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  1. #721
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I was wondering, what are some people's thoughts on Natasha's use of seduction in some stories?
    I mean, she's a spy, so it comes with the job description pretty much.

    Her attractiveness is as much of a weapon as her skills and Widow's Sting.

  2. #722
    trente-et-un/treize responsarbre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I was wondering, what are some people's thoughts on Natasha's use of seduction in some stories?
    I think my favorite thing about Natasha (and part of the core of her character) is that when the seduction thing ever comes up, it's usually a twist on the idea or it has Natasha reflecting on how much she hates it. There are more stories where she deliberately disguises herself as some boring unassuming man than where she ever seduces someone for info.

  3. #723
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Who's Velvet?
    It was an espionage comic Brubaker and Epting did for Image a couple of years ago. It's basically the Black Widow comic we should be getting as opposed to the ones we are getting now.

  4. #724
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    Quote Originally Posted by responsarbre View Post
    I think my favorite thing about Natasha (and part of the core of her character) is that when the seduction thing ever comes up, it's usually a twist on the idea or it has Natasha reflecting on how much she hates it. There are more stories where she deliberately disguises herself as some boring unassuming man than where she ever seduces someone for info.
    I actually really like a scene from Secret Avengers where BW gives the team some intel and O'Grady Ant-Man says something like, "How'd she get that info? You think she slept with some guy? I bet she slept with some guy!" But the reader knows it was a SHEILD sting op and BW was disguised just some waitress.

  5. #725
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed2962 View Post
    It was an espionage comic Brubaker and Epting did for Image a couple of years ago. It's basically the Black Widow comic we should be getting as opposed to the ones we are getting now.
    If I may ask, exactly what does it do that Black Widow comics aren't doing now?

  6. #726
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    If I may ask, exactly what does it do that Black Widow comics aren't doing now?
    The all around product is just better. The writing is more complex and Epting's art is top notch. Flaviano is not bad, but a little ill-suited for this title. I was at first excited when I saw Mooney's previews for the first issue of WoBW, but the visuals in the most recent issue really let me down.

    I thought the Waid/Samee run was really good, so I've been disappointed with sub-par elements of the recent two minis.

  7. #727
    I hate Christmas Matternativ's Avatar
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    I didn't even like the Samnee one. Just felt very same old-same old to me.

    Another female spy as opponent? Check
    Hunted by her past? Check
    Bucky is there for reasons? Check
    She can't ask friends for help? Check

    But ey, don't want to take away from your enjoyment. Just my thoughts on that run and way too many others.
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  8. #728
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    If I may ask, exactly what does it do that Black Widow comics aren't doing now?
    The Black Widow comics aren't integrating Natasha into solid friendships and romances. As I mentioned previously - The Name of the Rose is my favorite 5 part story, and Ellis's Secret Avengers one-shot and KSD's two-shot Avengers Assemble pieces are next.

    It's not that the current stories are dark. It's not that Natasha is a darker hero who makes decisions we might not approve of. It's that none of them are really giving Natasha the weight in universe that she deserves given her connections to the other characters. There were hints of that in the first issues of the two miniseries - between Nat and Cap in the Soska one, and between Nat and Tony in the Houser one now - but they are pale echos of the connections between Nat, Logan, Bucky, Steve, and Tony in Name of the Rose, or Nat and her teammates in Ellis or Nat, Hawkeye, and Jess in KSD.

    Quote Originally Posted by ed2962 View Post
    The all around product is just better. The writing is more complex and Epting's art is top notch. Flaviano is not bad, but a little ill-suited for this title. I was at first excited when I saw Mooney's previews for the first issue of WoBW, but the visuals in the most recent issue really let me down.

    I thought the Waid/Samee run was really good, so I've been disappointed with sub-par elements of the recent two minis.
    I think while Mooney's art was a letdown in the most recent issue, his first two issues were very strong. But Houser's writing, as I feared from when she was first announced, is just so generic. Yet ANOTHER Red Room/red in ledger story, but without the warmth and appeal that KSD put into the same basic setup. Houser writes a world where nobody is very appealing, and thus when they're killed off, it's just really bland.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matternativ View Post
    I didn't even like the Samnee one. Just felt very same old-same old to me.

    Another female spy as opponent? Check
    Hunted by her past? Check
    Bucky is there for reasons? Check
    She can't ask friends for help? Check

    But ey, don't want to take away from your enjoyment. Just my thoughts on that run and way too many others.
    These are all solid critiques, but my biggest problem is that the issues and arcs veered wildly from each other in tone, seriousness, type of story, and characters. I'd go from expecting a confrontation with one big bad to getting something completely different. And while Samnee's art was very nice, it wasn't nearly as powerful as when he drew Nat during his Captain America period with Brubaker.

    Add to that the final conflict being yet another incredibly cliched Red Room problem? The run felt really like a wash to me.
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  9. #729
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    If I may ask, what type of non-Red Room threat would you like to see Natasha take on?

    As for the lack of connections to other characters, I can see the logic that such people would be too overt for an espionage story.

  10. #730
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    If I may ask, what type of non-Red Room threat would you like to see Natasha take on?

    As for the lack of connections to other characters, I can see the logic that such people would be too overt for an espionage story. Throw in the Radioactive Man to mix things up.
    Speaking for myself, I 'd like a stable supporting cast and a blend of "realistic" espionage/terrorism/cybercrime/organized crime vs super heroics. There's no shortage of established assassins and arms dealers she can fight. No reason we can't get BW vs AIM or the Hand or whoever.
    Last edited by ed2962; 11-14-2019 at 10:57 AM.

  11. #731
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    If I may ask, what type of non-Red Room threat would you like to see Natasha take on?

