Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, Star-Lord and Black Widow will be part of the fun!

Today at Comic Con in London, Vice President Franchise Creative and Marketing for Marvel Studios, Dave Bushore and Creative Director of Disneyland Paris, Mark Huffman announced that the Marvel Super Heroes are coming to Disneyland Paris in the summer 2018 from June 10 to September 30.

Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, Star-Lord and Black Widow will appear for the first time exclusively at Disneyland Paris in summer 2018 in a special Marvel Summer of Super Heroes season. Your favorite heroes will be featured in the Walt Disney Studios Park for exciting meet & greets and breathtaking, epic shows.

But that’s not all for Marvel fans at Disneyland Paris. As first announced at D23 Expo this summer, Disneyland Paris is also re-imagining one of its Resort Hotels into a universe that would make Tony Stark proud. Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel will transport guests to the action-packed, inspiring world of Super Heroes including Iron Man, The Avengers, and Spider Man among others. Work on Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel will begin in October of 2018 and it will open in 2020.

Stay tuned for more updates on Marvel Summer of Super Heroes.

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The spy turned Avenger can be seen aboard the Disney Magic!

The premiere of Marvel Day at Sea is just around the corner! Marvel fans will want to join us as we count down to this epic celebration on select cruises aboard the Disney Magic.

As we near the debut, we’re featuring some of the mighty Marvel Super Heroes you can meet onboard during the daylong event, giving you insights into who they are and how you can get some face time with them.

Get ready to meet another ultra-cool Marvel Super Hero. Black Widow is just one of the many Marvel Super Heroes you can encounter during Marvel Day at Sea aboard select Disney Magic cruises.

Black Widow is one of the world’s greatest spies and a master of disguise. Natasha Romanov, known by many aliases, is an expert infiltrator, athlete and assassin. Brilliant and determined, Black Widow serves as a top S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and is one of the Avengers.

During this one epic day on each sailing, you may cross paths with the legendary super spy, Black Widow around the ship and see her battling villains with her wits, wisdom and strength in the nighttime deck show. In Marvel’s Avengers Academy, Black Widow teaches young recruits how to expertly maneuver through an elaborate laser grid maze, how to learn the secrets of their foes and other important secret agent skills.

Marvel Day at Sea premieres on select 7- and 8-night Disney Cruise Line sailings from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018.

To meet more Super Heroes assembling for this epic event, take a look back at these previous posts:

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Nick Spencer wraps up an epic event with SECRET EMPIRE OMEGA.

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

Nick Spencer kickstarted an epic tale starting with CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1 last year and this week, he wrapped it all up with SECRET EMPIRE: OMEGA #1 along with artists Andrea Sorrentino and Joe Bennett. 

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #1

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Before getting to the main event, let’s look at a few of the side stories that found their completion in this issue. First, as Clint Barton wept over Black Widow’s casket, Bucky Barnes found himself in Madripoor looking into the upcoming assassination of a general who aligned himself with Hydra. When the guy gets shot, Barnes thinks that the killer had to be Black Widow.

At the same time, Emma Frost and Hank McCoy talked about the dissolution of the mutant nation New Tian. While McCoy said that the efforts to put forth a solid mutant society would mean a lot to younger generations, Frost regretted that they would never know who their actual queen was.

Meanwhile, we also caught up with one of the more surprising members of HydraCap’s crew: The Punisher. Feeling betrayed and used, Frank Castle decided to make it his mission to burn Hydra to the ground. As Punisher continued his crusade, Nick Fury looked on and said to Control, “He’s ready.”

With those mysterious set-ups out of the way, it’s time to talk about the main confrontation in this issue which came between Steve Rogers and his Cosmic Cube-created copy with the octopus tattoo across his chest. To do so, Cap broke into a jail holding just the one captive.

