Yelena Belova (Russian: Елена Белова) was an exemplar trainee in the Red Room Academy. Decided to make her parents living in Kiev proud, she focused on becoming the best Black Widow who has ever lived. Unlike most cadets, Belova underwent only physical training, and allegedly her test scores exceeded those of Natalia Romanova, the defective Black Widow. In the academy, the young Belova ascended to the rank of captain, being close to her instructor Colonel Starkovsky and the physician Lika Medvedev. Her life experienced a turning point when her superior, General Tischenko, assigned her to investigate the bizarre murder of Starkovsky in bondage sex club. Belova was informed that Starkovksy had leaked personnel files about her time in the academy. After leaving Medvedev in a morgue to perform an autopsy on Starkovsky's body, Belova went to the sex club where Starkovsky had been killed.
In the club, Belova was introduced to the manager, the dominatrix Nikki, who was shown to know privileged information about the Black Widow Ops Program and Belova. Nikki revealed that Starkovsky was a regular client of her sex club and used to pay large amounts of money to have access to sexual services from a sex worker called Petra, who wore a Black Widow costume similar to Belova's. After learning of Starkovsky's bondage fantasies about her, a disturbed Belova suspected he had been killed by Petra. Her suspicions were confirmed when she found the dead body of detective Golitsyn in Petra's bedroom. Upon confronting Petra, Belova learned that her insane doppelgänger had become obsessed with the Black Widow image after having access to her files through Starkovsky and decided to eliminate Belova to become the only Black Widow. After a physical confrontation, Belova was shot by Petra but managed to overpower her and eliminate her rival. Back to the Red Room Academy, Belova coped with Starkovsky death by shutting down her emotions and reported to Tischenko her success in recovering her missing files. As she left, Tischenko contacted Nikki, who was in fact a captain of the Red Room Academy, and discussed how Starkovsky's death was a plan to force Belova to assert herself as a Black Widow.
As the Black Widow, Belova was assigned to work as Colonel Yuri Stalyenko's agent. When Stalyenko attempted to lower the barriers surrounding the Inhuman city of Attilan under the influence of Maximus the Mad, the Black Widow contacted the American agent Mister Bixby. She provided Bixby with a powerful device gifted by Maximus which would give Russia, America and other human nations advantage in their war against the shielded Attilan.
When the United States and Russian governments sent Romanova after the Deathless Frenzy biological weapon in Rhapastan, Stalyenko sent Yelena from the Red Room, at her own insistence, to shadow Natasha to ensure that the serum ended up in Russian hands. For some days, Belova spied Romanova from a nearby apartment, without suspecting Romanova actually knew about her activities. Belova followed Romanova to Rhapastan, where the two Widows briefly teamed up to fight Rhapastanian soldiers, an opportunity for Belova to express her admiration and despise for Romanova. After the fight, Romanova escaped with the Deathless Frenzy samples but was secretly followed by Belova.
Belova tracked Romanova to Zurich, where she attempted to develop an antidote to the Deathless Frenzy's effects. After being fooled into thinking Natasha was shot dead by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Belova resumed their mission and headed to to stop Colonel Khan and the Deathless Frenzy in Rhapastan. She failed and was captured. Through the efforts of Romanova, Khan's plans failed and Belova was saved. Romanova then shared with the ambitious Belova that espionage work is different from super-hero activities, and as such passion should never be brought to it.
Leaving the Red Room
In order to teach what being a spy actually means to Belova in practice, Romanova designed a complex plan in which Belova was abducted by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents under Nick Fury's orders and had her face surgically swapped with Romanova's. Left in Romanova's apartment, Belova was in shock due to her new appearance, being met by Daredevil who reluctantly took part in Romanova's plan. Wandering New York, Belova was tasked to assassinate "Yelena Belova", who was in fact Romanova wearing her appearance. Confused with her identity, Belova attacked "herself" believing to be the real Romanova.
