Real Name: Captain Yelena Belova
Identity/Class: Human; Russian citizen
Occupation: Espionage agent
formerly Vanguard, SHIELD (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate), G.R.U. (Glavnoye Razvedovatel'noye Upravlenie / Main Intelligence Administration)
Bixby, Black Widow (Romanoff), Colonel America, Daredevil, Val Dobrova,
Enrique, Maksim Kushikov Golitsyn, Hydra, Captain Lubyev (a.k.a.
Nikki), Captain Anzehlika Medvedev, Norman Osborn, General Tischenko;
formerly Yuri Stalyenko, Colonel Vasilievich Pyotr Starkovsky
Enemies: Avengers (Cage, Captain America, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Sentry, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Wolverine), Black Widow (Romanoff), Black Widow (Petra), Hydra, Col. Khan, Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), Sauron, SHIELD (Maria Hill), Yuri Stalyenko, Jaafar Yoosuf
Known Relatives: Mother (unnamed), Olga (aunt)
Aliases: Pale Little Spider, Rooskaya, Super-Adaptoid
Base of Operations: Currently
formerly the Red Room, Moscow
First Appearance: Inhumans III#5 (March, 1999)
Powers/Abilities: As the Super-Adaptoid, Yelena was mutated by material synthesized from the android Super-Adaptoid. She could adapt the powers of others around her. The limits on the number of powers she can adapt simultaneously is unknown, but she easily adapted the powers of Cage, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, the Sentry, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, and Wolverine in rapid succession. She can adapt superhuman powers, technological enhancements (like Iron Man's armor), and apparently physical skills and abilities, as well. However, she could not adapt the same power repeatedly; specifically, she could not achieve the combined powers of a series of Iron Man armors.
Belova originally had no superhuman powers, but she is extensively trained in espionage and various forms of armed and unarmed combat; she is a master martial artist. She is intelligent and is an Olympic level gymnast.
Living in the shadow of a legend (Natasha Romanoff), Yelena is driven by an almost compulsive need to prove her worth to her superiors and to herself.
Her outfit is lined with kevlar, rendering her resistant to penetration by bullets, though she can still be injured by the impact. She also wears a duplicate or variation on Romanoff's wrist devices, enabling her to discharge electrical blasts as her "Widow's Bite." She has not demonstrated use of a Widow's line, and it is unclear whether she has the capacity to do so.
Weight: 135 lbs.
(Black Widow: Pale Little Spider#1 (fb) - BTS / 2(fb) - BTS / Marvel Encyclopedia) - At age 15, Yelena was chosen as one of the potentials to become the new Black Widow, as Natasha Romanoff was no longer loyal only to Russia. She began training under Vasilievich Pyotr Starkovsky at the covert-training academy known as the Red Room, the same facility in which Romanoff has trained. Yelena trained under Starkovsky for approximately a decade.
(Black Widow: Pale Little Spider#2 (fb) - BTS / #3 (fb)) - Unbeknownst to Yelena, as she grew older, eventually surpassing Starkovsky, her mentor became physically attracted to her. He was also frustrated that she continued to be unwilling to accept the role of the Black Widow, believing herself to be inadequate and inferior to her predecessor. Unwilling to allow himself to show his attraction to his loyal student, Starkovsky instead began to attend the Fabrika fetish sex club. Starkovsky eventually had the mistress of Fabrika, Nikki (secretly G.R.U. Captain Lubyev), arrange for a lookalike of Yelena to wear the Black Widow costume and satisfy his lusts, both masochistic and sexual.
(Black Widow: Pale Little Spider#1 (fb) - BTS / 3(fb) - BTS) - The lookalike, Petra, eventually became psychotic and came to believe that she was the real Black Widow. Petra killed Starkovsky during one of their...sessions.
(Black Widow: Pale Little Spider#1 (fb) - BTS) - Yelena scored excellently on her stress tests, but she was devastated to learn that Natasha had scored better. She considered herself a failure despite the fact that Natasha had taken the test at four years younger than Yelena had.
