Winter Soldier: Idiots.
Natasha: Some of them are, agreed. But not all of us.
Winter Soldier: You think I can’t disarm you?
Natasha: If you take the gun, I drop the grenade. You take the grenade, well, you know what happens…
Winter Soldier: This isn’t supposed to be a live ammunition exercise.
Natasha: Rules were meant to be broken, “капитан”.

From Captain America & Bucky #624, by Ed Brubaker, Marc Andreyko, and Chris Samnee.

Sharon: How long do we have?
Natasha: We’re just minutes from the safe house.
Sharon: No, I mean until they find those guards we tied up. How long until the Russians know the Black Widow was here on a covert op?
Natasha: Not long enough… but that isn’t what’s troubling me.
Sharon: Then what is?
Natasha: If the Russian government was framing James… why are they just covering their tracks now… instead of before he was taken into custody?

There’s a persistant myth in fandom that giving one female character screentime takes away from all the rest. It doesn’t actually matter if they have vastly different plotlines or personalities, they still take up Lady Points, and Lady Points are strictly rationed. Inevitably, this sort of thinking drowns away all nuance and small strengths, and makes “female” the most important trait a female character can occupy. Like actors at the Oscars, women characters are placed in a separate category from their male counterparts, even though the roles they occupy do not need to be any different.

The thing is, though, even two female characters with similar personality traits and skillsets can share space without using up all the Lady Points. Because Lady Points aren’t real.

P.S. Dear Mark Waid/Chris Samnee plz write/draw Sharon again, you know where 😉 😉

From Captain America #618, by Ed Brubaker and Chris Samnee.

Natasha: What’s wrong with you, Matt? Is your radar malfunctioning? You could’ve gotten yourself killed.
Matt: ‘Tasha. I don’t know… it’s all wrong. San Francisco… you and me… it’s wrong, all wrong.
Natasha: You never stop beating yourself up, do you? You never stop. I spent every penny I had just to give us a fighting chance out here. But…
Matt: No… it’s not that… listen to me.
Natasha: We could have been happy together, Matt… but I’m never more than the rebound girl, am I? So brave in a fight, yet such a coward when someone tries to touch you. To really touch you. It’s such a disappointment.

From Daredevil #100, by Ed Brubaker and Gene Colan.

WINTER SOLDIER #14
ED BRUBAKER (W) • BUTCH GUICE (A)
Cover by DANIEL ACUÑA
• The grand finale of the BLACK WIDOW HUNT
• Will Bucky sacrifice everything to save his love?
• Can Black Widow even be saved?
• Ed Brubaker finishes his critically-acclaimed run and no one escapes unscathed!

My question is: can Black Widow save herself?