Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012
by Patricia Trutescu
Those searching for the more traditional Marvel Black Widow in The Avengers will be disappointed. This film, with the help of Scarlett Johansson, beats the imperturbable superhero out of Natasha Romanoff. But something entirely new, possibly better takes its place…

Those searching for the more traditional Marvel Black Widow in The Avengers will be disappointed. This film, with the help of Scarlett Johansson, beats the imperturbable superhero out of Natasha Romanoff. But something entirely new, possibly better takes its place.


The protagonist that appears in countless of Marvel pages, Natasha, traditionally throws away her sentiment and sticks to accomplishing her mission. A cold, hard killer, in a cruel world. Between the pages of The Black Widow: Deadly Origins Natasha promises to avenge the death of her keeper, Ivan who is murdered in a failed mission. As an orphan in Soviet Russia (trained to be a spy since age ten) she learned to mentally stick to every mission with grace, control and poise.In The Secret Avengers #20, Natasha gains valuable information and resources from her allies and enemies alike without giving away the purpose of her mission.


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Monday, Aug 31, 2009
What does Disney's Acquisition of Marvel Comics Mean For True Believers Everywhere?

What does Disney’s acquisition of Marvel Comics mean for the storied superhero publishing house?


Something, certainly, but it’s hard to say what at this point. The fanboy screeds showing up this morning warning of a world in which Donald Duck battles evil alongside Captain America are ill considered and baseless, as fanboy screeds of course tend to be. The people who run Disney aren’t stupid, and there’s no reason to think they’ll muck around with something that’s been working as well as Marvel has over the last few years as fat checks have continued to roll in courtesy of blockbuster movies.


And since Marvels deals for those movies—like Spider-Man, which will stay at Sony, and Iron Man, which Paramount holds onto for the foreseeable future—remain intact, essentially putting Disney in business with it’s own competitors for the coming years, it’s a fair bet that Disney is in this deal for the long haul. And for anyone worried about their favorite spandex clad titans being Disney-fied by the merger, that’s a good sign that Disney understands what it’s bought and isn’t eager to jump in ad start gumming up the works.


And as for the argument that Marvel will ‘pull a Vertigo’ and start publishing edgy, grown up books that can garner critical acclaim without raking in huge sales figures… we’ll see. Marvel has always been pretty much a superhero imprint, and even it’s more adult themed lines—like Marvel Knights and MAX—have been home to what amounts to superhero books that amp up the blood and swearing.


The only real surprise here - that Marvel, a company that seemed to many to be on it’s way to becoming a media giant in it’s own right, would let itself be bought out. Also kind of surprising? The price of the acquisition. Considering that the acquisition apparently gives Disney the licensing rights for properties like Spiderman and Wolverine, $4 billion seems like kind of a low price tag. The House of Mouse will make $4 billion back in a couple of years from paper plates and birthday party hats alone, so why did Marvel, which seemed like it was a company with nowhere to go but up, sell itself so seemingly short?


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