Black Widow: Sting of the Wasp

Paul Tobin drops in to warn us of the dangers in store for Black Widow and the Wasp

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BLACK WIDOW & THE MARVEL GIRLS #2 preview art by Jacopo Camagni
By Marc Strom

Which hurts more: a Black Widow's bite or a Wasp's sting?

The villainous Doctor Doom will soon find out in the pages of December 23's BLACK WIDOW & THE MARVEL GIRLS #2, as the Widow teams up with her fellow Avenger Janet Van Dyne courtesy of writer Paul Tobin and artist Jacopo Camagni.

"This story takes place at a time when Black Widow first joined the Avengers, so [her relationship with the Wasp] is tenuous at best," relates Tobin. "Natasha was a spy for the other side, and then more or less a super villain, and it's going to take more than a couple wisecracks and a spiffy birthday cake for Janet to trust her. In fact, it's going to take more than just standing side-by-side in battle. Janet's going to have to find out what makes the Black Widow tick, and that's what this story is about."

As for the circumstances that bring the two heroes together, Tobin reveals that it involves something all too familiar to Natasha: a little political intrigue.

"Doctor Doom has been banning a robotics genius from leaving Latveria for several years-for the scientist's own safety, of course-but has decided to let him leave if the Avengers come and personally get him," the writer

BLACK WIDOW & THE MARVEL GIRLS #2 cover by Salva Espin
specifies. "It's remotely possible that Doom has an ulterior motive for doing this."

For their team-up, Tobin didn't draw on any past stories in particular for the dynamic between the two heroines, instead using "their core characters" to dictate how the two would interact with each other.

"Janet is a woman who pretends to be flighty, and who is a bit flighty, but she's determined to do what's best," he elaborates. "And Natasha is forever a woman who's on the verge of admitting, only to herself, that her teachings are wrong, that sometimes sacrifice is the best course of action, that on occasion you can trust another person, and that smiling actually doesn't break your face in half."

For a normal human like the Widow, living in a world where people have the ability to destroy her with a snap of their fingers makes her line of work incredibly dangerous. However, Tobin finds that "it's her very awareness of that fact" that keeps her alive.

"She'll do whatever it takes to gain an advantage, and she'll do whatever she can to take her enemies unaware," he continues. "She'll spend all her hours honing her own body and mind, gaining interesting bits of information, eliminating her weaknesses, seeking out the soft points in her opponent's defenses. She's a woman who, at the end of the day,

BLACK WIDOW & THE MARVEL GIRLS #2 cover by Salva Espin
knows she's done her job when her foes are yelling, 'You cheated!'"

According to Tobin, this issue has a couple elements that will make it irresistible to fans:

"Natasha smiles in this issue. She also beats up robots. Who doesn't like to watch a pretty woman beat up a robot?"

Check out Paul Tobin on Twitter and at his official web site!

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