Natasha Romanov is one of the most popular female Marvel characters of all time. For years, especially in the last two decades, Black Widow served as someone young girls looked up to, and at one point was one of the very few female heroines in Marvel Comics. With the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Scarlett Johannsson’s inspiring portrayal, everyone started the question of who is Black Widow into. In this article, we will question if Black Widow is gay, bisexual, or straight, and what is truly a Marvel canon.
According to the comics, and Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Widow is straight. Her relationships consisted only of men including Daredevil, Tony Stark, Hawkeye, Bucky Barnes, and even Hercules at some point. However, it was never explicitly said that she is straight or prefers any other sexuality, which for her, as a deadly spy and seductress, is quite strange – there is a possibility of her being more fluid in her preferences. We are yet to see Black Widow dating a woman in the comics.
We will discuss this topic further, talk about her canon relationships that happened in the comics, and mention a few stories that included some suspicions that Natasha is/has dated women. If you are interested in this topic, stay with us until the end of the article.
Black Widow’s Relationships in Comics and MCU
Before we indulge what are Black Widow’s canon preferences, we need to stroll through the comics and MCU to see her relationships. Let’s start with Marvel Cinematic Universe. Natasha Romanov was introduced in the MCU in Iron Man 2, where she was sent undercover to spy on Tony Stark, by orders of Nick Fury, who was recruiting superheroes for the Avengers Protocol.
Natalie Rushman persona was quite a femme fatale, and Tony being Tony was intrigued, to say the least. Even Pepper Potts was seen as jealous, and some people already started “fan shipping” the pair. However, that was debunked since Natalie Rushman was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who was tracking Stark’s intentions before Fury’s invite to the Avengers – Black Widow.
She was already inducted into the S.H.I.E.L.D. and with her best friend Hawkeye, Natasha was considered the best agent in the force. After the Avengers movie, we saw more of Natasha Romanov, who seemed as a strong and fatal woman with a sarcastic sense of humor. She became a part of the Avengers but stayed in the S.H.I.E.L.D.
In Captain America: Winter Soldier, besides Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanov was one of the main protagonists of the movie, and her chemistry with Steve was off the charts – it helped that Scarlet Johansson and Chris Evans are great friends in real life. They even kiss in the movie, but Natasha brushes it off as the thing they need to do to hide from Crossbones and Hydra soldiers.
Their chemistry was great and sparkling but never explored – movie writers decided to pair Steve with Sharon Carter, because why not? Anyway, Natasha’s relationships and sexuality were not questioned or expressed in any way during all these movies, and she seemed reluctant to even pursue anything with anyone. To be fair, it seemed that Marvel executives just didn’t know or want to explore her character in that way – other characters seemed more important.
Then Avengers: Age of Ultron came, and, let’s be honest, the whole Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanov pairing were poorly executed. All of a sudden, these two are attracted to each other, and Natasha is the only one who helps Banner to calm Hulk down. It ended poorly because Hulk disappeared somewhere during the Ultron fight and was not seen until the Avengers: Infinity War – it was an awkward reunion.
In the Black Widow Movie, and the last Avengers movies nothing was hinted at, and Natasha sacrificed her life to save the world. The most intense relationship she had were platonic – Hawkeye and Steve Rogers.
In the comics, it is a different story. Black Widow had numerous different backstories and most of them, at least the early ones, involved her being in a relationship with a man. We will mention Nikolai, a soldier that she met during WWII, but their marriage was short-lived. Alexei Shostakov was supposed to be an arranged husband for Natasha, but faked his death for her and became an evil Red Guardian.
Tony Stark and Natasha were together in different universes, especially in earlier comic issues. They were always complicated together and never too serious. Probably the most serious relationship that she ever had in the comics was her marriage to Clint Barton aka Hawkeye. They were married but separated shortly.
Finally, Bucky Barnes was probably the healthiest relationship she ever had in the comics – after Steve was killed in the Civil War, Natasha was the one to support and encourage Bucky to become the new Captain America. Unfortunately, after a happy relationship, Natasha was killed by corrupted Captain America in the Secret Empire event.
All of these comic book relationships mean and confirm that Natasha Romanov is straight. Or is she? Let’s dig more.
Is Black Widow Gay, Bisexual or Straight?
Black Widow is definitely straight if you look at her track record of relationships she had with quite a number of interesting men. However, she did have some confusing encounters with other women in the Marvel Comics – in one comic issue called Avengers + X-Men #2, Rogue and Black Widow are seen working together, and because Black Widow had busted her wrist in the previous fight, Rogue needed to shoot.
Natasha without any reservations transferred her knowledge of shooting onto Rogue by kissing her, which did fluster Rogue quite a bit. There was also a panel from the old comics where Wanda Maximoff is hinting that she and Natasha are in pretend or even real relationship. The list goes on, and those little hints got some of the fans hopeful.
Personally, her spy and assassin life where she needed to act, pretend, and do as different characters, makes me think that her sexuality is more fluid than we think – at most she could be bisexual but that is just my speculation.
For now, to this day in the comics and MCU, which also means Marvel canon, Black Widow is straight, but knowing that times are changing and each writer has their own vision, I won’t be surprised if Black Widow is paired with a lady in the comics someday. It would make sense, wouldn’t it?