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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.

frontalnerdaty asked: Hey, first up this page has become a go-to source for me and I really love how in depth you go. Do you have a 'must read' list you'd recommend for Black Widow? I'm not entirely un-informed but I'm always on the look out for more.

This would probably be a good time to point out my newly-updated recommendations post! It has the obvious starting places and some of my favorite older stuff and cameos as well.

Anonymous asked: I don't know if you read the new Wolverine ogoing but in the first issue there was a kind of flirty scene between him and Natasha and it made me super uncomfortable because they relationship is not like that at all.

I did read it, yeah.  Here is the scene in question, for reference:

Logan: I handled enough (guns) during World War II, Natasha.
Natasha: during the war you handled a lot of things. Logan: You flirtin’ with me, Black Widow?
Natasha: I do everything for a reason.
LMD: Hi, I’m your target for today.
Logan: WHAT THE HELL?!
Natasha: My Life Model Duplicate. An android of me. You  need to shoot at something real. You need to shot at something that is, for you, emotionally difficult.

You’re right that “flirty” is not how I’d describe their relationship.  Natasha knew Logan during World War II, when she was a young girl— and, “hey, remember when I was ten” is not a great way to frame a pick-up line. I think Paul Cornell is familiar with the continuity involved, since he wrote Black Widow: Deadly Origin, which deals with their shared past plenty.

So, I read this scene as deliberately uncomfortable.  Logan’s reaction, Natasha’s response, it all seems calculated to let the reader know this is something west of usual going on.  In the bottom left panel, Natasha doesn’t look doe-eyed, she looks like a skeleton, like an aspect of death.  Her whole training exercise is built to push Wolverine out of his comfort zone, to remind him that knowing how to shoot isn’t the same as knowing how to survive, and she’s manipulating his emotions to that effect.

Whether the sequence is successful is something else, and up to you, anon. For me, the cameo is too short for me to really love or hate.

Panels from Wolverine #1, by Paul Cornell and Ryan Stegman.

scarboroughdebutante asked: okay, so I have a question. Stephanie Hans did that very dope original sin image, BUT the suit was unzipped, how do you feel about that?

I prefer the suit zipped up, but what really bugs me about the zipper down is the way comic books do creepy things with it.

In the films, Natasha’s zipper is a little pulled down, but because it’s on an actual person this doesn’t result in perfectly spherical mega-breasts erupting, commanding attention every shot. In comics, where both gravity and human anatomy are less of a constraint, this is a clear and present danger. Necklines will plunge deep enough that Natasha’s costume has no clear way of staying up. It prioritizes boobs over storytelling, makes her look ridiculous, makes comics look ridiculous, and not in a way that is fun for me.

The Stephanie Hans image doesn’t do that. It suffers from a major case of floaty lightning eyeball, but the attention is still on the mood of the piece and also the floaty lightning eyeball, not presenting as much cleavage as possible. I think in this particular case, the slight unzip might even make sense as a mood and storytelling choice: Natasha is vulnerable, unprepared.

Basically if this is what comics usually did with the zipper I wouldn’t have such a huge zipper hang-up!! And truth be told I usually approach Black Widow stuff looking for a way to like it, not ways to post angry rants to my tumblr.

Anonymous asked: I apologize if someone has already asked you this question (I couldn't find it if they did) but do you know a reliable place to buy the new BW issues online?

Comixology is your best bet for digital comics. If you want to subscribe via mail Marvel usually a page for that, but it’s currently down. But the Midtown Comics website they apparently use is up, and you can set up a pull list there and subscribe that way. I use a similar service at Things From Another World, a chain of comic stores local to me.

Anonymous asked: I love that we'll be seeing more of Natasha in Cap 2; but do you feel like anything is lost by removing a personal connection to Bucky? I'm not saying her only use is as a love interest; but if Bucky is HYDRA and there is no history between them, why use her in the first place? :/ I mean I'll never turn down the chance to see more of her, but why not just expand Sharon's role and let her be the female lead? Is it just be cause Natasha is a more high profile, well established super spy badass?

Look: I’d be okay with Natasha not appearing in this film and also Steve not appearing in this film and it just being a surprise Sharon Carter movie!! But it’s kind of dot dot dotting the way fandom assumes that the roles Sharon plays in the original Winter Soldier arc and the role Natasha plays in this movie are interchangeable, like puzzle pieces. If the script treats them that way, it will fail them both.

It seems to me one of Natasha’s roles in this film is as foil for Steve, not necessarily the foil Sharon would have been, not the partner Sam can be. Because Natasha is an established character, established as a SHIELD agent, and someone audiences have seen work with Steve before, they can build on that and handwave in a couple off-camera missions in the space between films. Sam and Sharon don’t have that sort of history. They need to be introduced. The original Winter Soldier arc takes advantage of Steve’s rich mythology, the connections he’s made with forty years of defrosting. The MCU adaptation doesn’t have that to rely on. It has to start building itself up.

As for Winter Soldier: no, I don’t think much is lost besides a potential way into future Bucky/Natasha plotlines, and even that is something they can add later if that’s the direction they wind up going. The essential questions posed— SHIELD and spying and what it means to serve a military bureaucracy, about who is responsible, the orders or the person carrying them out, who kills, the gun or the hand that pulls the trigger— this is all stuff that drips red for Natasha. She doesn’t need soft-focus makeout scenes with the bad guy to have an emotional stake in the story.

(And if makeout scenes are your deal, I think the Bucky/Natasha relationship is more about forgiveness and moving forward than it is about flashbacks. The thematic resonance exists whether or not the past relationship does.)

Anyway, Anon, the point of Natasha being in this film is to be Natasha. That is an imperative all by itself. She has her own space in the MCU to fill and her own plots to develop, and if this movie does that then I will be happy with it.

spyingasoldier asked: Does her belt have any function? because i've never seen her using it, and theres some bars on her back between the circles that i don't get a reason for that lol

The bars that you mention on the back are extra batteries for her Widow’s Bite. If you notice, they’re the exact same size as the sections on her wrists. It’s all spelled out in the black jumpsuit’s very first appearance, back when superheroes had to explain getting dressed out loud to no one in particular and with lots of exclamation points:

This chain belt I’ve added will be more than decorative! It’ll hold my spare web-line… and store the powerlets for my Widow’s Bite! There! With my modified wrist-shooters in position, I’m ready for anything!

Here in this story the circles hold extra wire, too.  In the 1982 original Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, the belt was described as having her belt of “metallic disc-cartridges” was described as containing “a plastic explosive equivalent to 4 pounds of TNT. So, it’s also full of bombs.

Neither of these details are remembered particularly often in comics, especially since the look of her belt varies so much from artist to artist. Sometimes the belt develops strange new powers: in Fear Itself: the Black Widow Natasha has a signal jamming device hidden in one of the belt sections. 

I, for one, would like to see her carry around some kind of anti-mindwipe spray.

Panels from Amazing Spider-Man #86.