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  1. #16
    Mighty Member klynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed2962 View Post
    They're similar in a very superficial ways, but I think they have very different personalities. While Nat has a sense of humor, Bobbi's a lot more snarky and wise cracking. While there's been dark moments in Boobi's career, her back story is less tragic than Nat's. These days Marvel is playing up the ruthless assassin aspect of Nat's character. Bobbi is an ex-scientist.

    I good writer could get a really buddy flick style team up with the two of them.
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  2. #17
    Extraordinary Member Winterboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klynn View Post
    Sold! Marvel, take my money!
    Our Money!

    "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. #18
    'Fro, yo. CraigTheCylon's Avatar
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    Yeah, I had these thoughts yesterday.

    I know Black Widow and Mockingbird are far from interchangeable. They're different ladies with different personal histories, relationships and outlooks on life. If you're the type of person who talk about comics on an internet forum, you probably know this too.

    But, to the person who orders in comics for a store, or a large chunk of people who potentially buy those comics off the shelf (or digitally), I don't think those differences are so obvious. So, launching 2 new female-led solo books starring former Avengers with an espionage remit on the same day...doesn't seem financially wise to me. I'm excited for both series (the Waid/Samnee team can do no wrong, and the Mockingbird SHIELD 50th one-shot was a pleasant surprise) and intend to buy both, but if I was more financially responsible, I'd probably drop one of them. And if I wasn't such a big dweeb, yeah, Mockingbird would be the one getting dropped purely because she's the lesser-known one.

    I really don't want either of these series to suffer sales-wise from factors beyond their control, is all.
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  4. #19
    IRON MAN Tony Stark's Avatar
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    Easily Black Widow for me. She has always been the better character in my eyes. I will pick up Mockingbird if Tony is in it, but that would be the only reason.
    " This is why you're the head of S.H.I.E.L.D, Stark. Because you're stronger than anyone. It's not the armor....and you know it. Your here because impossible things happen, and when they do, They call on you to deal with them. You see the angles, Tony. You always have. You see the possible solutions to things that shouldn't be happening." CAROL DANVERS

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigTheCylon View Post
    But, to the person who orders in comics for a store, or a large chunk of people who potentially buy those comics off the shelf (or digitally), I don't think those differences are so obvious. So, launching 2 new female-led solo books starring former Avengers with an espionage remit on the same day...doesn't seem financially wise to me. I'm excited for both series (the Waid/Samnee team can do no wrong, and the Mockingbird SHIELD 50th one-shot was a pleasant surprise) and intend to buy both, but if I was more financially responsible, I'd probably drop one of them. And if I wasn't such a big dweeb, yeah, Mockingbird would be the one getting dropped purely because she's the lesser-known one.
    I suppose a lot of that is on the marketing team.

    I would hope potential readers would take two seconds to look beyond the high-level headline of who these characters are. It's not just that we, the die-hard fans, know how many ways in which they differ...

    ... it's that I have a feeling these two books are also going to be very, very different. Different tone, different story, a different point.

  6. #21
    Veteran Member Galerion's Avatar
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    Im actually a bit disturbed by this whole Natasha vs Bobbi vibe that seems to be going on here. Chances are high that if you like one of them then you will like the other one too. At least that's so as far as I am concerned. That's why it's no question for me that I will give both books a try.
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  7. #22
    CATASTROPHE Hrist's Avatar
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    I've been summoned, apparently.

    Quote Originally Posted by itspopularnowitsucks View Post
    In MCU though, they are very interchangeable. In fact they are interchanged. Black Widow stole Mockingbird's weapon in Age of Ultron. And her association with Hawkeye. Then Mockingbird stole the weapon back in Season 3. I think they tried to distinguish the name of Mockingbird by making her speak very poor Mandarin.
    Natasha was Hawkeye's original partner; I wouldn't say she "stole" him from Bobbi.

    I don't think the "raised since childhood to be a spy" is an intrinsic difference between Natasha and Bobbi, mostly because that's only a part of her backstory ~50% of the time. (And I dislike that retcon :P) More consistently, there's a fundamental separation in their origin stories: Natasha isn't a spy because she wanted to be, it was something she was manipulated and tricked into. Bobbi is a SHIELD agent because that's what she chose to do going out of grad school. There's definitely some angst there, and some unresolved family issues, but the question of choice and agency is central to Natasha's mythology in a way that it's not for Bobbi.

    OTOH, Bobbi is a scientist. She worked with SHIELD on re-developing the Super Soldier Serum, and we've seen some characters, like Dominic Fortune, affected by these experiments. Recently Bobbi was injected with a semi-experimental SSS/Infinity Formula hybrid without her permission, to save her life. By all accounts this will be a major theme of her new series, as she has to deal with regular testing, &c. The experimenter becoming the experiment! This is an element not present in Natasha's character premise at all.

