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  1. #196

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    I can't picture Natasha playing video games.

  2. #197
    I hate Christmas Matternativ's Avatar
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    Doesn't mean she doesn't know what that is. There's been examples of other avengers playing games while she was around.
    Exhibit A
    Last edited by Matternativ; 04-28-2021 at 06:21 AM.
    "̶l̶̶e̶̶t̶'̶s̶̶ ̶̶h̶̶a̶̶v̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶s̶̶o̶̶m̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶f̶̶u̶̶n̶̶,̶̶ ̶̶t̶̶h̶̶i̶̶s̶̶ ̶̶b̶̶e̶̶a̶̶t̶̶ ̶̶i̶̶s̶̶ ̶̶s̶̶i̶̶c̶̶k̶̶.̶̶ ̶̶i̶̶ ̶̶w̶̶a̶̶n̶̶n̶̶a̶̶ ̶̶t̶̶a̶̶k̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶a̶̶ ̶̶r̶̶i̶̶d̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶o̶̶n̶̶ ̶̶y̶̶o̶̶u̶̶r̶̶ ̶̶d̶̶i̶̶s̶̶c̶̶o̶̶s̶̶t̶̶i̶̶c̶̶k̶̶"
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  3. #198
    Fantastic Member Sneakronicity's Avatar
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    I actually really like the idea of Natasha playing video games with the other Avengers.

    It was just something about the narration this issue that felt really clunky, and a lot of it didn't really *say* anything, you know? and the bit about the swords. I can't really describe it, but it felt like a whole lot of filler and not much substance. And maybe that's intentional, maybe she's keeping a pointless running monologuee going to distract herself from the events of the previous arc. I dunno. The art and colouring was absolutely gorgeous though!

  4. #199

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sneakronicity View Post
    Although the art looked quite similar, this issue was done by Rafael De Latorre. It sounds like Casagrande got a little behind so they brought in a guest artist for this issue, but she should be back for the next one.

    The art was definitely gorgeous and continues to carry this book for me. I'm still on the fence here as I really love Thompson's work on other titles, but I'm still not sure about her handling of Natasha. A lot of the dialogue/narration felt off to me.
    Elena Casagrande and Rafael De Latorre artwork is the best thing about the book. Can see both fitting TASM well.

  5. #200
    I hate Christmas Matternativ's Avatar
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    I get it. I had a bit of "wait, that was it?" Moment when I finished it because it didn't feel like that was supposed to be the end but looking back at it between flashbacks to two separate events and interactions with two separate characters and some good old-fashioned henchmen fighting, while setting up Apogee as that influential bad guy it's not like nothing happened either.

    I'll say Nat reminds me a lot of how she's portrait in avengers assemble or the recent video game and some light hearted easy action to start the arc off after the emotion-heavy last arc is a deliberate choice I can't really argue with.

    I'm sure there will be some more meat to bite into very soon.
    "̶l̶̶e̶̶t̶'̶s̶̶ ̶̶h̶̶a̶̶v̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶s̶̶o̶̶m̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶f̶̶u̶̶n̶̶,̶̶ ̶̶t̶̶h̶̶i̶̶s̶̶ ̶̶b̶̶e̶̶a̶̶t̶̶ ̶̶i̶̶s̶̶ ̶̶s̶̶i̶̶c̶̶k̶̶.̶̶ ̶̶i̶̶ ̶̶w̶̶a̶̶n̶̶n̶̶a̶̶ ̶̶t̶̶a̶̶k̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶a̶̶ ̶̶r̶̶i̶̶d̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶o̶̶n̶̶ ̶̶y̶̶o̶̶u̶̶r̶̶ ̶̶d̶̶i̶̶s̶̶c̶̶o̶̶s̶̶t̶̶i̶̶c̶̶k̶̶"
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  6. #201
    Incredible Member chicago_bastard's Avatar
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    So apparently the events in the first arc made Nat stick to a no kill rule when fighting villains. Don't think removing a trait that differentiated her from the majority of the other Avengers is a good move.
    Tolstoy will live forever. Some people do. But that's not enough. It's not the length of a life that matters, just the depth of it. The chances we take. The paths we choose. How we go on when our hearts break. Hearts always break and so we bend with our hearts. And we sway. But in the end what matters is that we loved... and lived.

