It’s always a strange thing in the world of superheroes when romance inserts itself into the breaks between flying, smashing, fighting and saving the day. Virtually every major metahuman character has had a significant other at some point in their crimefighting (or crime-promoting) careers. It takes on an entirely new dimension when one super person decides to start coupling with another super person.
While the divide between the Netflix Defenders universe and the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe where The Avengers reside keeps these two apart on screen, they share a greater bond in the comic books pages. It’s such a perfect power couple that even Daredevil star Charlie Cox has openly lobbied for Natasha Romanoff to come to Netflix to make the pairing official on screen.
In the pages of Marvel Comics, though, this rough and ready combo has been thoroughly explored and we are here to tell you – sometimes things have gotten pretty weird between them! Besides all the usual stuff that happens between consenting adults, this pair had to deal with supervillains, bankruptcy, and even a secret alien plot against them. Heck, there was even a whole lot of super jealousy going on!
Spoiler alter: they had to break up eventually. Too much drama perhaps?
Here are 21 Crazy Things Only True Fans Know About Black Widow And Daredevil’s Relationship!
21 They're the Ross and Rachel of Marvel
Natasha Romanoff isn’t the easiest gal to please. After all, she’s gone from foreign secret agent plotting against America to one of the Mighty Avengers. She’s had to turn her back on her home country of Russia and redefine herself as protector not of a nation, but of the world.
Meanwhile, Matt Murdock has no shortage of internal demons himself. Losing his sight as a boy, his boxer father was taken down by the mob when he wouldn’t dive for a fight.
It’s no surprise that these two lovers are highly emotional, unpredictable, and can display more than your average amount of volatility.
During the initial run of Daredevil covering their time together, he and the Widow broke up and got back together again over and over and over. You’d think maybe they’d see a super couples counselor?
20 Matt Picked Up Natasha on the Rebound
It may be a good time to get this out of the way now: when it comes to romantic happenings, Matt Murdock is something of a selfish cad. His longtime love Karen Page was the center of his universe for a great many years – until she wasn’t.
Karen got sick of living with the specter of Daredevil living over the couple’s heads, so she split the scene. How does Matt react? By running into the arms of the first Russian double agent superheroine he sees. Yep, Matt was on the rebound and tended to his injured ego by ensnaring the Black Widow into an affair.
Besides being a rookie move, the whole thing was patently unfair to Natasha. In the end, it didn’t matter, because she dumped our favorite lawyer eventually.
19 A Time -Traveling Android Got Them Together
Recall how we mentioned that the Daredevil editors were trying to make the title a little more cosmic, perhaps presaging Jim Starlin’s epic runs on Warlock and Captain Marvel?
Believe it or not, his entire relationship with the Black Widow was the result of a manipulation by a villain named Mr. Kline.
The recurring character is a foe who turns out to be a good android from the future intervening in Matt and Natasha’s lives because their getting together actually saves the world. Which is kind of odd when you consider that they didn’t stay together that long! It’s a funny little subplot that ultimately went nowhere, but must be recorded in the annals of weird story choices for Marvel Comics!
18 Hawkeye Tried to Steal Black Widow Away from Daredevil
Old flames coming along at the wrong time can always mess up a good relationship. Back before Black Widow started dating Daredevil, she was a Russian secret agent. Part of her job was to romance Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, and use him for espionage.
Originally a criminal, Natasha used his desperado status to take on Iron Man and steal some Tony Stark tech. Eventually, the pair broke up and became heroes in their own right.
In issue #99 of Daredevil and Black Widow, Hawkeye comes back to try and win back his old love.
A conflict naturally ensued, and feelings were hurt along with muscles. There are no rules in love and war, they say, and Matt Murdock was set up to lose in both this time.
17 The Widow Dumped Daredevil for the Avengers
The very next issue, Black Widow officially dumped Daredevil. Well, for the first time, at least. What was weird was that Natasha didn’t break Matt’s heart over another man. In this case, she decided to part ways because she would rather be married to her job as an Avenger.
After being offered the opportunity to join the super team, she figured a lady can’t have two priorities and took a walk away from ol’ Hornhead.
What’s even more bizarre is that this recruitment seems to be the main reason that Hawkeye to sought out his ex-girlfriend more than the idea of getting back together with her. Ah, well, that’s early Bronze Age comics for you!
16 Black Widow Got Jealous of Moondragon
There are few things as unseemly in the 21st century geek culture than the idea of a superheroines fighting over the love of a super dude. But that’s what happened in Daredevil #108, when the titan demi-goddess Moondragon and Matt Murdock hit it off.
Raised by monks on the Saturnian moon of Titan, Moondragon was adopted by Mentor (who was Thanos’ father) and instructed in the ways of mental telepathy.
This would not be an easy fight for Natasha.
Instead, like a '70s stereotype, she breaks down and cries to her bodyguard that she thinks she’s lost Matt. Try to imagine the Black Widow of today doing this...