    Natasha is Russian and Bobbi is American, which doesn't mean a whole lot these days given the very US-centric output and cultural literacy of Marvel comics, but is still a major factor in how their relative backstories deal with SHIELD and the espionage themes they share. Natasha is a Silver Age sixties character who originated in a time where Russian basically meant "bad" and America and SHIELD represented a fairly unambiguous "good". She had to actually switch sides to be considered heroic in the logic of those comic books— this isn't true of Russian superheroes today. But because Natasha did switch sides, her stories can be much more critical of nationalism in general, and her story is sometimes themed as a redemption arc. Bobbi comes from a later time period when SHIELD had become much sketchier and morally ambiguous, but the US is always going to be an overall "good" in Marvel comics, so while Bobbi's stories might deal with corruption at SHIELD or PTSD, she's probably never going to defect or be asked to totally repudiate her past, and therefore doesn't have a motivation of trying to do "better" strapped onto her stories.

    As far as publishing history goes, Natasha has a lot more of it, and it's all more or less dealing with her character concept of "Russian spy turned superhero". (Maybe an exception here is the early 1970s and her time spent in San Francisco with Daredevil.) Bobbi's had several multi-year character hiatuses and she's been drastically reinvented a couple times— she started off as a psychic, then she was the love interest of Ka-Zar, then she was a SHIELD scientist, then she was an actual field agent, then she was part of a Mr. And Mrs. Smith style romcom mashup with Hawkeye… so I think she has a lot of quirky "only in comics" attributes that can make her a really fun lens to explore the MU.

    I don't want to dwell too much about personality differences because that depends a lot on the specific creative team, but Natasha runs from humorless to dry and Bobbi from sarcasm to wisecrack. Likewise, the tone of their stories depends a lot on who is writing/drawing them. They both have complicated romantic (ex) lives and broad connections to the rest of the MU, but how that's handled depends on what aspects of the character creative teams are interested in. It's possible for characters to have broadly similar concepts and totally different comic books; She-Hulk and Daredevil are both lawyers but their stories usually treat that very differently.

    So, to speak to their actual books, going by previews and what the creative team has said, since neither are out yet. Black Widow is a a classic espionage story about Natasha on the run, with Alex Toth type art and lots of strong lines and shadows. This creative team is going to be making Natasha a bit of a mystery and exploring her at a remove, so we won't know what she's thinking, just what she's doing. (Contrast with her last series, which had a lot of narration boxes featuring her inner monologue.) The creative team of Samnee/Waid/Wilson worked together before on Daredevil and are all fairly established industry names with a lot of critical acclaim attached. Probably partly in deference to this big-name creative team and the "on the run" story they're spinning, Natasha hasn't appeared much in other books since Secret Wars, so her story will be very self-contained at the moment. (I think she'll probably have a part to play in Civil War II, considering the movie synergy they're going for, and Bendis has said she'll show up in International Iron Man.)

    Mockingbird is more traditionally character-driven, with Cain using a ton of inner-monologue in her one-shot prequel to explore what Bobbi thinks and how she acts. The tone seems a lot lighter & quirkier, with plenty of humorous moments and Niemczyk's breezy pastel art. Bobbi's also appearing in a ton of books, including Silk, Amazing Spider-Man, and SHIELD, in addition to her own series. She's very embedded at SHIELD rn and that's in strong contrast to Natasha's current status quo. Cain and Niemczyk are both up and coming female creators taking on their first ongoing comics gig, so if that's something you want to support, then Mockingbird is a great book to check out.

    As for the "Black Widow or Mockingbird" question:

    Last edited by Hrist; 02-26-2016 at 06:45 PM.
    FYBW: my Black Widow blog.

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hrist View Post
    I've been summoned, apparently.
    Only because we all knew you'd deliver!

  9. #24
    Fantastic Member SplinteringHeart's Avatar
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    Well, I'm not invested in either character, although I'm familiar with both to a degree, more so Natasha....I still tend to think there are similarities, to the untrained eye, and as CraigtheCylon mentions the differences aren't obvious if you were to go into the shop to start up with one or both these titles.....but I liked Waid/Samnee on Daredevil so that makes me want to try with Widow....I like the idea that Bobbi is a scientist...her appearances in Amazing Spider have not capitalised on this I think, which is unfortunate because Spidey is a scientist also.....Bobbi and Natasha as a team up sounds fun! I think I‘ll give both titles a try, enjoy Waid/Samnee anyway and perhaps learn more about Bobbi...

    Cheers

    Jon
    Last edited by SplinteringHeart; 02-26-2016 at 06:22 PM.

  10. #25
    CATASTROPHE Hrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilyinblue View Post
    Only because we all knew you'd deliver!
    Hrist: known source of CBR tl;dr.

