S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 Women of Marvel variant by David Marquez.
I remember attending Toronto Comicon shortly after the release of “Captain Marvel” and seeing a five-year-old girl who’d come in a handmade Captain Marvel outfit with her hair moussed up – and I totally got the need for this book, for this hero. Someone who looks like her, and acts like her. So, in a way, “Captain Marvel” helped pave the road to the expanded role of female leads. “Ms. Marvel,” “Black Widow,” “Elektra,” “She-Hulk,” the all-female “X-Men” book – female heroes anchoring their own series have never been as prevalent in the Marvel Universe, and there’s more to come. There’s a thirst out there for strong female characters, and it’s not just female readers who crave them. Marvel readers want a good story, that’s all.
Variant cover for She-Hulk #1— Amanda Conner sure likes to draw Natasha rolling her eyes.
This isn’t Black Widow news, exactly, but Marvel just announced a new She-Hulk ongoing via USA Today. Having Pulido on interior art with what looks to be a Kevin Wada assist on the cover tells me that I really like the direction this is going. Writer Charles Soule talks about short 1-3 issue story arcs and a quirky feel. To me this seems partly inspired by the success of Hawkeye, and I wonder if we’ll see many other Marvel Now relaunches in that vein: off-beat aesthetics, and a quick pace with a focus on civilian life and character study.
I think that’s a real smart approach for Jen. I think it would have to be tweaked a bit to work for Natasha, whose civilian identities are their own masks.
Of course, they still haven’t officially announced a new Black Widow ongoing. But I’m more excited for that, now, seeing the artistic decisions Marvel made for this new She-Hulk book. If you’re as excited as I am, remember to preorder!
Today I am excited to be a Marvel fan!!
Natasha: I don’t think he’s foaming at the mouth because he lost a hand of poker.
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 Astonishing X-men #62, by Marjorie Liu and Gabriel Hernandez Walta.
ComicsAlliance has been drawing up parody movie Avengers posters, and this is one of them:
Following yesterday’s ‘80s take on the team, we’ve shifted to a more gender-swapped theme that casts the women of Marvel – and one totally goofy character we had to make up – as the stars of the cinematic team-up. Standing in for the mostly male movie team we have She-Hulk, Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Rescue (Pepper Potts), Maria Hill, American Dream, Thor Girl and… um… “Dead Husband” (a male S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who is the opposite of Black Widow? She doesn’t have a real male counterpart!).
The slight irony being that Natasha’s (mostly) dead husband, Red Guardian is a costumed codenamed type that could probably serve as a fair counterpart. Heck, draw him up in the Ronin outfit and you even have a certain visual similarity. Others have suggested Bucky as her opposite number, but I think it’s to the benefit of both characters that they aren’t widely considered opposite numbers. Like all the rule 63 going on in this picture, Alexi was created to deepen Natasha’s mythology and legacy.
Freya: Ages agone, you were cast from the ranks of the Valkyrior. ANd before that, the shieldmaidens were forbidden to enter Midgard. And yet… my sisters— Gaea and Idunn— agree it is time for the Valkyrior to ride once more… and this time with a calling greater than simply ferrying the fallen to Valhalla. Eight women… selected as symbols as valor and honor and reward for those who adhere to their standard. Eight heroes… vigilant in their post against evil… fearless in the execution of their duties. But this time, they will not be chosen from the realm of Asgard. As our kingdom is now upon Midgard, so too shall our shieldmaidens be chosen from among the heroes of Midgard. Chosen— and commanded— by you.
Idunn: And don’t squander my apples this time.
The conclusion of Fearless also set things up for a new Lady Liberators, this go-round inspired by the mythological Valkyrior. To quote Cullen Bunn:
Those last couple of pages were what I was most excited about. And, yeah, while there were some specific characters shown as possibilities, it was never my intention that they would be the ONLY possibilities for a line-up. …I’d love to write something like that. It’s something that’s been in my head for a while and there’s definitely a longer story I’d like to tell. But if it’s something that readers want to see, they need to let Marvel know. I’m sure something will be done with the idea. How and where, though… I dunno.
I’m pretty lukewarm on the Lady Liberators as a concept, but this is a nice update that would give a clear direction for an all-female team, and tie into the current status quo of the MU.
From Fear Itself: The Fearless #12, by Cullen Bunn w/ Matt Fraction & Chris Yost and Paul Pelletier & Mark Bagley.