When she works as a superhero, Black Widow associates with some of the Marvel Universe's heaviest hitters, like Thor, Hercules and the Hulk. On her own, though, the genetically-engineered former spy and assassin is just as dangerous as any of the company she keeps. In the recent Tales of Suspense miniseries, she proved that to the secret cabal that resurrected her and tried to revive the sinister Red Room program by utterly destroying them and their goals. This winter, the citizens of one of the Marvel Universe's most decadent locales will learn first-hand exactly what Black Widow is capable of when she invades its shores on a mission of vengeance.
It all happens this January, when filmmakers Jen and Sylvia Soska and artist Flaviano Armentaro kick off a new volume of Black Widow, where their title character will stalk the wealthy and crime-ridden districts of the island nation known as Madripoor in search of some very evil people she's targeted for elimination. CBR spoke with the Soska sisters about their take on Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow stories that inspired them and who or what Black Widow might run into during her mission to Madripoor.
CBR: So Jen and Sylvia, for your new series you're tackling the Black Widow, a character who's been a spy, assassin and a superhero. So, she can be caring and compassionate or she can be as ruthless and driven as someone like the Punisher. Which aspects of her character were you most interested in exploring for this series?
Sylvia Soska: One of the many cool things about writing a character like Widow is that she is very multi-layered. There's a warmth, but there's also a Russian winter frost when she needs it. Her heart is going to motivate her in this story, but it's what she's like when she's a deadly spy and assassin rather than a superhero. She's going into some dark territory, being ruthless is going to be helpful.
Jen Soska: I like Widow’s dark side. I don’t like to see her restrained. I don’t like to see her apologetic. She is a living weapon. She knows what she does is often a regrettable necessity, but sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes people are so awful that they deserve someone like the Black Widow taking them out. It’s funny to say, but it’s actually her heart and compassion that lead her down this dark path of bloody justice.
You're tackling Natasha in the aftermath of two huge stories for her; her death in Secret Empire and her resurrection in Tales of Suspense. So what's your sense of the character when you pick up with her? And is this an introspective tale where we'll hear Natasha's inner monologue about what she's been through? A more actions speak louder than words story? Or is it a bit of both?
Sylvia: We've been reading Marvel comics since we were kids, so it's impossible not to look at the rich history of the character and the different milestones that she has had. Widow has been to Madripoor before, she has a lot of history with a lot of characters that could spring up in a place like that. You'll get her inner thoughts and lots of action.
Jen: Natasha has been through a lot and she internalizes. She’s a spy. To really get to know what’s going on with her you need to get a glimpse into her head, and you will. After what she’s been through, Nat is reconnecting with who she is. She has a morbid sense of humor about it, too, as she’s had a lifetime of hardships. Black Widow is identifying who she is without the Avengers.