The Espionage specialist on the hero side of the Marvel Universe, Natalia Romanova, known to most as Natasha Romanoff, is rumored to be a relative of the Romanoffs, the last ruling czars of Russia, but nothing else is known of her family. During World War II, a Nazi assault upon Stalingrad set the building she was in on fire. A woman, possibly her mother, threw her into the arms of a Russian soldier named Ivan Petrovich before being consumed by the flames. Ivan brought Natasha under his protection and soon had to defend her from her many enemies. In 1941, Natasha was sought by the Nazi Baron Strucker, who presented her to the Hand to become their master assassin. She was saved from Strucker and the Hand by Ivan, the American super-hero Captain America, and the Canadian adventurer Logan.