In 1999, the Marvel Knights imprint debuted the first of what would be several Black Widow mini-series. The first — technically the first Black Widow series ever — introduced a new Soviet Black Widow, who was also featured in the second mini-series, in which the two Widows exchanged identities. The third mini-series, published by Marvel’s MAX division, focused on the new Soviet Widow. Two six-issue mini-series followed, written by Richard K. Morgan and united artistically by Bill Sienkiewicz, taking the story in a new direction but ultimately leaving plot threads unresolved.
In late 2009, Black Widow returned in Black Widow: Deadly Origin, a lackluster four-issue mini-series published by Marvel central, not Marvel Knights. The mini-series introduced Ivan, who had mentored Black Widow over decades, with Black Widow now essentially an immortal. This was followed by a new ongoing series, which lasted eight issues and two storylines, the last of which lead into Widowmaker, a mini-series pairing Black Widow with Hawkeye. At eight issues, this was the longest Black Widow title to date.