Future!Natasha: The lesser-machines— less-thinking— don’t know it, but there is a war going on, Natasha. And we are fighting it on two fronts. The past, from which you came, is in constant conflict with our future… an outlier of its romance with change. And the future— just like any future— seeks to erase the stain of old sins. THese are not philosophical musings, but real things. People— and more importantly, ideas— are dying.
Natasha: Any chance of you checking out?
Future!Natasha: Oh, they made me in your image, Natasha— can you imagine any version of you forgetting how to survive? We hedge our bets, don’t we? You and I— we make it through.

This encounter with the bad robot Natasha of the far future stabs at the core of Black Widow’s character. She is, to the end— to this end— a survivor, a mercenary, willing to deal with the enemy and turn sides to ensure her existance. The future Natasha, like the Natasha of the past, yearns for freedom. But the freedom to do what? She has no agenda we see but continuing. Hickman’s dark mirror for Natasha, then, isn’t evil but amorality. It isn’t Natasha’s whites turned to black, but her shades of grey that are switched.

This scene forshadows a lot directly, from the encounter with future Franklin next issue to Tony Stark’s imprisonment in New Avengers #26. But I thinkt he most interesting thing it sets up is that, when the world is ending, when time runs out, our Natasha doesn’t make bargains to survive. She decides to go down with the ship.

From Avengers #31, by Jonathan Hickman and Lenil Yu.

AVENGERS #23
JONATHAN HICKMAN (W) • LEINIL YU (A/C)
INFINITY TIE-IN – “AVENGERS UNIVERSE: VI”
· The Avengers versus the Black Order.
· The battle for Earth moves planetside.
· Thanos takes center stage.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #21
KELLY SUE DECONNICK (W)
MATTEO BUFFAGNI (A) • JORGE MOLINA ©
·Remember all that crazy science from earlier issues?? Here’s where it gets positively INHUMAN!
· When Spider-Girl is in trouble…who does she go to?
· Black Widow, Spider-Girl and Spider-Woman.
· Spider-Woman as a mentor…Who thought this was a good idea?

Some solicits. Anya really goes through these superhero mentors, huh? Carol, then Sue, now Jess? I’m happy to see DeConnick back on the book after the event.

Kitty: At the same time, the newest player in this caper makes her entrance. Who better to spearhead the Wolverine Rescue Squad than his olderst friend— Natasha Alianovna Romanoff, better known as the Black Widow! First move, take out the most formidable opposition, namely Phoenix. (Because telekenetics can nail you from distance.) That’s why Psylocke gets hammered next. Followed by a shot from her Widow’s Bite… at Viper herself.

This was a “Wolverine and the Women” type issue, where a lot of Logan’s lady friends got brainwashed by Viper into wearing terrible green lipstick outfits. The teen girl squad— Kitty Pryde and Jubilee— assembled to rescue him! And were joined at the last minute by Natasha. A lot of people think Natasha must’ve retroactively hooked up with Logan, but actually, she was retroactively his first little girl sidekick, and that’s what’s being referenced by having her show up with Pryde and Jubes.

Obviously, the way to deal with psychics is just kick them in the head.

From Wolverine #125, by Chris Claremont and Lenil Yu.

Ah, I thought she might be fighting Psylocke. Not that there’s much thematic link between the two, beyond “female” and “martial artist”: Betsy is an Omega-level mutant. Take note, though, this fight has happened before and Natasha both one and somehow managed to take down Jean Grey, too. Chris Claremont!! Rick Remender is the writer for both ladies home titles— Uncanny X-Force and Secret Avengers— while this event is running, and he’s previously teased a bit of a crossover.

They seem to be fighting in front of the clock tower at Westminster Palace.

On another note, it seems like it would be uncomfortable to fight without a bra like that, Lenil Yu.

Natasha: Okay, Tony, what’s wrong with you?
Tony: Mmmight be a skrull.
Natasha: You’re not a Skrull. She was working you over.
Tony: No.
Natasha: Tony. Focus.
Tony: How do you know you’re not?
Natasha: They poisoned you, Tony.
Tony: No, no… they could have killed me. They didn’t—
Natasha: They’re working you because there’s five people on the planet that can stop this and you’re one of them. And it’s not enough to take ou out, they want you defeated.
Tony: They could have killed me. She had me.
Natasha: They could have killed you with a poison matzoh ball before you went to bed. They’re killing themselves just to get to you. Killing you isn’t the point. They want to do to you what you did to them.

Today is Bendis’s birthday. I’m a fan of Bendis— it’s what happens when your first exposure to his work is Powers— and he’s actually done a few cool things for Natasha. (Not for Yelena, though!) One of them was actually using Black Widow in one of the big summer blow-ups, and using her in a way showcased her badassery and her common sense. I was pleased as punch.

Extra Bendis points for mentioning a matzoh ball!!

From Secret Invasion #4, by Brian Michael Bendis and Lenil Yu.

Natasha: Tony… Iron Man. Skrull or not, I’m asking right now, do you want to kill me or kill them?
Tony: Them.
Natasha: Let’s go with that feeling, then. And worry about the rest later.

Don’t mind me, just demonstrating that Black Widow can be totally kickass in the pages of a big summer crossover.

From Secret Invasion #4, by Brian Michael Bendis and Lenil Yu.

Why can’t we all just get along?

gailsimone:

fuckyeahblackwidow:

Apparently it is Black Canary’s birthday! From Twitter:

Marjorie Liu: And Black Widow could KICK Black Canary’s skinny backside off the planet!
Gail Simone: Hahahah, yeah! Oh, wait. You’re serious? Black Widow? Vs. the Canary? Hahahahahahaha!
Marjorie Liu: Oh, please. You know it’s true. Black Widow is totally ruthless. She’s cut that Canary Beyotch and make her tweet from a tree!
Gail Simone: Black Widow is my favorite fake Russian sidekick bore-a-thon. Canary in ten seconds, only cause she took a moment to yawn.
Marjorie Liu: What, her super-power is that she’s got a squeaky voice? Whatever. Black Widow takes down super-heroes were her BRAIN and PINKY.

I don’t think I’ve seen the word “beyotch” since approximately 2007.

This is from an issue of Wizard, drawn by Butch Guice.

I love Marjorie and I love the Black Widow, but come on…against the Canary?

Lady, PLEASE.

Maybe not against the Canary, but I’m going to take this opportunity to remind people that Natasha had no problem knocking out Psylocke, Madame Hydra, and Phoenix. At the same time.

Wolverine #125, by Chris Claremont and Lenil Yu.

Lingerie and Letter Columns

So I don’t know if you’ve read the letters column to Daredevil #86, lately, but I have, let me show you.

This was enough of thing to inspire some responses a few issues later.

Not to dwell on fanboys of the nineteen-seventies and their strange ideas about “freedom of movement” (for some women it’s more comfortable to wear a bra, for others it’s more comfortable to go without, both okay, &c &c) I can tell you that Natasha has often worn bras. I know this because I have seen them. In fact, this post is mainly a picspam of her ~undergarments through the years~.


Amazing Adventures #7, Gerry Conway and Don Heck.


Marvel Knights #10, Chuck Dixon and Ed Baretto.


Invincible Iron Man #14, Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca. (Note thong.)


New Avengers #36, Brian Michael Bendis and Lenil Yu.


Black Widow #2, Richard K. Morgan and Goran Parlov.


Captain America #27, Ed Brubaker and Mike Perkins.


Captain America #45, Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice.


Mighty Avengers #2, Brian Michael Bendis and Frank Cho.