Sunday, December 30, 2012

Black Widow

Name This Marvel Villain??

Judging by those spikes coming out of this lady's wristbands, she's probably not looking to be your friend, is she? Blaming the Black Panther for the death of her lover--the Panther's former nemesis, Erik Killmonger--Madam Slay arranged a brutal death for him.

When Killmonger met his death in his battle with the Panther, Slay subsequently captured T'Challa and made her identity known to him in an imposing meeting.

Slay didn't waste much time on niceties. She immediately put her plan for the Panther into action, having two of her leopards brutally drag him across the landscape until his death.

Slay could have done herself a favor and simply used one of those spikes she accessorized with to do the job of killing the Panther. Because if you give the guy some rope and freedom of movement, something like this is probably going to happen:

The Panther then rides the leopards back to Slay's lair, where he takes out her servant. And, astonishingly, turns his back on a woman wielding spikes and seeking vengeance. It slips my mind what sort of acute senses the Panther possesses, but they couldn't have been working on all cylinders if Slay is able to come up behind him and impale him while having a discussion with him.

Fortunately, one of the Panther's aides takes out Slay with a blaster. But would you believe the Panther is able to walk away from the scene, just chatting away with his aide as if he'd been through no more than a long workout? You're telling me that a spike that thick and long, jabbed in aggressively, didn't strike something vital?

Slay later resurfaced and took another--heh heh--stab at killing the Panther, this time with a revived Killmonger (back from the dead with some assistance from the Mandarin), and he and Slay eventually went up against the Panther and Iron Man. In so doing, the Mandarin's secret agenda was foiled, and he withdrew the animation he was providing to Killmonger, who collapsed once again in death.

Slay subsequently faded away into obscurity, which doesn't surprise me--not many people want to hire on with a lady who spends her time talking to a corpse. Madam Slay apparently didn't have super-powers to speak of, though she exhibited an ability to control certain beasts of prey. Her main strengths were in her aggressiveness and misplaced loyalty. Killmonger was really the one who called the shots. The Mandarin was able to help her in that regard; but when, finally, Killmonger was taken from her side, both she and Marvel apparently found little else for her to contend with. It's really too bad that her menacing name couldn't be put to better use.


Edo Bosnar said...

Man, I had to finally de-lurk to say I totally knew that was Madam Slay before I clicked "Read more" (less because of my knowledge of 1970s Marvel trivia and more because I'm so, possibly excessively, fond of McGregor's Black Panther tales).
I agree with you that it's unfortunate that she was never put to better use later (that Mandarin tale you described doesn't really sound like 'better use'), but for me it would take a really good writer to match her first Jungle Action appearance.
By the way, as to your surprise about BP just kind of walking off that nasty stab wound, well, have you read the entire Panther's Rage arc? T'Challa pretty much spends most of the story getting poked by various sharp objects and jagged edges, and generally getting the crap kicked out of him...

Comicsfan said...

Ha ha, you're right that "Panther's Rage" might better have been called "Panther's Bandages," given Don McGregor's penchant for ripping T'Challa to near-shreds, patching him up, and bringing him back for more punishment. (T'Challa probably kept his seamstresses working overtime, making one costume after another.) On the other hand, the point of the Panther cult was to have the chosen "Black Panther" defend Wakanda, and I thought "Panther's Rage" did an excellent job of taking the Panther out of his Avengers environment and showing T'Challa operating against deadly threats spawned from his homeland--with most of his antagonists using the tools at hand. Malice, Killmonger, Venomm, Lord Karnaj--they were all out for the Panther's blood, so I guess it was only natural for McGregor to show a little. (And then some!)

Hey, by the way--welcome aboard! :)

Iain said...

Wow the comic Panther could sure use that outfit he wears in the movies the one that never rips and makes him basically iron man. ^^

Comicsfan said...

We certainly know he has the resources for it, Iain. Why the Panther has such a tearable outfit when he mostly operates in the jungle seems like an oversight on the part of Wakanda's R&D division.