Black Widow #1 with Kate (and Dan)

::Dan walks in to find Kate putting on a scuba suit::

D: C’mon, Red. It’s the middle of winter and you don’t like to swim. You don’t even like getting your face wet in the shower.

K: Silly American. Don’t you know I’m a Russian super-agent? It’s true! Just like Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow. See, I’m a redhead just like she is! But I still needed a skin-tight action-suit like she’s got…

D: So you settled on a scuba suit?

K: … well, yeah. Also, I borrowed your credit card.

::CRASH::

D: I don’t think the Widow wears swim fins. And if she did, I bet she wouldn’t fall on her ass.

K: Help me up, American. And here ::hands Dan a comic book:: check out BLACK WIDOW, #1.

D: So this is part of the All-New Marvel Now! run of books. It totally makes sense for Marvel to get the Widow her own book. Women are reading comics in greater and greater numbers, and the Marvel movies have done a great job of showcasing the character.

K: Our Russian assassin isn’t a new character. Ms. Romanov has been around since the ‘60’s. Originally debuting as an Iron Man villain, the sexy super-spy eventually went over to the side of the angels. She’s hooked up with Hawkeye, Daredevil, and even was the Avengers team leader. What she hasn’t ever had was her own ongoing book.

D: The Avengers movie helped make the Black Widow the top tier character Natasha deserves to be. The movie’s writer and director, Joss Whedon, is known for writing strong female characters. Just look at what he did with the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

K:  Buffy would never fall for a sparkly vampire. She could run circles around that mopey Twilight girl. Real chicks sharpen their own stakes, bitches.

D: Whedon was able to take a female character that was on the Marvel Superhero C List and make her a star. His character development on the Silver Screen was enough for comics readers to demand that Natasha Romanov get her own book. Marvel not only listened, they put an “A List” team on the book, too.

K: Nathan Edmondson is writing it, right? From the Jake Ellis books? And The Activity? I like that guy. He writes very lean, action-oriented stories that are more grounded in reality.

D: Edmondson alludes to the Black Widow’s past, and the crimes that she has committed, but doesn’t tell you too much about her. She is a true International Woman of Mystery.

K: YEAH, BABY!

D: She is a hired gun and will take out the bad guys, I mean the really bad guys. However, she never profits from the pay from these “jobs”. All of the money is funneled into trust funds as atonement for her past sins.

K: Atonement? What did she do? Run over a bus full of nuns and puppies on their way to an orphanage?

D: I dunno. You can’t show all of your cards in the first issue.

::flips pages::

K: Y’know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a comic that looks like this before.

D: That’s Phil Noto for you. His watercolor look is just beautiful to look at. His work is lush, but not distracting to the story. His action scenes in Dubai? With Natasha dropping from the ceiling? Intense, without being gratuitous. Just fantastic.

K: This is the perfect time to talk about something that’s been bothering me for a while now. Why is the Black Widow better than Catwoman?

D: Like, who’d win in a wresting match?

K: Shut up. I’m being serious. Also, your pig statement proves my point: Women of action wouldn’t go and kick ass against criminals, secret agents, or super-villains with their boobs hanging out. This makes me so crazy I could spit!

::SPITS::

D: Ok, that was gross.

K: Sorry. But you see my point, right? It’s just not practical. You gotta keep the “girls” reigned in. So, I take this opportunity to thank Mr. Noto for giving the Widow a practical action-suit that zips all the way up.

D: Totally see your point, and this puts a fine point on the book overall. The BLACK WIDOW #1 falls directly into the Edmondson wheelhouse of “realistic superhero action.” This book will not be lacking action, but it’ll be action that makes sense.

K:  You know what else makes sense? A potty break before putting on this scuba suit. Could you unzip me before I flood the suit?

D: Sigh. My secret agent: tripping over swim fins and peeing her action suit.