Inside, he faced the man with his face. HydraCap, still convinced that the reality he understood thanks to Red Skull’s essential brainwashing of Kobik, was the correct one and one still worth fighting for. He also brought to Steve’s attention how quickly people seemed to turn on one another and reach for the power he offered them.

Rogers, while concerned with the damage HydraCap did to his image and reputation, still saw some good in the whole situation, hoping that this whole nasty endeavor would stop some people from blindly following anyone, even himself.

Ultimately, though, the true Captain America believes in the goodness of people and the resilience of his homeland. We’ll see him trying to make up for the mistakes a man with his face made over in MARVEL LEGACY #1 and CAPTAIN AMERICA #695.

The Empire Strikes Back

Upon leaving HydraCap’s cell, Steve Rogers warned his double not to leave his cell, letting him know that he’d be able to spot him no matter the face he wore. As the guards rushed in at the very end, though, one of them whispered something in his ear: “Hail Hydra.” So, while the threat of HydraCap seems low at this point, don’t be surprised if we see him again!

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War's hard on everyone, especially super-powered kids.

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

Wars, whether overt or secret, take their toll on everyone involved. Soldiers fight the battles, their families try to go on living back home and children do their best to understand the whole thing.

SECRET EMPIRE may have ended last week with the true Steve Rogers returning thanks to the efforts of Bucky Barnes, Kobik and everyone else who resisted Hydra’s advances. But, just because Captain America’s back to normal, doesn’t mean the damage gets fixed in an instant, at least in some cases.

This week’s CHAMPIONS #12, by Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos, examined the current status of the team in the wake of their incredible and horrible experiences during the conflict, which we’ll examine now! 

Champions (2016) #12

Champions (2016) #12

This version of The Champions – Totally Awesome Hulk, Young Cyclops, Ms. Marvel, Viv Vision, Miles Morales Spider-Man and Nova – initially came together because they didn’t like how the adult heroes handled the business of saving the world.

Even though they had their differences, the Champions joined up with the rest of the adult heroes in the Underground after Captain America took over the country in the name of Hydra.

As Secret Empire kicked off, their ranks swelled to include Ironheart as well as the new versions of Wasp, Falcon and Patriot. When Black Widow split off from the rest of the resistance fighters, intent on taking Steve Rogers out for good, the Champions followed her.

Even though Miles Morales had seen the same vision of himself killing Captain America as everyone else in CIVIL WAR II, he and his team intended to let Black Widow train them in the Red Room – as seen in SECRET EMPIRE UPRISING #1 – but never fully agreed with the idea of killing Steve Rogers. 

Secret Empire: Uprising (2017) #1

Secret Empire: Uprising (2017) #1

UPRISING also saw the Champions infiltrate the Hydra Youth Choir, a plan designed by Widow to get them close to Viper and eventually flip her to their side. This move allowed both Miles and Black Widow to get close enough to Steve Rogers to kill him, but instead Cap killed his former Avengers comrade and Miles gave himself up.

The remaining members of the team did their best to continue fighting against Hydra-Cap, but were temporarily erased from existence after he used a Cosmic Cube-created armor to rewrite history. As we mentioned above, though, Bucky’s plan to bring Kobik and Steve back worked and everyone returned to the land of the living, though still with the memories of what happened.

The Empire Strikes Back

In addition to bringing dead characters like Rick Jones and Black Widow back from the dead, Kobik also offered legacy characters like Miles, Amadeus, Sam Wilson, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Kate Burton, Jane Foster, Wolverine and Iron Heart a “journey of discovery…through the Vanishing Point.” Upon returning in the next panel, these individuals had been restored. To see exactly how, you’ll have to get the various GENERATIONS one-shots that feature these heroes meeting up with their predecessors in ways that allow long-dead or earlier versions of characters to interact with their modern counterparts.

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Before Clint and Natasha go their separate ways, see how they first got together!

