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Thursday, January 24, 2019 

New Black Widow series may be a victim of political correctness

I was looking at some reviews of the new Black Widow series, written by 2 women, and in this review from Adventures in Poor Taste of the premiere issue, it says:
Black Widow has had a really hard two years. She died, her employer S.H.I.E.L.D is long gone, and oh yeah, she’s a clone. Yikes. Jen and Sylvia Soska are taking over the character with this new series drawn by Flaviano. If you’ve ever enjoyed this character you need to start here to understand her new journey.
Oh, so now Natasha Romanoff is a clone?!? Well, I'm afraid that's just not good enough. Nor is the apparent continuation of keeping Captain America's life-as-a-nazi era intact, as the story pretty much signals, as seen in the panel at the side.

Then, there's what's said about how sex is handled in this story. First:
I also like the subtle sexual undertones the Soskas are integrating into the book. It’s far and away not explicit, but it’s still there via dialogue and setting. It gives the book an adult feel and also humanizes the characters.
But then:
The art by Flaviano with colors by Veronica Gandini have an ever so slight manga feel that drives home the kinetic energy in an action scene. Black Widow is not overly sexualized and instead has a tiny look that suits her acrobatic fight style and helps highlight the impressive prowess of the character. The use of color is nice splashing brightness with a more subdued color palette on the characters themselves. You get the sense this is fun, but also serious in its subject matter.
This sounds an awful lot like political correctness taking place, and the cover art did make BW's breasts look watered down. Maybe more problematic though, is that the above reviewer doesn't seem to tell whether he thinks the art makes BW look hot or not, suggesting a double-standard on women's sexuality. Of course I don't think it has to be explicit; it's not like there has to be literal nudity, but if how a woman's upper anatomy is drawn is all they're worried about, then they've just resorted to more moral panicking.

I then looked at this more negative review, which has more about Cap's case:
Captain America reminds Black Widow that they do not resort to killing. Black Widow says sometimes that is the only way to fix people. She then says while Captain America can be better that is not who she is. She reminds Captain America that while he can play the hero she is still technically dead since he killed her.
Is this so?!? Oh wait, yeah, I think that's what happened circa Secret Empire. Needless to say, if this is how these Soska writers are going to handle the book, or allow a potential editorial mandate to reign, then they've accomplished nothing but embarrassment.
The Bad: Though Black Widow #1 showed some promise there was a lot of little problems with the story that was presented. For one thing the Soska’s don’t go in too much on how Black Widow’s resurrection has affected her. This an odd move given how the interaction with Captain America emphasized that she isn’t the same as she was before the events of Secret Empire. They even make a mention that she was killed by Captain America. That mention quickly puts into question how Black Widow returned.

Not explaining how Black Widow is back from the dead was a major misstep. Even having a panel or page dedicated to how her return happened would’ve been extremely helpful. Without that explanation the importance of Black Widow reminding Captain America that he “killed” her was ineffective. Instead this callback just sounded like shade being thrown by Black Widow, making her no better than the crowd being negative towards Captain America when they are supposed to be friends.
Again, this is exactly why Secret Empire should be removed from canon. Such a horrible story only makes it difficult to enjoy the material going forward. I guess this is one more grievous error on C.B. Cebulski's part as EIC, and they've only denigrated Stan Lee's famous Russian dissident in the months after his passing.

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Some women don't have figures like Power Girl or Red Sonja. It doesn't mean their breasts are 'watered down'! Slender is sexy too. Think flapper.

I don't like the attitude or personality of the Black Widow from Secret War onwards, bring back the one who was actually a hero before that awful event.

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