(Black Widow: Pale Little Spider#1) - Yelena was informed of Starkovsky's death, activated as the Black Widow, and sent to Fabrika to investigate. She overruled the investigation of Detectives Val Dobrova and Maksim Kushikov Golitsyn, agents of the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department (CID), sent her own associate Captain Anzehlika Medvedev to complete the autopsy on Starkovsky, and went to Fabrika herself, where Nikki taunted her before revealing the other Black Widow.
(Black Widow: Pale Little Spider#2) - Nikki explained Starkovsky's lusts to Yelena, but assured her that Petra was harmless. However, unbeknownst to either of them, Petra slew Golitsyn when he came to Fabrika to try to continue the investigation.
(Black Widow: Pale Little
Spider#3) - Petra slew Dobrova when she followed up on Golitsyn, and
Yelena and Nikki discovered the dead Golitsyn upon investigating
Petra's quarters. Petra knocked out Nikki and savagely attacked Yelena,
trying to force her to admit that Petra was the true Black Widow.
However, Yelena was strengthened by her desire to avenge Starkovsky and
she fought back, breaking Petra's neck.
From then on, Yelena proudly accepted her role as the Black Widow. She kept the exact details of Starkovsky's death from her superiors, but she remained unaware that Nikki was Lubyev, or that Tischenko and Lubyev had been working together, or that to some degree, the entire event had been staged to drive Yelena to become the Widow (see comments).
(Black Widow I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Yelena became the first student in the history of the Red Room to surpass Romanoffs marks.Believing Natasha to be a traitor, Yelena decided that only she had the right to use the Black Widow designation.
(Inhumans III#5 (fb) - BTS) - Gen. Stalyenko sent Yelena to give a device to Mr. Bixby to neutralize the Inhumans' "Negative Space" barrier around Attilan, and to instruct Bixby that he must be able to place the device within Attilan without teleportation.
(Inhumans III#5) - Yelena confronted Mr. Bixby, delivering the item and the instructions.
(Black Widow I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Yelena learned that the United States government had also sent Natasha to retrieve the "Deathless Frenzy" bio-weapon from Col. Khan. the bio-weapon.
(Black Widow I#2 (fb) - BTS/ #1) - Eager to prove herself better than Natasha and finally stake her claim to the title of Black Widow, Yelena attempted to intervene when Natasha embarked on a mission to retrieve the bio-weapon. She shadowed Natasha as she headed to Rhapastan, but shortly after arriving Yelena was discovered by soldiers. Natasha assisted Yelena in overcoming the soldiers, but Yelena then proclaimed herself Natasha's superior and threatened to kill her. Natasha escaped with the documents on the bio-weapon, leaving Yelena to fight off the soldiers' reinforcements, but Yelena managed to stow away on the truck Natasha had stolen.
(Black Widow I#2) - When Yelena ambushed Natasha, the senior spy drove the truck off a cliff and escaped, escaping again via a waiting motorboat in the water below and leaving Yelena behind. Yelena was one step behind Natasha in investigating the Deathless Frenzy, and Natasha twice knocked her to the ground when she finally caught up to her. Natasha then cautioned Yelena about blindly following orders, but was seemingly shot dead by SHIELD agents.
(Black Widow I#3 (fb) - BTS) - The agents were actually using rubber bullets so Natasha could fake her death to get Yelena off her trail, allowing Natasha to secretly get a vaccine to protect Col. Khan's soldiers.
(Black Widow I#3) - The SHIELD
agents allowed Yelena to go free, and she made her way to Khan's camp,
but she was captured by Khan. Meanwhile Natasha, posing as a nurse
treating burn wound infections in Khan's camp, vaccinated all of Khan's
soldiers, as well as herself and Yelena (after Yelena escaped her
bonds). Khan unleashed the Deathless Frenzy, intending to turn his own
soldiers into maddened warriors to slaughter the approaching American
and Russian soldiers. However, due to the vaccine, only Khan himself
was affected (his own counter-measures failed). Natasha defeated Khan
and then stopped Yelena from shooting her in the back, telling her that
she couldn't kill her because she would too much enjoy the opportunity
to come after her again.
Following a lesson learned earlier by Natasha, Yelena pretended to escape in helicopter, which the Russians shot down, while she secretly escaped in a jeep stolen from the Americans.