15 Black Widow had to Live in her car they dated
Things get really weird later on in the volatile relationship of Daredevil and the Black Widow when, well – Natasha goes bankrupt. With Matt Murdock living back in New York on his own, Black Widow is still trying to make ends meet in San Francisco.
When her inheritance money dries up, she actually ends up having to live out of her car - which was a Rolls Royce, by the way.
It was a bizarre story choice at the time, watching the fall of a fairly wealthy heroine. She became a sort of quasi-fancy homeless person for a while, sleeping in the back seat after fighting crime all day. Has this ever happened with any other hero?
14 They met when Daredevil was drowning
We’ve all heard of the tired old cliché of a damsel in distress, so we are happy to report that even as far back as the early 1970s, Marvel Comics took a stab at upending that overused trope.
In issue #81 (Volume 1) of Daredevil, it’s Matt Murdock himself who faces the grim reaper at the hands of his old arch-nemesis, The Owl. Having crashed in the supervillain’s helicopter during the battle, Daredevil sits at the bottom of New York Harbor, where he would surely had drowned were it not for Black Widow diving in and saving the day.
Yes, it’s a weird sort of first date, but hey – it worked! For a while, anyway. We can see the Match.com profile now: “Must enjoy martial arts, acrobatics, constant danger and be a good swimmer.”
13 Their first date was in court
While Daredevil and Black Widow may have met during the watery fiasco aftermath of a brawny supervillain brawl, they didn’t exactly hit it off overnight. Some couples might go through the courtship ritual with some nice dinners, followed by dancing, shows, or even a stroll through the park. But these are superheroes - and Matt Murdock is also an attorney.
It naturally follows that Natasha gets framed for a crime she didn’t commit while Matty ends up defending her in court! Because who needs a date at the zoo or rollerblading when we can be fighting for life, limb and freedom? Hey, whatever makes these folks’ worlds go around is fine, but for us commonly unpowered people, we may stick to a coffeehouse meeting for starters.
12 They took a romantic trip to Switzerland
It was a strange time for the Daredevil in the early 1970s. The appeal of being a street-level hero hadn’t caught fire the way it would with Frank Miller’s famous run on the series later on in the '80s. What was really popular was all the cosmic stuff going on. Jack Kirby had led popular titles like The Fantastic Four and Thor into the cosmic realm, after all.
For Daredevil, a human-level hero who wasn’t really equipped to deal with the likes of Thanos, the writers tried a little bit of jet-setting. They had Natasha and Matt take a trip over to Switzerland to get that old romantic spark kindling.
Of course, it all gets ruined when the robot MK-9 attacks them both.
Which, as it happens, was part of a more cosmic subplot for them - more on that later.
11 Black Widow Failed at becoming a Fashion Designer
Hey, you can’t be a superhero all the time. All those beatings, all that horror, all that belligerence – at some point, it makes sense that our favorite fighters might just need another outlet to balance things out.
For Natasha Romanova, her partnership with Daredevil required a secret identity, so she sort of accidentally became a fashion designer. Only she wasn’t really very good at it.
After many issues of her pursuing this dream outside of her crimefighting career, she dropped the whole idea, but not before revamping her own iconic costume. The sleek black outfit which has graced both the comics and the movies was in fact an original creation of hers. At this point, it’s easily one of the most identifiable superhero vestments of all time. Maybe she should have stuck to it a little longer?
10 They moved to San Francisco together
For the entirety of their super partnership, Daredevil and Black Widow were not based in Matt Murdock’s beloved and rugged Hell’s Kitchen, but in the hippie haven San Francisco. After ending things with another girlfriend, he reunited with Natasha and decided to start over in The City by the Bay.
When it was printed in 1972, capitalizing the whole counterculture scene may have been on the editorial minds at Marvel.
San Fran was never a good fit for Daredevil.
He’s a true New Yorker at heart, born and bred. Besides, San Francisco just doesn’t have anywhere nearly as many tall buildings from which to do daring feats of heroics. Murdock didn’t last long out west and returned home soon thereafter.
9 Black Widow would rather be homeless than live with Daredevil
When Matt offers to help her out the now-homeless Natasha, she takes the high road, determined to make it on her own.
Rejecting his offer of financial assistance, she pretty much tells Matt to head back to New York without her. Yet she still loves him, and she needs to get a job to pull herself up by her bootstraps.
This up and down relationship perhaps found its lowest point in this subplot. After all, if she’d rather live on the street than go home with her beau, things might be less than peachy between them.
8 They Fought a Bunch of Spider-Man’s Foes Together
Is it unkind to criticize the Rogues Gallery of a prominent superhero? Daredevil eventually had a pretty solid bunch of foes to face off with, but early in his career, he was stuck with less-than-memorable adversaries like Stilt-Man, Leapfrog, and The Owl - cooler villains like The Purple Man and Bullseye would come later. It may be for that reason that many of the bad guys Daredevil took on while dating Black Widow were, in fact, Spider-Man villains.
