Published October 9, 2019

A Brief History of Black Widow and Bucky Barnes' Romance

Catch up on this years-long connection as you read 'Web of Black Widow' #2!

When it comes to on-again, off-again relationships, Natasha Romanoff and Bucky Barnes might just be world champs!

And today, writer Jody Houser and artist Stephen Mooney lay down the latest bit of track on that devilish dynamic in THE WEB OF BLACK WIDOW #2!

Web of Black Widow

But how did Captain America's kid sidekick from World War II wind up romantically entwined with a Russian spy trained in the arts of espionage from childhood? Well, frantic ones, we have the answer to that right here!

Bucky Barnes made his debut right alongside his pal the Shield-Slinger in 1941's CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1. The two palled around for a while, but when Cap made his return to the present in AVENGERS (1963) #4, he revealed that he wound up in suspended animation after his partner exploded on a rocket over the ocean.

Captain America Comics (1941) #1

Captain America Comics (1941) #1

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Decades later, in the 2004 CAPTAIN AMERICA series, it was revealed that Barnes actually survived the conflagration, salvaged by the Russians and turned into a sleeper agent known as Winter Soldier. He made the perfect assassin because he lacked his memories, but still retained his training. Eventually, Cap found out he'd been thawed out again and used a Cosmic Cube to restore all of Buck's memories.

Natasha Romanoff debuted in 1964's TALES OF SUSPENSE #52 as a Russian spy. After a series of brainwashings, she eventually flipped on her country and defected to the United States where she became a part of the hero community, even joining the Avengers.

In UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #268 readers learned that a pre-Wolverine Logan and Captain America met Natasha as a girl during World War II. Not long after that, she was entered into the Red Room, a Soviet training program for girls, honing them into weapons to be used against Russia's enemies.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #268

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #268

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It was during that time that Natasha first met the mysterious Winter Soldier who was brought in as part of the training program. In CAPTAIN AMERICA (2004) #27, Bucky finally ran into the Black Widow who was transporting Captain America's shield after Rogers' supposed death. As the two fought, Barnes remembered how she helped make him feel human during a time when he was mostly used as a weapon.

During Natasha's flashback, she remembered the Winter Soldier sneaking into her room even though it was strictly forbidden. She told Tony Stark—then head of S.H.I.E.L.D.—that she and Barnes trained together for about two weeks together.

As that series progressed, the two heroes found their way back to each other. Black Widow helped Barnes during his stint as Captain America. The two also co-starred in the 2012 WINTER SOLDIER series which found them looking into the programs that made them.

Winter Soldier (2012) #1

Winter Soldier (2012) #1

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Since then, the pair have had to deal with various imprisonments, Barnes becoming a kind of cosmic cop, Natasha's death at the hands of HydraCap, and her return as a clone with most of her old memories. And the latest chapter in their long history arrives today, in THE WEB OF BLACK WIDOW #2!

Read these issues on Marvel Unlimited now! Then pick up THE WEB OF BLACK WIDOW #2 at your local comic shop!


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