natasha romanov is better than you

One thing I’m suddenly thinking about is Black Widow’s reputation as a femme fatale and where it comes from. Because both in the MCU and in most of the comics I’ve read, there’s not a whole lot of her seducing men/using sex to get what she needs.

In comics, her very earliest appearance with Iron Man in Tales of Suspense #52 has her serve as a distraction in the form of a pretty face, but there’s scarcely anything there, and while there were some hints of it in Richard K. Morgan’s Black Widow run overall I find it’s much more typical that the men around Natasha assume she’s there to seduce them, when in fact she has other means of getting what she wants.

(Of course, the above panel is having it both ways. Natasha’s reason for not sleeping with her mark here is that she’s “involved” - and the suggestion of sex is there, along with a close up on Natasha’s thigh.)

Outside of Ultimates (and I don’t talk about Ultimates) sleeping with people - or even trading on her sexuality that much - just doesn’t seem to be a thing Natasha really does. 

And then in the MCU - in The Avengers she trades much more on her perceived vulnerability and assumed weakness (as a woman) than any kind of sexual appeal (“just another pretty face” and the whole scene with Loki). In Cap 2 there’s even less - the closest thing I can come up with is the “hello, boys” in the scene on the Lemurian Star and that is immediately followed by a brutal fight rather than a seduction. Later on, with Sitwell, her interrogation style is to kick him off a building. 

What I’m getting to, I guess, is that it seems to me one of those things that kind of comes out of nowhere. It’s an assumption - like the man in the panels above, that because Natasha is a woman and a spy and wears a tight black suit, that her modus operandi is sex. And if it’s an assumption made in universe (by Natasha’s interrogators and opponents) then it’s one that, despite its being proven wrong, is perpetuated out of universe in discussion. (Think of the reviews of both Winter Soldier and The Avengers that dismissed Natasha as sexy eye candy in fetish gear.)

It’s just - funny, for lack of a better word, that no matter what canon evidence there is, Natasha is still overwhelmingly perceived as a femme fatale figure trading on her sexual appeal, when it’s been demonstrated in both comics and the MCU that that’s not what she does. It’s like the trope of spy woman = sex object is so deeply embedded that even with two movies and several volumes of comics to the contrary, perception still sticks Black Widow in that box, again and again.

And Surprise

Originally posted by rossmundpike

Steve stared at Natasha, blue eyes gleaming with the desire to tease her. But he knew better than that. She had a dark look about her face, the corners of her lips tilted down in a frown.

“Talk to her, Natasha,” he suggested.

She shook her head. “Y/N has no interest in me. She is…” she paused to sigh and pinch the bridge of her nose.

“She may return your feelings.”

“Did you happen to hit your head this morning?”

This made Steve chuckle and he exhaled loudly. “You are making it pretty obvious that you have-”

“Don’t say it,” she warned, eyes glaring at him.

He raised his hands and pulled back on his chair. “Natasha, come on. Where is the fearless woman that-”

“Shut up,” Natasha muttered. She gnawed on her bottom lip, fingers tapping on the tabletop absently. She had just finished training when you had walked into the room with Bucky in tow, both of them laughing, his arm around your waist.

Natasha’s vision had zeroed in on your face, on the wide smile and crinkled eyes. You looked so comfortable with Bucky, at ease and trusting. So different from your stoic behavior around Natasha. She had fled the room without so much of a greeting when you had called her name. Steve had followed hot on her heels.

“She obviously has feelings for Bucky,” she murmured, her hand clenching into a fist and thumping on the wood.

“You seem so sure.”

“Because I am.”

“Maybe if you tell her how you feel, you’ll find out she returns your feelings.”

Natasha scoffed.

Steve’s soft smile morphed into surprise as he stared at a spot behind Natasha. She felt her blood run cold as she realized that there was someone behind her and whirled around to no other than you, staring at her as if she has grown another head.

“How long have you been standing there?” Natasha demanded.

You didn’t say a word, instead striding across the room. Natasha still had a question on her lips as you cupped her face and captured her mouth with your own. 

probably one of my favourite personal head canons is the avengers as Brooklyn 99 like
Tony Stark as Jake Peralta: kind of a massive ass hole but also a brilliant detective, enjoys making Fury’s life a living hell (maybe he was disinherited by his family and told to get a ‘real job’ and happened to fall into police work bc he likes solving puzzles but also catching bad guys)
Steve Rogers as Amy Santiago: brilliant, hard working, earnest and clever (also wants to beat Tony at anything he ever does ever). Tony’s ringtone on his phone is 'anything you can do I can do better’
Natasha Romanov as Rosa Diaz: probably the scariest/hottest person you’ll ever meet, has been seen eating lunch with knives, has smiled on record once and that was when she kneed a serial sex offender in the crotch. can probably kill u with a tape dispenser and her knees.
Clint Barton as Gina Linetti: spends more time playing addictive phone games and saying weirdly brilliant shit than actually doing work (seriously where do those files go). secretly (or not so secretly) enjoys making life as hard as possible for everyone.
Bruce Banner as Charles Boyle: he tries really hard. probably has a tea blog.
Nick Fury as Ray Holy: how did he end up here with this group of lunatics.
Bucky Barnes as Terry Jeffords: looks like he could kill you, probably thinking about puppies. May accidentally hug you to death.
Sam Wilson and Rhodey as Hitchcock and Scully bc I really just need those two fucking shit up around the office tbh