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

This week’s installment of SECRET EMPIRE by Nick Spencer and Andrea Sorrentino not only established Captain America’s potentially wavering relationship with Hydra and equipped the heroes with the information they need to find the Cosmic Cube pieces, but also drove an enormous, and possibly permanent, wedge between longtime friends—and more—Black Widow and Hawkeye.

Way back in TALES OF SUSPENSE #57, Hawkeye—who decided to go from expert circus performer to masked hero after seeing Iron Man in action—got wrongfully accused of a crime. Russian spy Black Widow then appeared to save him, filled his quill with fancy arrows, and set him against Shellhead, dangling the potential for love like a carrot before the archer’s nose.

The duo continued to work together in the pages of TALES OF SUSPENSE #60 and #64, but eventually Hawkeye’s patriotism overcame his lust for the espionage expert and he went straight, joining Earth’s Mightiest Heroes along with the rest of Cap’s Kookie Quartet in AVENGERS #16.

Even though she too intended to defect to the States, Natasha found herself brainwashed and battling her former beau and his new allies in AVENGERS #29 and #30. However, she admitted that her love for Hawkeye helped break her from the mind control. The pair tried to make it work for a while, but ultimately, they went their separate ways.

Tales of Suspense (1959) #57

Tales of Suspense (1959) #57

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Natasha eventually became a full-fledged member of the Avengers herself and even led the team for a while. She also co-headlined the DAREDEVIL series for a time. Hawkeye moved on with Mockingbird, but still showed up in DAREDEVIL #99 to try and win the Widow back!

After enough time passed, Hawkeye and Black Widow figured out how to work together as friends and teammates. Most recently, Hawkeye came under fire during CIVIL WAR II for killing Bruce Banner at the doctor’s own orders. He then moved on to OCCUPY AVENGERS. Black Widow herself starred in her own acclaimed eponymous series.

So, what could cause such a rift between these two? A very clear split in ideology. Black Widow wants to assassinate Captain America for all he’s done, especially after the resistance lost so much ground trying to figure out if he was a clone or a Skrull or something else. Hawkeye, however, wants to wait and see if this Cosmic Cube plan can come together and fix his friend. In SECRET EMPIRE #2, Natasha made her position clear as she cold-clocked Clint and made off with her own agenda.

The Empire Strikes Back

If any two characters could understand the possibilities of a second chance, it’s Clint and Natasha. As you can tell from the above history lesson, both characters worked on either side of the law before becoming Avengers. A major reason they both got accepted into that organization’s hallowed halls lies with Captain America having faith in them. As Avengers and even agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., both have been able to at least try and make up for the bad they’ve done, which makes Natasha’s stance all the more troubling.

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Reviewing Some of Natasha Romanov’s Best Allies

Despite being trained as a lone wolf assassin, Black Widow has long excelled in team and partner situations. As writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee turn up the heat on her on January 18 in BLACK WIDOW #10, these might be some of the people she could turn to for some aid and support.

It turns out Cap and Black Widow have been allies for even longer than their Avengers history would suggest. All the way back in World War II, Rogers intervened to stop Romanova’s kidnapping by the Hand. Then, she teamed up with him, a certain angry Canadian, and her surrogate father to repel the ninjas on the streets of Soviet Russia.

Since then, Widow and Cap obviously share an extensive history of team-ups, both within and outside the rank of the Avengers.

The angry Canadian mentioned above. He may not have a clear memory of the incident in question thanks to Weapon X’s tinkering, but he stood with Natasha and Steve to fight those Hand ninjas some 70 years ago. Since then, her relationship to the mutant has been less smooth than hers with the Captain. She protected him from Hydra assassins, they have teamed up against the Hand again, she has manipulated him into partaking in a secret invasion of Latveria, and fought against him when he had been brainwashed by those ninjas that facilitated their first team-up back in the 40’s.

