Hey humans, aliens, and robots! Today I am here, as promised, with a character analysis of Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow.
Natasha is a complex character with insane fighting skills, minimal morals, and lots of sass. She’s been an assassin, a spy, and an Avenger. She can go undercover as anything, and drop off the face of the earth if necessary.
Basically, to cite Nick Fury:
Let’s start off this analysis by taking a look at what we know about Natasha’s past. We know she was trained from a young child in a mysterious Russian facility known as the Red Room. (A facility where she was trained by Bucky.) We know she was an assassin for the KGB. We know Clint Barton/Hawkeye was sent to kill her and chose not to, at which point she became a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. We also know she doesn’t like to talk about her past and only refers to it through, mysterious, veiled comments.
Her most mysterious comment is in The Avengers, “I got red in my ledger; I’d like to wipe it out.” Red in a ledger is a financial term meaning debt. In Natasha’s case, this is basically saying, “I got blood on my hands; I’d like to wipe it off.” She was an assassin, and now she’s a spy for S.H.I.E.L.D. A lot of people are dead because of her, and she may or may not regret this. We know she doesn’t like to talk about her past, so this could be taken as regret, or just she doesn’t want to talk about it.
There is also and interesting reference to her past in Captain America: Winter Soldier, “When I first joined S.H.I.E.L.D, I thought I was going straight. But I guess I just traded in the KGB for HYDRA. I thought I knew whose lies I was telling, but…I guess I can’t tell the difference anymore.” Basically, she admits that she lies and kills for a living, and has done for so long she can’t tell the difference between the truth and lies anymore. Again, whether or not this bothers her, remains to be seen. In this movie it seems like it might.
Now, let’s talk about the more questionable side of Natasha. First let me say, I don’t think she’s inherently a bad person, and as someone who was raised to be an assassin, I think she’s probably doing pretty well on the moral side of things. She doesn’t tend to kill people, she usually just knocks them out or tazes them with her Widow’s Bite. However, she has no problem shooting people if she needs too.
Or kicking them off a roof:
Nat also has no problem with lying to anyone and everyone about anything necessary as she shows in this conversation with Steve Rogers.
Steve: Believe it or not, it’s kind of hard to find someone with shared life experience.
Natasha: Well, that’s alright, you just make something up.
Steve: What, like you?
Natasha: I don’t know. The truth is a matter of circumstances, it’s not all things to all people all the time. And neither am I.
Steve: That’s a tough way to live.
Natasha: It’s a good way not to die, though.
Steve: You know, it’s kind of hard to trust someone when you don’t know who that someone really is.
Natasha: Yeah. Who do you want me to be?
Steve: How about a friend? [Natasha laughs softly]
Natasha: Well, there’s a chance you might be in the wrong business, Rogers.
Her past job, current job, and life in general have given her the view that truth is something that can be manipulated depending on the situation to make sure the aforementioned situation turns out the way she wants it to.
But enough about her bad side, let’s talk about her good qualities. Number one, she’s a complete and utter smart aleck. Case and point:
Have I made my point?
Next, she does try very hard to be a good person. She got a second chance at life (Clint Barton didn’t kill her when he was supposed too) and she is trying to turn her life around. Take in Civil War, for example. She sides with Tony and signs the accords, but when it comes down to it, Steve Rogers is her friend, and she is not sending him to prison. She is in fact willing to repeatedly taze T’challa to let Steve escape. This obviously comes back to bite her, when T’challa tells the Secretary of State what she did, and she has to go underground to avoid being put in prison.
Basically, Natasha isn’t really a bad person. She is a good person who did bad things, because it was the only life she knew. Now she’s fighting the good fight, trying to save the world. Sure, she still does bad stuff, but that’s to be expected. She’s human. She is a fantastically human character.
All right, that’s all for now y’all. If you liked what you read, please consider liking, commenting, and subscribing. I actually have no idea what to write next week, so feel free to drop suggestions in the comments.