When Steve Rogers went bad (really bad) in Marvel's Secret Empire event, Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) was one of the many characters that got snuffed when the Rogers-led HYDRA took over the United States. Cap took her down with a strike to the spine, and she was fully dead...except now, she's alive again. Because, yeah, nobody stays dead in comics.
There will be SPOILERS from this point on, for Tales of Suspense, and this storyline in general.
Both Hawkeye and Winter Soldier got quite the surprise when, right in the middle of inventigating whether or not Natasha was actually still alive, the woman herself appeared to them in Tales of Suspense #102. We knew she was back, but we didn't know exactly how it came about...until now. Screenrant is reporting on a preview from the upcoming Tales of Suspense #103, and now we're in on the secret.
Written by Matt Rosenberg, with art by Travel Foreman and Rachelle Rosenberg and a cover from Andrea Sorretino, the new issue follows up on the end of the previous issue, which featured Romanoff's return. We now know for certain that it was Romanoff who murdered two agents right in front of Clint and Bucky while she was in the process of returning, too. It's wasn't just because she wanted to make an entrance, although that might have been a small part of it.
One of these agents was the Black Widow who replaced her, so she definitely had to go. The other agent was a higher-up in the Red Room, which is the Russian assassin training program that taught Romanoff— not the strange room where everyone talks backwards while watching a little man dance. As it happens, that same organization is responsible for Romanoff's return.
We don't know everything, but we know that the once and future Widow is back thanks to Red Room machinations, and that they think they have her back in their control. She also seems to be missing a great deal of her memories of her life as a hero. She does remember her death, and thanks to a bear (Ursa Major, a Soviet mutant soldier who can transform into a bear), she starts to rightfully suspect that the Red Room agents controlling her can't be trusted.
Romanoff is definitely back...but in what state? She may be suspicious of the Red Room, but how far does that go? How much of her old self is still in there? We don't know yet, but we'll hopefully get some answers when Tales of Suspense #103 arrives on March 21, 2018.
Will you be picking it up? Let us know in the comments!