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Fuck Yeah, Black Widow

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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.

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IRON MAN EPIC COLLECTION: THE GOLDEN AVENGER TPB
Written by STAN LEE with ROBERT BERNSTEIN, DON RICO, LARRY LIEBER & AL HARTLEY
Penciled by DON HECK with JACK KIRBY & STEVE DITKO
Cover by JACK KIRBY
Marvel had hit after hit in 1963, bringing new characters and fresh concepts to a public primed and ready for heroes with feet of clay. And none touched both that heroic ideal and human reality like Iron Man! A jet-setter, playboy and brilliant scientist, Tony Stark had his life changed forever when a battlefield explosion ripped into his heart — and only the amazing Iron Man armor could keep him alive! Stan Lee and Don Heck built the foundation that would turn Iron Man into a cultural icon. Now, you can experience his earliest adventures in this Epic volume collecting their complete original run. Featuring the evolution of the Iron Man armor, and the first appearances of Hawkeye and the Black Widow, they’re true classics from cover to cover! Collecting material from TALES OF SUSPENSE (1959) #39-72.

Here’s a new paperback reprinting early Tales of Suspense stories. The “Epic Collections” seem to be a replacement for the discontinued “Essential Marvel” line. This volume contains all of Natasha’s early supervillain adventures, so it’s a nice buy for a completist. The Sting of the Widow hardcover skips from Natasha’s first appearance here to Amazing Spider-Man #86, missing a lot of stories and character development. My personal favorite Soviet spy Natasha story, Tales of Suspense #53, is rarely collected except in big volumes like this one.

Clint: Okay, DD, on your feet. The fight’s over— and the best man won again! Now, you just let Tasha go, an’—
Matt: You… poor dope. I’ve been trying to tell you—! I have no hold over Tasha— couldn’t tie her down if I wanted to!
Clint: Whaa-at!? But back at her house—! You—
Matt: I was jealous! That doesn’t mean the Widow cared!
But you were too into fighting to noctice that, so—
Clint: Aw, rats!
Matt: — the only way I can figure to stop you is this!

From Daredevil #99, by Steve Gerber and Sam Kweskin.

Natasha: No matter what you do to me! I’m through serving your evil schemes!
Khrushchev: I thought you might react that way! And so, I took the liberty of bringing your parents here! If you have no fear for yourself, surely you don’t want the state to treat them as parents of a— traitor!
Natasha: Mother! Father! Oh, no!
Father: Do not fear for us, my daughter! Do what you feel is right!
Natasha: But I could not let any harm befall my parents! And so…
Natasha: And the warmth of my parents— my… parents… makes up for… no… no, that’s not right…

The classic Black Widow children’s story is Daredevil #88: in the hollows of Stalingrad, 1943, a soldier looking for his dead sister finds an orphan girl in the ruins. But before that issue, when she was bad Natasha had these nameless parents, that her masters threatened to keep her stick straight. This 1965 scene was the first hint at Natasha’s inevitable defection. Strangely, she never thought of her parents again, even after she left the Soviets for keeps. Even though at one point they’d been all that was keeping her for leaving. Then her backstory became something else, and it was easy to drift over this panel. Maybe Natasha had been lying about her change of heart, and about her parents. She’d lied to Hawkeye before.

Several retcons later, Paul Cornell and John Paul Leon wrapped it back into Natasha’s tangled history. Her parents weren’t real, but she thought they were, for a while. Notice how bit from Black Widow: Deadly Origins #2 clearly references Tales of Suspense #64.

From Tales of Suspense #64 by Stan Lee and Don Heck & Black Widow: Deadly Origin #2 by Paul Cornell and John Paul Leon.

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Natasha’s original living situation was penthouse, Fifth Avenue. It made sense, in the nonsense way that comics do. She is something of a tower, you know, high and strong and difficult to scale, beautiful from a distance but difficult to see all of from up close. But one curious thing that comics left is that Natasha didn’t stay there. She was restless, she had to punch things. She posed in Daily Bugle pictures with the sort of people who society never lets climb towers.

The sjw street justice direction for Natasha has come and gone, but she doesn’t live in a tower anymore, either. She lives in an immigrant neighborhood, close to the ground.

From Amazing Adventures #3, by Gary Friedrich and Gene Colan.