Classic Avengers kicking butt:
Black Widow, HellCat & Scarlet Witch
Classic Avengers kicking butt:
Black Widow, HellCat & Scarlet Witch
Giant-Size Little Marvel #3 by Jim Cheung and Laura Martin.
I’m a one woman army .
Hercules: Still the mortals stop to stare at me! Is my appearance somehow amiss?
Wanda: On the contrary, Hercules! As the slogan says, you must be doing something right!
Clint: Well, pretty lady, it looks like you get stuck with nothing but a plain-clothes archer!
Natasha: I shall try to survive, my darling… as long as you keep paying me compliments!
From Avengers #46, by Roy Thomas and John Buscema.
Natasha: Your friend went home. She seemed bothered, but I think she is okay.
Wanda: Ah! What— Jean left? But… but…
Natasha: Westerners are not used to such discomfort. You strike me as from the Carpathians, like much of my family. Ride?
Wanda: I don’t— yes, I am— um… yes? Where are you from?
Natasha: Russia. I am Natasha. And you?
Wanda: I’m Wanda.
Inspired kinda by this post.
From X-men: First Class #9, by Jeff Parker and Julia Bax.
I should say, re: all the articles going around headlined NO BLACK WIDOW MERCHANDISE FOR NEW FILM, AGAIN, that I’m kind of annoyed by Scarlet Witch’s similar lack of merch is relatively dismissed. The whole “she’s an unknown character” excuse doesn’t fly, because I see Vision FunkoPops and Vision on t-shirts and Vision generally existing, and Wanda, well, not as much. The fact that women need to show up in three films to get the same kind of merch treatment as a supporting male character in one (1) movie is the exact root of the problem.
While Marvel Studios might care some about its female characters and the films themselves draw diverse crowds & family audiences, Disney’s merchandising remains rigidly gendered. Because they already hold a stranglehold on the “girls toy” market with their Princess brand, they do not care about featuring women in their superhero shirts or action figure playsets. Nevermind for a minute that this divide between princess and heroes is artificial and restrictive. By erasing the female Avengers from toys marketed at boys, you create an imaginary space for young children where women do not matter, women do not exist.
We need Black Widow and Scarlet Witch toys, please and thank you.
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) returns to the fray as the deadly and beautiful super-spy turned hero. Her intelligence, resources and lethal fighting ability far outweigh her lack of “super” powers. With the threat of Ultron looming, Natasha will need to confront the demons of her shadowy past and draw strength from her teammates to defeat him.
They’re not that different. Wanda shares way more thematic space with Natasha than she does with, say, Steve, and that doesn’t stop those two from hanging out, making out, whatever. Of course, Wanda doesn’t really show up in his solo unless it’s a group shot of all the Avengers so maybe it does stop them from hanging out, making out, whatever.
They’ve been in quite a few of the same issues, like you said, but often, they’re on different trajectories, dealing with different subplots. For example, Natasha shows up in Avengers vol 1 #29, but Wanda is losing her powers and leaves the team the next issue. They’re both consistently in Avengers for about a year in 1967, but Natasha’s got her own thing going on and then she quits being a superhero and Wanda gets kidnapped. Then you get into the Korvac Saga where they’re both there, but neither one is the focus.
There a couple of moments where they say hi to each other. That’s about the depth of their interaction in those early issues of Avengers. Later on, there’s this, which I posted a couple of weeks ago, but it isn’t much. They also have a couple of panels of small talk in Avengers vol 1 #112.
NATASHA: You’re acting much more girlish these days than the Scarlet Witch I remember, Wanda.
WANDA: Well, I’m much more in love these days.
Avengers Vol. 1 #112 by Steve Englehart & Don Heck
Funny story about these panels: they exist because a girl wrote a letter to Marvel saying Wanda was acting too masculine and should be more feminine now that she was with Vision. There was a big fight in the letter columns about this, and Marvel felt the need to throw in a few lines in different issues about how feminine Wanda was all of a sudden. Can’t have anyone thinking your lady characters aren’t girly enough.
There is also the period in the early-mid ’90s where they were leading separate teams and interacted a little because of that. Most of that is very minor. One panel of coordinating whose team is going to do what and whether or not the other one knows anything type of thing. What may be of interest to you is Force Works #13-14, assuming you can tolerate the Force Works-iness of it.
WANDA: We have two concerns here — the immediate problem of the escapees and this extradition order! Let’s go with pooling resources and draw up two mission teams. One goes after the fugitives. The other can… discuss the Skrull proposal.
NATASHA: Agreed. That should calm things down, at least. I can see why Anthony put you in charge.
WANDA: It’s a shame he can’t.
NATASHA: Ouch. Did I just hit a raw nerve?
WANDA: Skip it.
Force Works #13 by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning & Dave Ross
They’re both leading their respective teams and trying to work together despite disagreeing. It’s not a catfight, just a disagreement. Eventually, Wanda concedes that Natasha was right, and Natasha is impressed with Wanda’s… Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning Wanda-ness. (Have I mentioned lately that these guys write a very good Wanda? Because they do.)
So, no, they don’t talk about anything personal. Not their romantic lives or their past villainy or men trying to control them or having their memories messed with or Communism or how strange it must be to them that Western men want to wear spangly outfits and call themselves “Captain America” (and sure, you love the guy but it’s so weird that he’s doing that).
If you’re looking outside of 616, there’s Black Widow & the Marvel Girls #2, which presents about as distinct of a relationship as you’ll find for them, but it’s negative. In that, Wanda thinks Natasha is humorless and untrustworthy. I don’t know what their relationship should be, if anything, but I’m going to go with, probably not like it was there.
After the issue of All-New X-Factor that had Wanda in it came out, I had it in my head that I should write about how Wanda and Natasha can sometimes represent a take on the Madonna/Whore Complex as applied to Eastern European women. Wanda is, from time to time (like in that issue of All-New X-Factor), written as this naive, foreign farm girl who doesn’t understand all your modern Western ways. She’s a wide-eyed, old-fashioned ingenue, innocent and child-like, probably a milkmaid or a mail order bride whose only desire in the world is pleasing you, both through food and sex. And then you have Natasha who can, on these rare occasions, get shoved into this box of godless Commie honey trap. It doesn’t happen often and that isn’t who Natasha is at all, but people like their stereotypes.
If you look critically not just at the way they’re written but at the way they’re viewed by real people despite how they’re written, you see this perfect example of how we reduce women, especially women who are Other, to exaggerated versions of Good Girl and Bad Girl. Natasha is a spy, and people seem to think that means she’s only useful for her ability to seduce men, which she doesn’t actually do much of. Natasha is glamorous and mysterious, whereas Wanda is, well, a farm girl. She wears a peasant dress in all her origin story flashbacks and married a man who some don’t think has, ahem, certain equipment, which makes her almost sexless by extension in some people’s eyes. Yeah, Wanda is presented as sexy, but there is this over-the-top innocence that gets added to it (not always, but we’re talking about not so great portrayals here). She’s desirable; it’s just tempered with the implication that she is somehow still a little girl. Which is super creepy.
Anyway, I didn’t write the essay because I couldn’t figure out what to write, beyond what I just said. It just ended up being “sexism is bad, y’all” and that didn’t seem worth the effort.
S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 Women of Marvel variant by David Marquez.