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  1. #61
    Extraordinary Member Winterboy's Avatar
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    "Who wouldn't go out with the Black Widow? I'd strangle a litter of kittens for one dinner with her!"
    Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture


    "Natasha Romanoff, A.K.A. Black Widow - ex-KGB, formerly with S.H.I.E.L.D...Probably the brains of this operation.I have followed her career, and she has been consistently UNDERRATED."

  2. #62
    Extraordinary Member Winterboy's Avatar
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    "Who wouldn't go out with the Black Widow? I'd strangle a litter of kittens for one dinner with her!"
    Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture


    "Natasha Romanoff, A.K.A. Black Widow - ex-KGB, formerly with S.H.I.E.L.D...Probably the brains of this operation.I have followed her career, and she has been consistently UNDERRATED."

  3. #63
    Extraordinary Member Winterboy's Avatar
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    Possible Working Title For ‘Black Widow’: A Roy Orbison Song?

    https://www.bleedingcool.com/2019/02...-orbison-song/
    "Who wouldn't go out with the Black Widow? I'd strangle a litter of kittens for one dinner with her!"
    Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture


    "Natasha Romanoff, A.K.A. Black Widow - ex-KGB, formerly with S.H.I.E.L.D...Probably the brains of this operation.I have followed her career, and she has been consistently UNDERRATED."

  4. #64
    Extraordinary Member Winterboy's Avatar
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    Punisher and Black Widow.

    I really wanto to read this stuff.

    black widow and nick fury.jpg
    frank and nat.jpg
    "Who wouldn't go out with the Black Widow? I'd strangle a litter of kittens for one dinner with her!"
    Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture


    "Natasha Romanoff, A.K.A. Black Widow - ex-KGB, formerly with S.H.I.E.L.D...Probably the brains of this operation.I have followed her career, and she has been consistently UNDERRATED."

  5. #65
    trente-et-un/treize responsarbre's Avatar
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    That preview is ... something. Did not think I would see Natasha using one of the Kingpin’s moves from the Daredevil show.

    Also I read that Punisher/Black Widow graphic novel! It’s just alright, I can’t remember the details that well. Natasha disguises herself as a man in it and I thought the fake mustache was pretty funny-looking.

    Quote Originally Posted by OOTCS View Post
    Natasha’s going to be in one of the War of the Realm spin-off books, on Carol's War Avengers team:



    From https://www.marvel.com/articles/comi...keforce-issues:
    Agh, I need to catch up on Aaron’s Thor stuff before this event.

    And OBVIOUSLY they would have just called her “the best spy on the planet” if they didn’t have to include Bucky with her in the description
    I guess there’s a specific angle to the idea that they’re using spies on the team of high-powered heroes.

  6. #66
    Extraordinary Member Winterboy's Avatar
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    "Who wouldn't go out with the Black Widow? I'd strangle a litter of kittens for one dinner with her!"
    Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture


    "Natasha Romanoff, A.K.A. Black Widow - ex-KGB, formerly with S.H.I.E.L.D...Probably the brains of this operation.I have followed her career, and she has been consistently UNDERRATED."

  7. #67
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterboy View Post
    Lol wut? That cover is...something...
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, by Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown, Batgirl, by Bryan Q. Miller
    Stephanie Brown Wiki, My Batman Universe Reviews

  8. #68
    Extraordinary Member Winterboy's Avatar
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    Black Widow: Marvel Reportedly Brings on Ned Benson to Pen Rewrites



    https://www.cbr.com/black-widow-marv...nson-rewrites/
    "Who wouldn't go out with the Black Widow? I'd strangle a litter of kittens for one dinner with her!"
    Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture


    "Natasha Romanoff, A.K.A. Black Widow - ex-KGB, formerly with S.H.I.E.L.D...Probably the brains of this operation.I have followed her career, and she has been consistently UNDERRATED."

