Marvel Just Jipped Us With Natasha Romanoff and I’m Kind of Okay With It

Amanda Bussman
8 min readJul 17, 2021
Jen Bartel art

It has taken me 24 hours to come to terms with how Marvel decided to play with the black widow.

I’m not saying this as a bad thing. As we all know, the MCU waters down characters. This is a Disney byproduct. We can’t exactly have trained assassins influencing young children. I suppose anyway.

I enjoyed the film that I’d waited a year and a half for. It was …enjoyable. Scarlet Johanson as always did a beautiful job with her character. The addition of Florence Pugh’s Yelena means terrific things for the cinematic universe. The adventure was a great kiss goodbye to our token female.

But I would be lying to say there isn’t a part of me in mourning.

I didn’t expect there to be a close correlation between comics and what the MCU has posed. Natasha Romanoff has had too much heart right from the beginning. She’s been bold but soft. The Avengers have been her family.

I’m not entirely sure that comic Natasha understands what family is. (Unless you’re up to date with the 2020 Thompson run — which I must say is phenomenal. My expectation was well exceeded.)

Let’s take a look at where these two characters differ, shall we?

Natasha Romanoff or Natalia Romanova?

It was April 1964 when Don Heck introduced the super-spy into the “boys game”. An antagonist during the soviet union. Madame Natasha stole hearts and everything else. Without batting an eye mind you.

Dressed in a form-fitting evening gown, she wasn’t exactly the catsuit wearer we know from the films.

In fact, per the comics, we actually know that Natasha is an English subset. Natalia Alianovna Romanova is Natasha’s given name.

When this wasn’t said in the movies I was a bit surprised.

I’d sort of expected it to be the niche that showcased her past. I figured Natalia would have been who she’d grown as. (Not that I expected a family setting, but that’s another point.) I thought it would have been something that connected her to her roots.

Just as “Tash” and “Tasha” have connected her to the men who have gotten tangled up in her webs.

Amanda Bussman

If you're looking for a writing coach and someone who is working through generational trauma, you've come to the right place. OH! I hope you like Taylor Swift!