Belova is an amoral spy and assassin who was trained by the same spymasters who trained Natasha Romanoff, the first Black Widow. After the death of her trainer, Pyotr Vasilievich Starkovsky, she is activated as the new Black Widow and deployed to investigate. However, she is still set to battle Romanoff for the official title. The battle is inconclusive, and later confrontations between the two lead Belova to doubt herself. Belova eventually retires to Cuba, where she becomes a successful businesswoman and model.
She is lured back, however, by the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., and becomes involved in the agency's mining of vibranium in the Antarctic Savage Land. Shortly afterward, she barely survives an attack by Sauron, receiving severe burns and being subsequently approached with an offer for revenge against S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers.
Belova is genetically altered by the terrorist organization HYDRA, as she had suffered debilitating and disfiguring injuries after her last encounter with the Avengers in the Savage Land. HYDRA recruited her with the prospect of revenge and after hiring the services of A.I.M. transferred her mind into a new Super-Adaptoid body. This body appeared as Belova had originally until it began to absorb powers, at which time it changed as the original did, though now yellow in color.
Now equipped with the ability to copy all of the Avengers powers, she engages the superhero team in combat. She is eventually defeated by a combination of Tony Stark's 49 successive Iron Man armors � from the first, Tales of Suspense #39, to the then-current � and the Sentry's use of his Void persona, which she absorbs with the rest of the Sentry's powers and energy. When she is defeated, HYDRA kills her using a remote self-destruct mechanism they had implanted in her, rather than let her reveal intelligence to the Avengers.
She has since turned up alive and working with a vigilante group, the Vanguard.
Thunderbolts Norman Osborn discovered Belova breaking into an abandoned S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, and offered her the position of field leader of the new Thunderbolts. On her first mission, she and Ant-Man take control of Air Force One with the Goblin, Doc Samson, and the new President aboard.
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