORE NATASHA
Picture Credits: Flickr
If we’re talking about Black Widow, the first thing we should get out of the way is that the Black Widow we all know (or don’t know) and love isn’t exactly Marvel’s first Black Widow. For those Black Widow purists out there, if you want to go all the way back to the early ’40s you’d find a character named Black Widow that wasn’t Natasha Romanoff at all.
This Black Widow – the original Black Widow – confusingly had another secret identity; Claire Voyant. Since this was the early ’40s and the comic book form was still figuring itself out, Claire Voyant wasn’t meant to be taken as a joke, but was rather a very serious character that actually had a willingness to murder and, not unlike Natasha, do things that no one else would do. Despite the cool name (not really) and the cool suit (not so much), the original Black Widow faded away and made room for the real Black Widow, the one called Natasha Romanoff, but also not called that at all, because of the next point…
Keeping all facts aside, Black Widow is still one the most interesting characters in the Avengers series. Use Code- TEN to get a 10% OFF on your first orders on Cyankart.com.