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Black Widow Reading Order (Natasha Romanoff)

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Created by Stan Lee, Don Rico, and Don Heck, Black Widow made her debut as Tales of Suspense #52 in 1964. During her first decades on the pages of Marvel Comic books, the woman also known as Natasha Romanoff has been a villain and a hero, a femme fatale and a spy, a love interest and a superhero. Once she chose the path of heroism, she was at first reduced to being Hawkeye’s girlfriend, then Daredevil’s.

Trained by the “Red Room” to be the ultimate Super Spy, Black Widow is a former Russian KGB Agent who defected to the United States of America and joined the S.H.I.E.L.D. Later, she would also become a member of the Avengers and has been part of the team on several occasions. A woman with a mysterious past, Black Widow served for a long time as a female sidekick or team member in Daredevil, Captain America, The Champions, and of course, The Avengers.

It took her almost 40 years to finally have her own title, a limited series part of the Marvel Knights line when she found herself having to defend her codename from a certain Yelena Belova. From then on, Black Widow became a more prominent figure in the Marvel Universe, and her introduction in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2010, played by Scarlett Johansson, clearly helped solidify her place.

She is now one of the most famous Marvel characters, and it’s time to explore her history with this Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff reading order!

Black Widow Reading Order

Did you know there was another Black Widow before Nat? To know more about it, read our article about Claire Voyant, the first Black Widow of Marvel.

From Villain to Teammate: Black Widow’s early adventures (1964-1990)

To discover the early adventures of Black Widow, Marvel has put together an omnibus or two trade paperbacks from its Epic Collection line. Those editions collect her debut in Tales of Suspense, er first adventures with the Avengers, solo series, and rare graphic novel appearances!

  • The Black Widow Strikes Omnibus
    Collects Tales of Suspense #52–53, 57, 60, 64; Avengers #29–30, 36–37, 43–44; Amazing Spider-Man #86; Amazing Adventures (vol. 2) #1–8; Daredevil #81, Annual #10; Bizarre Adventures #25; Marvel Fanfare #10–13; Solo Avengers #7; Marvel Graphic Novel No. 61 – The Black Widow: The Coldest War, No. 74 – Punisher/Black Widow: Spinning Doomsday’s Web and No. 75 – Daredevil/Black Widow: Abattoir; Marvel Comics Presents #135; Fury/Black Widow: Death Duty; Journey into Mystery #517–519; material from Avengers #16, 32–33, 38–39, 41–42, 45–47, 57, 63–64, 76

Or in Epic Collection:

  • Black Widow Epic Collection: Beware the Black Widow
    Collects Tales of Suspense #52-53, 57, 60, 64, Avengers #29-30, 36–37, 43–44, Amazing Spider-Man #86, Amazing Adventures #1-8, Daredevil #81 and material from Avengers #16, #32–33, #38–39, #41–42, #45–47, #57, #63–64, #76. Cover the years 1966-1971.
  • Black Widow Epic Collection: The Coldest War
    Marvel Graphic Novel No. 61 – Black Widow: The Coldest War, Marvel Graphic Novel No. 74 – Punisher/Black Widow: Spinning Doomsday’s Web, Marvel Graphic Novel No. 75 – Daredevil/Black Widow: Abattoir, Fury/Black Widow: Death Duty and material from Bizarre Adventures #25, Marvel Fanfare #10-13, Solo Avengers #7, Marvel Comics Presents #135 and Daredevil Annual #10. Cover the years 1981-1998

Daredevil Reading OrderAfter headlining Amazing Adventures (collecting above!), Black Widow joined Daredevil in issue #81, where both heroes began a partnership (and later a relationship).

Black Widow became later the team leader of The Champions of Los Angeles, working with the two former X-Men Angel and Iceman, Greek god Hercules, and Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze). The team soon disbanded due to bankruptcy.

Find all Natasha’s team-ups from this era in one place! She worked alongside Spider-Man, the Thing, Daredevil and more!

