Natasha: Look, I’m sure the other Avengers would lecture us until they were blue in the face if they knew we were here at Bimboyz— New York’s only male go-go pizza parlor… but being an Avenger is tough work! And you deserve a night off from mothering little Luna— and me from monitor duty!
Crystal: It’s funny, though, ‘Tasha— I don’t see anyone eating pizza…!

From Avengers Unplugged #3, by Mike Lackey and M.C. Wyman.

Crystal: You forget that I can manipulate all forms of elemental matter! So when you go out on the town with Crystal the Inhuman— you’re never under-dressed!
Natasha: I believe the American teens would say, “you go girl”!

I love the nineties.

From Avengers Unplugged #3 by Mike Lackey and M.C. Wyman.

Crystal: I feel like a fool for bring this all up.

Nonsense. Never denigrate your concern for your friends, Crystal. It’s quite special. Now why don’t you go get your daughter and bring her here for a visit?

She’s very sweet, Black Widow. But does she have what it takes to be an Avenger?

Crystal may not be fron the cold, tough world of espionage like you and I, Carol… but Captain America and I have total faith in her.

Well, that’s good enough for me.

To return to Avengers: I ♥ the 90s, one of the minor plotlines I did like was the way Natasha went to bat for Crystal. Here’s an example of how Natasha finds kindness much easier to champion in others than in herself.

From Avengers #348, by Bob Harras and Kirk Jarvinen.

And that wraps it up for my female-centric week. Natasha is one of those characters too often seen in light of her various male relationships, by both creators and fans, and that’s really too bad. So hopefully this has been, like, an interesting and informative look at her team-ups and rivalries with other women. If not, well, my next theme week will not involve so much commentary + spam. I promise.

Avengers Unplugged #3, by Mike Lackey and M.C. Wyman.