It's true that under the gaze of Marvel Studios, Joss Whedon and Scarlet Johansson, Black Widow has turned into a superhero force to be reckoned with over the 5 years she's been gracing the screens with her presence.
But having a comic book career that has spanned 50 years, and has seen her appear in multiple famous arcs, it's fair to say there may be a few juicy and badass facts about the spy extraordinaire that have been forgotten or completely looked over by the big M's cinematic ventures:
1. She Wasn't The First Black Widow
No, she really wasn't! That title belongs to the very first costumed and super-powered heroine Claire Voyant, way back in 1940. Yes, Claire Voyant. Who, believe it or not, was a powerful psychic, capable of flight, teleportation and was casually immortal.
The anti-heroine was an agent of the Devil, who murders villains and evil doers in order to carry their souls to her master. That's pretty dark, man.
2. She's as Powerful and as Old as Captain America
Born in 1928, and recruited by Soviet Intelligence at some point in the late '30s, Romanoff was exposed to a Soviet version of the same super-serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America when she joined the Black Widow program.
Her physical abilities, strength and senses have all been tweaked, meaning she can lift incredible weights, has almost superhuman speed and agility, is nearly immune to all diseases, and ages at a greatly reduced rate. Why didn't we see this Black Widow in the MCU?!
3. She's Been in Various Super-Teams
Besides leading the Avengers and even S.H.I.E.L.D., Romanoff has been a part of multiple heroic teams, such as Heroes for Hire, the Secret Avengers, the Lady Liberators, the Champions of Los Angeles. She's got a big heart, our Black Widow.
4. She's Romanced Some Seriously Awesome Heroes
And she also put that big heart of hers through the paces, after becoming items with some of Marvel's most renowned heroes. She's had relationships with Hawkeye, Hercules and Daredevil/Matt Murdock! But the most famous of them all falls on her time with Bucky Barnes, as both the Winter Soldier and Captain America.
During his stint as a Soviet assassin, Barnes was involved in mentoring Romanoff in the Red Room. Naturally teacher and student became close, possibly a little too close, and became lovers for a short while. Though not all was rosy, seeing as Romanoff was "promised" to brilliant Russian test pilot Alexi Shostakov, and Barnes was normally thrown into cryostasis for extended periods of time after missions.
5. She Wanted to Become a... Fashion Designer?
Art by CdCblanc
Sticking with the romantic tangent, in the Daredevil comics back in the '70s, Romanoff and Murdock move to San Francisco to start a new life together. Safe from the stresses and dangers of being superheroes.
But where Murdock can't resist slipping into his scarlet red costume, Natasha revels in dreams of becoming a fashion designer! You may think "typical, sexist old timey comic book crap." But considering how big of a badass independent woman Black Widow was in the series, and hailing from communist Russia, I guess her ideal of the American Dream is having the freedom to be whatever woman she chooses.
6. She's Pretty Far Out, Man
Unfortunately, for history's sake, we never got to bear witness to a '70s televisual incarnation of Black Widow, though there were attempts. Angie Bowie, then wife of the space oddity himself David Bowie, had acquired the television rights to Widow from Stan Lee, with the view to her starring as the titular superhero.
Alas due to the high cost of filming and special effects, the show didn't go ahead. But we were left with this incredible photoshoot...
(Source: Wiki, Man Without Fear)