A blog dedicated to the Marvel superhero Black Widow. Follow for graphics, analysis and soft no-prizing.
Bobbi: If I did expose you to repeated low doses of an experimental neurotoxin during our marriage it was only to inoculate you. And because I didn’t want to use it myself until I knew it worked. Clint: You poisoned me?
Clint: Natasha, please tell me you’re not experimenting with those old Russian poisons again. Natasha: I only paralyzed you for a week, Clint. You need to let that go.
From Mockingbird #4 by Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk, & Astonishing X-men #62 by Marjorie Liu and Gabriel Hernandez Walta.
These are all characters she’s implied to have some sort of rapport with in the MCU, anon. May has Natasha in her cellphone, Maria talks about her with Ward, Laura names her baby after Natasha, &c &c. For the comic versions, this is what we got:
Laura Barton doesn’t exist in mainline Marvel comics. In Laura Barton’s comic universe, she was murdered by Natasha, who was evil in that AU. People mostly bring this up without the AU context to bash Natasha or the Clint/Natasha ship.
May has only recently been introduced to the comic books and hasn’t interacted with Natasha there, yet.
Bobbi met Natasha when she was married to Clint, who was worried about introducing his new wife to his ex. But instead, they immediately hit it off:
Clint: Oh… uh, ‘Tasha, I don’t think you’ve met the Mockingbird. She and I… that is… you see, we’re… Bobbi: “Married” is the word he’s searching for. Natasha: Really? Congratulations!! It’s always a pleasure to meet a woman as brave as you must be. Bobbi: The pleasure’s mine, Natasha!
I’m not sure that I’d call them friends, since their interaction since then has been mostly incidental. I would say they are work acquaintances that get along well. Bobbi is getting her own ongoing series, soon, so I hope we’ll see her non-Clint relationships developed more in that.
Maria and Natasha have the most developed relationship of the list you gave me. They didn’t get along at first due to SHIELD politics and Maria’s dislike of superheroes, but gradually came to respect each other after being forced on an adventure together. When Maria was reinstated as Director of SHIELD, Natasha became her best and most trusted agent.
Maria: Natasha is sometimes the only person I can confide in. She’s valuable to me— she’s my confidant— precisely because she’s close to no one. Because she’s a loner. Maybe that’s selfish… but there’s… the other part. Isaiah: What’s that? Maria: She’s the only person I’m afraid of.
As SHIELD director Maria is in a position where she needs to be willing to use anyone, at any time, and that stunts all her human connections. She can only confide in Natasha when Natasha is at her most lonely, most distant. And so when Natasha didn’t like the person that Maria’s missions were making of her, she quit. And that’s about the last thing we’ve seen from either of them! I’m very interested to see what their relationship is like going forward.
Panels from Avengers #239 and Black Widow #14.
Natasha: Yes, yes, you’ll all be incredibly useful at trivia night. Bobbi: If we make it to trivia night. Sharon: Last one with an empty clip picks up the bar tab we’re gonna need.
From A-Force #5, by Marguerite Bennett & G. Willow Wilson and Jorge Molina.
Bobbi has a Very Important mug.
From Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1, by Chelsea Cain and Joëlle Jones.
I don’t pick characters to like based on what “list” they’re on, and you’d have a hard time convincing me Natasha is really a-list, unless you’re grading on a curve for female heroes. (Which is what people seem to do, sometimes: only evaluate women against each other, like they exist in a discrete category.)
Anyway, I’m a fan of street-level heroes and Marvel espionage stuff in general. This isn’t like, a secret. Of course I like Bobbi Morse, one-woman Birds of Prey. Bobbi’s inital arc in West Coast Avengers, where she had to balance her SHIELD agent instincts with her new superheroic role, hit a lot of my favorite tropes. I also love Bobbi’s surreal, only-in-comics backstory: not just SHIELD and the skrulls, but her science, her first appearances in the Savage Land. There’s this nifty baseline pulpiness with Bobbi that separates her from the archetypical spy mode, and so many stories Marvel could tell with her that they haven’t.
