The Black Widow is a Good Role Model who Strives for Excellence
Welcome back! This is part three of six in our scintillating scripture of sexy but not scantily-clad sirens we see as sophisticated symbols for sophomoric schoolgirls.
When we look at people we wish to emulate, we look at those who are good at their jobs. These are people who excel in everything they do and make it look easy. We don’t look at the motivation behind what they’re doing, but we do want to know how they do it.
There is no better example of striving for excellence than Natasha Romanova, The Black Widow.
In this third part of Marvel Women role models, I have found that the Black Widow has defined excellence in everything she does. She is the epitome of superspies. A woman who speaks several languages, a master of interrogation, a superb acrobat and gymnast, and an assassin that knows more ways to kill than a master chef has recipes.
In a world where James Bond is a man who has no peer as a super agent, the Black Widow makes him look like the class tattletale. The Black Widow survived her training in the secret Red Room Academy to help her be an undetectable deep cover spy, a deadly assassin, and sleeper agent.
However, as her spy days are seemingly over… seemingly. She fights for justice with America’s superhero community. At first, she seemed to take this up out of boredom, but later on, as she worked with the Champions of Los Angeles and Daredevil, she took her role more seriously. She has been the leader of the Avengers and when she’s not doing that she’s helping Nick Fury keep S.H.I.E.L.D together.
The Black Widow’s Story
Born in 1928, Natasha Romanova is a superspy who speaks fluent Russian, English, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, and various other languages. She has had her aging rate artificially slowed and is resistant to aging, disease, and infections. In addition to this, she is an expert markswoman, gymnast, martial artist (who has mastered several disciplines), ballerina, and a hacker who has peak human strength, speed, reflexes, and senses.
She is easily the Soviet Union’s answer to Captain America. Ironically, she is also the real widow to the man who became the Soviet’s answer to Captain America, The Red Guardian (aka, Alexei Shostakov). After Shostakov’s death was faked in a fighter pilot accident, Romanova volunteered for the superspy program. The new retcon of her origin stated that she’d been placed in the “Black Widow Ops Program” previously as a child and the serum, that extended her life and gave her heightened senses, made her sterile.
But all of these talents don’t make the Black Widow great. That’s just the base of who she is.
The Black Widow is a wild card. Often she fights on the side of angels and has not only worked with the Avengers, but she has also partnered with both the Winter Soldier (James Buchanan Barnes) for the Russians and Daredevil (Matt Murdock) for her own reasons. She has worked for both the KGB and with S.H.I.E.L.D., and Nick Fury knows she’s the best there is in the spy business.
Not that being untrustworthy is an asset to aspire to, but excelling in everything you need to do a complex job is. Also, as with other women of the Marvel Universe, she came through great adversity.
Say what you want about the Avengers movies as well as all of the featured characters who have gotten their own feature film, but Natasha Romanova deserves her time in the spotlight. The performance of Scarlett Johansen in this role is so on the mark, she has been brought aboard both Avengers movies as well as two of the three Captain America films and one of the Iron Man sequels as well. Personally, I think the writers of the Daredevil series should be considering her for the small screen as well as she was a long-time love interest for Matt Murdock.
And despite all of her screen time in the five films, audiences hardly know anything about her backstory.
She deserves a movie.
What Has the Black Widow Taught Us?
Excellence in work is what the Black Widow is about.
When you work hard to become the best people notice. The Black Widow is the best. When you’re the best, everyone wants you to work for them.
She has sacrificed any chance of having a normal life after she believed her husband had passed away. In that commitment, she pushed herself to be the pinnacle of female perfection. She is a combat, espionage machine.
In making herself the best, she’s made more than a few enemies, but she’s also made a difference in people’s lives.
Is this the best life? Who’s to say? But it’s certainly the one that Natasha has committed to and with that comes the manifestation of her word and where she wanted her life to go.
Come back tomorrow where in part 4 of Positive Marvel Role Models for Young Girls, I will talk about Jessica Drew, The Mysterious Spider-woman.