While under the direction of the Soviet Union, a brain washed Bucky Barnes fell in love with a deadly Red Room assassin. Their tyrannical government and time tore them apart, only for them to reunite in modern times, now both free of Russian control. They fell into romance once again but it proved even more short-lived as Bucky found himself forced to erase all memory of their love from her mind to save her life. They have teamed up since, but it seems she remains still unaware of their complicated past.

Romanov has a fairly extensive history with the Crimson Dynamos, most prominently with the second Dynamo, Boris Turgenov, with whom she had teamed up with for some time before coming to the U.S. on a mission to abduct or kill the first Dynamo, Anton Vanko, who had become an ally of Iron Man’s. Turgenov ended up killed during that mission and since most encounters between Widow and a Dynamo trend towards antagonistic.

Not yet a costumed hero, Danvers teamed up with Romanov–and Nick Fury–to see a newly altered by Weapon X Logan avoid death by at the hand of Hydra assassins. The next time they met, they opposed one another as Danvers (still in military service only) and the Thing tried to steal Soviet secrets and Widow opposed them. In modern day, of course, the two have teamed up many times and enjoy a professional relationship.

One of the biggest opponents of her career as a Russian spy became one of her biggest allies and a mentor figure in her post-Soviet career. They share not only a career path–professional spy–but similar understanding of the grays that fill the real world, grays that most super heroes struggle to acknowledge, nevermind wrestle with.

Beginning as just a mission objective, the relationship between Iron Man and Black Widow has blossomed into a deep and complex friendship. Although briefly romantic, what has most defined their connection has been their mutual dedication to attempting to assert order where none often can be found. This led Widow to join with Stark during CIVIL WAR and to stick with him even after the death of Cap. He, in turn, has helped her overcome her implanted Soviet programming (the Oktober Protocol) overlooked her past while encouraging others to do the same.

After initially failing to seduce and destroy Stark, Black Widow turned to similarly heading towards being a hero but not there yet Clint Barton. At first, his idealism drove her away from the Soviet Union and they began a romance, all without stopping their criminal activities. In time, he would assist her in making her break from Russian intelligence permanent and ask her to marry him. She ultimately refused, but the two have remained friends and allies since, now largely on the right side of the law.

Arguably, with the possible exception of Winter Soldier, her deepest, most committed romantic relationship happened with the Man Without Fear. The two fought side by side and lived together in San Francisco until, alas, their relationship unraveled and DD headed back to the East Coast. The two still boast a long history of flirtatious friendship and getting each other’s back no matter what.

Choosing to stay on the West Coast, Black Widow quickly helped begin and lead the super hero team known as the Champions. Soon after, as an act of paying it forward, Widow helped aid the Russian super hero Darkstar in defecting to the United States. Joining the Champions at the same time, Darkstar and Widow served side by side as teammates. From time to time, they would team up again, usually to oppose Russian overreach. Any change in their relationship brought on by Darkstar’s murder and resurrection via techno organic virus has yet to be revealed.

Saved by Black Widow as a child, Red Widow grew up not just admiring her one-time savior but doing her all to follow in Natasha’s footsteps. Besides her drive, Ava Orlova brings the ability to transmit electricity through objects to her mission. As of now, the two have only met the day Romanov rescued Orlova from the Russian mafia, but a team-up does seem inevitable, does it not?

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The pros and cons for romance between Natasha Romanoff and Bucky Barnes!

BLACK WIDOW #9—out December 21—we’ll get to see the return of everyone’s favorite man on the wall, Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier.

These two certainly have a spark, but would a renewed romance between them lead to a happily-ever-after, or would it end in heartbreak? The BLACK WIDOW creative team of Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee weigh in…

Nat + Bucky 4Ever

Mark Waid: “Obvious physical chemistry.

“[They would] have a lot to talk about when it comes to their days at work.

“[Both] have had a crush on Steve Rogers at some point in the past.”

Chris Samnee: “They have a shared history in the Red Room and affiliation with the Black Widow Ops Program, Department X, and the Avengers.

