Black Widow’s White Costume & Comic History Explained
Natasha Romanoff (Scarlet Johansson) is getting an all-white costume for Marvel's new Black Widow movie. As with several costumes in the MCU, Natasha's new look is rooted in the comics, but in this case, the white costume also has a practical purpose related to the setting of her first solo outing.
At Disney's D23 Expo, Marvel Studios revealed footage of Black Widow. Attendees were able to see Black Widow fighting Taskmaster and she was dressed in a white costume, which is in sharp contrast to her traditional black suit. (After all, she is called Black Widow.) Since Black Widow, in both comics and movies, has a background in espionage and specializes in stealth, white seems like a strange color for her, but the footage indicates that Black Widow is wearing this new suit for a tactical reason. She's surrounded by snow, so it helps her blend in much better than what she usually wears.
Black Widow's white costume comes directly from Marvel Comics, but it's not by any means a classic outfit. It first debuted in the limited series Black Widow: Deadly Origin, which was released in 2010 to coincide with her MCU debut in Iron Man 2. Deadly Origin was a story that saw Black Widow haunted by skeletons from her closet. The series sent Black Widow around the globe as she fought a conspiracy designed to kill everyone she had ever cared about, including Daredevil, Hawkeye, Hercules, and more.
During the series, Black Widow had to fight against a group called the Icepick Protocols, and her battles with them took her and everyone from Russia to outer space. It was her adventures in Russia that called for her new white costume. Like the movie version, Black Widow's white costume was for blending in while traveling through frozen wastelands. The suit was important to Deadly Origin, but hasn't received much exposure in the comics since, considering that Black Widow's adventures in the snow are few and far between.
What does Black Widow's white costume mean for the movie? Some have theorized that it teases the inclusion of Winter Soldier, another character from the Deadly Origin series. But for the most part, it's connected to the extremely cold weather found in the film's setting, which is in eastern Europe and, at least partially, Budapest. Being in eastern Europe explains why Black Widow is encountering so many characters associated with the USSR as well, such as the Red Guardian and Yelena Bolova, one of the new Black Widows.