(Black Widow II#1) - Wishing to teach Yelena that she was not a hero to the Russian people but rather a pawn, Natasha then worked with Nick Fury and SHIELD II on Operation: Validate. They had an agent drug and capture Yelena, had her brought to the U.S.A., and had SHIELD mentally and/or surgically swap their physical appearances. Yelena was placed into Natasha's apartment and Daredevil assisted in making her think she was Natasha. Confused, but wishing to learn what was going on, Yelena followed written instructions to assassinate Yelena Belova. In the Museum of Natural history, she encountered Natasha in Yelena's form, and seemingly shot and killed her.
(Black Widow II#2) - Yelena (in Natasha's body) fled from the authorities, becoming a fugitive, while Natasha (in Yelena's body) met up with Stalyenko (called Stelyenko in this series), taking his assignment to locate five Russian nuclear warheads cached in the Hudson Valley during the cold war with the intent of selling them to Rhapastan. Stelyanko saw through Natasha's ruse and sent a man to assassinate her. Meanwhile, SHIELD pursued Yelena (in Natasha's form) for the seeming murder of Yelena Belova. Yelena escaped, but then collapsed due to the stress and confusion.
(Black Widow II#3) - Natasha escaped the assassin and located the nuclear warheads, but was confronted by Stelyanko and his men. Meanwhile, Daredevil had found Yelena, comforted her on her true identity, and brought her to the Hudson Valley. There she overheard Stelyanko telling Natasha that Yelena was just a pawn and that he had intended to kill her once she had accomplished his mission. He stated that if Yelena died, they could always make another Black Widow. Furious, Yelena attacked Stelyanko and assisted Natasha in bringing him down, but she then attacked Natasha, seeking vengeance for her treatment. Natasha revealed her purpose, telling her she had to learn that her life as a spy was not a game. SHIELD reversed the process and Yelena returned to the Red Room a little wiser, though certainly no fonder of Natasha.
(Black Widow IV#1 (fb) - BTS) - Apparently retiring from espionage, Yelena developed significant reputation and influence as a model with million dollar contracts. She owned a lingerie empire that turned out over a half million dollars a month, a couple of soft porn cable channels in Moscow, and houses in six different countries, including Cuba.
(Black Widow IV#1 (fb) - BTS) - Yelena regularly practiced T'ai Chi and Boxercise.
(Black Widow IV#6 (fb) - BTS) - Yelena practiced her marksmanship at the range "now and then."
(Black Widow IV#5 (fb) - BTS) - Yelena threw lots of cocktail parties, during which time she befriended the perimeter commander at Guantanamo Bay. She asked him to keep her posted
(Black Widow IV#1 (fb) - BTS) - Yelena employed a number of Cuban former prostitutes to do lingerie modeling for her. The women worked dirt cheap relative to U.S. agency rates, but the pay was a fortune to the women and it got them off the street. For those women Yelena could not get off the street she supplied medical supplies, including anti-virals.
(Black Widow IV#1 (fb) - BTS) - Yelena's Miami black market anti-viral suppliers started getting "sticky" (holding out on her and demanding higher pay).
(Black Widow IV#1) - Yelena encountered Natasha Romanoff in Cuba, saving her from Cuban authorities by naming her as an honored guest of the Cuban state and a close personal friend. She offered Natasha asylum at her mansion and convinced her to visit her Miami suppliers and "un-stick them."
(Black Widow IV#5 (fb ) - BTS) - After having fled a North (some shadow government agency) base, Matt Murdock made his way across a minefield in Guantanamo Bay. The perimeter commander informed Yelena about a blind fugitive from the U.S. side; Yelena realized this was Murdock.
(Black Widow IV#5) - Yelena picked up Murdock after he had eluded the authorities, and she told him how the Black Widow had been captured while investigating the Cutting Corporation as a result of information she had learned while performing a mission for Yelena.
(Black Widow IV#5 - BTS / Black Widow IV#6 (fb) - BTS) - Yelena and Murdock located Sally Anne Carter, a prisoner of the Cutting Corporation freed by the Black Widow; the Widow had previously developed an association with Carter. Yelena had two of her agents, Enrique and one other, bring Sally Anne back to the Cutting Corporation research facility where the Widow was being held, and they sneaked in behind her agents.