“Both are great at keeping secrets.

“They’ve already been a couple”

Black Widow (2016) #9

Black Widow (2016) #9

What is Marvel Unlimited?
…Or maybe not so much

Mark Waid: “Natasha [would be] constantly baffled by what birthday gift you get a 90-year-old man.

“Both of them [are] mopey at holidays and terrible at family functions.

“[They have a] bad habit of keeping state secrets from one another.”

Chris Samnee:

“They have a shared history in the Red Room and affiliation with the Black Widow Ops Program, Department X, and the Avengers.

“Both are great at keeping secrets.

“They’ve already been a couple”

Will they or won’t they? Find out on December 21 in BLACK WIDOW #9 by Chris Samnee and Mark Waid!

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Margaret Stohl unleashes the latest novel adventure starring Natasha Romanoff!

Many of us would rank Black Widow as one of our favorite characters in comics. She has a lot of strength and toughness, but also a lot of depth. And we’ll get to see more of her in the novel “Black Widow: Red Vengeance,” available now.

We asked writer Margaret Stohl about her process when it comes to writing Natasha, how we can expect to see the Widow’s story unfold, and more. Black Widow, of course, has a long history with Marvel. Can you describe the process of telling a Black Widow story that continues that history in your own voice?

Margaret Stohl: I have a pretty simple process: only take jobs I love, about characters or ideas I love—and then I fall more deeply in love with them! So I read every single Black Widow comic—even the fishnet tights years—and then looked for the through line, the one thread that never changed. Once I found it, I pulled on it as hard as I could. I’ve often said I’m less interested in who Natasha Romanoff is dating than I am in the nature of her heart, and that still feels true. I find it fascinating how little she sees herself as a hero but how incredibly heroic she is. I identify with her awkward emotional stumbles, but also see how badly she wants to connect with the people she cares about—and how poorly she does at that. That’s my Natasha. “Black Widow: Red Vengeance” is the sequel to “Black Widow: Forever Red,” in which we get to see the evolution of Natasha and Ava’s relationship. Will we see more of that in “Red Vengeance”?

Margaret Stohl: Absolutely. Especially with a young hero, the mentor/mentee relationship can get so fraught. Ava and Natasha share a background and a broken heart, but they have very fundamental differences. Ava, who has just come into her powers, really feels the need to define her own journey and find her own arc. Natasha, who has been alone on that journey for a very long time now, has a harder time letting go. I enjoy setting this dynamic in motion, because the two of them just keep spinning. Natasha comes off as kind of stoic and has a little bit of a hardened exterior, but also has a lot of heart—she just doesn’t always show it. Can you talk about writing a character with those kinds of layers?

Margaret Stohl: I love Natasha’s layers—I think we all do—but I especially love that complexity coming from a female character in comics. I think we expect the gruff man with a heart of gold thing from a Han Solo, but from a Natasha Romanoff it’s all that [rarer], and really just a delight. I guess it makes sense, then, that I consider Han Solo my favorite male character to write. You’ve also worked in the video game industry. How does writing fiction compare to working in video games? They’re obviously very different fields, but it seems like they’d both require you to tap into that creative mindset.

Margaret Stohl: You know, it’s interesting. A story is a story—mostly because, I suppose, a human is a human, and at the end of the day we’re interested in other humans. That said, writing games and writing comics have much more in common with each other than with writing books, mostly because of the economy of words. With a book you get the luxury of so many words! But in a comic, you really have to choose between getting your plot beats on to the page and letting your characters speak. There are similarities in video games, where you strip down the story to basic actions and dialogue. In both cases, I value humor and humanity, so that motivates my decision making.

Pick up “Black Widow: Red Vengeance” by Margaret Stohl wherever books are sold!

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The supreme Soviet spy gets beefed up with extra power and skills!