    As for the lack of connections to other characters, I can see the logic that such people would be too overt for an espionage story.
    I have no problem with Natasha facing threats from Russia tied to her past - I just grow exceedingly weary of them having the exact same plan every time.

    It's a superhero universe where Natasha's been alive since the 1920s. I don't feel the need for logic which "dictates" a story that is less interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by ed2962 View Post
    Speaking for myself, I 'd like a stable supporting cast and a blend of "realistic" espionage/terrorism/cybercrime/organized crime vs super heroics. There's no shortage of established assassins and arms dealers she can fight. No reason we can't get BW vs AIM or the Hand or whoever.
    I'd love to see BW taking out large cells of a big spy/corporation. I just want it to be more interesting than "bland unappealing nobodies we've never heard of before."
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  12. #732
    Extraordinary Member Winterboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    I'd love to see BW taking out large cells of a big spy/corporation. I just want it to be more interesting than "bland unappealing nobodies we've never heard of before."
    Me too.
    I would like to see it all in a MAX series.
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  13. #733
    I hate Christmas Matternativ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post

    These are all solid critiques, but my biggest problem is that the issues and arcs veered wildly from each other in tone, seriousness, type of story, and characters. I'd go from expecting a confrontation with one big bad to getting something completely different. And while Samnee's art was very nice, it wasn't nearly as powerful as when he drew Nat during his Captain America period with Brubaker.

    Add to that the final conflict being yet another incredibly cliched Red Room problem? The run felt really like a wash to me.
    That was much more ind-fepzh. I just threw some complaints at the wall haha. But yes I agree with those too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    If I may ask, what type of non-Red Room threat would you like to see Natasha take on?

    As for the lack of connections to other characters, I can see the logic that such people would be too overt for an espionage story.
    Then maybe don't do an espionage story in the first place for a change. NAT as a fish out if water having to adapt to a new situation could be great stuff.
    Hell you can even leave earth for that and have her crash-land on some planet. If you really want to you can totally make that work but I get that's not every odys cup of tea (hell, Nat lowering her own stock to that of Frank Castle earlier in the year certainly wasn't mine) but at least it's something new.

    You don't have to go so far of course. The Edmondson/Noto run is a good example I think.

    There were new Villains, there was a sidekick of sorts, there were casual interactions with good friends of which she has a lot, there were flashbacks including said friends and there was Natasha just sitting on her couch with a stray cat thinking about life.

    What I want to say is that she felt like a human being you could easily sympathise with.

    But that's more down to the vibe of the writing. As far as plots go: One thing that keeps coming up, as it should, is the fact that in the aforementioned Avengers Assemble trilogy a plot device was introduced that would let any writer come up with a great deal of stories:
    After becoming a good guy Nat gave out little tokens to people she had wronged in the past.
    With that token they could call for her help if ever needed.

    Not only does that enable pretty much any plothook, it also comes with some optional conflict right of the bat since these people might still be pissed and you could include flashbacks to what she did to them in the first place so you can say "The Black Widow is haunted by her past once again" without having another Red Room Employee of the month show up.

    And lastly one owner of these tokens was a fellow Avenger, friend and multiple time lover.
    Bam! There's your ticket to a support character with a history without having to set up anything.
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  14. #734
    trente-et-un/treize responsarbre's Avatar
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    I don't even know if the problem is so much the direction so much as the fact that the recent stories are meh-to-poorly written. Part of the reason why Black Widow is cool is because her character is flexible enough to handle a lot of different situations. A classic long-form espionage conspiracy story and a typical hero vs villain plot work equally as well with her ... they just need to be good.

    But I do like this exercise of comparing and contrasting what worked with what didn't.

    TNOTR and the Secret Avengers one-shot both were dripping in style; not only was the art great but there was a strong aesthetic that gave those stories a memorable personality.
    They were both espionage stories that were explicitly set in a superhero universe; in the one case, Natasha was using time-travel and magic to fight a shadowy nameless spy organization, and the other was about the intersection between her own profession as a spy and her activity as a superhero.
    They both really effectively used supporting characters - not just superhero friends but people she met and befriended in her line of work that she had unique and engaging relationships with.
    And I think they both did a great job of showing off the balance between her core values, her compassion, her moral code and willingness to be cruel in pursuit of her goals, the specific ways she isolates herself and but maintains links to those around her.
    And of course, they were really well-written and gave Natasha a strong memorable personality and POV.

  15. #735
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by responsarbre View Post
    I don't even know if the problem is so much the direction so much as the fact that the recent stories are meh-to-poorly written. Part of the reason why Black Widow is cool is because her character is flexible enough to handle a lot of different situations. A classic long-form espionage conspiracy story and a typical hero vs villain plot work equally as well with her ... they just need to be good.

    But I do like this exercise of comparing and contrasting what worked with what didn't.

    TNOTR and the Secret Avengers one-shot both were dripping in style; not only was the art great but there was a strong aesthetic that gave those stories a memorable personality.
    They were both espionage stories that were explicitly set in a superhero universe; in the one case, Natasha was using time-travel and magic to fight a shadowy nameless spy organization, and the other was about the intersection between her own profession as a spy and her activity as a superhero.
    They both really effectively used supporting characters - not just superhero friends but people she met and befriended in her line of work that she had unique and engaging relationships with.
    And I think they both did a great job of showing off the balance between her core values, her compassion, her moral code and willingness to be cruel in pursuit of her goals, the specific ways she isolates herself and but maintains links to those around her.
    And of course, they were really well-written and gave Natasha a strong memorable personality and POV.
    Awesome points! I do agree that while not HORRIBLE, the current miniseries and the last miniseries aren't really very strong. If you compare them to, say, Rogue and Gambit: Ring of Fire, which also has a TON of style, and a rich use of the character's history that is still completely accessible to noobs (like me ), they are just completely generic.
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