Black Widow explains the revolving death door

Before we start today, I want to do something I haven’t done before: plug.  After my Deadpool/Kid Apocalypse article, I received word from a rapper named Kid Apocalypse who raps exclusively about comic books.  And regardless of your opinion about anything I’ve just said, shouldn’t we as a community do everything possible to support our own?  Any comic book fan attempting something new and creative with our shared passion deserves our support.  Go watch his YouTube videos, especially the first one that uses a remix of the X-Men 90s cartoon theme as his beat.  They’re professional and everything.
Kid Apocalypse – Kid Apocalypse Rising
Kid Apocalypse – Came from the Chain

Okay, let’s jump into our story today.  During any major Marvel event, major character deaths are inevitable.  We accept this, and it’s sort of fun to see if we can figure out who it’ll be before Marvel drops the press release a few days before the issue goes on sale.  During Fear Itself, Bucky Barnes (at the time wielding the Captain America mantle) died at the god-infused power of Red Skull’s daughter Sin. Sad stuff.


You know who took it the hardest?  Her name’s in the title of the article.  Bucky and Black Widow (aka Natalia Romanova) first met and fell in love as brainwashed Soviet assassins during the Cold War.  Finally reunited a year or two before Siege, the two picked up almost instantly where they left off. Y’know, until he died, and in Secret Avengers #15, written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Scot Eaton, a tabloid tries to take advantage of the situation for financial gain.



Look, I know it seems frivolous for Black Widow to crash through a trashy magazine’s window and scarily scream at the staff when major battles and wars are being fought all over the world at this exact moment.  But as I’ve said in my other Black Widow post, the superhero commanders figured that Black Widow should get some down time before her emotions endanger her and her allies in the real fight.  Good call, as you’ve just seen.  Eventually Natalia does rejoin in the final battle and even receives some cool purple swords to slice up the baddies.  Right now, though?  Bloggers need to be yelled at.



Maybe because the staff knows Black Widow’s a good guy, but they act surprisingly calm against a woman with zero superpowers who just swung in from engaging a Thor-level baddie.  Hawkeye and Black Widow don’t get enough credit for fighting alongside the Avengers when every one of their foes outpowers them.  In the middle of Natalia’s scary rant, a single reasonable point turns the tables on the entire issue.


To this young girl, why not reveal the Captain America death a hoax?  A betting man would place money on Bucky springing from the dead a few months later (and truthfully, it takes less time than that), but we always forget about the civilians populating our superhero world.  They don’t get wizards or demons or LMDs to save their slaughtered hides.


And this issue has just spurned off into a debate.  What’s worse: the constant resurrection or single finality?  While Black Widow makes her points magnificently, I would be remiss to mention she argues while sitting wildly uncomfortable on top of a desk.


Let’s say a man gets mauled from a tiger.  As soon as he leaves the hospital after months of surgery and therapy, he’s told on the hospital steps that a family of tigers now camps out inside his minivan. A pat on the back and good luck.  No wonder superheroes’ mental stability cracks against the smallest of pebbles.



Like a roundhouse kick to the throat, Black Widow incapacitates her opponent’s rhetoric.  Or not, depending on how you personally feel.



Both sides can be effectively persuasive.  Though at the core, we’re still talking about fictional characters that wear sparkly costumes and shoot fire from their hands.  It took me many reads to understand the final pages of this issue, but I think this sums up the whole debate appropriately:



Moment of honesty: I’ve erased and rewritten this paragraph three times now.  I’m having difficulty articulating my assumption of Spencer’s point.  He may desire this woman to comment on the deity-like abilities of these superheroes to watch and protect the helpless, even as they selflessly and (more importantly) endlessly sacrifice their bodies and minds in their struggle against the hordes of evil.  He could also be breaking the fourth wall and commenting on the motivational impact these characters have on the reader’s own life as pillars for the downtrodden, ignored, and abused to aspire towards.  I really don’t know, but I believe I can confidently say this: we call them “heroes” for a reason.  Fictional drawings on paper aside, we should appreciate and embrace positive role models in any format.  We can acknowledge that, right?

I mean, that and all those cool punches and explosions.

8 Comments on “Black Widow explains the revolving death door”

  1. Dan says:

    I say put Black Widow and Spider-Man as a team!!!

    • Jason Levine says:

      I think Black Widow would mesh really well with the “new” Spider-Man. That’s a good idea!

      • Dan says:

        Hi Jason,
        I don’t think that the Black Widow and Superior Spider-Man would mesh very well because she’ll know right off that bat that he’s not the Spider-Man she knows. The would be too similar in personality. I think that Natasha x Peter would workout very well on the basis that their personality are not alike, just like Carol Danvers.

  2. Read it and it was a very philosophical debate and was an eye opener for the “news crew”… thanks for the really interesting reviews, keep posting. xD

  3. bleachrude says:

    just came across this and thanks fro sharing it….one aspect that weakens natasha’s argument is that many of the heroes who died, died quite suddenly aka without pain.

    Hawkeye got blown up by a bomb that was on his quiver so nowhere near as painful as dying of cancer like that female reporter’s grandfather ..Colossus himself also died quite suddenly so no pain there…as did Adam Warlock who died in an inceration blast.

    ironically, Red She-hulk died a painful death as a MORTAL aka as Betty due to radiation poisoning.

    • Jason Levine says:

      Isn’t her point not that superheroes suffer when they die, but it’s the loved ones that really suffer? Either way, I’m sure you have a point.

  4. Pyre says:

    Honestly, this whole thing was Marvel editorial saying ‘PLEEEEASE START CARING WHEN OUR CHARACTERS DIE!!!!”

    I would have countered with “Well, you don’t live in fear that two or more testosterone-pumped idiots are going to have a fight in a crowded intersection or some supposedly heroic nutcase is going to crash through your window and start pointing guns at people so we already live in a perpetual state of PTSD.”

    Much like the current Wolverine-Cyclops debates, they try to write this debate as if it ends in “we agree to disagree” but, in reality, the nutbake in the skintight suit pretty much comes out on the short end of the debate.

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