Striking from the shadows, Black Widow takes out high priority targets while the Avengers steamroll the enemy front line! D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin dropped by tell us all about the new Natasha and what she brings to “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” Black Widow has 1, 2, and 3 star variations already, why are you guys skipping right up to a 5 star? We need a 4 star! Think of the completists!

Josh Austin: The [“Captain America: Civil War”] movie brought us a 5 star Iron Man and a 5 star Captain America to the world of “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” The perfect complement to these characters is a 5 star Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff). She’s an important fighting force on the Avengers, and adding a Marvel Cinematic Universe variation of Black Widow to the game was an exciting opportunity to help build from the big screen. But for now, who knows, maybe there will be a 4 star variation in the future. For right now, this variation fits the theme, just in time for the Digital HD release of the movie. What makes Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) different than the other versions of the deadly assassin? What inspired this Natasha?

Josh Austin: Black Widow’s abilities focus on the awesome movie moments that brought her more supportive characteristics out. She is able to sabotage enemy plans, take out enemies by targeting their weakness, and when one of her teammates is stunned, she stuns back. Is it difficult designing new kits for existing characters and making them feel totally unique?

Josh Austin: With basically the Marvel Universe available for the creative team to choose from, there are lots of characters and variations that can be chosen. Even as we speak, we get word of new possibilities through all the different Marvel happenings that we could include on some of our favorite characters. So there is definitely no shortage of possibilities to choose from. With the various star differences, we can play with these variations a bit more, so for a 5 star variation we can showcase some more of the destructive abilities that allows us to push the character even further. Tell us a little about this new Natasha’s kit. What does she do differently than her other variations?

Josh Austin: Natasha’s first ability, Tell Me Everything costs 12 Purple AP. Black Widow finds the enemy’s secrets and dismantles their carefully laid plans. She deals 557 damage and removes up to 3 random enemy Strike, Protect or Countdown tiles. This costs 1 AP less for each enemy Countdown tile on the board (minimum cost of 7 AP).

Her second ability, Acrobatic Takedown, costs 12 Red AP. Black Widow turns her enemy’s strength against them and strikes. It deals 2787 damage and if the enemy has at least 12 AP in any color, it deals an additional 1505 damage. If this downs an enemy, it also destroys 4 enemy AP in a random color.

Her last ability is called Red in My Ledger for 10 Black AP. Black Widow pays her debts. Deals 2090 damage. If any allies are below 20% health, drain 2 random enemy AP and deals an extra 1588 damage. It also comes packed with a passive! Whenever one of Black Widow’s allies is stunned, she stuns a random enemy for one turn. I’m guessing we can’t team her up with her other selves. That’d probably be a little crazy, but who benefits from her abilities? What kind of synergies does she have with the rest of the cast?

Josh Austin: Natasha is a great support character, so really the best team-up would be with anyone that hits hard and can generate Black AP. In my opinion I’d focus on a 5/3/5 to get the most out of Tell Me Everything, if you can get it down to 7 it hits hard for very little AP, then her third ability can hopefully get you out of situations by stealing AP from the enemy.

I’m also a big fan of stunning an enemy that stunned someone on my team. Her Tell Me Everything ability will really destroy the opponents plans when using Green Goblin’s Trick or Treat, Steve Rogers’ (First Avenger’s Earth’s Mightiest Heroes), Iron Man (Mark XLVI)’s House Party Protocol and the like which creates a lot of countdown tiles, bringing the cost down of her ability, dealing 10,752 damage for 7 AP if there are 5 Countdown tiles and removing a number of special tiles. When do we get to recruit her for ourselves?

Josh Austin: Starting tomorrow on September 1, the 5 star Black Widow will be available in a special Civil War Legendary pack called the Black Room Pack. This pack gives the player a 10% chance to get one of her covers. Players can earn these packs from performing well in the event or additional packs can be purchased with 25 Command Points. 

Take Natasha into battle soon and stay tuned to for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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Chris Samnee and Mark Waid put Natasha Romanoff on the run from Recluse in a new storyline!

