Wednesday, February 04, 2015

In the Know: The Red Room

Last week's Marvel's Agent Carter had some scenes showcasing young girls being trained as spies and brutal combatants in Russia, the same program that Black Widow stems from.  The infamous "Red Room" and the widow's origins, are sure to be make an appearance in the next Marvel movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, if the trailer is any indication, and will likely be featured prominently in future episodes of Marvel's Agent Carter.  So what better excuse to take a good look at some Black Widow comics?

Essential Reading

Black Widow: The Itsy-Bitsy Spider (Devin Grayson & J.G. Jones) - Features Natasha as the kick-ass spy we know her to be.  This is probably the best solo story featuring the Avenger.  This also prominently features Yelena Belova, the blonde, next generation Black Widow who still works as a spy for Russia (she had made a brief appearance previously, but this is where she was extensively used for the first time). 

Black Widow: Breakdown (Devin Grayson, Greg Rucka & Scott Hampton) - Following The Itsy-Bitsy Spider is this cool story featuring the Black Widows switching bodies, with Daredevil thrown into the mix.

Both storylines were collected together in a trade paperback if you can find it. 

Suggested Reading

Black Widow: Pale Little Spider (Greg Rucka & Igor Kordey) - This is kind of a messed-up story featuring Yelena Belova exclusively.  This was released under the MAX mature readers imprint, and really digs into this character.

Thunderbolts: Widowmaker (Andy Diggle & Roberto Del La Torre) - Yelena joins the Thunderbolts, as one of Norman Osborn's black-ops agents.  Oh, but there are twists and turns as the Thunderbolts hunt down former teammate Songbird.  This is a great story for Black Widow.

Black Widow: The Name of the Rose (Marjorie Liu & Daniel Acuna) - This is the first collection of an ongoing series from the creative team, with some great spy action featuring Natasha.

Further Reading

Black Widow: Homecoming (Richard K. Morgan & Bill Sienkiewicz)

Black Widow: The Things They Say About Her (Richard K. Morgan, Sean Phillips & Bill Sienkiewicz) - Both of these books feature some great art, and really dig into The Red Room.

Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker: The Complete Collection (Ed Brubaker, Butch Guice & Michael Lark) - Black Widow is featured heavily in this series that ran for fourteen issues, and people seem to really like her in it, although I haven't had the chance to read it yet.

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