Black Widow explains the revolving death doorPosted: 03/08/2013
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.