The Black Widow, Natalia “Natasha” Romanova (also known as Romanoff), started out as a villain without a costume. Her attire was that of a sexy, wealthy modern woman — sleek, form-fitting dresses, trendy hats, gloves, and high heels. She wore that air of feminine sophistication for her first several outings after she first appeared in 1964 in Tales of Suspense #52. However, it wasn’t long before the storytellers began to showcase additional technical skills and weaponry that made Natasha more than just a dangerous honey trap.
Most of her enemies and companions were costumed heroes. So, in issue #64 of Tales of Suspense, she appeared for the first time in her own costume. Her attire was a black bodysuit with blue mesh that emulated webbing, and a short cape. She wore a mask but didn’t cover her black hair. Her gloves and boots gave her the ability to cling to walls and from her bracelets she was able to shoot a nylon cord which she used to swing through the air.
This version of her costume would last until 1970 when she decided to update it to reflect a more trendy, sexy period evolving in comics. Her sleek black bodysuit was first introduced in Amazing Spider-man #86. More on that costume in the previous post.
Here are some images from another early appearance of the Black Widow in costume. Her costume has more of a gray appearance in this issue. The pages come from issue #30 of Avengers, Volume 1 (1965). In this issue, she starts as an enemy of the Avengers, but eventually begins her transformation to an ally.