    Really, I am worried about Mockingbird coming out the same week as Black Widow, but it's not because I see a real Bobbi/Natasha conflict. I think on some level a lot of fandom is kinda trained into thinking there are limited female hero slots, for, if not good reasons, at least understandable ones. In the not too recent past Marvel has approached female-led titles as a quota they had to fill more than anything else, and they've been few and often pretty limited. So, if you have a particular favorite lady, it was easy to convince yourself that Marvel was promoting some other lady over your fav, especially when "lady" seemed like a designated role to fill on a team, even though "female" isn't a personality trait, genre, powerset or plotline. Now that is changing but it's difficult to break the mentality— I think you see that in worries about Natasha "stealing" Bobbi's weapons or her relationship with Clint, even though Bobbi and Natasha co-exist fine in the MCU. You don't see this kind of intense debating over Nick Fury and Steve Rogers, two male characters who overlap a lot with each other and with Natasha and Bobbi in terms of SHIELD connections and powersets, which is why I think gender plays a part in it. But part of it is also that female heroes generally haven't had the long runs that really establish unquestioned differences in mythology. That can only come with time and more comics

    Now, what I am worried about is that Marvel seems to only be able to properly promote one #1 issue a week. I think there's a fair question about whether doing these launches in giant waves has caused some books to really slip through the cracks. And all the promotion seems to be going to Black Widow this week, because Samnee/Waid is one of their most critically acclaimed teams. The fact that there's no lettered Mockingbird preview yet and conflicting info on the release date is not inspiring much confidence in me (and also frustrating as someone who is very excited for that book!) So— idk, I'm not worried about BW and Mockingbird launching on the same week because they are both lady spies, but because Marvel seems not super capable of giving a spotlight to all the ANAD launches that have been clustered together. They could easily showcase Mockingbird and it's new-to-comics female talent and possible TV show right alongside BW this week and have the preview pages speak to the immediate differences in the two books. If they're really working with limited promotional resources they could probably rethink their strategy, since a lot of Marvel's line rn is books that don't have an immense established fanbase…
    Last edited by Hrist; 02-26-2016 at 06:31 PM.
    FYBW: my Black Widow blog.

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hrist View Post
    Really, I am worried about Mockingbird coming out the same week as Black Widow, but it's not because I see a real Bobbi/Natasha conflict.
    I'm a little worried too... because it really seems like something's gone wrong with the Mockingbird promotion... and I mean beyond them only promoting one. It feels like somebody - either at Marvel or at Diamond - has screwed up.

    1) There's the confusion over the date. A lot of us thought it was the 9th and apparently its the 2nd.
    2) There's only the unlettered preview.
    3) It's not available to pre-order on Comixology yet (Black Widow is)

    Forget the launch of a new series... a lot of the stuff that we get a week before launch of a normal issue seems to be MIA.

  12. #27
    Astonishing Member Seren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilyinblue View Post
    Only because we all knew you'd deliver!
    And we were not disappointed! Very Very well said Hrist.

    And my answer is Both!

    As for Mockingbird release - I'm not really confused too. Chelsea Cain seems to think it's the 2nd cause I asked her on Twitter...but like both Lily and Hrist said there isn't a lettered preview and it's not showing up for release on the 2nd on Comiclist (it was previously). The same is with WeirldWorld....apparently that's coming out on the 2nd but it's not listed to come out.

    Color me confused. But whether it releases with Black Widow or the week after - if I was a comic book shop employee if I saw people buying BW I'd recommend Mockingbird and vice versa.
    Last edited by Seren; 02-26-2016 at 06:48 PM.
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  13. #28
    CATASTROPHE Hrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilyinblue View Post
    I'm a little worried too... because it really seems like something's gone wrong with the Mockingbird promotion... and I mean beyond them only promoting one. It feels like somebody - either at Marvel or at Diamond - has screwed up.

    1) There's the confusion over the date. A lot of us thought it was the 9th and apparently its the 2nd.
    2) There's only the unlettered preview.
    3) It's not available to pre-order on Comixology yet (Black Widow is)

    Forget the launch of a new series... a lot of the stuff that we get a week before launch of a normal issue seems to be MIA.
    Yep. I don't think this has to do with Natasha at all (or even necessarily Marvel's ability to promote) but the ??? of it all speaks to a communication error somewhere. And it would certainly be easier to shill for Bobbi if I was certain about when it was coming out.
    FYBW: my Black Widow blog.

  14. #29
    Mighty Member klynn's Avatar
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    I wonder if Marvel has decided to delay Mockingbird to 3/09 to capitalize on Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. premiering the night before......
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  15. #30
    Astonishing Member Seren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klynn View Post
    I wonder if Marvel has decided to delay Mockingbird to 3/09 to capitalize on Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. premiering the night before......
    That would make complete sense. And hell, how hard could it be to throw up a commercial for both the Mockingbird and AOS comics while they're at it?
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