Natalia Alianovna Romanova aka Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow is a fictional character and a superhero of Marvel Comics. Her character came a long way from being an antagonist in Iron Man comics to being one of the most famous Avengers ever. Of course, she was portrayed in multiple different media, most notably in Marvel Cinematic Universe by Scarlett Johansson. Black Widow is a deadly assassin trained by the Red Room and her defection to the United States of America and S.H.I.E.L.D made her a lot of enemies. In this article, we will look into the 15 most dangerous Black Widow enemies from comics, movies, and animated series.
As we already mentioned, Natasha Romanoff has a lot of enemies but we will categorize these enemies mostly by their strength we will include some opponents who maybe are not the strongest ones but they affected Natasha really emotionally, and automatically made them powerful against her. Without further ado, let’s start with this list!
Taskmaster’s story is truly unique. Before he became a villain, he was actually part of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agency and during one mission, a dying scientist provided him with a syringe containing a Nazi Super-Soldier serum which was part of the experimentation. Anthony Masters decided to inject himself with it and began developing serums symptoms.
The powers he gained were photographic memory and the ability to watch people fighting and then replicate those skills by himself. The huge problem was that the experimental Nazi Super Soldier Serum had consequences of Masters losing his memories and skills he acquired, overwriting his memories. Besides being a major villain to Black Widow, there are also Spider-Man, Deadpool, Ant-Man, and Captain America.
Deadpool is the only one Taskmaster cannot replicate powers from, because Wade Wilson is just too unpredictable. The character of Taskmaster appeared in multiple media including Marvel Animated Universe and recently in Cinematic Universe in the Black Widow movie, where he became her, and that version of Taskmaster was Antonia, general Dreykov’s daughter.
2. Crimson Dynamo
Crimson Dynamo had so many different versions. Crimson Dynamo name was used by thirteen different supervillains and has been one of the biggest enemies of Iron Man, with the goal to destroy all of Tony Stark’s armors. Black Widow had most battles with Yuri Petrovich, one of her closest friends in her childhood. After Natasha defected to the United States with Ivan Petrovich, Yuri was kidnapped by the Russian government and brainwashed against the West.
He later trained as a KGB assassin and was given a Crimson Dynamo armor with the goal of killing Black Widow and Ivan Petrovich. He connected with other Russian villains like his girlfriend Darkstar, Griffin, and others, and attacked Natasha and her group of superheroes Champions. After he lost his mind and was defeated, he was brought back to Russia and exiled to a Siberian labor camp. Crimson Dynamo is one of the most iconic armors and villains in the Marvel Universe.
3. Iron Maiden
This is not an American metal band but one of the biggest villains of Black Widow. Her name is Melina Vostokoff, and she was one of the assassins hired by Damon Dram to kill Natasha. She was actually the only assassin sent by Damon Dram whom Natasha could not defeat by herself. Iron Maiden got a special armor from Damon Dram, which has a wide array of weapons, and combined with already Melina being a skilled assassin and an expert spy, she truly was a tough match for Black Widow.
Natasha has beaten her eventually and has not encountered Iron Maiden for a really long time. However, Melina’s character appeared in the recent Black Widow movie where she was portrayed by Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz. Her character has a different backstory and purpose in the Black Widow movie – she is Natasha’s mother figure and one of the ex-members of the Red Room.
4. Ivan Petrovich
Probably one of the most important characters in Black Widow’s story, Ivan Petrovich is also a villain of Black Widow. Ivan was Natasha’s father figure and protector when she was young. However, something creepy happened in the comics. He developed romantic feelings for her and pursued her but she rejected him.
After Natasha’s inevitable rejection, Ivan Petrovich became insane and faked his death. No one knew what happened to him, but while everyone was distracted by other things, Ivan decided to transform himself into a cyborg with an insane mind. He attacked Natasha, but in the end, lost the battle. Natasha eventually destroyed him. In the end, a tragic story for once a great man.
Next, we have Bullseye. He is mainly Daredevil’s super enemy but he also fought Black Widow. How? Well, in the comics, Black Widow was involved with Daredevil, and Bullseye used that fact to capture her and bait Daredevil into the trap. In the end, Daredevil with help of Black Widow defeated him, but his powers and appearance left a mark on Natasha.
They did encounter each other again in the comics, but only in superhero groups.
6. Alexi Shostakov
Alexi Shostakov whom we know today is not what he originally was in the comics. Once upon a time, Alexi was married to Natasha, and they loved each other dearly. Or maybe he loved her more than she loved him. Anyway, he sacrificed to save her life and supposedly died of injuries. Well, as usual in comics, if we don’t see the body, they are not dead at all. Alexi was found by KGB and trained to become Red Guardian, a Soviet equivalent of Captain America.
Once a good-mannered and happy man, he became cruel and soulless. Besides being a Red Guardian, for a short time, he took the mantle of Ronin. Alexi Shostakov does not have the same backstory in MCU. Moreover, in the Black Widow movie, he is a father figure for Natasha and Yelena Belova and the partner of Melina Vostokoff. He is portrayed by David Harbour.
