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Fuck Yeah, Black Widow

Fallaces sunt rerum species

Здравствуйте from FYBW, your one-stop tumblr shop for Black Widow news, no-prizing, and oversaturated .gifs. Some MCU, mostly comics. Often overwritten. Always overthinking.

Black Widow created by Lee, Rico and Heck & is © Marvel Entertainment.

Natasha plays the dating game with Steve but never makes herself a contestant. She flirts because that hooks at Steve’s vulnerabilities, and Natasha needs to look for vulnerabilities. She latches onto his loneliness because it covers up her own. And that loneliness is her own, a legacy of some unspoken past; it can’t be kissed better by some gallant-eyed prince charming. Her resolution is no romantic comedy.
Dran: Miss Natasha, you come here, I hope, with some knews for me.
Natasha: Damon Dran?
Dran: Yes, old friend. And you have endangered my life coming here, Black Widow.
Meanwhile, some thirty feet below, in a concrete bunker built by Damon Dran…
Danny: Uh-oh… the sounds’ve stopped next door… Dran must be finished… which means I haven’t got much time left. When Tasha and I broke into Project Four, we were acting under orders… orders we didn’t really understand… and because we followed those orders, sixteen men died… I’ve carried that guilt for years…

Damon Dran dates back to the Conway/Colan days of Daredevil and Black Widow; he was the vague mastermind behind Project Four. Infiltrating Project Four was Natasha’s first mission, and she knew what she was doing, and she didn’t know what she was doing. Danny French was her partner on that mission, and neither of them thought about what the mission was, only executing it. They didn’t know Damon Dran was behind it all, until he returned and started stuffed them into these armored seat-belts he seems really fond of.

Dran would use Project Four to turn himself into the Indestructible Man. He later kidnapped Ivan and attempted to frame Natasha for the assassination of Nick Fury, and then after that he ran into something named Americop.

The Project Four flashbacks are interesting because even some decades later we don’t have much on panel that shows us when she was bad. We have her training, and her childhood, but not Black Widow: Soviet Agent. The old Natasha has some of her innocence, still, and because of that innocence she is quick to anger, violent, not cold combat methodical. She is good at fighting and accomplishes her mission, but she is not good at questions, trusts where she shouldn’t, and more people die. Dran only emerges years later, after Natasha has learned to ask better. (People still die, though. Danny French sacrifices himself like most men who get mixed up with Black Widow during the Bronze Age.)

The current volume of Black Widow has been building a world around Natasha, giving her a new apartment, new villains, a new supporting cast. I think this is smart—it keeps the book approachable and gives it space to grow its own stories without running up into seventeen Avengers tie-ins. I am, moreover, pretty sure only a small percentage of readers saw this Damon Dran reveal and immediately recalled his appearance in Marvel Fanfare #13. But everything has a past, and it doesn’t always hurt to be reminded.

From Black Widow #5, by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto, & Daredevil and the Black Widow #93 by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan.

Hello, world— I want to watch a Black Widow movie because I am a fan of Black Widow, because superhero spy stories are my jam, because I want to see Yelena and Alexi and all of that brought to life and breathing. It is not a generic yearning for a woman-shaped hero movie. I mention gender a lot because that seems to me the big obstacle; the Black Widow film they had in development before Iron Man and the rest was cancelled because of the failure of Ultraviolet and Elektra, cancelled because Natasha’s gender seemed like a box office risk. My desire for a Black Widow film is rooted and specific, it’s not going to be satisfied by anything but a Black Widow film.

No one suggests Ant-Man, instead, when people say they want a Hawkeye film, though both characters are big deal Avengers and Clint used Pym Particles that one time. We are allowed to assume Hawkeye means Hawkeye, and not some other dude. When the internet talks about Black Widow, though, it comes back like lightning: what about Ms. Marvel? Kevin Feige has suggested that the calls for a Black Widow movie are just calls for a female lead, and have nothing to do with Natasha. But when I say I want a Black Widow movie, I mean I want a Black Widow movie.

That doesn’t mean all I want is a Black Widow movie. I’d love to see Carol Danvers punch holes in the sky— but that would be a film about going up, flying further, far-off planets and distant stars. It wouldn’t be anything like a Black Widow movie. I’d love to see Wonder Woman bring love into the language of the superhero action film, I want to see Angela del Toro make hard choices about legacy and what Monica Rambeau’s spectrum of powers could look like with a big budget. But none of these are Black Widow movies, none of them are replacements. None of them should be. They have their own adjectives, their own themes and history. They’re characters, superheroes, not just shapes to fill a gap.

Avenger Black Widow is one of the best bets »



Kevin Feige’s is undoubtedly a genius, and his handling of the Marvel Studios movies will go down as legendary. The guy’s done so much good, including picking so many great people to create these films and execute their vision. Hats off to him forever!

But yeah, his wavering back and forth on Black Widow’s viability as a solo star is annoying. Sometimes he’s all for it (which leads to things like the IMDB posting) and sometimes he says she’s been in too many movies and someone else should get a turn. And if he wanted it, it would happen. “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Doctor Strange” got pushed through or are getting pushed through because Feige’s been talking about them nonstop in almost every interview for the past six years. Seriously. 

It’s quicksand logic: we can’t have Carol Danvers, or Jessica or Monica or Jennifer, because those characters remain unknowns, too much budget for someone too few have heard of. But when Marvel spends its time building Natasha up and giving her real profile, it’s someone else’s turn for the spotlight. Even though no female-led superfilm has yet been announced. Even though Natasha hasn’t made it to the spotlight.

The reason Marvel Studios hasn’t made a female-led film isn’t because no one’s established enough and Natasha is too established, it’s because they’ve chosen to spend time and energy and money developing properties like Doctor Strange and Ant-Man instead of Captain Marvel and Black Widow.