Thursday, August 31, 2017

Marvel-ous Monday Thursday: "And Then Came...the Black Widow!" by G. Friedrich, J. Buscema, and Verpoorten

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Don'tcha think it's about time we dug into the Black Widow's solo-series in Amazing Adventures that ran through that Marvel-ous mag's first 8 issues (May 1970-June 1971)? Yeah, Ol' Groove thought so! Ya know, Madame Natasha doesn't get nearly the respect she deserves. It almost seems that a lot of fans forget that the Widow was one of the first Marvel super-heroines to star in their on series. Sure, the Wasp had a few solo stories in the 1960s, but other than that...? Not the Cat, Shanna, or Night Nurse--t'was The Black Widow, baby! And Green Lantern/Green Arrow gets all the attention for being the first to dive into the "Relevant" pool, but the Widow dove in at around the same time--and wore the wetsuit to prove it! Add to all of that that, while the series went through quite a few creators, said creators included Gary Friedrich, John Buscema, John Verpoorten, Gene Colan, Bill Everett, Mimi Gold, Roy Thomas, Don Heck, Sal Buscema, and Gerry Conway. And it all started right here with..."And Then Came...the Black Widow!"
Cover art by Jack Kirby and John Romita


  1. The Widow was a dandy villain as a cold war femme fatale, but when they reformed her she became a bit stiff until she dumped Hawkeye and put on the slithery jumpsuit in Spider-Man. The debut in Amazing Adventures was a great one and while she didn't catch on, she sure caught my attention. The Widow comes very close to stealing every Marvel movie she's in thanks to the smart and sassy way Scarlett Johansson plays her.

    Rip Off

  2. This is the start of Natasha going through her Modesty Blaise period - a pity it didn't last longer! Presumably it was the first appearance of Ivan, too - notice that he doesn't quite have the old-movie fixation and tough guy patois he'd be displaying in fairly short time.

    The Powers-That-Be must have wanted this to succeed to some degree - they've got John Buscema on pencils; that he managed to squeeze it into a presumably already-full schedule was to his credit (although notice that the backgrounds are fairly sparse)...and how often did one see a split cover using two different artists?

    You've already pointed out that this strip went through quite a number of creators - wonder whether it was because no-one could really get an angle that pleased everybody, or nobody had the time to give it the attention and care it needed?

    (You may have noticed I've got a real soft spot for this particular series...)

  3. Too much looking at Power Girl's boobs has probably made me blind, but I can't see any difference between BW's costume in the flashback with Spider-Man and the "new costume" she puts on in the following page?

    1. Your eyes are fine (somehow, ;D). Widow actually wore the new costume in the Spidey story being referenced. The question is, why did she even mention that the costume was new in this story? Perhaps for those who had missed ASM #86? Of course then THOSE people would be wondering about their eyesight...

  4. "I do not think they recognized me... I should have considered that when I designed my maskless new costume!"
    They don't write 'em like that anymore! (Not that I have any complaints about the new costume of course:)
    Enjoyed reading this again Groove, thanks for posting.


  5. Love John Buscema 's work on this. Natasha is lithe and powerful.



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