Ivan: ‘Tasha… what…?
Natasha: I took a sample of your new body’s nanites from your brandy glass… it took the ones I’m carrying a few minutes to hack in. I’ve just shut off your ability to kill me. Or to fire your weapons. And… now I have control of the dreadnaught. And your personal defense shields. So… this is your last chance. To say sorry. Or at least to call me by my real name.
This is one of the only times in comics that Natasha expresses a name preference. It’s informed by a lot of context: Ivan has gone round the bend and demands that Natasha “humble” herself. He calls her ‘Tasha because he wants to remind her that he was her father, to make her now his lover, and remind her of all this with names. Ivan has always called Natasha things like “my little Tsarina,” even when she was full-grown and Avenging, and depending on the scene this seemed sweet or it rung condescending. Now, in later decades, that ambiguity is removed.
I don’t think Natasha is demanding everyone call her Natalia. I don’t think she resents Bucky calling her “Nat” or Matt calling her “‘Tasha”— those names represent an intimacy she chose. But it makes sense that at this moment, finally, she’d tell Ivan to name her, formally, distant, and like an adult.
But maybe the name she’s talking about isn’t Natalia. Deadly Origin's entire plot is an latter-day exploration of the Widow's Curse theme, the old idea that Natasha is fated to kill the people she loves. Ivan's plot made this all very literal, and it's significant that she defeats him by hacking the nanites, somehow, and control of her curse. But to stop Ivan, she has to go again through the corpse of someone she cared about. I do not think her real name is Black Widow, but I could understand if at this too familiar moment, Natasha feels that it is.
It’s a nice ambiguity.
From Black Widow: Deadly Origin #4, by Paul Cornell and Tom Raney.