Dec 3, 2019

First Trailer: Marvel's BLACK WIDOW Movie!

Black Widow will be the first of Marvel's superspies to get her own movie (preceding Shang Chi by a year), and today Marvel released the first trailer. And it looks pretty cool! I'm honestly surprised about how many images come directly from the various Black Widow comics over the years. Clearly, the character's first standalone film will contain some flashbacks to Natasha Romanoff's early days as a child raised to be a KGB assassin in Moscow's infamous Red Room. Scarlett Johansson has played the role in seven Marvel movies (most recently the all-time box office champ Avengers: Endgame), but this will be her first solo feature.

If you want to play catch-up on the comics and see where some of those images in the trailer come from, there are some collections out there that make that possible. (And even more are due next year in the lead up to the movie!) Three beautifully prodcued Marvel Premiere hardcovers collect this secret agent's most essential adventures in matching volumes. Black Widow: The Sting of the Widow presents the character's first appearance (in a silly costume in an issue of Iron Man) and earliest solo adventures from the early Seventies, after she'd gotten an Emma Peel makeover, ending up in the black catsuit with which she's still most closely associated. These early Black Widow comics will surely be of interest to collectors and hardcore fans, but casual fans looking for a great introduction to the character are better off picking up the second volume in the series, Black Widow: Web of Intrigue first.

Black Widow: Web of Intrigue offers an excellent primer on the character containing some of her classic appearances from the early Eighties, including an excellent comic drawn by my second-favorite spy artist (after Steranko), Paul Gulacy.  (Look for a cameo appearance by Michael Caine!) Black Widow: Web of Intrigue contains this and several other seminal tales of the red-haired Russian superspy. A third volume, Black Widow: The Itsy Bitsy Spider collects a pair of Marvel Knights stories from the late Nineties (including one by Queen & Country scribe Greg Rucka).

My two favorite modern-day Widow storylines have yet to receive the hardcover treatment, sadly, but are available in a pair of out-of-print trade paperbacks. (They'll also, happily, be collected in a new single volume next year!) Richard K. Morgan's Black Widow: Homecoming and Black Widow: The Things They Say About Her put the focus on espionage above superheroics and are among the very best Marvel spy stories of this century. Other recent Widow stories include Black Widow: Deadly Origin, Black Widow and the Marvel Girls, Black Widow: The Name of the Rose and Black Widow: Kiss or Kill. Most of the character's adventures with Daredevil from the 1970s are included in Essential Daredevil: Volume 3. as well as the color Daredevil Epic Collection: A Woman Called Widow.

No comments: