Black Widow #6: Review

Aug 2016
Mark Waid, Chris Samnee

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Black Widow #6 Review by (September 17, 2016)
The history of Natasha Romanoff and Ivan Petrovitch has been altered over the years, but throughout it all they have been portrayed as friends and surrogate father/daughter. Their dislike here is new. But possibly the young girl resented that Ivan had brought her to the Red Room, and later they regained their friendship.

Wong-Chu was the Communist warlord who captured Tony Stark in Vietnam in Iron Man's origin in Tales of Suspense #39. However Marvel's rolling timeline now has Stark not even born then, and his origin (with Yinsen in tow) has been moved forward to Afghanistan and a different villain. So this comic's flashback is a bit retro.

Whenever IM's origin is supposed to be set, Black Widow was a spy for some form of Russia in early ToS issues. #52 had the 2nd Crimson Dynamo and #53 the anti-gravity ray. Her team-up with Hawkeye featured in #57, #60 and #64.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Black Widow #6 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Tony Stark is working on his Iron Man armour when he hears on the News that Black Widow has been disowned by SHIELD. And info has been leaked concerning acts of espionage she did for Russia before she defected to the West. Which includes that she was involved in the abduction of Prof Ho Yinsen, the scientist who died (Tales of Suspense #39) so that Stark could complete the 1st Iron Man suit and escape from terrorists.

He immediately armours up and jets out, telling his AI Friday to find Natasha Romanoff.

In Paris the fugitive is in a phone box telling someone what's happened in the previous issues. Weeping Lion had the now-leaked secrets and blackmailed her. On his bidding she stole other files from SHIELD and used them to locate the new Red Room - secret training academy for Russian assassins. But SHIELD Agent Elder tracked her down and stole the info from her, and killed himself and destroyed the data to stop it falling into Weeping Lion's hands. So the villain released her secrets to the world. But whoever she's calling won't help her.

Now it's flashback time to when young Natasha was a trainee at the earlier Red Room. She is given the task of capturing Yinsen, who will be at a certain cemetery for a funeral. Ivan, who Natasha detests, will accompany her to help deliver the Prof to the people who want him.

Tasha attends the funeral. Afterwards she leaps into action announcing that Wong-Chu wants to see Yinsen. She deals with his bodyguards and leaves Yinsen unconscious for Ivan. They drive their captive to a private airport and hand him over to Wong-Chu's men. The Professor begs for his freedom, and Natasha experiences a twinge of compassion.

Now Iron Man arrives at the pay-phone where Black Widow is still on the line. He chides her for forgetting her spycraft and using an unencrypted line. But more than that he wants to know that it isn't true about her and Yinsen. But then he notices her bruised and beaten look, and offers to take her to the local Stark International office for a drink, and she can explain everything there.

Inside he rearranges the molecules of the Iron Man armour into a tux, so they can chat more amicably. He reminisces about their earliest encounters as enemies (in ToS), where she set the 2nd Crimson Dynamo on him, used an anti-gravity ray to drop a building on him, and seduced Hawkeye into being a villain before he became an Avenger.

He's forgiven her for these things, but if the Yinsen thing is true then that's another matter. Yinsen helped him escape from Wong-Chu, but also he was a genius who would have benefitted mankind enormously if he'd lived.

Tasha admits that she did what he's heard. Tony controls his anger before his armour-enhanced strength can hurt her. He offers to let her recover from her injuries before he decides what to do about her. He leads her into his inner office. An automatic scan verifies that she's not carrying any concealed weapons (apart obviously from her Widow's Bite wrist weapons in plain view). But Tony notices that the scan also says she has no injuries.

So that's when she zaps him with her Bite, saying that the injuries were just makeup and acting. And she meant for him to track her by her phone call, to a random stranger's voice mail.

Now that she has access to Stark's private computer terminal BW looks up a certain shipment of Stark International stuff. Apparently when she was a captive of Weeping Lion she noticed a Stark International crate with a serial number. Now she knows the address she was held at.

So she goes there and beats up Weeping Lion. Except it turns out he's only a muscle front for the brains behind the operation, his brother Ilija Knezevic. Who it transpires is also a telepath, who threatens to pull even more secrets from Natasha's mind.

However, Widow stole a couple of things from Stark's place while she was there. An earpiece to prevent mental invasion. (Now how did she know she'd need that?) And a repulsor ray with which she blasts Ilija. And she tells him that from now on he works for her.

Chris Samnee
Chris Samnee
Matthew Wilson
Chris Samnee (Cover Penciler)
Chris Samnee (Cover Inker)
Matthew Wilson (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Wong-Chu.

> Black Widow: Book info and issue index

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