When SHIELD needs finesse and subtlety above all else, it’s not going to be Tony Stark or Steve Rogers they go to first. It’ll be the crafty scarlet-haired spy Natasha Romanov, better known as Black Widow. In a world of superheroes with over-the-top abilities and inhuman specialties, she keeps up with them all --- and sometimes exceeds them --- by way of her cunning nature, well-honed abilities in spycraft, and a variety of martial arts.

Sure, she fits the femme fatale mold, but Black Widow is more than an archetype. She's a tremendous hero, even if her motives are almost always closely guarded. Combined with her unwavering confidence, Black Widow isn't just a great character, she's also great inspiration for cosplayers.

Black Widow has been both antagonist and protagonist since her initial publication. Created by Stan Lee, writer Don Rico and artist Don Heck, Black Widow was originally introduced in Tales of Suspense #52 in 1964 as a Russian KGB spy and villain to Iron Man. In the years that followed, she would team with Hawkeye against Iron Man and later the Avengers. Eventually however, she would defect to the United States and serve as an ally to the heroes before eventually joining the team.

Over the years there have been a few different women using the codename, but Nat has proven herself time and again to be the true Black Widow. Since transitioning from villain to hero, Black Widow has teamed up with the likes of Daredevil, SHIELD, and the Winter Soldier, but now she has her own sensational solo thanks to creators Mark Waid, Chris Samnee and Matt Wilson. She's also the first Marvel hero get her own young adult novel series, which began in Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl.

These cosplayers bring Black Widow’s intense confidence and style to each con and shoot, whether they’re hanging with the Avengers, teaming with former flames, or saving the world solo. No matter which version of the character these people portray, you know that Nat inspires them to keep going through tough times. These are the best Black Widow cosplays.


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