Yelena Belova is a fictional character created by Devin Grayson and J.G. Jones for Marvel Comics. Yelena is the second modern-era Black Widow and was first appeared in Inhumans #5 in March 1999. Just as Natasha Romanova, Yelena Belova was trained in the Red Room, a Soviet training facility, created in order to train highly specialized spies.
Yelena was initially trained and sent to kill Natasha Romanova but they eventually became allies and sister figures while she also had numerous team affiliations with teams such as S.H.I.E.L.D., Vanguard, and HYDRA who also changed her in a version of Super-Adaptoid.
Publication History of Yelena Belova aka Black Widow
Yelena first brief appearance was in Inhumans #5 where she played a role in providing a tool that would assist humans to attack the city of the Inhumans by breaking the energy barrier surrounding the city from the inside out. She was fully introduced in the 1999 Marvel Knights mini-series Black Widow.
She appeared in another mini-series later in 2001, also titled Black Widow this time featuring Natasha Romanova and Daredevil.
In 2002 Yelena got her own three-issue mini-series called “Black Widow: Pale Little Spider” created by Greg Rucka and Igor Kordey and published by MAX Comics a Marvel Comics imprint formed a year earlier in 2001 publishing more mature oriented comics. In this limited series Rucka and Kordey explore the story of how Yelena became the Black Widow as a flashback.
Power and Abilities
Yelena Belova was trained in the Red Room from the same spymasters that trained Natasha Romanova so her abilities are similar and include peak athletic condition, extensive military, martial arts, and espionage training and at the time she was a Super-Adaptoid she had the ability to adapt the powers of anyone around her in rapid succession.
Yelena Belova Biography
Yelena’s past is quite the bumpy ride jumping from good to bad and from one team to another in a short history of publication. Starting out as a spy and assassin that was trained in the Red Room by the same spymasters that trained Natasha Romanova, Yelena’s took the name Black Widow once her Spymaster was assassinated. Finding the murderer and killing him was the first step in the vast history of revenge killings.
Yelena, believing that she is the one deserving the title, Black Widow, more than anyone she volunteered to go against the first Black Widow, Natasha Romanova. During the confrontation, Natasha manages to turn Yelena by encouraging her to free herself from the control of others and find her own way. Belova then retires in Cuba becoming a businesswoman and a model in Black Widow 2 Vol. 1.
She then returns to the game joining S.H.I.E.L.D and during a mining operation of Vibranium in the Antarctic Savage Land in the “New Avengers vol 1, #5” where she barely survived an attack from Sauron.
HYDRA picked up the broken pieces of Yelena and genetically altered her transferred her consciousness into a new version of Super Adaptoid and set her on a path for revenge against the New Avengers whom she engaged in combat but got defeated by Tony Stark’s 49 successive Iron Man armors and Sentry’s, Void persona.
Later in Marvel Comics Presents Vol. 2 #5, Yelena is working with a black-ops team called Vanguard who carries out secret missions, including assassinations. Some well-known members of the group are their leader Colonel America along with Retcon, Blade, Dominic Fortune, and Micromax.
During the Dark Reign storyline which began in 2008 as a one-shot and then moved into multiple standalone mini-series during 2009, Yelena seemingly joined Norman Osborn’s Thunderbolts only to be revealed that it was Natasha Romanova in disguise working as a double agent for Nick Fury. In another twist, Osborn reveals to Natasha that it was his plan to make her believe that she was working for Fury but it was his idea for Natasha to take the identity of Yelena in order for her to do his dirty work.
The real Yelena is freed from the stasis she was held by A.I.M. who is then placed in the High Council of A.I.M. alongside Mentallo, Superia, Andrew Forson, Graviton and the undercover Taskmaster.
After the death of Natasha Romanova by Captain America’s doppelganger, Yelena Belova reassumes the identity of the Black Widow in order to honor the late Natasha. Yelena now as Black Widow travels the world to assassinate the Hydra’s generals.
Florence Pugh is going to portray Yelena Belova in the upcoming Black Widow movie which is set to launch on May 1, 2020, alongside Scarlett Johansson who is going to play Black Widow, David Harbour, playing Red Guardian, Rachel Weisz as Melina and O-T Fagbenie as Mason.