She may not have the most gadgets, and may not have any powers, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook the Black Widow. And in this month’s Black Widow #1, Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto began a story primed to grab your attention on Natasha’s terms.
Mixing neo-noir with the world of Marvel superheroes, Black Widow shows just how a trained Russian assassin looking to make up for past deeds can work. And after the first issue’s showcase of Black Widow’s exploits into Dubai and an exploration of her personal life, Edmondson and Noto are looking to push this long-time Avenger’s solo exploits down paths even darker and bloodier. With the second issue out today, Newsarama spoke with Edmondson about the Black Widow series going forward as she faces her deadliest test yet, as well as working with Noto and his thoughts on the future of Natasha in movies.
Newsarama: Nathan, Black Widow #1is out on stands now, and given people the lay of the land for what to expect from you and Phil Noto. What can you tell readers about what comes next?
Nathan Edmondson: In issue 1, as most of you know by now, we’ve come in running alongside Black Widow, seeing her world, her missions, and some of her “support staff.” Her attitude and capabilities are immediately evident in the action. In other words, in the first few pages even, we know what Natasha is all about when not fighting with the Avengers or sneaking around for S.H.I.E.L.D. Issue 1 has hit with a resounding bang, and Phil and I are flooding with reviews and tweets and messages from readers. It seems that both long-term devotees and new readers alike “get” her, which is what we wanted with the first couple of issues.
In the next issues we will get to know Natasha a bit more, page by page; the plots will thicken and villains rise and the locations will continue to be fresh and new. You won’t be able to predict what’s coming—this book will continue to be full of villainous twists and nail biting turns—but we feel the book gets better with each issue.
Nrama: This is your first ongoing series here at Marvel – how’d you find the line between planning too much and not planning enough or being bold enough?
Edmondson: I’m not sure I was all that aware of questions like that. Phil and I breathed into the fire and watched it grow when creating this book; we told the story we thought was ours to tell. I think it’s more a sense of “does this moment feel right,” and “what would Natasha do now?” With our editor Ellie Pyle playing referee and brilliant creative overseer and Marvel Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso occasionally throwing firecracker ideas into the mix, we just keep each other excited and pumped for each issue.
Nrama: The proof is in the pudding here; Phil Noto is a perfect match for this story. What’s it like having a guy of his caliber with you to tell this story?
Edmondson: The easiest way to explain it is to simply say that his art makes me as much a fan of the book as anyone else.
Nrama: Does the heightened popularity of Black Widow due to the movies have any impact at all in the story you tell?
Edmondson: Not really, no, but the film prominence will hopefully send some moviegoers into comic shops to check out the book.
Nrama: There’s been talk of a Black Widow solo movie for years, even before her debut in Iron Man 2. What would you say to that as the resident writer of Black Widowin terms of comics?
Edmondson: I’d say, first and foremost, it’s not our concern when creating the book. Female-led big-budget films are a tough sell in Hollywood, and some believe a Black Widow movie would take some of her mystique out of the films where she’s a supporting character. I think personally I might prefer a TV show…but with the right mix and tone (and I’d way prefer a film with the tone of, say, the first Mission Impossible over another explosive film in the same tone of The Avengers, personally) a Black Widow movie could really be something.
Nrama: This and your other Marvel series The Punisher touches upon your penchant and proficiency in writing stories about spies, guns and high action. But there are other sides to your work, referring to The Light and Olympus. Any other toys in Marvel’s toybox you’re interested in that might surprise people?
Edmondson: Most definitely, but I’m not sure I should discuss any of them yet. Marvel isn’t done with me, and hopefully we’ll all be surprised and excited by what comes next.