  9. #69
    trente-et-un/treize responsarbre's Avatar
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    Pretty interesting Polygon interview with the Soskas on the current ongoing:
    https://www.polygon.com/comics/2019/...-soska-sisters

    Natasha's current ultra-brutal, ultra-violent, ultra-mean direction is apparently an editorial decision, which kind of helps explain the Soskas' decisions in this run considering they said they're fans of 70s Daredevil and the Liu run, which are both definitely less brutal.

    I feel like the last few Black Widow stories have been gradually bleeding the superhero out of the character, and it doesn't help that she hasn't really been on any hero teams since Secret Wars.
    I dunno, I just don't really like the idea of them getting rid of either her spy stuff or her superhero stuff in order to prop up the other; especially when so many of her "spy" stories lately have actually just been guided murder tours instead of anything with actual intrigue or espionage.

  10. #70
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    I mean, James Bond is an assassin, not a spy, and I feel like the Red Room focuses much more on assassination instead of intelligence gathering and asset cultivation, which is more spy-proper stuff.

    I actually think that Liu run is pretty brutal, and Natasha is pretty hard edged there - but it's blended with her close and warm relationships at the time. The current status quo has no close or warm relationships, which leaves her hard edges without any variety.

    That being said, I'm hopeful that the Soskas have a solid plot here, like Liu did, and not just "kill everything."
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, by Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown, Batgirl, by Bryan Q. Miller
    Stephanie Brown Wiki, My Batman Universe Reviews

  11. #71
    trente-et-un/treize responsarbre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    I mean, James Bond is an assassin, not a spy, and I feel like the Red Room focuses much more on assassination instead of intelligence gathering and asset cultivation, which is more spy-proper stuff.

    I actually think that Liu run is pretty brutal, and Natasha is pretty hard edged there - but it's blended with her close and warm relationships at the time. The current status quo has no close or warm relationships, which leaves her hard edges without any variety.

    That being said, I'm hopeful that the Soskas have a solid plot here, like Liu did, and not just "kill everything."
    I think spy and assassin stuff naturally overlap in fiction because of the need to have interesting action, but I do think there's a distinct difference between characters sold as being assassins and the ones sold as spies. I would actually say that James Bond is more usually described as a spy; the "license to kill" stuff adds a bit of flavor to his work, but I don't think it fundamentally changes it because his assignments in movies are usually "fix the problem" more often than "hunt down this specific target, kill them, and get out." But again, those lines are blurry and he definitely just kills a bunch of people in action setpieces more often than he actually "spies", despite being marketed as a spy.

    Having said that, I do take issue with the idea of Natasha being described and used as an assassin so often for a couple of reasons! First off, I would definitely disagree with that assessment of the Red Room, I think that's a way more recent development. In the Grayson stories where it was introduced, I think they only ever use the word "spy", and Yelena and Natasha's primary missions aren't killing but gathering intelligence, tailing their marks, and retrieving certain assets. The rest of the Grayson/Rucka stories are very specific on the idea that the Red Room is an apparatus of Russian military intelligence, and it does all the intelligence agency things, not just killing. Natasha's legendary ability that Yelena is so jealous of is her ability as a spy, not just for killing in specific. And even though the Morgan stories definitely made it seem like the Red Room was a lot more focused on training people as killers, I think her other major 00s stories all play up her competence as a spy-proper (i.e. her appearances in Bendis Daredevil, her role in Brubaker's Cap, and both Liu and Swierzynski's runs). It actually wasn't until after Tony Stark dropped the "world-class assassin" line in Avengers that we saw Natasha actually being called an assassin in the comics.