(Black Widow IV#6) - Yelena and Murdock freed Natasha and revealed their deception. She gave Natasha her gun and knife so that she could get revenge on Martin Ferris and Kestrel. When Natasha returned, Yelena showed her the mortally wounded Bobby Campero, a criminal who the Widow had used to locate the Cutting Corporation base. Yelena had freed nearly a hundred of the drugged girls the Cutting Corporation had been experimenting and captured a dozen prisoners, including Dr. Ochoa, and Natasha pressured her to evacuate all of the girls. Yelena let Natasha and Sally Anne stay with her to rest and regain their strength.
(New Avengers I#5 (fb) - BTS) - Yelena was recruited into SHIELD.
(New Avengers I#5 (fb) - BTS / New Avengers #6 (fb) - BTS / New Avengers#1-4 - BTS) - Yelena was part of the SHIELD involved in mining Antarctic Vibranium/Anti-Metal from the Savage Land as well as organizing the breakout at the Raft
(New Avengers I#5) - When the Avengers (and Wolverine) investigated the Savage Land and overcame Sauron's forces, Yelena led a group of SHIELD agents to confront them, and she ordered their deaths.
(New Avengers I#6) - The SHIELD agents were unable to comply with her kill orders, allowing the Avengers to fight them. Sauron then fired a fiery blast that struck Yelena, badly burning her. Yelena escaped, receiving extensive hospitalization and care. Her unidentified superiors offered her the chance to set her up to gain revenge on those who had hurt her, and she accepted.
(New Avengers Annual I#1) - Yelena was mutated for Hydra by AIM using material synthesized from the android Super-Adaptoid, transforming her into a new Super-Adaptoid. She ambushed the Avengers at a publicity meeting with the mayor, and she rapidly adapted the powers of Cage, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, the Sentry, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, and Wolverine, though Captain America managed to attack her from a distance. Iron Man summoned a legion of his armors and sent them against her, since she could only adapt the power of one Iron Man. Nonetheless, she had begun to demolish the various armors until the Sentry then arrived and forced her to adapt the insanity of the Void. She was overwhelmed by the madness and captured, but then the Hydra agent decided she was too much of a liability and had the AIM agents utilize their molecular destruct button, causing her to explode and then decompose into a puddle of fluid.
(Marvel Comics Presents II#5 (fb) - BTS) - Yelena was recruited into Vanguard.
(Marvel Comics Presents II#5 (fb) - BTS) - After the apparent murder of Trenton Craft, Yelena was sent to Manhattan to retrieve recording equipment from his apartment.
(Marvel Comics Presents II#5) - Yelena retrieved the recording equipment from Craft's apartment.
(Marvel Comics Presents II#6) - After Det. Stacy Dolan escaped from Dominic Fortune, he contacted Yelena, reporting his failure.
(Marvel Comics Presents II#7) - As Dolan again battled Dominic, Yelena joined Blade, Micromax, & Retcon in confronting her.
(Marvel Comics Presents II#8) - Yelena advised Blade to take out Dolan rather than talk with her, but Blade overruled Yelena, and Retcon determined that someone had possessed Dolan and made her shoot Craft. The Thing then arrived (under Jaafar Yoosuf's control), and attacked, battling Yelena and the others.
(Marvel Comics Presents II#9) - While Yelena and the others fruitlessly battled the Thing, Dolan located Yoosuf and interrupted his possession, freeing the Thing from his control.
(Marvel Comics Presents II#10) - Yelena reminded the Thing to stop choking her, then stood by as Blade killed Yoosuf, and as Micromax revealed that he had been compromised in Pakistan and forced to reveal Vanguard's existence. She was surprised when Trenton Craft walked into the room.
(Marvel Comics Presents II#11) - Yelena was present as Craft seemingly killed Dolan and the Vanguard agents to eliminate knowledge of his existence/survival
(Marvel Comics Presents II#12) - With Retcon only having made Craft think he'd killed the other agents, Yelena and the others went into hiding so Craft wouldn't find out they were alive and kill them for real.
(Dark Reign Files) - Quasimodo researched Belova for Norman Osborn.
(Thunderbolts II#128 (fb) - BTS) - Due to genetic camouflage Romanoff was able to pose as Yelena Belova broke into a former SHIELD weapons depot where Norman Osborn approached her to offer her the job as teamleader of his Thunderbolts.