Meanwhile, Romanova contacted Stalyenko pretending to be Belova in order to bribe him by mentioning his activities in Rhapastan regarding the trade of nukes in American soil. Realizing she was an impostor, Stalyenko pretended to accept the offer and then tasked his agents to eliminate her. In New York City, Belova was approached by Daredevil, who partially revealed their plan and helped her to reaffirm herself as Yelena Belova. As Romanova met Stalyenko, Daredevil brought Belova to watch their negotiations. Upon learning that Stalyenko regarded her as a disposable tool who was fooled into believing patriotic ideals while actually serving his personal interests, Belova rebelled against her master and knocked him out. Subsequently, she confronted Romanova about her cruel scheme. In turn, Romanova shared that now Belova knew what being a spy truly meant. Feeling violated and comparing the ordeal to a rape of her identity, Belova ordered Romanova to reverse their identity change.
Belova left the life of a spy behind her for a short time and built a lingerie empire, being now based in Havana, where she helped keep female sex workers safe and distributed medicine to those affected by AIDS. Leaving her rivalry with Romanova in the past, she assisted her former opponent by offering a safe place for shelter when she was on the run. Belova asked Romanova for help in exporting stolen medical supplies from Miami. To Romanova's surprise, she found the medical supplies to be from Gynacon and that Sally Anne Carter was actually taken by the mafia. Kestrel and Martin Ferris captured Romanova in Miami and attempted to alter her mind using drugs to find out her secrets. Belova, with the help of Daredevil, decided to help rescue Romanova, who then tracked and killed Kestrel and Ferris.
Eventually, Belova returned to her activities as a spy. Working for S.H.I.E.L.D., she was part of a rogue battalion which illegally mined Vibranium in the Savage Land using slaves. When the Avengers confronted her squadron, they responded with lethal force. However, an intervening Sauron attacked the agents, severely burning Belova's upper body. Once in intensive care, Belova was approached by a mysterious Hydra agent who offered to restore her disfigured body and to provide her with means to take revenge for what happened. Brought to A.I.M. scientists, Hydra offered Belova the powers of the Super-Adaptoid. In return, she was tasked to destroy the Avengers.
Some time later, just prior to the wedding of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, Belova attacked the Avengers in their tower. The nature of the Adaptoid's powers made her unconquerable by her new ability to host every power she had been attacked with. Although strengthening herself by taking in the Sentry's powers, she weakened herself by also taking in the Void's insanity. When the masterminds behind the scheme realized that Belova would probably fail in her mission, thus becoming disposable, she was seemingly killed her by the activation of remote fail-safe device.
After the Skrull Invasion, Norman Osborn approached Belova when she was looting an abandoned S.H.I.E.L.D. facility and offered her to be the field leader of his Thunderbolts. However, this Black Widow turned out to be Romanova in disguise, under Nick Fury's order to infiltrate the Thunderbolts. Surprisingly, Osborn had in fact known all along about her true identity and used her to strengthen the bonds between his Thunderbolts and to lead him to Nick Fury and Songbird. Although Osborn failed in harming Romanova, Fury or Songbird, he managed to have access to the body of the real Yelena Belova, keeping her in the Avengers Tower.
Minister of State
Belova was recovered by A.I.M. in the Chariot. The Scientist Supreme Andrew Forson had her join A.I.M. High Council as the Minister of State in their newly formed country in Barbuda, the A.I.M. Island. As her first act, Belova declared that A.I.M.'s sovereign state was in urgent need of an army for a coming war against their opponents, in which she found support in A.I.M.'s double agent, Taskmaster, the Minister of Defense.
A.I.M. got into direct conflict against S.H.I.E.L.D. and their Avengers during a weapons exposition featuring the Iron Patriot Armor. Forson and Belova arrived at the fair to steal the armor, being opposed by Daisy Johnson, Nick Fury and Senator Rebel Ralston. With her Adaptoid powers, Belova easily overpowered A.I.M.'s enemies, slaying Ralston in the process. Victoriously, A.I.M. acquired the Iron Patriot technology for their interests.
