Black Widow Comic Book Reading Order

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s lone female Avenger (at least initially), Natasha Romanova has never had a larger profile or more eager fan base. The complicated Black Widow has a challenging, hard-to-trace Marvel comics continuity, worthy of her former days as a Soviet Spy.

The potential confusion for new readers with Black Widow is exacerbated by the fact that Marvel has literally never committed to a Black Widow solo title longer than 20 issues (even launching two separate solo titles that lasted a mere three issues!).

Nonetheless, below you’ll find a proper Black Widow reading order for the best double agent in the Marvel Universe.

Black Widow Origins

Black Widow: The Sting of the Widow

Collects: Collects Tales of Suspense #52, Amazing Spider-Man #86, Amazing Adventures #1-8, and Daredevil #81.

A variety of Black Widow’s relatively early 1960’s to early 70’s appearances in Marvel Comics. It’s a bit of an odd collection that could use some additions if you’re truly interested in Black Widow’s early days.

For the Marvel Unlimited crowd, I’d recommend in the below order:

Tales of Suspense #52, #53, #57, #60, #64

Amazing Spider-Man #86

Amazing Adventures #1 to #8

Daredevil #81 to #83

Black Widow: Deadly Origin

Keep in mind that this is a modern take on what the Black Widow’s origin looks like – it didn’t really look like this until the 2000’s.

Avengers #39 to #45

This is essentially where Black Widow goes from “Red Spy” to potential Marvel hero. It’s kind of amazing how many 60’s Marvel stories feature redemption arcs for genuine super villains, with a list including Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and of course, Black Widow. If you’re particularly invested, you could run Avengers all the way back to issue #29 and read forward from there.

Essential Black Widow Stories From 70’s Through 90’s

The Champions Classic, Vol. 1

Natasha played around with both the Avengers and SHIELD, but never really had a squad of her own until the 70’s Champions.

Dave’s Marvel Unlimited Faves

Daredevil #102 to #103 — Black Widow actually got her name added to the title of ol’ hornhead’s book for a brief stretch.

Daredevil #160 to #161 – Early Frank Miller artwork, introduces Bullseye.

Avengers: The Korvac Saga – Black Widow and the Champions make some major appearances starting around Avengers #173.

Daredevil #188 to #190 – For this one you’ll want to read from Daredevil #178 (at least), which gives you some great Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Daredevil comics.

Uncanny X-Men #268 – Ok, Black Widow, Wolverine, and Captain America walk into a bar…

Iron Man #315 to #317 – Vs. the Titanium Man

Black Widow: Web of Intrigue

Collects: Marvel Fanfare #10 to #13, Bizarre Adventures #25, Black Widow: The Coldest War Marvel OGN #61

Punisher, Black Widow: Spinning Doomsday’s Web (Marvel Graphic Novel #74)

Daredevil/Black Widow: Abattoir (Marvel Graphic Novel #75)

Daredevil Epic Collection: Widow’s Kiss

Collects: Daredevil #365 to #380

Marvel Knights Black Widow (1999 through 2000’s)

Black Widow: The Itsy Bitsy Spider

This collection contains issues #1 to #3 of both the 1999 and 2001 Black Widow miniseries. Note that the 2001 miniseries from Greg Rucka and Devin Grayson is labeled Black Widow: Breakdown in Marvel Unlimited.

Marvel Knights #1 to #12

Daredevil: The Widow

Issues: #61 to #66

As always, I highly recommend Bendis and Maleev’s run on Daredevil. This collection is the most important for the Daredevil and Black Widow relationship.

Black Widow Vol. 1: Homecoming

Issues: #1 to #5

New Avengers: Breakout

Issues: #1 to #6

Note that only issue #6 has any Black Widow appearance, and even then calling this a “Black Widow” comic is a bit of a reach. Nonetheless, the story has surprisingly essential implications for Black Widow moving forward.

Black Widow Vol 2: The Things They Say About Her

Issues: #1 to #6

Mighty Avengers

Issues: #1 to #6

Note that Mighty Avengers occurs directly in the wake of Civil War. If you are not up to speed on Marvel’s Civil War event, I highly recommend you give it a read prior to Mighty Avengers.

Black Widow & The Marvel Girls

Issues: #1 to #4

Black Widow Comics From 2010 to 2012

Black Widow: The Name of the Rose

Issues: #1 to #5

If you read nothing else on this list, read “The Name of the Rose” from Marjorie Liu and Daniel Acuna. It’s not only my favorite Black Widow comic of the 2000’s, but it’s one of my favorite Marvel Comics since 1998.

Black Widow: Kiss or Kill

Issues: #6 to #8 – Duane Swiercyznski’s follow up to the Liu story.

Hawkeye & Mockingbird / Black Widow: Widowmaker

Note that this is simply titled ‘Widowmaker’ in Marvel Unlimited.

Secret Avengers Vol 3

Issues: #16 to #21

Natasha is a member of the Secret Avengers, but it’s issue #20 that is one of my all-time favorite Black Widow stories. A single issue masterpiece from Warren Ellis and co.

Marvel NOW! Black Widow

Winter Soldier

Fourteen glorious issues from Ed Brubaker, Butch Guice, and Michael Lark. Sure it’s a “Winter Soldier” comic but Natasha plays every bit as essential a role.

Black Widow Volume 1: The Finely Woven Thread

This collects the first six issues of Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto’s twenty issue run on Black Widow. The series takes you all the way to “Last Days” tie-ins prior to Secret Wars.

4 Replies to “Black Widow Comic Book Reading Order”

  1. Quick question. I’m interested in reading Ultimate Marvel’s version of Jessica Drew’s run as Black Widow. Where should I start for that or is that a different discussion to be had?

      1. Thank you so much! I’m really interested in Jessica Drew. I’m about half way through with Spider-man and plan to finish reading the Ultimate Spiderman series but I really wanted to explore more of the characters that stem his series. Your lists are helping out so much in figuring out where to go next!

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