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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.

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I remember the last time I was here. I loved this place so. Damn you, Henry McCoy, for being so incredibly boring that I didn’t listen to you talk about time travel.

Secret Avengers #20 introduces another place of living for Natasha, after we went through a whole ongoing volume without seeing her apartment. This is a villa in Trieste, Italy, decorated largely traditionally. It exists isolated on its own small island off-shore, and has stockpiles of money, weapons and documents hidden in the basement.

Natasha doesn’t really have a Batcave, a regular HQ, which is in part because she’s only sporadically published solo. This villa serves as one for the four months or so the SA #20 mission takes, and, as she explains, she loves this house, or did. Trieste lies on the border between Italy and (once-communist) Slovenia, and has a history of changing hands, being independent, and being annexed.

In any case, Natasha describes it as a place she could love, a place she did love, once. So it’s fitting that she’s the one who destroys it in the course of the issue, a necessity of her long life and an occupation that means she must be forever moving on.

From Secret Avengers #20, by Warren Ellis and Alex Maleev.

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One of the things I actually really loved from the Richard K. Morgan minis (shocker!) is Natasha’s drastic relocation to Arizona isolationism. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the luxe New York bachelorette pads preferably complete with ludicrous spy-fi gizmos. But Natasha, unlike the rest of the Marvel Universe, isn’t rooted in NYC, and that’s one of the things I like about her. The move plays to her superficial mutability. In my mind, she’s the sort of person who is always redecorating, always updating her wardrobe, always trying new hairstyles, knowing that variety is some kind of lifespice and it won’t change the person she is deep down.

I like to imagine Natasha as the sort of person who could be perfectly content in a luxe Manhattan penthouse and in some kitschy Arizona hovel. That’s just how she rolls.

From Black Widow #1, by Richard K. Morgan and Bill Sienkiewicz.

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Tandy: This is nice.
Natasha: You haven’t seen the apartment yet.
Tandy: I know. This building is beautiful, Black Widow.
Natasha: Please, call me Natasha. Is this nicer than your place, Dagger?
Tandy: I don’t really have a place.
Natasha: Where do you sleep?
Tandy: In churches, mostly. Cloak and I felt safe, there.

More from the ever-continuing saga of Natasha’s apartments. By the end of this series Natasha had invited both Dagger and Cloak to live with her, and she didn’t kick them out when the team disbanded in the final issue. (Obviously they moved out eventually, but there’s no how and why.) Marvel Knights also solved the issue of how Natasha was paying for her fabulous socialite lifestyle— SHIELD paychecks.

Though really, Natasha, this is a penthouse apartment on Central Park South, it is nicer than everyone’s place. I figure she knows that and was just needling out whether or not Dagger was really homeless, but that strikes me as kind of an asshole way of doing it.

From Marvel Knights #4, by Chuck Dixon and Ed Baretto.

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Approximately twenty five hundred miles east, the day is three hours older. But in this sumptuously appointed Park Avenue penthouse apartment, the only resident lies wrapped still in the gentle arms of Morpheus.

"Wrapped in the gentle arms of Morpheus" sounds like the kind of metaphor a fanfic writer would come up with after having a mythology section in her high school English class. But yes, back to my ongoing examination of where Natasha lives— note the Old World traditonal decor, a bit different from Gulacy’s mod spy bachelorette pad.

From Iron Man #269, by John Byrne and Paul Ryan.

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Matt: We both needed to get out of that rat race— more than either of us can ever know. Let’s see now. According to my trusty radar sense— this room is filled with furniture— and sheets.
Natasha: I rented it furnished, Matt. It belonged to some old dowager. Her estate kept it intact after she died. But come on, Matt. You haven’t been upstairs. I’m planning on turning this place into a studio. After all, the Black Widow doesn’t get paid for her derring-do— and Madame Natasha is just about broke. I’ve always had a flair for design—
Matt: And better to break into fashion than mooch off of Matt Murdock, right, ‘Tasha? If that’s how you want it, that’s how it’ll be.
Natasha: Oh, Matt— you’re wonderful.
Ivan: So’re the Dodgers, sister. Where’d you say you wanted these bags?

More about the west coast move! So here we see Natasha’s insistence on financial self-reliance (and fabulous style)— which would become a bizarre plot point later in the Gerber run. More pressingly: fuck you Ivan, don’t come into San Francisco and start talking about how the Dodgers are terrific. Unacceptable. No wonder they retconned you evil.

From Daredevil #87, by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan.