We Can Do It! Mystique

“We Can Do It!: Women in Comics, Television and Beyond” is Hush Comics’ answer to what women in comics mean to the world and to us  Visit our page every Monday to learn about a new super lady!

Who:

Mystique

Nicknames/Aliases:

Raven Darkhölme, Foxx, Raven Wagner, and everyone she has shapeshifted into.

Skills:

Shapeshifting, Super Healing, Agelessness, speaks over fourteen languages, and can fight, like, really well.

Origin Story:

This is probably the trickiest “Origin Story” section I have had to write.  The thing about Mystique, one of the most infamous mutants in Marvel’s X-Men history, she is Mystique.  That wasn’t a typo, either.  The Oxford English Dictionary (yeah, I went there) defines “mystique” as, “A fascinating aura of mystery, awe, and power surrounding someone or something.”  So that being said, her origins are a little… mysterious.  It is unknown exactly when she was born, but we do know she is well over 100 years old.  Mystique, or Raven Darkhölme, ran around with (ok, they had a full blown lesbian relationship) fellow mutant Destiny aka Irene Adler, a precognitive from Austria.  Destiny sought out Mystique’s help around 1900 after witnessing many horrific events yet to pass and going blind in the process.  Their goal was to change the future together.  However, both women found that trying to change events was near impossible, and instead decided to achieve individual success.  Together, they formed the second Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.  It is Mystique’s Brotherhood that Kitty Pryde stops in the comic version of “Days of Future Past.”   Contrary to popular belief (which is no doubt because of all the other media versions of Mystique), she is not a disciple of Magneto.  Mystique is a super villain in and of herself.  Notably, Mystique is the mother of many pivotal characters in X-Men.  With Sabretooth, while posing as German spy Leni Zauber, she birthed a boy named Graydon Creed.  When she found out he was not a mutant, she abondoned him. He grew up to be a politician, one who ran on an anti-mutant campaign.  Before his election, Mystique killed him.  Mystique also gave birth to Nightcrawler with Azazel.  Nightcrawler is an important member of the X-Men.  After giving birth to him, Mystique and Nightcrawler were ran out of town because of his demon-like appearance.  She abandoned him, too.  Later, Mystique and Destiny found a young girl who was scared and alone in the woods.  This girl was a mutant named Rogue.  Mystique and Destiny raised her for years.  Rogue was a member of the Brotherhood before switching allegiances to Professor X.  Eventually, Mystique joined the Freedom Force and worked with the government to detain mutants.  She then became an X-Man, promising to help Charles Xavier in exchange for protection.  However, she reneged on the deal, posing as Foxx to seduce Gambit, her daughter Rogue’s boyfriend.  It all goes to prove that no matter what group Mystique is with, she will always be on her own, working on her next conniving plot.

Why is she important?:

Mystique is pretty much THE female villain in the X-Men universe and beyond.  Mystique is the reason the newest X-Men: Days of Future Past plot even happened.  While often using her powers for evil rather than good, she has always believed in her fellow mutants.  She has taken many in and showed them how to deal with their abilities, particularly her lover, Destiny, and her adopted daughter, Rogue.  Her mission to assassinate Senator Robert Kelly, a popular anti-mutant politician, proves her loyalty to those who share her likeness.  While Mystique acts on her own safety much of the time, she is still one of the fore figures fighting for the rights of all mutant-kind.

all photos belong to Marvel.

written by Adrian Puryear

We Can Do It! Kitty Pryde

“We Can Do It!: Women in Comics, Television and Beyond” is Hush Comics’ answer to what women in comics mean to the world and to us  Visit our page every Monday to learn about a new super lady!

Who:

Kitty Pryde

Nicknames/Aliases:

Shadowcat, Sprite, Ariel

Skills:

She can walk through walls!  Ok, its a bit deeper than that.. she can change her atoms to pass through the atoms of other objects.  This creates the visual of her passing through, as well as levitating in some cases.  She is also amazingly smart in computer science and piloting.  Oh, and she can kick some serious ass because of her knowledge of Karate, Aikido, and Krav Maga.

Origin Story:

Created by comic greats Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Kitty Pryde was born circa 1967 in Illinois.  When she became a teenager, she began getting really bad headaches, which turned out to be the onset of her mutant powers.  She was originally recruited by mutant Emma Frost of the Hellfire Club.  However, after being visited by Professor Charles Xavier, Kitty Pryde joined the X-Men.  Good choice!  The new mutant, with the power to travel through objects, first appeared in comics in 1980 with Uncanny X-Men #129.  She was meant to juxtapose the now adult X-Men who had been well established in their ‘verse.  Kitty came in as a 13 year old who was incredibly smart and ended up saving many of the X-Men right off the bat.  Kitty also became the love interest for Colossus, the Russian mutant who turns into steel.  In addition, Kitty becomes a close friend of Wolverine and a surrogate daughter to Storm.  It is Kitty who sends all the early 1980’s X-Men to the future in the famous arc and next week’s feature film (hence this article!) Days of Future Past. In a pivotal moment for Kitty in the book Kitty Pryde and Wolverine, she becomes possessed by the demon Ogun, former teacher to Wolverine.  Wolverine then helps Kitty beat Ogun.  After beating him, she is changed, not only because of her nifty new martial arts skills, but because she was no longer the innocent, inexperienced girl everyone had once known.  Upon her emergence from the ordeal, she became Shadowcat.  Kitty has continued on in the X-Men series and is considered to be one of the best X-Men according to many a list.

Why is she important?:

Firstly, in my opinion, Kitty Pryde is important because she has a dragon.  Yeah, she has cool powers, and can fight, and can fly a plane, and can speak like a lot of different languages, but really its because she has a dragon.  Yeah.  His name is Lockheed.  He has even risked his life for hers.  And he’s purple.  I’d say all that makes her a lot cooler than Daenerys Targaryen (sorry Game of Throne fans).  

So what else other than the dragons?  Well there is the fact that Kitty Pryde changed the entire X-Men world.  She is highly regarded as being the best “teen” mutant introduced to the X-Men.  Kitty was the person who brought a level of normalcy to the group of misfits.  Kitty was born into a ordinary family and she was a fairly ordinary girl.  Her reactions to going to Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters were apropos to how most people would react to the other mutants and the happenings of her new and strange world.  Kitty is so accessible to her readers, it is hard to deny her importance to the series.

What she means to me:

Kitty Pryde means a lot to me.  I grew up watching the X-Men Animated Series in the early 90’s.  Of course, Kitty wasn’t in that series, but because of my interest in the show, I did my research on all the X-Men, thanks to my good ole dad (thanks Daddy for answering my incessant questions when I was 5).  What struck me about Kitty Pryde at first was “Hey! She has a cool name!”  Then it went to “Why is Jubilee in this show and not Kitty?!”  When I found out how down-to-earth and smart she was, I was a fan.

What really turned me into a Shadowcat fan?  Well, if you keep up with me, and why the heck wouldn’t you, you know I like Buffy.  I love Buffy.  I exalt Buffy.  I live and breathe Buffy.  And you know who was the inspiration for Buffy?  Well reader, in case you have yet to take a wild stab in the dark, Kitty Pryde was the inspiration for Buffy Summers.  Joss, you son-of-a-gun, you.  Not surprising, Joss brought Kitty back to the X-Men after being away with Excalibur and off to university in his series Astonishing X-Men.  He then gave the fans what they wanted and brought Kitty and Colossus together again.  However, (SPOILER FOR YOU WHO HAVEN’T READ ASTONISHING X-MEN or seen BUFFY) much like Whedon did with Buffy, he ended his run on the book by having Kitty sacrifice herself for the good of Earth.  Aw shucks, Joss!  You always get me right in the feels. And a thank you to Kitty Pryde for helping little girls realize that they are smart and cool and special and for all those times you stopped catastrophic things from happening to the non-mutants like myself.

all photos belong to Marvel.

written by Adrian Puryear

We Can Do It! Buffy Summers

“We Can Do It!: Women in Comics, Television and Beyond” is Hush Comics’ answer to what women in comics mean to the world and to us  Visit our page every week to learn about a new super lady! 

This week, I dedicate “We Can Do It!” to the one and only Buffy Summers.  Next Tuesday (Dawn’s in trouble?  It must be Tuesday) marks 11 years since the series that inspired my life ended.  So this one is for you, Miss Summers.

Who:

Buffy Summers

Nicknames/Aliases:

The Slayer, The Chosen One, The Buffster

Skills:

Super Strength, Prophetic Dreams, Major Agility, Quick Healing, and being the most Bad-Ass female of all time (ok, that one may be biased)

Origin Story:

This one is difficult.  Should I start with the history of Buffy herself? Or with the history of how Buffy came about and where she has gone since?  Let’s start with the latter:

Buffy was originally Rhonda the Immortal Waitress.  If you Google that, you will find some very interesting fan-fiction.  It’s true.  Anyway, Joss Whedon, creator of all things holy in my household, was fed up with blonde girls dying in alleys, so he decided to make “a seemingly insignificant female who in fact turns out to be extraordinary.” From there, Buffy Summers was born: a high school valley girl cheerleader who finds out she actually is The Chosen One, the one to fight the vampires and the forces of darkness.  A movie titled Buffy the Vampire Slayer was made in 1992 (the first movie I saw in theaters) starring Kristy Swanson as Buffy.  After flopping and becoming the butt of many a joke, Buffy was reincarnated in the 1997 television series.  The TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer was not a flop, however.  It ran for seven seasons and spawned its own spinoff, Angel.  Today, Buffy still lives on in her comic book series, currently in it’s 10th season.  

Buffy herself?  That is a long story.  I mean, she has been around for almost 22 years (Oh My God, my hero is almost 22 years old, and I remember when her story began).  Buffy did start out as a valley girl cheerleader.  She was vapid. And then suddenly her world changed, when she met her Watcher.  What’s a Watcher? Well let me tell you, reader. A Watcher is someone who watches… er… trains the Slayer, the only one in the world, to fight vampires and other baddies.  Anyway, her Watcher, Merrick, came into her life, trained her for a bit, and then died.  Buffy ended up having to save her school, Hemery High, by burning down the gym, because of asbestos…oops, vampires.  After being a tiny little arsonist, she was expelled and forced to move to the small town of Sunnydale, where in my opinion, is where her real story begins.  She begins her sophomore year at Sunnydale, meeting friends Willow and Xander, beauty queen Cordelia, her new Watcher Giles and her lover, Angel.  We follow her from the time she is 16 to 22 in the series and watch her grow up, fall down, fall in and out of love, fight for her life and the lives of her friends and family and along the way, we learned what it means to be a teenager, a young adult, a friend, who our families really are and a woman.  Yup, thats Buffy’s history, in a very tiny nutshell.

Why is she important?:

Buffy changed the way we think of women.  And she changed the 90’s.  Yeah, we were all about Girl Power back then, but in the 90’s, that was fairly new concept.  Now it is more readily accepted that girls are superheroes, too.  And not just superheroes, but ones that can still be pretty and feminine, if they so desire.  Buffy started that revolution of being fierce and fashionable.  She also made it ok to be smart.  Its true that Buffy may not be the best student, but she is witty and can outsmart her opponents. For like 7 years she was able to outsmart her opponents.  That’s a long time to outsmart people who can eat you for lunch.  Buffy was a poster girl for being yourself and being strong, launching her portrayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar, into stardom.  Being the poster girl for 90’s Girl Power?  That is important.  Now writing about why Buffy Summers is important can take up a book.  In fact there are books about it.  But since this is a blog post, I want to keep it short and sweet, so I’ll end there, but before I do, there is one more reason why Buffy Summers is important.  She saved the world.  A lot.

