Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Prey of the Black Widow!


Oh, no!  It looks like Spidey might have met his match here, doesn't it?



No, we can all relax. Spider-Man isn't really fighting a copy of himself, as much as the Black Widow wishes otherwise.

The gist of this story is that the Widow is looking to break with her past and make a fresh start; but as much as she respects her own prowess, she wants to find out the secret of Spider-Man's abilities, so that she might have a new edge in her career.



And so, she goes after him--instead of just asking him about it. This was still the '70s, you know. Characters only rarely thought things like this through beforehand.  Snare first and ask questions later.

To make matters easier for the Widow, Spider-Man in this issue is suffering a mysterious weakness, which slows him down and makes him sluggish in action. The Widow is unaware of this, and so the majority of this "battle" involves the Widow aggressively kicking Spidey's butt while he remains dazed and confused, wondering why the Widow is after him:



It's only with the issue drawing to its close that Spider-Man begins to resist and fight back. And, jeez, just watch how quickly the Black Widow--the most dangerous spy alive, mind you--throws in the towel when Spider-Man basically says "boo":




With Amazing Adventures #1 premiering the month after this issue went on sale, and the Black Widow scheduled to split that title with the Inhumans, we can assume that showcasing the Widow in the very popular title of her male counterpart--with Spider-Man conveniently looking like the Widow's prey for much of the fight--would turn out to be a sales device meant to stoke interest in her new title. There would also be a shameless plug to that effect added at the end of the story for good measure, though it referred interested readers to the first issue of Amazing Tales by mistake.  It wasn't a bad debut for Madame Natasha, though her try-out in that book would last just eight issues.  With Spider-Man himself still on a roll, apparently a non-powered version rolled up in a spy wasn't a hero whose time had yet arrived.

1 comment:

Phil said...

The new costume was inspired by Tarpe Mills Miss Fury.

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