  • Black Widow: Marvel Team-Up
    Collects Marvel Two-In-One (1974) #10; Marvel Team-Up (1972) #57, #82-85, #98, #140-141; and material from Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #53, #70, #93

Black Widow in the ’90s

Black Widow helped Captain America in his war on drugs, before officially joining the Avengers full-time in issue #329 in 1991 until the cancellation of the book in 1996. She took on the role of the leader, though her presence can be quite limited.

The Avengers #355
  • Avengers Epic Collection: The Gatherers Strike!
    Collects Avengers (1963) #360-366, Annual 22, Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective 1-4; Avengers Strikefile 1 and material from Avengers Anniversary Magazine.
  • Avengers Epic Collection: Taking A.I.M
    Collects Avengers (1963) #378-388, Marvel Double Feature: Avengers/Giant-Man (1994) #379-382, Vision (1994) #1-4, Captain America (1968) #440-441.

    • After that, no more Epic Collection, for now, just old collected editions.
  • Avengers: The Crossing
    Collects Avengers #390-395, The Crossing, Timeslide; Iron Man (1968) #319-325; Force Works #16-22; War Machine #20-25; Age of Innocence: The Rebirth of Iron Man.
  • Avengers/Iron Man: First Sign
    Collects Captain America (1968) #449, Thor (1966) #496, Iron Man (1968) #326-331 and Avengers (1963) #396-400.
  • X-Men / Avengers: Onslaught Omnibus
    Collects Wolverine #104-105; Cable #32-36; Uncanny X-Men #333-337; X-Force #55, #57-58; X-Man #15-19; X-Men (vol. 2) #53-57, Annual ’96; X-Men Unlimited #11; Onslaught: X-Men, Marvel Universe, Epilogue; Avengers #401-402; Fantastic Four #415; Incredible Hulk #444-445; X-Factor #125-126; Amazing Spider-Man #415; Green Goblin #12; Spider-Man #72; Iron Man #332; Punisher #11; Thor #502; X-Men: Road to Onslaught #1; material from Excalibur #100, Fantastic Four #416.

Logo Avengers for the Jonathan Hickman's Avengers Reading OrderFollowing the Onslaught Saga (see full reading order for more details), the Marvel Universe was… changed. Most Avengers were sent in the pocket Heroes Reborn Universe, but not Black Widow. She was part of the few remaining heroes in the 616 universe. When the heroes made their return, she became a supporting player again in Daredevil.

Marvel Knights Black Widow (1999-2004)

After all this time, Black Widow finally headlined her own limited series, where she crossed paths with another Black Widow, Yelena Belova. She also became a member of the Marvel Knights team and return to Hell’s Kitchen during Brian Michael Bendis’ run on Daredevil!

Black Widow and the Civil War (2004-2010)

Under Brian Michael Bendis, The Avengers entered a turbulent time, from one event to another. In the middle of that, Black Widow had her solo adventures and became a member of the Mighty Avengers in the aftermath of Civil War.

It’s The Civil War! The U.S. Government proposed the Superhuman Registration Act, intending to register all super-powered beings as living weapons of mass destruction and requiring all costumed heroes to unmask themselves before the government and subject themselves to federally mandated standards. Heroes had to choose between rallying behind either Iron Man’s pro-registration forces or Captain America’s opposition. The Civil War began., go to the reading order.

Captain AmericaAlso following the events of Civil War, Black Widow plays a supporting role in the Captain America series where Nat and Bucky’s history and relationship are explored. We can only advise you to read Ed Brubaker’s complete run on Captain America.

Also published during this period, Black Widow teamed up with the women of Marvel for little tales from the past

Black Widow enters the 2010s

There were big things to come for Black Widow in the 2010s, beginning with the release of Iron Man 2 where she was making her MCU debut. It’s no surprise then than Marvel published the miniseries Black Widow: Deadly Origin, serving as a starting point for new readers and exploring her past life. Following was her first ongoing story (with the first arc written by Marjorie Liu considered today as one of the best Black Widow story), her activities with the Secret Avengers and her co-starring with Winter Soldier.