What she means to me:

What does Buffy mean to me?  How much time do you have?  For times sake, lets just say, she means everything.  Maybe not as much as, say, my family, but she is pretty darn close.  Buffy was the person I could look up to when I was growing up.  She was the inspiration for more than just my outfits and my haircuts, although she was pretty important for that, too.  Buffy helped me realize that I was smart and strong.  I could be independent and I could speak my mind.   Most importantly, she made me realize that I could be a hero.  To this day, Buffy is still a big part of my life.  As a grown woman, I can look back at the things the blonde teenager went through and compare it to my own life, wondering, “What would Buffy do?”

photos belong to Mutant Enemy

written by Adrian Puryear

We Can Do It! Gwen Stacy

“We Can Do It!: Women in Comics, Television and Beyond” is Hush Comics’ answer to what women in comics mean to the world and to us  Visit our page every week to learn about a new super lady! 

*Note: I wanted to write this piece because of the latest release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  There will be spoilers for Gwen Stacy’s story.  However, this piece focuses on the comic book character rather than the movie character.

Who:

Gwendolyne Stacy

Nicknames/Aliases:

Gwen Stacy

Skills:

Advanced knowledge in science, being cute and sassy.

Origin Story:

There are two things to know about Gwen Stacy:  she is the quintessential college girlfriend and (SPOILER!) she dies.  Yup, I broke that news to you quick.  As soon as you fell in love with her, she was gone.  The quick history of Gwen is that she is Peter Parkers girlfriend.  But of course, when you are involved with a man who is also superhero, in this case Spider-Man, things aren’t always that simple. Gwen and Peter met at Empire State University when she was a student of Biology, and their encounter wasn’t on the best of terms.  Over time, they developed a friendship that became a relationship.  They were then on-again and off-again for years.  Contrary to most of the story telling, Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson knew each other, and even ran in the same circles.  Also, she was a model.  Peter Parker is a lucky guy.  But their love wasn’t so lucky for so many reasons.  Because Peter never revealed his alter-ego to Gwen, she often felt abandoned by him when he “disappeared.”  During a battle with Doctor Octopus, Gwen’s dad, Captain George Stacy, is accidentally killed by falling rubble.  Gwen leaves the country only after trying to get Peter to propose marriage.  Peter, of course, is guilt ridden, not only because he felt responsible for George’s death, but because George knew the truth about Peter, so he does not ask Gwen to marry him.  After being gone for some time, Gwen returns to New York.  Only 22 issues later, Gwen’s life ends.  Even worse, it is by Spider-Man’s hands.  After being kidnapped by Norman Osborn as Green Goblin, Gwen is thrown off of a bridge. When Spidey tries to save her by casting a web, he accidentally snaps her neck.

Why is she important?:

The thing about Gwen Stacy is that her life and her death don’t exist without the other.  There are many compelling arguments that Gwen was just a plot point.  Gwen is referenced in Gail Simone’Women in Refrigerators.  However, a large part of me has to disagree with this.  Gwen and Mary Jane have been compared for decades.  It has been debated in and out who is Peter’s true love.  And in references even up to modern day (Gwen died in 1973), Peter still loves Gwen.  Girl has been dead for 41 years.  He still puts flowers on the bridge she died on every year.  Yes, Gwen’s death was an easy way to give Peter an emotional break-down and to make Mary Jane grow up a bit.  And killing her off prevented a teenaged Peter from getting married.  But Peter’s background as Spider-Man has always been a dark tale.  And I don’t believe Gwen was a one-time boo-hoo for him.  She represents a lot of things for not only Peter, but fans of books.  Gwen is what could have been and what we all believe our lives will be when we are young.  Gwen was more than a looker, too.  She had a strong mental connection with Peter.  Sure, she didn’t know his secret identity, but she had a high level of intelligence, matching Peter’s.  Peter considered her an equal and possibly the only person to understand him.

