NAME: Yelena Belova
KNOWN ALIASES: Little Spider, Rooskaya
IDENTITY: Secret, but known to the Russian
OCCUPATION: Espionage agent
CITIZENSHIP: Citizen of Russia with no criminal
PLACE OF BIRTH: Kiev, Russia
MARITAL STATUS: Single
KNOWN RELATIVES: Unnamed mother, Olga (Aunt)
GROUP AFFILIATION: G.R.U (Glavnoye Razvedovatel’noye
Upravlenie / Main Intelligence Administration)
EDUCATION: Graduate of the Moscow Red Room
BASE OF OPERATION: Unknown
FIRST APPEARANCE: Inhumans Vol. 2 #5 (1999)
HISTORY: At the age of 15,
Yelena was chosen as a candidate to become the new Black Widow,
as Natasha Romanoff was no longer loyal only to Russia. She
trained for roughly a decade under Vasilievich Pyotr Starkovsky
at the espionage academy known as the Red Room, the same facility
in which Romanoff had trained. Unbeknownst to Yelena, as she
grew older, Starkovsky became obsessed with her, paying another
woman, Petra, to don Yelena’s costume and satisfy his
desires. Petra eventually became psychotic, believing herself
to be the true heir to the Black Widow title, and killed Starkovsky.
Investigating the Fabrika Club, Yelena discovered and slew
Petra, avenging her mentor, after which she finally came to
truly accept her role as the Black Widow.
Graduating from the Red Room, Yelena became
the first student to surpass Romanoff’s marks. Eager
to prove herself better than Natasha and establish sole claim
to the title of Black Widow, Yelena interfered with Natasha’s
quest for the “Deathless Frenzy” bio-weapon held
by terrorist Col. Khan in Rhapastan. Yelena sought to secure
the lethal serum for her superiors and to eliminate her adversary,
but Natasha’s experience and superior enabled Natasha
to outmaneuver her young opponent and complete the assignment
in her own fashion, slaying Khan and destroying the entire
supply of Deathless Frenzy. Yelena pulled a gun on Natasha,
but decided to let her live so that they could continue to
vie for supremacy.
Following this, Natasha, wishing to teach Yelena
a lesson, worked with Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. on Operation
Validate, which entailed the two Widows exchanging physical
appearance. While Yelena was struggling to maintain her identity,
Natasha duped Yelena’s superior, Yuri Stalyenko, into
revealing his plot to steal nuclear weapons hidden in Hudson
riverduring the Cold War. Natasha also showed Yelena that
Stalyenko thought of her as an expendable pawn, easily replaced.
The two Widows teamed up to bring him down, but a resentful
Yelena then attacked Natasha, who explained how she wanted
to teach Yelena that espionage was not a game. S.H.I.E.L.D.
reversed the process and Yelena returned to the Red Room a
little wiser, through certainly no fonder of Natasha.
HEIGHT: 5 ft. 7 in.
WEIGHT: 135 lbs.
ABILITIES: Yelena is extensively
trained in espionage and various forms of armed and unarmed
combat, being a master martial artist. She is highly intelligent
and is an Olympic level gymnast.
SUPERHUMAN POWERS: None
PARAPHERNALIA: Yelena wears
a Kevlar costume and uses bracelets which release electric
blasts (her Widow’s bite). It is unknown whether they
can also launch a cable similar to Romanoff’s.
NOTE: Updated from The Official
Handbook of the Marvel Universe: The Women Of Marvel 2005