Natasha Romanoff’s best kept—and darkest—secrets have mysteriously gone public. Her former allies in S.H.I.E.L.D. mark her every move. And she now knows—and has gained control of—the Weeping Lion’s very particular set of skills, with which she plots to destroy the Red Room’s reincarnation: The Dark Room.

But, the Widow has bigger fish to fry. A fish by the name of Recluse, the daughter of the Red Room’s headmistress, fixated on killing Natasha to prove her worth in BLACK WIDOW #7, available October 19.

Can Natasha protect herself from Recluse without the help of S.H.I.E.L.D. and her friends? The Eisner Award-winning BLACK WIDOW writing team, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, answer our burning questions. Going into Marvel NOW! what can we expect from Marvel’s favorite assassin in this series? 

Chris Samnee: You’ll see a new role for Nat now that she’s finally turned the tables on the Weeping Lion—our blackmailing baddie from the first six issues. We’ll also be pulling back the curtain on some of Nat’s early Red Room missions while showing just how far she has come in the spy game.

Mark Waid: ?Transparency. “No More Secrets.” Widow’s actions of the past have come back to haunt her in a damaging way, and now she’s trying to help others avoid a similar fate. With S.H.I.E.L.D. no longer on her side and some of her darkest secrets leaked to the public, how is Natasha holding up? Is she still dealing with the repercussions or does she have other things on her mind?

Chris Samnee: She’s reeling, sure, but it’s the mission ahead that is her main focus.

Mark Waid: The Widows-in-training from the Dark Room are on the loose, and it’s up to Natasha to track them down. Without giving anything away, what are you most looking forward to in the series?

Chris Samnee: Let’s just say there are a few guest stars from Nat’s past that I’ve champing at the bit to put in the book.

Mark Waid: ?A certain Man on the Moon. Mark, what is it like working with Chris on this book?

Mark Waid: ?It [is] a joy. Chris does all the heavy lifting— and doesn’t get enough credit. We talk out each issue, I write up a brief synopsis for editorial approval, and then Chris just goes to town. Chris, what is it like working as both the artist and co-writer on this book?

Chris Samnee: Time consuming! Seriously though, it’s been great having someone like Mark to hash the story out with. We’ve worked together so well in the past, but what we’ve done before is a whole other animal than what we’re doing on BLACK WIDOW. With DAREDEVIL I had some input here and there but at the end of the day I still felt like I was helping to tell Mark’s story. With BLACK WIDOW we’ve essentially switched roles where I’m taking more point on story, Mark and [editor] Jake [Thomas] keep me from driving the whole thing off the road and help steer it all in an entertaining direction and Mark comes back in with his sharp-as-a-knife dialogue once the issue is drawn and makes us all look good.

And we can’t talk about the book without mentioning Matt Wilson’s amazing color work and Joe Caramagna’s terrific letters. This book is a team effort through and through and it wouldn’t be the same without the old gang month after month. How did illustrating the story help with the writing process? 

Chris Samnee: I honestly can’t imagine it working any other way. So much of the process has just been thinking on paper while drawing layouts. After brainstorming out the big story beats—whether that’s by myself or with Mark and Jake—I spend a good deal of time each issue just free form doodling and trying to find ways to organize scenes and bridge them all together in a way that flows smoothly, is entertaining, and ideally is drawn in such a way as the reader can understand the bulk of the story without dialogue. The daughter of the Red Room’s headmistress is fixated on killing Natasha. How can she protect herself from Recluse?

Chris Samnee: If Nat were on better footing with S.H.I.E.L.D., or a certain genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist, she might be able to prepare for the inevitable showdown Recluse—but all those bridges are burned. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in her shoes right about now.

Mark Waid: Short answer: as we’ll see soon, she can’t.

Stay tuned to and our social media channels for the latest on Marvel NOW!

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