Gwen Stacy sparks a lot of debate.  Did her neck snap or was she dead before the fall?  Is she hotter than Mary Jane?  Is she a better match for Peter than Mary Jane?  Is Gwen’s death the end of the Silver Age?  Is Gwen’s death the epitome of the female trope in a genre that is male-centered?  I think the fact that you can find countless, and I mean countless, articles on all these questions proves why Gwen Stacy is important.  She may not have super powers.  In the comics, she may not have known about Peter’s identity.  She may be just a very smart and pretty girl who had to die.  But that doesn’t make her any less.  Gwen Stacy is what makes comic books dynamic and important not only to the comic culture, but to our society because we can take a girl who seemingly is very normal and create a very large dialogue about what it all means.

What she means to me:

Really and truly what Gwen means to me is the first love we all lost.  Gwen was meant for Peter.  She just was.  She was smart and witty.  And then she was gone.  We have all experienced the loss of our first love.  And many of our favorite characters from other stories have, too.  We all feel a strong connection to them.  FIrst loves stay with us forever.  Gwen was beautiful and it was readily accepted that she was a Science Major.  Of course in the movies, she is a high school student, on her way to Oxford, and very knowledgable in science, even working for OsCorp.  Gwen doesn’t try to be anything she’s not.  Therefore, she accepts Peter for what he is.  Because of that, they connected so well.  But first loves rarely work out.  In this case, their love ended tragically.  However, I believe the Peter Parker and Spider-Man wouldn’t be the well-known creations they are now with out Gwen Stacy’s life or her death.

photos belong to Marvel Comics

written by Adrian Puryear

We Can Do It! Witchblade

“We Can Do It!: Women in Comics, Television and Beyond” is Hush Comics’ answer to what women in comics mean to the world and to us  Visit our page every week to learn about a new super lady! 

Who:

Sara Pezzini

Nicknames/Aliases:

Witchblade

Skills:

Sara herself is an esteemed homicide detective.  With the Witchblade, she can heal quickly, have armor, and can create any weapon needed to protect herself.

Origin Story:

Debuting in 1995,  Witchblade is a comic book that tells the story of Sara Pezzini, New York City homicide detective.  When Sara and her partner, Michael Yee, are investigating a party thrown by villain Kenneth Irons, they are both mortally shot.  Sara tried to save her partner, and because of her heroic actions, was deemed worthy of the Witchblade, which then saved her from certain death.  What is the Witchblade you ask?  It is a gauntlet, or fancy magical glove, owned by baddy Kenneth Irons.  The Witchblade can only bond with a female host, and for our heroine, it bonds with Sara because she risked her life for her partner.  For the last 19 years, Witchblade has been apart of Sara Pezzini’s life, helping her in her career and her personal life.  She has fought against Irons and his bodyguard Ian Nottingham and many others.  In recent years, the Witchblade has been shared with another woman, Danielle Baptiste.  In 2001, Witchblade was made into an awesome TV series on TNT.  Unfortunately, it was short lived, but did a really great job of breathing life into the story.

Why is she important?:

Witchblade is important because she put a face, ahem, and a body, on the little guys.  No, not actual little people, but the independent comic companies.  Published by Top Cow, Witchblade is one of the most recognizable characters, particularly female characters, of the modern comic book age.  She just happens to be published independently.  Yes, Witchblade is so highly recognized because of her armor, or rather lack there of.  It would be obvious to say that Sara wears next to nothing.  There are plenty of comic covers, figures and statues to prove this.  However, she is much more than her sex appeal.  Sara Pezzini and her relic mean a lot to femininity in general.  The Witchblade only attaches to a woman.  While the Witchblade protects its host by providing unlimited weapons, armor and the ability to control elements, the woman who wears it must keep the balance between good and evil in the world.  How amazing is it that it is a woman who does this?

What she means to me:

I found out about Witchblade by watching the TV series with Yancy Butler back in the early 2000’s.  It was a pretty darn cool show.  It probably helped me wish that in my alternate life, I was a detective (this is in fact what my other job would be if I wasn’t such a wuss).  Sara is a tough cop.  She is good at her job, yet has a big heart.  In the series, she can still see the ghost of her deceased partner who helps guide her through her missions.  I also love that she doesn’t take any crap from anybody.  She was strong way before the Witchblade chose her, but it only enhanced her hard-hitting demeanor.  Any woman who is strong with or without her “power” is a woman worth looking up to.

photos belong to TopCow Comics

written by Adrian Puryear

We Can Do It! Harley Quinn

“We Can Do It!: Women in Comics, Television and Beyond” is Hush Comics’ answer to what women in comics mean to the world and to us  Visit our page every week to learn about a new super lady! 

Who:

Harley Quinn

Nicknames/Aliases:

Dr. Harleen Quinzel (Technically her alias is Harley Quinn)

Skills:

Immunity to toxins, advanced agility, pretty good at kicking butt.

Origin Story:

Harley Quinn’s history is pretty interesting.  Unlike her other Batman counterparts, she was created specifically for the 90’s Batman: The Animated Series cartoon by the legendary Bruce Timm and Paul Dini.  She first appeared in the episode “Joker’s Favor” as The Joker’s female counterpart and sidekick, complete with a black and red jester outfit.  She went on to appear and star in a handful of episodes after her 1992 premiere.  Oh, and something kinda cool for the Hush Comics family, her original air date was September 11th, 1992; so Sherif is officially 5 years older than Harley!  Anyway, when Harley was just a wee little Harleen, her father went to jail for fraud, her brother was a low-life and her mother was a typical mom in Brooklyn—worrying about her kids.  Harleen grew up and went to work at the Arkham Asylum.  Chronicled in the book and episode of the same name, “Mad Love”, Harleen becomes the psychiatrist to The Joker himself.  She winds up doing the same thing all mad girls do and falls in love with the cook.  She then becomes Harley Quinn, murderess and adorable villain of Gotham.  Harley has since spent the last 21 years being in the most abusive relationship in DC with the jester.  She loves him very much and is by his side always, as long as he lets her.  The Joker doesn’t like it if she steals his thunder, though.  Currently, in Harley’s comic series, they a broken up.  She battles between loving Mr. J and hating Mr. J., and probably always will.

Why is she important?:

Why is Harley Quinn important?  It may sound really odd, considering she is known for being The Joker’s girlfriend, Poison Ivy’s tease, and let’s face it, she’s a villain.  BUT, she is important.   For starters, she was introduced in a 90’s Saturday morning cartoon and now she is one of the most recognizable women in the DC Universe.  She has her very own comic series now.  A comic series!  From a cartoon!  She is cosplayed by women at, like, every convention and it now almost seems odd if she isn’t featured in anything Batman related.  Since her creation she has also grown a lot.  Sure she still likes to murder.  Who doesn’t?  Ok, that part may not be true, but in recent years, Harley has gained a sense of justice.  She certainly can go off the handle, but she believes in the helpless getting their way.  She loves animals and the elderly and will literally kill for them.  I can’t talk about her without talking about her relationship.  Is it healthy?  No!  Do we all recognize that?  Uh, yes?  Here’s the thing, we all would like to think that we will always see straight when it comes to love. Harley proves that we all wear love goggles when we fall for someone, especially if they are the wrong person.  Even Harley knows The Joker is wrong for her.  Sometimes, she can’t help herself when it come to him, and sometimes, she takes care of herself.  Harley Quinn is relatable because most of us know what its like to love the wrong person.  Now, she is in recovery from that relationship.  She is living in Coney Island and trying to make her life work, without the attachment of her ex-flame.  It will really be the day when readers can think of Harley as a strong, independent, and slightly crazy murderess than just “The Joker’s girlfriend.”

What she means to me:

Harley Quinn has been one of those characters I have been always oddly attracted to.  Was I supposed to like Batgirl?  Well, yeah.  And I did.  But for some strange reason I really liked Harley.  She was cute.  And even though she was psychotic, I liked it when she was on the screen.  She may have been always trying to ruin Batman’s day, but there is something still in her that is good.  She tries.  She tries to please the ones she cares about.  In her weird little way she cares about both The Joker and The Batman.  I really liked seeing this bubbly and adorable little woman try to make her life work the best way she knew how.  As an adult, I see all the deep aspects to her.  Now, every month, I enjoy reading her story as a woman who is trying yet again, but this time trying for herself, and proving that Harley Quinn is just as important as any man she was trying to please in the past.

 

photos belong to DC Comics

written by Adrian Puryear

We Can Do It! Black Widow

“We Can Do It!: Women in Comics, Television and Beyond” is Hush Comics’ answer to what women in comics mean to the world and to us  Visit our page every Monday to learn about a new super lady!

*Note: Yes this article is late.  Yay for jet lag from ECCC and hey, I thought it would be cool to publish when Winter Soldier actually came out.  Oopsies.  

Who:

Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow

Nicknames/Aliases:

Black Widow, Natalia Romanova (ok that’s her given name for you aficionados), Czarina

Skills:

Advanced combat skills and training, acrobat, ballerina, slowed aging due to Soviet experimentation, and a great knowledge of how to use a gun.

Origin Story:

Like most Marvel heroes, Black Widow has been retconned.  Either way, her history is way sketchy.  I guess that is what happens when a girl is trained by Russia to be a spy and is genetically mutated.  Yup, so that is basically her history.  Her real name can either be Natasha Romanoff or Natalia Romanova.  This just adds to her mystery.  She was trained by Ivan Petrovich, and in her retcon, by the KGB.  She has been experimented on to make her age slower and make her more agile.  She has also had her memory altered so she doesn’t remember significant chunks of her life and is given the memory of being an esteemed ballerina.  Originally, Natasha was sent to kill Iron Man.  She wore an evening gown with a sweet cat-eye mask with a veil over her face.  She was also raven haired before she had her fiery red mane.  She met Hawkeye and convinced him to help her.  After a failed mission, she was kidnapped by the KGB and brainwashed to kill the Avengers, of which Hawkeye was a member.  Because she had fallen in love with him, she eventually found the light side and became good ole American.  She also became the 16th Avenger.  She has found herself in a romantic relationship with many Marvel characters, mainly being the main squeeze of Matt Murdock aka Daredevil, but she also has been with Iron Man, Captain America, and Bucky Barnes.  In her current issues, she is an independent spy who sometimes takes jobs with Nick Fury’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Notably, Black Widow saved Wolverine from the HYDRA and was a leader of The Champions which included Hercules and Ghost Rider.  She led them to battle with many baddies including The Stranger and The Crimson Dynamo.  Yeah, she pretty much has done everything.

Why is she important?:

Let me count the ways as to why Natasha Romanoff is important.  Ok, first, she currently is the female face of The Avengers.  I mean she is carrying the entire female population in all the current movies.  That’s a lot to handle.  And all this is just my opinion of course, but I really think she is the inspiration for two of my other favorite women: La Femme Nikita and Echo from Dollhouse.  As far as La Femme Nikita goes, she was also a Russian spy who was used as a tool for the government.  And Echo?  Well, Natasha was also brainwashed and supplied with false memories.  She was made to be super strong and acrobatic.  So were the Dolls.  Pretty cool, I think.  Not only that, but Natasha has kinda saved a lot of our favorite superheroes.  Like, their lives.  Oh, and she’s smart, witty and can kick a lot of ass.  I’d say she is really important not only for the Marvel Universe, but to women ad little girls who go to the movies and read comics.  Thank you, Miss Romanoff.

What she means to me:

Honestly, before The Avengers came out, I had limited knowledge of who Black Widow was.  But considering my celebrity doppelgänger, Scarlett Johansson, played her, I needed to find out as much as I could.   As a little girl, I used to play spy.  Didn’t every little girl?  Ok maybe about half of us.  Anyway, Black Widow is the woman I think of when I wish I had a different life, except in my head, it is a more glamourous world without all that experimentation.   Now that I know tons more about her, I think every girl should idolize her.  She is a woman who has been through hell and back, is smart as a whip and can kick some serious ass.  Yup, pretty much one tough as nails chick.  And that’s why I love her.

photos belong to Marvel

 

written by Adrian Puryear