You may have seen the first photo of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow (at right, first published by Entertainment Weekly) from next summer’s “Iron Man 2,” now take a look at how closely it matches up with the upcoming Marvel Comics series “Black Widow: Deadly Origin.’
Johansson will be in San Diego for Comic-Con International, and though many comics fans have known the Widow for decades (she first showed up 45 years ago in “Tales of Suspense” No. 52), there’s going to be a big push in the months to come to reframe her history and fill in her back-story for relative newcomers to the Cold War character.
The limited series “Black Widow: Deadly Origin” is due in November and features art by Tom Raney, who drew the striking image you see above. I called the writer, Paul Cornell, over in the U.K. Thursday and he said the challenge of the four-issue miniseries is “gathering up all the history of the character, making sense of it all while presenting a high-powered techno-thriller — but that’s the fun part too.”
Cornell said this story presents the Widow as “the most experienced intelligence agent in the world,” a forever-young super-spy (she doesn’t age like normal people, not unlike old crony Wolverine) who has been honing her martial arts skills “for 50 years while at peak physical condition.”
The Widow spent years as an elite spy for Soviet-era Moscow and then battling and/or romancing heroes such as Hawkeye, Daredevil, Hercules and Iron Man; she has to revisit all that in “Deadly Origin” after learning that (thanks to a mysterious figure from her past) there’s some sort of toxic “technological curse” that is endangering the life of every man she’s ever kissed.
“And, yes,” Cornell noted, “that is a long list.”
— Geoff Boucher
Photos and images: Marvel
UPDATE: I got an email from Marvel that there was a title change on this book, which was called “Year One” and is now called “Deadly Origin.” This post has been changed to reflect the new title.