SPOILER WARNING for Black Widow #5!
Natasha Romanoff strikes fear into the hearts of criminals around the world as the Black Widow. Her mastery over stealth, coupled with her brutal fighting skills, have earned her quite a reputation; one that leaves many villains trembling in their boots. Clearly, the Avengers’ super spy has an unmatched set of expertise, but a new character may soon prove himself worthy to take over the mantle. Plus, he has the added bonus of being Natasha’s own son.
Kelly Thompson’s new Black Widow series has seen Natasha Romanoff take on the role of a wife and a mother. It turns out, however, that this new life is a plot devised by several of her enemies to take her out of the field for good. In order to give her this blissful fantasy, the villains tampered with Natasha and her new husband James’ minds, implanting them with false memories. In addition, the evildoers used the couple’s DNA to artificially grow them a son named Stevie. Eventually, Natasha’s real memories return after one of the villains orders an attack on her home, but, with some help from Hawkeye, Winter Soldier, and Yelena Belova, she manages to get her family to a safehouse. Unfortunately, this is not enough to protect them, as James and Stevie are both seemingly killed in an explosion.
Black Widow #5, by Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, and Jordie Bellaire picks up just after the explosion, with Natasha ready to get some revenge. As the band of villains closes in to finish Natasha off for good, an epic final battle ensues, with Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Yelena coming out on top. As the rest of the heroes are fighting, however, Winter Soldier is on a different mission. It turns out that James and Stevie somehow survived, so Natasha asked Bucky to get them someplace safe. Unfortunately, to keep them from being tracked down again, this means that Natasha cannot know where they’ve been sent.
Since Black Widow can no longer contact her family, it’s likely that readers won’t be seeing James and Stevie again anytime soon. While it’s entirely possible that the characters will never return, the fact that they survived gives Marvel an opportunity to bring them back in the future. In fact, one particular detail suggests that Stevie could eventually become a prominent character in his own right. Throughout the series, several characters point out how, despite only being about a year old, Stevie is a skilled escape artist. There are literally three issues in a row in which someone mentions Stevie’s Houdini-like qualities. Of course, the trait was passed on to him from Natasha, who is able to achieve similar accomplishments as the Black Widow, but it also begs the question, what other skills did Stevie naturally acquire from his mother?
Considering how young Stevie is, he has plenty of time to boost his skills up to the Black Widow’s level. Without Natasha there to teach him the ropes, he may not become a super spy like her, although his natural talents may push him in that direction regardless. Ultimately, seeing Stevie return with the fully developed skills of Black Widow would be an awesome way to bring back the character. He could certainly make for an interesting new hero or even a menacing new villain and seeing Natasha eventually reunite with her son would be an added bonus. Hopefully, readers haven’t seen the last of Stevie. Black Widow #5 from Marvel Comics is available now.