  7. #202
    Incredible Member OOTCS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicago_bastard View Post
    So apparently the events in the first arc made Nat stick to a no kill rule when fighting villains. Don't think removing a trait that differentiated her from the majority of the other Avengers is a good move.
    I wouldn't assume she has a no-kill rule just because she avoided killing a single opponent. There's a balance. (Although I think she tried not to kill back when she worked with Daredevil, too, at least in the 80s, so there is a precedent.)

  8. #203
    Incredible Member chicago_bastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OOTCS View Post
    I wouldn't assume she has a no-kill rule just because she avoided killing a single opponent. There's a balance. (Although I think she tried not to kill back when she worked with Daredevil, too, at least in the 80s, so there is a precedent.)
    The inner monologue confirms on two different occasions that the guys she just incapacitated will survive, I'm pretty sure that's deliberate to show us Nat has changed due to the fake family shenanigans. Also Yelena calls her out for getting soft.

    Ugh, that Ann Nocenti story that made her traumatized because she was forced to kill someone... Don't think I've ever read a more out of character story of Nat.
    Tolstoy will live forever. Some people do. But that's not enough. It's not the length of a life that matters, just the depth of it. The chances we take. The paths we choose. How we go on when our hearts break. Hearts always break and so we bend with our hearts. And we sway. But in the end what matters is that we loved... and lived.

  9. #204
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    Well thatís kind of the point here, this isnít super spy Black Widow but Superhero Black Widow. She purposely trying to be like a more traditional cape.

  10. #205
    I hate Christmas Matternativ's Avatar
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    Yep. Though I suspect she's not gonna be as hard on that stance as more traditional "no-kill" Heroes have been in the past.
    "̶l̶̶e̶̶t̶'̶s̶̶ ̶̶h̶̶a̶̶v̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶s̶̶o̶̶m̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶f̶̶u̶̶n̶̶,̶̶ ̶̶t̶̶h̶̶i̶̶s̶̶ ̶̶b̶̶e̶̶a̶̶t̶̶ ̶̶i̶̶s̶̶ ̶̶s̶̶i̶̶c̶̶k̶̶.̶̶ ̶̶i̶̶ ̶̶w̶̶a̶̶n̶̶n̶̶a̶̶ ̶̶t̶̶a̶̶k̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶a̶̶ ̶̶r̶̶i̶̶d̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶o̶̶n̶̶ ̶̶y̶̶o̶̶u̶̶r̶̶ ̶̶d̶̶i̶̶s̶̶c̶̶o̶̶s̶̶t̶̶i̶̶c̶̶k̶̶"
    "Let's have some fun, this riff is sick. I wanna mosh around in the Circle Pit!"

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  11. #206
    Fantastic Member Sneakronicity's Avatar
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    To me it felt more like an "only kill when necessary" stance rather than strict "no kill". When Natasha returned after Secret Empire, the Soska Sisters seemed to take her hard in the other direction, to the point where she was like seeking out violence to feel alive IIRC (I personally did not like the writing in that series and dropped the book after two issues, so I'm not sure how it played out), which I guess can make sense after dying and coming back to life, but was not a take on Natasha I personally enjoyed. Now it feels like Thompson is going the other way and taking Natasha back to the more heroic side, one that will still do what needs to be done, but without unnecessary death if it can be avoided. Both feel kinda like course corrections by writers who have very different visions of Natasha's character, and I'm sure there are fans that prefer both takes.

  12. #207
    Incredible Member OOTCS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sneakronicity View Post
    To me it felt more like an "only kill when necessary" stance rather than strict "no kill". When Natasha returned after Secret Empire, the Soska Sisters seemed to take her hard in the other direction, to the point where she was like seeking out violence to feel alive IIRC (I personally did not like the writing in that series and dropped the book after two issues, so I'm not sure how it played out), which I guess can make sense after dying and coming back to life, but was not a take on Natasha I personally enjoyed. Now it feels like Thompson is going the other way and taking Natasha back to the more heroic side, one that will still do what needs to be done, but without unnecessary death if it can be avoided. Both feel kinda like course corrections by writers who have very different visions of Natasha's character, and I'm sure there are fans that prefer both takes.
    Yeah, I basically agree with you here. Natasha doesn't have a no-kill rule, but that doesn't mean she doesn't value life or that she's happy to kill anyone who crosses her. She kills if she has a reasonólike the Red Room officials in Tales of Suspense (because there's no way to bring them to justice within the legal system) or child traffickers from the Soska series or the would-be rapists from the Richard K. Morgan run, because they're so evil. But she's also been an Avenger; hell, she's led the Avengers. So if she's leaning into her superhero side in this arc, it makes sense she would try to avoid killing in this case. As far as I can tell, we don't really know how bad Apogee is yet, so why kill his flunkies if she can maim them?

