Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier, finally managed to wrest the Black Widow’s mind away from the evil Nokolov’s control in WINTER SOLDIER #13, and bring Natasha back to the land of the living. Later, with the Avengers, she embarked on one of the wildest rides of her career.
Rocketing to the moon alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in AVENGERS #1, the Widow braced herself for battle with Ex Nihilo, an alien demi-god terraforming Earth’s satellite. Once captured in AVENGERS #2, she listened to the alien’s grand plan for Earth until her rescue by Captain America and a new team in AVENGERS #3. With little time for reflection, Natasha accompanied her allies to the Savage Land in AVENGERS #4, and later witnessed a cosmic “White Event” in AVENGERS #7.
The Black Widow joined the search for Starbrand in AVENGERS #9, and went undercover with select members of the team in AVENGERS #11 to root out bioweapons being manufactured by A.I.M. Her use of deadly force during the mission ran up hard against her fellow Avengers’ own morals. Not long after, Natasha helped her team deal with a nuclear meltdown in South Korea in AVENGERS #14, and aliens fleeing to Earth from another cosmic event in AVENGERS #15.
Once again, the Widow’s past as an assassin hung heavy on her shoulders in BLACK WIDOW #1, so with the help of her lawyer Isaiah, she set out to seek redemption. Her path took her to China in BLACK WIDOW #2 and a confrontation with another killer, the Iron Scorpion, and then to Argentina for a tense moment in the deep jungles. BLACK WIDOW #4 brought Natasha into direct conflict with Mocot Boga, a representative of the Hand of God, and ultimately with her old enemy Damon Dran in BLACK WIDOW #5.
The Avengers’ battling bowman Hawkeye swung back into the Widow’s life in BLACK WIDOW #6, but she swung her attention to a mystery on the moon in ORIGINAL SIN #1, the apparent murder of the alien Watcher. Returning to Earth with her team, she aided them in fighting Exterminatrix and the Mindless Ones in ORIGINAL SIN #2, before being exposed to the Orb’s “bomb” in ORIGINAL SIN #3. That event led to a glimpse 50 years into the future and her legacy for the Black Widow in AVENGERS #31, and an even farther look—5000 years—in AVENGERS #32.
Natasha returned to her old San Francisco stomping grounds and a reunion of sorts with Daredevil in BLACK WIDOW #7 and a mission with Bucky Barnes in Prague in BLACK WIDOW #8, and then reconvened with the Avengers in ORIGINAL SIN #6 and #7 to confront Nick Fury for his assumed role in the Watcher’s death. Later, in ORIGINAL SIN #8, the Widow witnessed the elevation of her old friend the Winter Soldier to Fury’s self-appointed job as Earth’s secret protector.
The Widow locked horns with The Punisher over a mutual target in BLACK WIDOW #9, and a battle with Crossbones and his Skull Squad on an oil tanker about to explode. After all that, Natasha attempted to take X-23 out for a night on the town in BLACK WIDOW #11 to commiserate over the death of Wolverine, but as these things go for the Black Widow, nothing turned out according to plan…
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