In retaliation for A.I.M. using the Iron Patriot technology to perform terrorist attacks, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Avengers were sent to A.I.M. island to execute Forson. Belova personally attacked Romanova, who was one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s operatives. Although Belova managed to mortally attack Romanova, the latter was saved by Hawkeye. Another consequence of the failed mission was that the Avenger Mockingbird was left in A.I.M. Island. Following the incident, Belova insisted on the need of creating an elite army to serve A.I.M. to Forson. Much to her despise, Forson attempted to flirt with her, and she violently refused his advances.
When S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Avengers tried to infiltrate the A.I.M. Island again, this time to rescue Mockingbird, Belova intercepted them with a squadron of soldiers and was successful in arresting them. However, after arriving on A.I.M Island, Belova was unexpectedly knocked out by Nick Fury. Soon after, Belova was met by Mockingbird and the two fought each other. During the fight, they fell behind a metal gate. Upon emerging, Mockingbird was shot dead by an A.I.M. operative under Forson's orders. The Secret Avengers took Mockingbird's lifeless body and escaped in a submarine, only to discover the deceased Mockingbird was actually Yelena Belova, who had unwillingly assumed Mockingbird's form through a holo-camouflage device the actual Mockingbird sneaked into during the fight.
Rebirth as the White Widow
Several clones of Belova were in the process of being grown by the reformed Red Room as part of Alexander Cady's plan to bring back their best agents to their fold in case they died. When the recently resurrected Romanova found out about the program and her own origin as a clone, she rebelled against her creators and started to undermine her superiors since she retained the memories of her previous life. Romanova secretly activated three amnesiac clones of Belova that were being grown by the same program that gave her life. Romanova allegedly had murdered the real Belova so one of her clones could impersonate her. Then, she employed a second amnesiac clone of Belova to fake the death of one of her targets, ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sally Blevins. After being sighted at the scene by Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier, Belova then had the first clone of Belova impersonate her to throw them off. The Winter Soldier let this clone go after capturing her, but failing to get any information from her, Romanova killed her when they met up. While destroying the cloning program responsible for her existence, Romanova eliminated most of the cloned Black Widows, except for the third clone of Yelena Belova. Black Widow had the psychic Epsilon Red grant the memories of the original Belova to her unconscious mindless clone, as a way to amend having killed her.
Fully in control of her life and identity, Belova was recruited by Justin Cask to free Dr. Durst from a S.H.I.E.L.D. prison in Antarctica. She was issued a white version of the Black Widow costume and dropped off at the facility. There she learned she had been set up, as she was there solely to be used as a practice target for Dr. Durst and his soldiers. However she found that the Red Guardian had been held captive in the prison. After freeing him, Belova escaped while the Red Guardian fought Durst's forces. After that, Belova hacked Cask's financial accounts and donated all of his vast fortune to various charities, deciding to be a hero in her own way.
After learning that Romanova had been kidnapped and brainwashed into believing to live an ordinary live as an architect as well as a wife and mother, Belova infiltrated her life as "Helen", a babysitter for Natasha's son. When Romanova's memories returned, Belova helped her escape her enemies. Becoming Romanova's ally, Yelena Belova assumed the identity of the White Widow and the two began plans to recruit other heroes to help the Black Widow fend off her adversaries.
Yelena was 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.
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.
- Wrist cartridges contain various tools of the spy trade:
- Yelena was a freelance S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Level Five for a time.
- 57 appearance(s) of Yelena Belova (Earth-616)
- 6 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Yelena Belova (Earth-616)
- 2 minor appearance(s) of Yelena Belova (Earth-616)
- 8 mention(s) of Yelena Belova (Earth-616)
- 2 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Yelena Belova (Earth-616)
- 66 image(s) of Yelena Belova (Earth-616)
- 5 quotation(s) by or about Yelena Belova (Earth-616)
- 1 victim(s) killed by Yelena Belova (Earth-616)