Teenage Boy: She’s down! And— Willie’s gonna— no! She can’t die for me! She can’t!!
Natasha: Ivan— did you see? He— he just—
Ivan: Easy, kid. Come away from there. Come away… please.
This is the origin of the “Widow’s Curse,” the idea that Natasha is doomed to kill anything she tries to save, brought to you by Bronze Age melodrama and the letter B. Paul Cornell brought this idea back and recrafted it into a nano-STD and an easy analogue for slut shaming, but the original thematics came from a chaste place, cut with the sharp and spectral knife of irony.
So here goes Natasha’s Gift of the Magi: on Christmas Eve she stops a young man from jumping off a bridge, only to habe him fall to his death saving her. And just to twist the knife, she didn’t need to be saved— her suit clings to walls, her gauntlets and stacked with grappling hooks, she’s done daring roof-dive after daring roof-dive in the regular pursuit of a superheroic career. She’s fighting to keep her attacker from falling off the ledge, not just to keep herself on it. But Junior can’t see that. (Remember, True Believers: Natasha is meant to be a mystery.)
This issue is cover dated a few years before the death of Gwen Stacy, so the theme of teen suicide is a bit radical, and the ending, where the good guys lose, is keener in its context. This is where Marvel first tried to craft stories of what Natasha might be, alone, and what she is and where she comes from is loss.
From Amazing Adventures #5, by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan.