Black Widow’s Finale Is a Well-Deserved Happy Ending

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Black Widow #15, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

The character of Black Widow is one whose story is known to never be complete without some form of strife, loss, or pain inflicted on her life in some way. However, in recent years she has balanced her otherwise dark and sordid past with opportunities for happiness and a way to be a better person and hero for those she's loved and cared about. This is best exemplified in the most recent run of Black Widow by Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, Elisabetta D'Amico, Jordie Bellaire, and VC's Cory Petit. Throughout the series' 15 issue run, Natasha has endured feelings she's not experienced in years, which eventually culminated in a heart-warming moment that felt deserved after decades of fighting.

In this run, Black Widow was put through the wringer as the story opened with her living a false life of peace with a husband and son she genuinely cared for. However, when the facade is destroyed, she's forced to revert to her training and give up the two people she cared for to keep them safe. Even though they're technically alive, it's a family Natasha could never return to, or they'd immediately become targets. But rather than mourn, she focused on revenge and called upon her closest friends and allies to aid her and eventually uncover a much larger plot.

Black Widow dinner
Black Widow dinner

A basic rule of thumb for fiction stories is to always mix things up within the narrative. For example, if a story is consistently chipper or painfully dour throughout, the story would be at risk of being stale and uneventful. But by throwing in some curveballs, things never feel safe as anything would feel possible. This is shown twice in the series when Natasha must face an enemy she truly feared, The Living Blade, a highly-skilled assassin that nearly killed her in her younger years. But thanks to the family she gathered, she was able to conquer him and even share a dinner with people she could say genuinely that she loved.

The dinner scene, while brief, showed Natasha in a state of contentment she hadn't felt in the entire series. To have sat at a table with friends and family that let her put her guard down allowed Natasha to reflect on what she'd lost. While she regretted leaving her family, she could finally come to grips that her choice was the safest one and the people she had before were more than a sufficient compromise. The story then closed with Natasha slightly smirking as she told herself, "this will do."

Black Widow comic friends
Black Widow comic friends

Most superhero stories focus heavily on the action and spectacle synonymous with the genre. However, the smaller moments of brevity, whether alone or with a group of beloved allies, are equally important to maintaining a strong character. Even heroes who can fly into space or commune with Gods are still human, and those moments that showcase that only add more to the character's soul as it will give readers a chance to see them in situations that feel natural. Whether a walk in the park or a peaceful dinner with friends, these narrative tools only serve to enhance the character and overall impact of the story.

The Black Widow may not have the most typical life when compared to the real world or other heroes in the Marvel Universe. That said, she's still human and must-have moments of peace scattered throughout the chaos that has been her life for decades. Since these private moments aren't often glamorized, the moment they are has never felt like a hindrance. In fact, it's more like a look into the more vulnerable side of Natasha Romanoff. A side that further humanized her and made her even more relatable.

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