  • Black Widow: Widowmaker
    Collects Black Widow: Deadly Origin (2009) #1-4, Black Widow (2010) #1-8, Widowmaker (2010) #1-4, Fear Itself: Black Widow (2011) #1, Black Widow Saga (2010) #1; and material from Enter The Heroic Age (2010) #1, Iron Man: Kiss And Kill (2010) #1
  • Secret Avengers by Ed Brubaker
    Collects Secret Avengers (2010) 1-12.

Be afraid of Fear Itself! The entire planet has been seized by Fear and only chaos reigns. The Serpent, Asgard’s most ancient evil, has awakened and is feeding off the fear of Earth’s populace. Black Widow is central in the Secret Avengers tie-ins and has vene her one-shot. Don’t be afraid, the Reading Order is here.

Black Widow is also a major character during the first part of the Age of Ultron event. See the reading order here.

Black Widow Marvel NOW! (2014-2015)

Throughout this era, Black Widow is part of several Avengers team. We can see her in Secret Avengers and Avengers Assemble, as well as in Avengers and New Avengers, and even in a few issues of Avengers World. She also makes a few brief appearances in Superior Spider-Man! More importantly, she found herself with her second ongoing series, by the creative team of Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto.

  • Avengers: Millenium
    Collects Avengers: Millenium Infinite Comic #1-6; Avengers (1963) #56, #71

Original Sin! The story begins when Uatu, the mysterious space god who’s been watching mankind from the moon for as long as we can remember … is found dead. But who shot the Watcher? More information in the reading order of the event.

Logo Avengers for the Jonathan Hickman's Avengers Reading OrderJonathan Hickman’s Avengers saga is approaching its conclusion with a eight months jumps in Avengers: Time Runs Out, which set the stage for Secret Wars (see reading order) and the Marvel Universe as we knew it! Black Widow is, naturally, part of those events, like almost every other Marvel heroes!

All-New, All-Different Black Widow (2015-2018)

After their run on Daredevil, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee worked together again to give us an All-New, All-Different Black Widow. The world’s greatest superspy has a lifetime of secrets – and when some of the darkest ones are made public, nobody is safe. As S.H.I.E.L.D. turns on its once greatest asset, the Widow seeks out her own answers in a knock-down,drag-out tale of action and espionage!

Chris Samnee’s Black Widow Artist’s Edition – Collecting the first six issues of the Black Widow series, penciled and inked by Chris Samnee, and co-written with frequent collaborator Mark Waid. All pages have been scanned from the original art and are presented the same size as drawn. This volume will include a number of layouts by Samnee that show his creative process. As with all Artist’s Editions, this book appears to be in Black and white, but is scanned and printed in color, the better to see the subtle nuances that make original art unique.

Secret Empire! Captain America is living a lie! The Cosmic Cube has remade him into a secret true believer in the cause of Hydra! Now, Steve Rogers makes Hydra’s ideals a reality—and changes the landscape of the world dramatically! Black Widow is part of the resistance movement against Evil Cap! For more, go to the Secret Empire Reading Order.

Black Widow in Marvel Fresh Start (2018-)

It’s time for a Fresh Start! Wolvie is back among the living and hands an Infinity Stone over to Natasha! She became a member of the Infinity Watch, next to Warlock, Turk Barrett, Star-Lord, Captain Marvel, and Super-Skrull. She plays a role in Infinity Wars, before having to deal with memory loss and more…

Following the conclusion of her last ongoing series, Black Widow was relegated to be a supporting character in stories like Captain America – Cold War and other single issues in other series. She started to make a comeback with a new upgrade.

In Venom (2021) #23 (collected in Venom by Al Ewing Vol. 5: Predestination) we see her tracking a terrorist group and meeting a symbiote. The bond together and team up with Venom in issues #26-28:

Shortly after that, Marvel decided to launch a miniseries to celebrate 60 years of the Black Widow and Hawkeye. In it, Clint Barton is accused of a rogue assassination attempt and the now symbiote-equipped Natasha Romanoff decides to come to his aid.

The story continues…

Last Updated on July 10, 2024.

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