(Thunderbolts II#136) - Once Romanoff was revealed as an imposter, Osborn revealed the real Belova, held in stasis, to new Thunderbolts teamleader Scourge (Nuke) and warned that she could be his replacement on the team.
Comments: Created by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee (or possibly by Devin Grayson and J.G. Jones, who fleshed out out in the Black Widow I series).
Mom and Dad, don't let your kids read Pale Little Spider. It is a MAX title, and there are plenty of things in there I'm not going to mention in the relatively PG site.
not 100% certain about the ending of Pale Little Spider. How much of
the whole scenario was planned by Lubyev and Tischenko is
Also, PLS lists Yelena as 5'8", but the Marvel Encyclopedia and Marvel Knights Encyclopedias list it as 5'7", so I'm going with 5'7". Perhaps she was wearing lifts in an effort to surpass Romanoff?
not sure why the Marvel Chronology Project lists the Inhumans
appearance as following the first Black Widow series. I'm listing it as
occurring before, since it came out first, and I see nothing to
indicate otherwise...unless the Black Widow I series was supposed to be
her first international meeting...
Looks like Stalyenko might have gotten killed in Inhumans#12, which may mean that both Black Widow series precede the Inhumans one...although she wouldn't LIKELY be working for Stalyenko (as she was in Inhumans#5) after he betrayed her in BW II#3, would she?
consider the 1995 Inhumans one-shot to be the second Inhumans "series",
though it is sometimes listed as Inhumans: The Great Refuge (not on the
cover, but I guess on the indicia).
Here's my numbering system (deeply engrained in the Master List and not being changed any time soon):
INHUMANS I (1975)- 11
INHUMANS II (1995)- 1
INHUMANS III (1998) - 12
Inhumans IV (2000) - 4
Inhumans V (2003) - 12
INHUMANS Graphic Novel - 1
INHUMANS: The Untold Saga#1
Re: Black Widow: The Things they say about Her: Keep political agendas out of comics. If I wanted to listen to someone badmouthing the US president, I'd watch to the news. Comics should be an escape, not a political platform. Shame, shame, shame.
The Black Widow that became the leader of the Thunderbolts was actually Natasha Romanoff posing as Yelena Belova. This was revealed in Thunderbolts II#134.
Profile by Snood.
Black Widow (Belova) should be distinguished from:
Black Widow I#1, p17, pan5
Black Widow I#1, p13, pan2
Black Widow: Pale Little Spider#2 cover
Thunderbolts II#130, p9, pan1 (with Thunderbolts)
Black Widow I#1-3 (June-August,
1999) - Devin Grayson (writer), J.G. Jones (artist), Nanci Dakesian
Black Widow II#1-3 (January, February, May 2001) - Devin Grayson & Greg Rucky (writers), Scott Hampton (artist), Nanci Dakesian & Jimmy Palmiotti (editors)
Black Widow: Pale Little Spider#1-3 (June-August 2002) - Greg Rucka (writer), Igor Kordey (artist), Stuart Moore (editor)
New Avengers I#5-6 (May-June, 2005) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer); David Finch (pencils); Danny Miki (inker); Tom Brevoort (editor)
Black Widow IV#1 ("The Things they say about Her") (November, 2005) - Richard K. Morgan (writer), Sean Phillips (layouts), Bill Sienkiewicz (finishes), Jennifer Lee (editor)
Black Widow IV#5-6 (February-March, 2006) - Richard K. Morgan (writer), Sean Phillips (layouts), Bill Sienkiewicz (finishes), Jennifer Lee (editor)
New Avengers Annual I#1 (June 2006) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer); Olivier Coipel (penciler); Drew Geraci, Drew Hennesy, Livesay, Rick Magyar, Danny Miki, Mark Morales, Mike Perkins, Tim Townsend (inkers), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents II#5-12 (March-October, 2008) - Mark Guggenheim (writer), Dave Wilkins (art), John Barber (editor)
Dark Reign Files (February, 2009) - Michael Hoskin & various others (writers), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Thunderbolts II#136 (December, 2009) - Andy Diggle (writer), Pop Mhan (pencils), Carlos Rodriguez (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Last updated: 10/26/12
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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