Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The thread that keeps on giving.

We came up with an interesting question about the Black Widow in this comment thread which was derailed by the beginning of a beautiful fight that led into another comment thread (which was unfortunately ended by a sudden attack of honesty and understanding--what the fuck Kalinara have you been hiding mutant powers or do you just know me that well?). Because a question which is vital to the peace of mind for all involved has surfaced, and because researching this question would required digging through a crossover that was written by Mark Millar, I'm going to throw it out to the internet:

Do any of the Civil War tie-ins and fallout issues explain why Natasha decided to go pro-reg?

LurkerWithout thinks her personal loyalties should have put her with Nick and Cap, John feels that she was going for her own interests, Dan thinks she cut a deal (or that she's a Skrull), and I think she's watching things at SHIELD for Nick Fury while he's been forced into hiding.

In all likelihood this question has already been answered in one of the five billion Civil War tie-ins, or some issue of something since then but as I said before that's too much to sift through and some of them were written by Mark Millar. Did any Marvelfans out there spot a sequence that explains Natasha's reasoning, and would they care to explain it?


  1. As much as I agree that Millar's a hack writer he still wasn't the worst one involved. That goes to Paul "Penance/Sally Floyd" Jenkins...

    While I'm uninterested in the ongoing SI mega event at least they gave the Frontlines book to someone else this time around...

    Of course I wonder about Black Widow being on the current Avengers team. She's a former chair person for the team and now she's taking orders from Carol AND Tony? If allowing that her motivations are all selfish, WHAT does she get out of all this?

    Is it just she wants a break from beating up SHIELD agents and teaching teen super-hero trainees how to shoot people in the head?

  2. It's completely unexplained so far. Suck on THAT, causality!

    My personal theory is that they figured hey, Natasha's used to being a government operative and would jump at the chance to do so again.

  3. Darn it, Ragnell, I've been doing my best to hide from the whole Skrull/Civil War mess, and now you have me genuinely curious about why the Black Widow is hanging around those Pro-Reg idiots.

    I have to say that I like the idea about being there because she's really working for Nick Fury.

  4. I think it (Natasha's reasoning) was actually alluded to in a recent issue of New or Mighty Avengers ... may have even been in Giant-Sized or something. I'll need to go home and peep through those issues, but I think she was giving some grief to Carol for letting the N.A. get away (again) and Carol made some allusion to Natasha/Natalia's own reasons for ... uh ... where am I going with this? No, really, I'll check tonight. Maybe.

  5. Count me amongst the folks who like the cut of your jib, Ragnell. I see no other reasons for Widow to hang around the Pro-Regs other than her working for Nick Fury or finding her own way to punish Tony & Co. for screwing over Cap.

    Of course, the only in-comics anti-Tony stuff I can remember is one of her thought bubbles in MA, where she thinks something along the lines of "Spare me." in response to Tony's lame compliments/pick-up lines. Still, your line of reasoning just makes sense to me.

  6. Since Natasha is from the Soviet Union, perhaps she is just used to dealing with government sanctioned groups. While S.H.I.E.L.D. is no where in the same league as the KGB RED ROOM, perhaps she feels that it is the lesser of two evils.

    Quite a few of the pro-reg character have their own agendas. By no means are they blanket supporters of registration. Ms. Marvel, while pro-reg, is not a cheerleader for Tony. Spider-Woman has been anti-reg,pro-reg, Nick Fury loyalist and everything in between. The Black Widow is no exception to these multi faceted characters.

  7. I vote Skrulliness. You know this is one of Millar's "I was planning this and dropping hints for ten years" droppings.

  8. I'm in your heeeeeaaaad. Mwahaha.

    And my vote is that she's Fury's spy. It'd make sense to me. :-)

  9. Natasha sort of disappears from the MU after Hawkeye's death in Avengers Disassembled, presumably to go into the Richard K. Morgan minis. But it's debatable whether those are in continuity or not.

    Given the reveal in the first mini, I hope not, but I can live with it.

    Aside from helping out Daredevil in the final Bendis arc, Natasha suddenly pops up on the pro-reg side in one panel in Civil War #3. As to how and why she's pro-reg, that hasn't been answered to my knowledge.

  10. Those miniseries from Morgan were good, but sadly don't appear to be continuity. That's too bad, since they were good, but they raised more questions than they would've answered.

    Maybe it's because of Natasha's spy history, but she seems to blend in with groups pretty quickly: Avengers, Champions, Marvel Knights, whatever. But why she's pro-reg is a mystery to me, especially if Daredevil, Cap, and Fury all ended up on the other side. I thought she had briefly seen Tony, but certainly not enough to inspire any sort of loyalty over them...

  11. I don't really have a theory on Natasha, but I just thought I'd chime in and say that this reminds me of the similar and equally unanswered question of why exactly Tigra decided to betray Cap during Civil War. I mean, that can't be a particularly easy decision for any former Avenger to make, and yet we never saw even a hint of her thought processes.

    Although something tells me that expecting these things to obey logic or prior characterization may be a bit pointless . . .

  12. I think Millar and Hudlin's thought processes amounted to: "She's a girl that wears skimpy clothes."

  13. Realistically, I think editorial just really wanted Natasha on the Mighty Avenger/SHIELD team.

    However, I don't know if you read Captain America, Ragnell, but Natasha gets a fair bit of face time there as a SHIELD agent and some of her motivations are at least hinted at. With the Red Skull still screwing things up, she feels that fighting with SHIELD to stop him is what Steve would have wanted. I'm sure it's an advantageous alliance for her as well. She also seems to have a history with Bucky, which I'd honestly like to see explored more by Brubaker.

    In other comics, though? She's really just a face.

  14. EDIT: I just caught up reading some of your back posts, and it seems you made a whole post about Bucky + Natasha! Sorry, it's been awhile since I've visited any blogs.

    I'm glad to see we were on the same wavelength about exploring the Bucky/Natasha relationship, though :)

  15. Ragnell...where are you?

    I value your posts and insights. If you are not posting because of the @$$holes, well, there are always going to be @$$holes.

    If you are not posting because you are super busy or on vacation...never mind.

    Alan Coil

  16. When Nick went underground in Secret War, Natasha was involved. The shock and backlash from Nick's decision to use SHIELD resources in an unsanctioned action fell on Daisy Johnson, not Natasha. However, Nick's response has been almost uniformly, "Go ahead and sell me out, it's cool, you have to keep living among SHIELD and the real world. I'm out."

    I think Natasha is just doing as Nick intended and continuing to operate with as many resources as SHIELD will continue to give her.