It goes without saying that I’m really excited for this week’s Mockingbird one-shot.
Bobbi: You said you swept the area? Did you find anything? Specifically, any weapon of Japanese origin?
Natasha: As a matter of fact, yes. These places have lots of hidey holes, used for many different things. But nothing like this.
Bobbi: A kusarigama.
Clint: Another old ninja weapon.
Bobbi: An American spy set up as a member of the Japanes edlegates security team was killed last night with a shinobi-zue.
Natasha: You saw the weapon?
Bobbi: No, but I recognized the wound. And now this. Hidden in a place where only you would find it. Someone knew you would look.
Clint: Breadcrumbs, huh?
Bobbi: How well did you trust this source?
Natasha: They called in on a secure line only I would know.
Bobbi: Two calls, leading two people to the same place. Both counted among the dead, but someone knew they would call us. Or reach us somehow.
Clint contributes approximately nothing to this conversation. Bobbi and Natasha basically talk over him, since they are good at spying and he is not.
From Widowmaker #1, by Jim McCann and David López.
S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 Women of Marvel variant by David Marquez.
Yes, I agree! I’d love to see more of Bobbi, anywhere, really. I think they’ll both show up in the next few issues of Hawkeye, Our Series of Perpetual Delays, based on the cover for issue #21. Whether they will actually interact is something else.
It depends on your definition, I guess. Natasha and Bobbi have interacted several times, usually positively, but most of their interactions run through Clint, and not avengeriffic superspy action.
They met in Avengers #239, and immediately hit it off, but that issue was the “reserve Avengers meet David Letterman” special and not the Natasha plus Bobbi special.
Clint: Oh… uh, ‘Tasha, I don’t think you’ve met the Mockingbird. She and I… that is… you see, we’re… Bobbi: “Married” is the word he’s searching for. Natasha: Really? Congratulations! It’s always a pleasure to meet a woman as brave as you must be! Bobbi: The pleasure’s mine, Natasha! Clint: Whew! They’re hitting it off!
Solo Avengers #14-16 is a Hawkeye/Black Widow team-up, but when Bobbi finds out Clint rushed off sudden to rescue Natasha, she gets suspicious and kinda sorta stalks them.
The closest thing to a Bobbi/Natasha teamup, though, is probably Widowmaker, which is a four issue miniseries crossover between Hawkeye & Mockingbird and Black Widow. The group eventually splits up and so Natasha and Bobbi share as much panelspace as they could, but there are still a few scenes of them interacting.
Bobbi: Everyone— ? Natasha: Yes. I’ve swept the entire facility. Bobbi: How did you find out? Natasha: I still have sources. Just because I’m an Avenger doesn’t mean I’m not still in the game. You? Bobbi: There was a former SHIELD agent stationed here.
Natasha and Bobbi also appear every so often in the current Hawkeye ongoing, and while they’ve each had some significant scenes on their own, when Bobbi and Natasha are on panel together it’s usually to form the Clint Barton bad life choices ex-girlfriend chorus.
Bobbi and Natasha were also on a team during the second volume of Secret Avengers. I almost forgot about this, insert mindwipe joke here.
However obvious this team-up might seem in concept: two SHIELD agent superheroes, there isn’t a whole lot of substance to their interactions. Bobbi’s high times were in the West Coast Avengers era, when Natasha had almost disappeared from the Avengers books altogether. Most of Natasha’s significant appearances came in Daredevil. When Natasha started appearing in Avengers books regularly, Bobbi was killed off the way women often are. Even with her semi-recent resurrection Bobbi and Natasha have usually found themselves in different books on different teams. Since the cancellation of Hawkeye & Mockingbird, Marvel has struggled to stick to a direction for Bobbi Morse. Which is strange, because she’s a character with enough directions to fill a map. Lesson: sometimes comics make it hard to go easy places.