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Friday, July 28, 2017 

The next victim of Hydra-Cap is Black Widow

Marvel keeps going with their shock value tactics, making Natasha Romanoff the next character to be killed by evil Steve Rogers until she's ever resurrected:
Black Widow tried to intervene, and in the process, HydraCap snapped her neck with his shield in an especially brutal, x-ray vision panel. She falls to the ground and is, presumably, dead. Later in the issue, Cap refers to her as if she is dead. Black Widow, a character first introduced in 1967, it no more.

Black Widow dies.

Well, until she inevitably comes back to life. In earlier issues of Secret Empire, somehow Hydra was able to bring Bruce Banner, a.k.a. the Incredible Hulk, back to life. He was killed in that earlier event series, Civil War II, but Secret Empire didn’t really bother to spend any time explaining how they brought him back to life. The comic just did it, spending roughly the same amount of panels reviving him as it spent offing Black Widow.
Logical explanations aren't what company wide crossovers like these are about. They're only about trolling the audiences and signaling contempt for earlier generations. Even DC's crossovers build on a lot of that illogic. All that aside, are the writers of this abominable event depicting Hydra as Bruce Banner's resurrectors so they can claim we have to thank an evil outfit for rescuing a notable protagonist from the jaws of death? If so, that's sick. It was one thing when, in 1993, Peter David wrote a story where Rick Jones made a faustian pact with the Leader to revive Marlo Thomas from the grave after she was stabbed to death by an insane woman. Back then, the point was made that Rick was dealing with a murderous criminal who'd led to the death of a whole village with several thousand people, leaving only a few alive and mutated. But here, it just reeks of pure artistic bankruptcy.
Life and death are always cheap in big superhero event series. Secret Empire has already been widely criticized for using extremely serious topics like fascism, discrimination, supremacy, and the specter of Nazism for cheap thrills. In light of this, Black Widow’s death is senseless, but almost an inevitability, a symptom of Secret Empire’s attempt to be big and important while also hiding behind a flimsy “nothing matters” shield.
Well I'm glad somebody in the mainstream has the sense to admit what the NY Times probably won't. Even if Natasha will be resurrected, it doesn't change the fact this crossover is offensive in many ways, and not something anybody new to the medium wants to just throw their money away on, considering the high cover prices. Why, Marvel's already charging a considerable amount for their paperback collections as it is. In that case, it's no wonder all those trade archives may not be selling as well as they could be either.

So here's another reason why nobody should buy Secret Empire.

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Black Widow was "first introduced" in Tales of Suspense #52, cover date April 1964, not 1967.

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