By Jim Beard
This winter, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick continues her run on AVENGERS ASSEMBLE joined by artist Pete Woods for a new story arc with the mysterious Black Widow at its center. “The Widow’s Ledger” promises Avengers action in the wilds of Russia, but also tension between the ex-Soviet agent-turned-super hero and her fellow teammates.
“This is a story about debts, among other things, and there's a coolness, an almost clinical remove to the way in which Black Widow keeps score,” remarks DeConnick. “Now, add Jessica Drew and Clint Barton to that mix and it all gets messy. Suddenly the Widow's well out of her comfort zone.
“I love how preternaturally cool Natasha is; not cool like rock star cool, cool like temper-less, controlled. In that way she's the opposite of the character I've been writing most of late; Carol Danvers is quick-tempered, explosive. Natasha is patient, chill, calculating.”
This new arc of AVENGERS ASSEMBLE marks the return of Woods to the Marvel Universe after a long absence, but his love for the character of Black Widow remains constant and consistent.
|Avengers Assemble #12 cover|
“She's complex, there's an air of danger about her, and she's beautiful to boot,” he says. “I married a redhead so she's got that going for her too!”
DeConnick notes that she hit it off with Woods immediately after she began corresponding with him about their upcoming collaboration, a situation which she feels will be plain to see on the printed page.
“I like the way he talks about story, how interested and invested he is in keeping everything fresh,” she notes. “I read some of his past work to prepare and was really taken with his acting. And his gorillas. I need to figure out a way to get King Kong on the Avengers.”
For Woods’ part, he feels excited about not only working with DeConnick, but also Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
“It's been a long time since I last got to play in this universe and they have such pretty toys,” he notes. “Kelly Sue has got a strong sense of who these characters are and what makes them tick. Reading her scripts I feel like I'm in the room with them. I can see every gesture and expression in my mind's eye. She makes it very easy to ‘act’ on the page.”
Readers may feel that the AVENGERS ASSEMBLE storyline title rings a bell with them—that’s of no surprise to its writer.
“Oh, it was absolutely inspired by the ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ movie,” confirms DeConnick. “As soon as the Widow said the line, ‘I have a lot of red in my ledger,’ I was like, "Holy crap. I want to see that movie!’"
Woods echoes her enthusiasm for the Avengers and its myriad members:
“The best part is that my kids think I'm cool now! The thing to remember when approaching a large cast is to remember that each of these characters is an individual. They all have their own way of moving, interacting with the world, and their own reactions to what's going on around them. The world of the Avengers is so rich and detailed it makes that part of the job much easier!”
Can’t make it to the convention? Follow along on the Marvel Events App & events.marvel.com, and visit marvel.com/nycc2012, the best way to get exclusive videos, real-time announcements from the convention floor and up-to-the-minute panel, in-booth, and signing schedules of all your favorite Marvel creators!