I actually have never liked the Widow/Bucky pairing; it seems *far* too easy & pat to me. In fact, I’d rather they expanded Natasha’s sexuality and let her be bi in her sexual expression. She just doesn’t strike me as a woman to subordinate herself to a man for too long. What do you think?

Well, I don’t think you need my permission to read Natasha as bi. I’m not a big OTP person and I like Natasha with a lot of different characters. Some of them are women. I’d be pretty excited for canon Sharon/Nat.

But I also think being in a relationship with a man isn’t the same thing as Natasha “subordinating herself” to a man. A huge part of what I appreciate about Natasha’s character is that she is brave enough, sometimes, to pursue romantic relationships and pursue them wholly, even though it would be easier to push everyone away, even though every love she’s known has been doomed. That’s strength, not subordination.

Do we know for sure that Natasha’s child from Liu’s run was named Rose? it seems implied but…

It’s strongly implied but not quite stated outright.

Old Woman: Rose is my granddaughter.
Natasha: Not a common name, here.
Old Woman: I heard it once. Long ago. From you…
Natasha: I’m here because someone found out. I don’t know who. Or how. I didn’t even think you knew the the truth but the fact your daughter called this baby Rose—
Old Woman: My mother told me what happened to you. I wanted to know why you kept returning, why you would disappear for days into the forest with nothing but the clothes on your back. But I never repeated what she told me.

FWIW, the 2012 Avengers Roll Call update to the OHotMU listed the Natasha as having a (deceased) “unidentified daughter.”

Can you tell us about the Black Widow villain called the Wrangler?

Sure. I talked about her some in my old write-up of Natasha’s rogues gallery, but I can explain her again. The Wrangler, a.k.a. Laralie, first appeared in Marvel Fanfare #11, as part of a gang of six assassins sent to kill Black Widow. 

Laralie, the lovely young rodeo queen who has honed the western rope into the precision instrument of the assassin.

As you can see, they were all basically cultural or ethnic stereotypes done up as supervillains with George Perez designs. These guys were introduced for one big fight scene, where they spout exactly the kind of dialogue you would expect from a late Bronze Age comic.

Laralie: Whoa! Somebody gimme a hand with this heah varmint!

Natasha takes all of them on at once and wins, so they’re not treated as particularly big-deal threats even in the context of this one story. At the end of the story, their boss is revealed to be Damon Dran, a then-recurring foe who turned up in the last Black Widow series.

Laralie appeared later in Captain America as a member of the Femizon straw-feminist supervillain army. She was one of a dozen or so Z-list female villains who showed up in that arc, so she didn’t get a ton of development, there, either. But it did feature Steve Rogers trapped in a gender-changing tube as part of an evil plot to turn him into a woman!

Panels from Marvel Fanfare #11-12.

Where could I buy the 2016 black widow comics online and receive hard copies of them? I can only find digital downloads and I prefer hardcopy and I can’t find them in the stores near me.

Larger comic shops like Midtown Comics and Things From Another World offer online stores that sell recent comics and variants. They also offer subscription services so you can get them mailed to you, often at a discount.

If you’d prefer to buy comics from local stores though, you can ask the people at the LCS to order Black Widow for you. Most of the time they are happy to do this, and it means the store can tell Marvel that there’s interest in the title.

For anyone looking to buy comics and learn about the options out there, my friend wrote a great Comics 101 guide.

hey will you do a review of civil war? i just watched the movie and i loved natasha’s arc on it, especially how she was just loyal to herself and not to an especific man/team, what did you think of the movie?

I’m in the US and probably not going to be able to see the movie when it first comes out due to family commitments, so I won’t be able to get to the questions already in my inbox for a while.

I do plan on discussing it provided no terrible controversy makes the tumblr atmosphere completely unfun this time around.

What are the new BW comics called. I can’t find anyplace selling them

They’re called Black Widow! But the first issue goes on sale March 2, so it’s not in stores yet. Tell your comic shop you’re interested to make sure you can get a copy.

A lot of what I poston this blog are covers for upcoming issues and preview material Marvel releases to stir up interest in the title. Look for the previews and solicits tags to know when that’s what’s going on.

I’m so looking forward to the new BW run! But I’m feeling a bit hesitant about how Natasha is apparently going to be very isolated again. I think that’s an important theme to explore for her character, but it also makes it hard for her to have supporting characters & relationships that stick across series & become part of her mythology (for lack of a better word). One of the things I enjoyed in the last run was how it fleshed out her relationship with Maria & the edition of Isaiah & Liho.

I feel you. Part of the problem is that Natasha does tend to isolate herself when she’s in trouble. It’s something we’ve seen over and over again, born from wanting to keep people from her dangers as much as a determination to go it alone. That impulse is always going to be there in her stories, I think, which is one of the reasons why developing supporting characters that stick around has been difficult. The other reason is that she hasn’t ever had a very regular series for things to carry over from.

So, here’s some words of optimism. We’re dealing with a specific plot element that’s isolating Natasha, not a totally random status quo change. Since Natasha is actually getting a regular series now, the chances are there will still be Black Widow solo stories even after this initial arc resolves. The more that happens the more chances there are to see old cast members return. 

Plus, I don’t think we’re totally losing her mythology even if she’s being cut off from her normal contacts. The tumultuous relationship Natasha had with SHIELD in the previous volume is definitely being toyed with, and Maria Hill is mentioned in the solicit for issue #2.

Still, though: bring back the cat. #liho2k16