Marvel has finally revealed the origins of the Black Widow codename. Comic book and Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have argued about Natasha Romanoff's codename for years now. Romanoff was recruited at a very young age by the Red Room, which is Russia's fictional top secret school for training young spies. With the Black Widow movie on the way, Marvel feels it is now necessary to finally discuss the origins of the name, along with some more of the character's early past.
One of the most common theories about Natasha Romanoff's codename comes from studies about the female Black Widow spider. It is based off of a seductive killer and the idea that a female Black Widow spider kills her male counterpart after reproduction. This myth has been proven to be false, since male spiders have lived after such an event. Regardless, this is not where the Black Widow codename comes from. Instead, it's something a little darker and unassuming. According to Jody Houser's The Web of Black Widow #1, the Red Room went about naming its young female spies Black Widow because the spies are "Like the deadliest of spiders, easily escaping notice... until it is far too late."
Natasha Romanoff, and the other girls recruited by the Red Room, were given the Black Widow name because of their small stature and lethal skills. While the upcoming movie will take place in between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War, we could end up seeing further Red Room flashbacks, though that has not been confirmed at this time. As usual, Marvel Studios is keeping everything under lock and key until further notice.
The Black Widow movie is something that Scarlett Johansson has been looking forward to for a long time and she says that it really "packs a punch." In addition to starring in the movie, Johansson also serves as executive producer and was able to have more control behind-the-scenes, helping to find the screenwriter and director. As the actress has said, there really isn't anybody who knows the Natasha Romanoff character better than she does, which is probably true, so letting her steer the ship should result in something that MCU fans have been waiting a long time for.
Jody Houser's The Web of Black Widow #1 is currently on sale and there will be four more installments in this series. The story revolves around a mysterious figure who starts exploiting Natasha Romanoff's past, which may lead to the character having to go "back to Black, and off the grid." It's not clear who she can she trust and some of her allies aren't sure if they can trust her anymore. It sure sounds like a pretty intriguing story and a good way to prepare for the release of the Black Widow movie next year. You can head over to Marvel Comics to pick up the first issue now.