I was given a second chance. I was more than a butcher. But this is my house.
Lobo: What are you doing?
Natasha: Some housecleaning.
I was talking some, somewhere else, about how Natasha thinks she’s a little bit above the rules, something that comes to play here in Black Widow #3. Natasha compares herself to Lobo here and decides that she is worth saving, and he isn’t. She tanks her mission last-minute because can’t be responsible for giving a butcher back his freedom and his knife drawer.
Natasha’s stories are full of ignoring Fury’s orders and doing things her own way, it is a common trope in spy fiction— fictional spies usually don’t have a slavish devotion to authority because their work requires them to operate outside the normal boundaries of society and morality. A good agent needs to be able to think outside the mission, and Natasha needs to know when the mission is not worth doing. I mean, she is an Avenger and a spy, which is kind of a contradiction in terms. Like I said: the rules don’t apply.
There is some criticism of the current volume and how often Natasha seems to get blindsided, how often her missions drift south and how she doesn’t have contingencies wrapped in contingencies. And I agree, to a certain point— I would like to see her win. I am biased. But Natasha isn’t a good agent because she can follow directions to the letter, she is the best agent because she knows when she shouldn’t. She has back up: safehouses, extraction plans. She never gets blown away.
From Black Widow #3, by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto.