"My name is... Madame Natasha... but you... can call me The Black Widow!"
The work that Nathan Edmonson and Phil Noto have done with the Black Widow character have only cemented my love for her. Natasha Romanoff has a long history in the comics and a major impact in the cinematic universe. Fans adore her. The story often relies on her. And she's an essential part of the comics canon.
"Nothing serious, just feeling a little mortal these days."
Origins: Natasha first appeared in 1964. While there are several different versions of her history, it's understood that she was a KGB operative that was brainwashed by her handlers. When she realized who she was working for, she defected, and currently uses the skills she learned to try to make the world better and safer. She's been on the Avengers team, worked with Daredevil, and on her own as well.
Powers: Her physical and mental abilities were enhanced during her training in the KGB's Red Room program. Her training there mean she's an extremely skilled fighter. She also ages at a very slow rate.
"How many more jobs... How long will it take... I don't know if I can do it... Even if I could forgive myself... This is what I am now. And you'll never know who I was before."
Not every comic pulls of questions about the nature of good and evil in a compelling way, but Natasha's character development lately has been excellent in that respect. Unlike some other characters, who seem to always know what the right thing is, she asks complex questions about what "the right thing" even is, and whether or not it's even real. As always, she's more than meets the eye.