Search This Site

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Black Widow Key Issues

Time to get off the DC train for a bit and go back to good ole Marvel Comics. We will be continuing on with another comic book female super-hero though, and one that probably should've been done a long while ago.

JW actually came up with the idea for this Black Widow key issues list after I finished up the Hawkeye key issues list. Although a great idea, I somehow lost track of getting around to this one due to prior requests.

Regardless, no doubt that Natalia Romanoff as the Black Widow is perhaps one of the most popular and recognizable Marvel super heroines in comics. Her live action
characterization played by Scarlett Johansson in the Marvel movies has propelled this comic hottie into the stratosphere in terms popularity.

Black Widow is without a doubt an iconic female super-hero and one of the most cosplayed female comic characters out there. This key issues series concerning the Black Widow will be character specific and won't be too long. Let's see how this unfolds.

Tales of Suspense #52 cover imageTALES OF SUSPENSE #52
1st appearance of Black Widow

Not surprising that Tales of Suspense would introduce one the most sexiest female spies in comics. Especially, a sexy Russian female spy. She did start her comic career as a villain of Iron Man, mind you.

No doubt that the Black Widow is one of most popular female superheroes in comics as of late, but her first appearance really didn't get a huge jump in demand and value until the Iron Man 2 movie. It's also not very surprising that the beautiful Scarlett Johansson has quite a bit to do with the recent, growing popularity of this female Marvel character also.

Although her first appearance, Natasha Romanoff isn't in the famed and iconic Black Widow costume, nor is she a red head. She's actually a brunette, and a pretty normal Russian spy instead of a costumed super villain or super heroine.

But here's a couple facts that seem to get swept under the rug concerning important key issue elements with TOS #52. We get the first appearance of Boris Turgenov, the second Crimson Dynamo, who also dies in this issue. Also, this issue holds the death of the first Crimson Dynamo, Anton Vanko, who saves Iron Man.

Black Widow from the get-go has been tied to ole Shell-Head, and she'll be greatly tied to another Avengers member as well. This is the holy grail of Black Widow key issues, though she doesn't sport her tight, form-fitting costume that comic fans love and is quite over-cosplayed. 

Black Widow will be on Cap's side during Captain America: Civil War, and I can only hope that Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff doesn't tire of the role anytime soon. Despite some other critics out there, I think a solo Black Widow could be highly interesting.

Johansson has proven that she can carry blockbuster movies (most recent being Lucy), and who doesn't like a good espionage flick? Tales of Suspense #52 was published April, 1964.

eBay | mycomicshop | ComicLink  | ComicConnect 

Tales of Suspense #53 coverTALES OF SUSPENSE #53
2nd appearance of Black Widow

Once again, this femme fatale goes up against Iron Man, and the Russian hottie tries to steal an anti-gravity device from Stark Industries in this issue. No surprise there.

Origin of the Watcher is also in this issue as well and this is the 2nd time Black Widow is featured on a cover. If you can't afford a 1st appearance, a 2nd appearance of the Black Widow might be a great alternative. Tales of Suspense #53 and the 2nd appearance of Black Widow was published May, 1964.

Tales of Suspense #57 comic coverTALES OF SUSPENSE #57
3rd appearance of Black Widow
1st appearance of Hawkeye
1st meeting of Black Widow & Hawkeye

From the get-go, Black Widow was a character tied to Hawkeye during both of their early villain days. Actually, the spy would utilize her charm to recruit the super archer against Iron Man in both their early appearances.

So, not only does this issue hold the very first appearance of Clint Barton also known as Hawkeye, it also holds the first meeting between the two and the 3rd appearance of Black Widow. More than meets the eye for this Marvel key issue.

In the comics, Hawkeye and Black Widow would be lovers during their early comic years, and Clint Barton would even propose to Black Widow, which she seriously considered his offer. 

The 3rd appearance of Natasha Romanoff as the Black Widow and the first appearance of Hawkeye in Tales of Suspense #57 was published September, 1964.

eBay | mycomicshop | ComicLink | ComicConnect

Tales of Suspense #60 coverTALES OF SUSPENSE #60
4th appearance of Black Widow
2nd appearance of Hawkeye

We got another double whammy here, but this issue is probably more sought out for the 2nd appearance of Hawkeye than the 4th appearance of Black Widow. Since this is a Black Widow key issues list, her 4th appearance gets priority.

This issue was already featured on the Hawkeye key issues list, and it's no surprise it would also end up here as well. Once again bamboozled by the Black Widow, Hawkeye and Iron Man battle it out for the 2nd time in this issue here.

Good stuff! December, 1964 is the publishing date for Tales of Suspense #60.

1st appearance in costume
5th appearance of Black Widow
3rd appearance of Hawkeye

It's about time Black Widow joined the super villain ranks, and you can't really be super in comics without a costume, right? Okay, so nothing's perfect when it comes to the early development of a character, and the costume first given to the super spy isn't the most of classic or iconic get ups.

Still, it's a start, and it's the first time Black Widow is seen in a costume. