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Black Widow's Not Quite Dead in Marvel's Tales of Suspense

By Blair Marnell

Black Widow's Not Quite Dead in Marvel's Tales of Suspense

During Marvel’s recent Secret Empire event, one of Marvel’s heavy hitters was seemingly killed off. Black Widow challenged Hydra Cap, and she took a fatal blow that instantly broke her neck and ended her life...or did it? Secret Empire: Omega #1 just dropped a major hint that Natasha Romanoff is far from gone, and now we know where she’ll resurface.

On the ABC News streaming series Inside Marvel Thursday, Marvel editors Tom Brevoort and Alanna Smith revealed that the newly relaunched Tales of Suspense will tackle the mystery of Black Widow’s fate. Matthew Rosenberg will be the writer of the series, and Travel Foreman is the artist. The revival series is picking up with issue #100 and it features the unlikely pairing of Black Widow’s former lovers: the Winter Soldier/Bucky and Hawkeye. Basically, both
men want to know who’s picking off the people that Natasha wanted dead. In the Omega one-shot, Bucky was convinced that Natasha had executed her latest target, but in the series he’ll be the skeptic to Hawkeye’s believer. Brevoort called it the “anti-buddy book” because Hawkeye and Bucky will be fighting each other while pursuing the same mystery. Smith described it as “a slick espionage book.”


We can’t help notice that this is coming just a few days after Secret Empire writer Nick Spencer said that Black Widow and Rick Jones’ deaths weren’t reversed because Marvel wanted the story to have consequences. Except Spencer has been in on this new series from the beginning, since he wrote the scene that sets up the book. It’s like Marvel is going “our stories matter! Dead is dead! Now, buy this new Black Widow book!”


When Black Widow died in Secret Empire, it seemed like a pretty ballsy move. Unlike with most comic book deaths, there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room. We saw her neck break in graphic fashion, and we saw her body hit the floor. It’s a lot harder to bring someone back from the dead when their body is found, which is why so many comic book deaths occur off panel. Marvel’s original
Black Widow was a supernatural character named Claire Voyant (yup) who killed evil men and delivered their souls to Satan; that said, we can’t see Natasha Romanoff going in a supernatural direction. It would be just as stupid as the time that the Punisher became Heaven’s Hitman.

Do you know the biggest reason why Black Widow won’t stay dead? Scarlett Johansson. She’s still THE female Avenger of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (sorry, Wanda!), and that makes her too big of an icon for Marvel to permanently kill her off. Even if she’s really “dead” for now, you can bet that
Marvel will bring back just in time for one of the Avengers sequels. Failing that, if Johansson ever gets her own Black Widow movie, you can bet that the comic book Natasha will turn up safe and sound, so she can kill again! It’s the circle of life, comic book fans! But you can follow this story when Tales of Suspense #100 hits comic book stores in December.

Images: Marvel/Marvel Studios