    Quote Originally Posted by chicago_bastard View Post
    Also Yelena calls her out for getting soft.
    I have the impression that Yelena's been calling Natasha soft since the first time they met.
    Last edited by OOTCS; 04-29-2021 at 07:50 AM.

  13. #208
    trente-et-un/treize responsarbre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicago_bastard View Post
    The inner monologue confirms on two different occasions that the guys she just incapacitated will survive, I'm pretty sure that's deliberate to show us Nat has changed due to the fake family shenanigans. Also Yelena calls her out for getting soft.

    Ugh, that Ann Nocenti story that made her traumatized because she was forced to kill someone... Don't think I've ever read a more out of character story of Nat.
    I don't think she was traumatized because she was forced to kill someone! Her trauma in that story had more to do with how Jack Hazzard was treated by the government that sent her on her mission in the first place -- she recognized that he was a victim of a system that manipulated him, same as she was. Despite that she still does kill him because she knows she has no choice, and she feels awful that she was used as a tool to end him by the same people who ruined him in the first place. Natasha has great sympathy for people who are used and abused by their masters like Yelena and Bucky, so I think it's a pretty reasonable reaction, if a little exaggerated and melodramatic (as Nocenti's writing can be). I think that issue is still one of the all-time best Black Widow stories.

    To wit, the real villain of the issue isn't actually Hazzard, but the SHIELD doctor who stripped him of his memories and emotions, and Natasha makes a point of her needing to come back and stop *his* evil as soon as she's stopped Hazzard as a threat, which ends up being a minor subplot for a couple more issues in Nocenti's run.
    Last edited by responsarbre; 04-29-2021 at 07:50 AM.

  14. #209
    Incredible Member chicago_bastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OOTCS View Post
    I have the impression that Yelena's been calling Natasha soft since the first time they met.
    True, but I think that was when they were antagonists and Yelena wanted to point out that she was better suited for the Black Widow mantle. I can't recall an instance of her calling Nat soft since they became allies.

    Quote Originally Posted by responsarbre View Post
    I don't think she was traumatized because she was forced to kill someone! Her trauma in that story had more to do with how Jack Hazzard was treated by the government that sent her on her mission in the first place -- she recognized that he was a victim of a system that manipulated him, same as she was. Despite that she still does kill him because she knows she has no choice, and she feels awful that she was used as a tool to end him by the same people who ruined him in the first place. Natasha has great sympathy for people who are used and abused by their masters like Yelena and Bucky, so I think it's a pretty reasonable reaction, if a little exaggerated and melodramatic (as Nocenti's writing can be). I think that issue is still one of the all-time best Black Widow stories.

    To wit, the real villain of the issue isn't actually Hazzard, but the SHIELD doctor who stripped him of his memories and emotions, and Natasha makes a point of her needing to come back and stop *his* evil as soon as she's stopped Hazzard as a threat, which ends up being a minor subplot for a couple more issues in Nocenti's run.
    That issue in itself wasn't the problem, the aftermath was. There was a follow-up issue with another super-soldier that had Nat sobbing in pathetic fashion through the whole issue not able to fight because she had still PTSD from killing Hazzard.
    Tolstoy will live forever. Some people do. But that's not enough. It's not the length of a life that matters, just the depth of it. The chances we take. The paths we choose. How we go on when our hearts break. Hearts always break and so we bend with our hearts. And we sway. But in the end what matters is that we loved... and lived.

  15. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matternativ View Post
    Yep. Though I suspect she's not gonna be as hard on that stance as more traditional "no-kill" Heroes have been in the past.
    I think that, and other inclinations, are going to be part of the challenge for her here.

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