Ultron was the ultimate creation of Dr. Hank Pym, an Avenger who was experimenting with high-intelligence robotics. Ultron became sentient and rebelled against his creator and became one of the biggest villains of Avengers in Marvel Comics. His intelligence is second to none and has immense power. He had multiple different versions (something like Jack robot from Tekken games) and is made from Adamantium and later corpse of Hank Pym fused into his body. Weird flex but okay. Black Widow and the rest of the Avengers fought really hard against them and eventually won, but with great consequences.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was the main villain of Avengers in their second movie called “Avengers: The Age of Ultron. There he was made by Bruce Banner and Tony Stark and took over his own will and attacked them. In the movie, he was portrayed by James Spader.
8. Yelena Belova
Yelena Belova was essentially Natasha Romanoff’s replacement by the Russian government after Natasha joined the S.H.I.E.L.D. and defected to America. She was also part of the Red Room and her tests were the same as Natasha’s, however, Yelena was ruthless. Her desire to kill is just too much and that is what mainly separates her from Natasha Romanoff.
Her motivation for killing Natasha was because she wanted to be the only Black Widow in the world. Two Black Widows fought mercilessly, but during one encounter Natasha finally showed the consequences of her ways and Yelena mellowed after that. These two eventually teamed up and became allies, with Yelena even becoming part of the S.H.I.E.L.D.
She was portrayed by Florence Pugh in Marvel Cinematic Universe and we hope we see more of her in the future MCU projects.
9. Winter Soldier
Bucky Barnes was a great friend of Steve Rogers before he went missing at the end of World War II. He was eventually found by USSR general Karpov who later brought him to Department X, who brainwashed him into a killer for the Soviet government. Bucky and Natasha actually have a connected history – they had an affair before Natasha defected to the U.S.
After Natasha joined Avengers and became a good friend of Captain America, Bucky found himself on the other side and was forced (because he was brainwashed) to fight against them. He eventually woke up from a trance with the help of Captain America and Black Widow and became their ally.
In the MCU, Winter Soldier is portrayed by Sebastian Stan and was the main villain in Captain America: The Winter Soldier where he fought both Natasha and Steve Rogers. He appeared in other projects as well, and we expect him to be in more of them in the future.
10. Madame Viper – Madame Hydra
We all know that the main opponent of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agency is Hydra, a group with supremacy and elitist idealisms. One of the members of Hydra is Viper aka Madame Hydra who, with all respect, has inferior skills to Black Widow. However, during the “Secret Empire” storyline from Marvel Comics, she tortured Natasha to the point of her forgetting who she is. She is truly merciless and one of the best Hydra assets.
She appeared in Marvel’s TV show The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Wolverine movie in 2013. Great strategist and skilled markswoman, swordswoman, and martial arts, Madame Hydra is a true villain of Black Widow.
Before six assassins failed to kill Black Widow by Damon Dram’s orders, Snapdragon was the first who went on that mission. Her armor, staff, and mask that she possesses gave her an edge over Natasha in the battle, but Black Widow’s skills prevailed. She overcame death a few times – she was returned to life after being cremated and went to Los Angeles to be cities ruthless Kingpin.
Truly weird backstory and we would not expect anything less from comic universes.
12. Baron von Strucker
Another supervillain of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Natasha Romanoff. Baron Wolfgang von Strucker was one of the Nazi officers and later a leader of Hydra, who wanted to conquer the whole world. Besides S.H.I.E.L.D., he is also an enemy of the Avengers and practically of all the free world. One of his allies is Red Skull, with whom they terrorize anyone around them.
He was part of the MCU in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
13. General Dreykov
General Dreykov was an overseer of the Red Room from the 1980s. His character appeared in the Black Widow movie and he served as one of the most important characters in Natasha Romanoff’s and Yelena Belova’s backstories. He trained thousands of little girls and made them into merciless and soulless assassins who do anything he pleases.
In the movie, Natasha Romanoff confronts him and destroys Red Room once and for all. Yelena Belova eventually kills him and frees hundreds of Black Widows in the facility.
14. Thunderbolt Ross
General “Thunderbolt” Ross is the main villain of Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is a general in the U.S. army who wants to weaponize Avengers and use them for military purposes. Avengers, including Natasha, are instantly against that, with Black Widow even being chased all around the world by Ross after the events of Captain America: The Civil War movie.
He is cold and a true military type who just wants to use everything to attack anyone who gets in this way.
Last but not least, and the most powerful enemy of, not just Black Widow, but the whole world is a titan called Thanos. In the comics, live-action movies, and animated series, Thanos is absolutely the main villain of our heroes. He was responsible for the “Snap” removing 50 percent of the universe’s population, and killing countless beings.
He is indirectly responsible for the death of Black Widow during the so-called Time Heist, where the Avengers had to acquire Infinity Stones from the past and form another Infinity Gauntlet to destroy Thanos. One had to sacrifice themself for the Soul Stone of Vormir to acquire it and Black Widow did it willingly. Her heroism will never be forgotten in the MCU. And Thanos… well, he is truly the most dangerous and deadly villain Black Widow ever encountered.