During that run, they battled Kraven the Hunter, Electro, Scorpion and Ox.
Those were clearly Spidey’s baddies, and perhaps the idea was to attract readers with some familiar faces. Or maybe they just hate arachnids like Black Widow?
7 Once They Broke Up, Matt Returned to Hell’s Kitchen for Good
All good things must come to an end, and so do less-than-good things. If we can truly demarcate the final blow to the brief but passionate Black Widow/Daredevil pairing, then we may need to land on issue #124.
Here, Natasha breaks things off for good. The roller coaster ride they called a relationship is finally done with. Interestingly, it is this event which sent Matt Murdock back to live in Hell’s Kitchen for good, a story feature which would prove to be emblematic of Daredevil’s character.
In a few short years, creator Frank Miller would pick up on that trope and use the neighborhood’s '80s seediness to redefine The Man Without Fear. See? Everything happens for a reason!
6 After They Broke Up, Black Widow Passed Away and Daredevil Helped Resurrect Her
Speaking of the legendary Frank Miller run, let’s take a look at issue #188, wherein Daredevil is knee-deep in a furious battle against the deadly supernatural ninja clan known as The Hand. Worried for her old lover, Black Widow returns to New York to check up on Matt, only to run afoul of The Hand herself – and she loses her life in the process. Matt, realizing he still has feelings for Natasha, takes the hit hard.
Enlisting his ally Stone, Black Widow is brought back to life at heavy cost to the war against The Hand.
While the two know they still care for each other, even giving Natasha new life wasn’t enough to rekindle their old romance.
5 Black Widow fought with Elektra over Daredevil
This may or may not be strictly canon, but one of the other great superheroic loves of Matt Murdock’s life duked it out with Black Widow over Daredevil once. She was, of course, Elektra Natchios, the master assassin and early crush for a young Daredevil.
It happened in a story called “Love Is Blindness”, which appeared in a series of Valentine’s Day-driven one-shots called I Heart Marvel: Marvel Ai.
The two do indeed tango. It’s debatable whether or not it’s part of the overall Marvel storyline, but the tale was rendered in 2006 using a beautiful manga style which made it memorable. In any case, it points to both ladies never really cleansing themselves of the mark Daredevil made on their broken hearts.
4 Black Widow Admitted to Still Loving Daredevil
Much later, in the 21st century, a very strange storyline revealed that maybe that old flame between Natasha and Matt wasn’t totally out after all. In Daredevil vol. 2, #1–7, Black Widow fights alongside Daredevil against a child she believes to be the devil. It’s all very convoluted, but hallucinations were involved, and Matt’s girlfriend, Karen Page, actually sacrifices herself protecting him.
In his grief, Natasha comforts Murdoch with this stunning admission: she still has feelings for him after all these years.
Whether she means it or is just trying to soothe her friend after his loss, we cannot say.
Regardless, the two don’t end up reconciling and that old romance stays out and cold for good, far as we can see.
3 They Were on Opposite Sides in the Civil War
If there is one way we can say with some finality that this relationship between Black Widow and Daredevil had a final nail hammered into its coffin, it may be this. In the original Civil War comics crossover event which became the basis for the film Captain America: Civil War, Daredevil and Natasha are on opposite sides.
Black Widow stands firmly by Steve Rogers, believing in his impeccable integrity. Meanwhile, the attorney Matt Murdoch jumps onto the “law and order” ticket led by Tony Stark. If Daredevil joins Team Iron Man while ‘Tasha joins Team Cap – we have to believe, there is simply no future for this relationship!
2 They shared a comic book cover for over a year
Just to be clear, the whole pairing of Daredevil with Black Widow wasn’t just about a budding romance. Marvel was trying to figure out how to best use compelling characters who hadn’t had their own titles before, while trying to mix it up in the legacy titles which were in danger of becoming stale.
It wasn’t just with Daredevil. Captain America and Falcon were a fighting duo for dozens of issues of the comic. Just as with Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson, Matt Murdock and Black Widow shared the logo on the cover of the comics, along with complimentary corner box images at opposite sides of the top of the covers.
In other words, it wasn’t Daredevil for issues 92-107, but Daredevil and the Black Widow, with both heroes gracing the borders of the logo.
1 Her Image Stayed on the Corner Box for Much Longer
While issue #107 is the official end to the Marvel Comics title Daredevil and the Black Widow, it’s important to note that Natasha’s image in her cover corner box didn’t go away until issue #124. That’s well over a year of her not sharing the title logo, yet appearing on the cover of every Daredevil issue.
Make no mistake: the whole thing was confusing for more reasons than one. Were they partners? Were they dating? Depended on the day!
Stranger still, one issue in that run – #111 – features yet another superheroine in the corner. Shanna the She-Devil appears in the corner that one time, with no logo-sharing, then never again. What the heck the editors were thinking? We may never know!
Did we miss any trivia about Black Widow and Daredevil's relationship? Let us know in the comments!