    And my first issue with that is a problem of niche, on a couple of levels. One being that "assassin" is a kind of specific role filled in the Marvel Universe, with a lot of iconic characters already playing around in that space: you have your Bullseyes and your Elektras and your Typhoid Marys and all. Calling Natasha the world's greatest assassin is kind of contentious, but the title of world's greatest spy is an easy claim for her in a world without Nick Fury.
    The other thing is only relevant when Bucky's around: the idea of Natasha and Bucky serving different roles under the Soviets and with each other. Bucky was very specifically an assassin first and foremost, and we got an issue of Steve Epting drawing Bucky going around and murdering specific targets to prove that. The distinction of Natasha being cultivated as a master spy instead is kind of helpful in the Marvel Universe proper, especially since Bucky is still pretty popular.

    And also, I think her being a straight assassin is kind of boring and sucks some of the intrigue and interest out of the character and her stories. The aesthetic of being a spy is kind of cool and fun. You get things like Natasha having really expensive taste and a worldly air about her, she speaks all these languages and knows a lot of people, and she has a big old villa on the sea in Trieste and an elegant sense of fashion. She has networks of quirky spy contacts like Black Rose and Tori Raven and Fatale. All that stuff is nice and helpful in making a character more interesting. It's hard to get all that when you write it more like Hitman.

    I was definitely wrong to say that Liu's run isn't brutal, but at the same time, I still don't think you would write a story idea like this if you were trying to do something in the vein of Liu.

    I'm probably coming across way too harsh, especially considering that I actually really liked the first issue of this new run and I'm a fun of the voice they write for Natasha.
    I'm just kind of jaded about editorial's decisions with her character because "now she's upset and more brutal than ever" feels as if it's the "new character direction" that they've consistently been taking her in since at least 2014 or 2015. And also I feel like the last Black Widow story that had the makings of a story with actually intriguing spy stuff, besides Secret Avengers #20, was Swierczynski's aborted run. If they're going to not have her doing superhero stuff, I would like cool spy things at least!

  12. #72
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    I agree with you (though holy wall of text!) for the most part. But I think there's a real push for the past 4 years or so that her past was specifically assassination heavy. I don't like it, but I don't know what to do, since I don't want to say "Hey, this isn't my favorite version of Natasha, so I won't buy her book, and thus send the signal to Marvel that we don't want ANY Natasha book."

    I hated Swierczynski's run, but that was almost entirely execution. I think the idea of it was fine.

    The biggest problem, and I know it's controversial, is Natasha's memory wipe in Winter Soldier. It gets rid of so much of her connection, not just to Bucky, but to Cap, and the goodness he represents. I loved their scene together in the first issue of the new series, but there's a coldness there that Secret Empire doesn't fully explain. She just isn't connected anymore, and that means she's much more open to assassination-heavy plots.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, by Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown, Batgirl, by Bryan Q. Miller
    Stephanie Brown Wiki, My Batman Universe Reviews

  13. #73
    trente-et-un/treize responsarbre's Avatar
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    I don’t know how I ended up writing so much? I’m not crazy I swear.

    But yes. Agreed.

  14. #74
    Extraordinary Member Winterboy's Avatar
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    BLACK WIDOW #5

    JEN & SYLVIA SOSKA (W) • FLAVIANO (A)
    Cover by CLAYTON CRAIN
    MARVEL BATTLE LINES VARIANT COVER BY KEUNWOO LEE
    ENDGAME!
    • No Restraints Play isn’t playing anymore.
    • As the field of play shifts underneath Black Widow’s feet, the true enemy is revealed.
    • Lines are crossed. There is no turning back.
    32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
    "Who wouldn't go out with the Black Widow? I'd strangle a litter of kittens for one dinner with her!"
    Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture


    "Natasha Romanoff, A.K.A. Black Widow - ex-KGB, formerly with S.H.I.E.L.D...Probably the brains of this operation.I have followed her career, and she has been consistently UNDERRATED."

  15. #75
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    In May, Natasha also appears in Domino: Hotshots #3 and War of the Realms Strikeforce: The War Avengers #1. In one book she works with Domino and Diamondback, and in the other she is with Winter Solider, Sif, and Captain Marvel.

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