Natasha: I have spent over a month hunting you! I will follow you! I will find you! And if not me, then others! I found you here, do you not understand? If you do not surrender yourself, this can only end in death! Mine or yours, but one of us! Castle! I will not stop pursuing you— I will never stop—
In honor of this week’s Punisher/Black Widow crossover, I thought I’d post a scene from one of my favorite Natasha comics of the past few years, Punisher War Zone #2. Greg Rucka’s excellent run on Punisher was a meditation on the power of missions— the way a mission can transfigure, make someone more than human, and less. In this story Natasha spends a month tracking a nearly wordless Frank Castle to a remote jungle. But Frank loses her when he runs through a camp of child soldiers. She stops; she can’t abandon them until she knows they’re taken care of. Frank knows the score, knows the mission, is the mission in ways she cannot let herself be.
“Pick your battles.”
From Punisher War Zone #2, by Greg Rucka and Carmine di Giandomencio.