Born in Russia during 1928 and trained as a spy, Natasha would become first a great adversary to some of the world’s greatest superheroes, before eventually becoming the hero that we know today.
Her first foray into the comic world saw her with a very different appearance to the one she would later adopt. Originally black haired and sporting clothes that wouldn’t look out of place alongside the likes of Cruella Deville, Natasha was fighting against America and would also recruit the archer Hawkeye to join her cause. It was only after a drastic change to her backstory, and a change to her appearance, that the world would really start seeing her as more than simply another recurring villain.
Over the years that followed she would gain more responsibilities and would have to face the trials and tribulations these new tasks would bring.
She would become a member of the Avengers on a freelance basis for a while, never fully committing to joining the team. It was only really during the whole Civil War event that she started to truly embody and become the Avenger we now know. During this period she would re-meet people from her past such as Winter Soldier, whom she trained under back when she was a girl.
I would like to mention that for someone who is in their late 80s, Natasha is doing pretty well indeed. To my knowledge Marvel have never altered her date of birth and have never explained how she still looks to be in her mid-twenties in the current comics. The only time when she seemingly could have changed is when she was killed by The Hand and was resurrected by Daredevil, but even then she would have been pretty old.
In terms of her personal life she and Hawkeye had a romantic entanglement for many years before she reluctantly turned down a marriage proposal from him after believing him dead. She would also romance the likes of Daredevil and even the mighty Hercules, before going back off on her own into the world of espionage.
Black Widow has had a few stand-alone series over the years and has had even more recently, due to the unarguable success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The popularity of her character has been blown out of the stratosphere due to the amazing acting talents of Scarlett Johansson and her near perfect representation of the character.
Say what you will about the films or the comics, but one thing is for sure, the character of Black Widow is one that sticks in the mind and has an incredible amount of depth to her. With time quickly running out in the Marvel Universe it’ll be interesting to see what is in store for Natasha.