Black Widow's Past Haunts Her in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE

Though Kelly Sue DeConnick's first issue of Avengers Assemble isn't released until next month, the first details on her second arc were discussed Saturday during the Avengers panel at New York Comic Con.

Titled "The Widow's Ledger," the story runs in February and March between Avengers Assemble #12-#13 and sees Black Widow, Spider-Woman and Hawkeye travel to Siberia to look for a missing girl whose disappearance is connected to Black Widow's past.

Newsarama talked to DeConnick for more on the story, including the positives of working with artist Pete Woods and the role Avengers Assemble plays in the large current crop of Avengers books.


Newsarama: Kelly Sue, it doesn't appear that your first arc on Avengers Assemble includes Black Widow, but she's at the center of the second story. What motivated the focus on Black Widow?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Nothing intricate or nefarious. When I pitched the book, I pitched three story lines — one of which was "The Widow's Ledger." For no other reason than I really wanted to write it.  

Nrama: And since Avengers Assemble was initially conceived as the Avengers book that's friendliest to movie-goers, does the Marvel Studios version of the character influence your interpretation at all?

DeConnick: It does, sure.  

The key to the Widow for me has always been that she's cool — not cool like Steve McQueen-cool, cool like cold. Scarlett Johansson did a fantastic job of humanizing the Widow without especially warming her up. I loved her take.

Nrama: The story also features Spider-Woman and Hawkeye. I'm jumping to conclusions big time here, but is the goal to zero in on a relatively small number of characters and tell a different type of story than the more traditional huge-cast Avengers stories?

DeConnick: The idea is to compliment [Jonathan Hickman]'s epic books with shorter story lines that look at individual squares, rather than trying to see the whole quilt all at once. Or to abruptly switch metaphors on you, if Jon's prog rock, Assemble is AC/DC.


Nrama: And since Hawkeye has romantic history with both Black Widow and Spider-Woman, does that make things a little awkward on the way to Siberia?

DeConnick: Why, yes. I toyed with including Bobbi, but I just didn't have the real estate and I was afraid of accidentally making it Charlie's Angels instead of a Black Widow story.  

Nrama: And hey, Pete Woods is illustrating the story, his first Marvel book in a while. It's early still, but what has you jazzed about that collaboration?

DeConnick: He's so nice. Is that weird to say? I love his work and that he's intellectually engaged with project, but honestly, he wrote me the nicest email to kick us off and boy, that meant a lot to me.  

Nrama: The story sounds like it fits into the "international espionage" genre not dissimilar to Marvel books like say, Winter Soldier. Is that something of an accurate guess, or wildly incorrect?

DeConnick: I think that's fair. Thematically, it's about debts.  

Nrama: Also, it looks like your first arc has a fair amount of globe-trotting in it, and this takes the team to Siberia. Do you see a level of exploration as a intrinsic part of your run on Avengers Assemble?


: It's not been a conscious choice, so I'm not really able to assign a motive. It's just made sense for the stories, I guess.  

Nrama: And is that more of an extension of the nature of the series (rather than, I guess, sitting around Avengers Mansion all day), or your writerly sensibilities? (Or both?)

DeConnick: I probably still have a little too much of the Avengers hanging out in the Tower, because I can't help but be interested in their day-to-day dynamics. But yes, I do think it's important that "quiet" stories are rare punctuation. I always come back to the idea of superhero comics as opera. Even when opera's are little, they're big.

Does that make sense outside my head?

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