gerry black

Alexibot: One last em-brace, my love.
Natasha: Alexi… you're… killing me…
Alexibot: Your death will bring us to-geth-er, Na-tal-ia…
Natasha: I’m …sorry Alexi… but I cannot embrace death… even if I did believe it would bring us together. Which I do not. Do zvidániya, my love.

I think some people would say that Natasha’s original origin was too much about a dude: she decides to join the KGB after her husband supposedly dies. I think this is a bit facile: Batman decides to fight crime after his parents are killed, Spider-Man uses his power for responsibility after the death of his uncle, and Alexi has always been a background figure in Natasha’s stories, not the other way around. The idea of Natasha as a soldier and a soldier’s widow is symbolicly profound, since she takes the man’s job and the woman’s grief, blurring these ideas by embodying both of them.

Of course, part of that blurred legacy is Natasha becoming better than Alexi, making her own redemptive choices, leaving him behind. Here, Natasha defeats him again, refusing his evil robot, refusing death, refusing to give up.

From Black Widow: The Coldest War, by Gerry Conway and George Freeman.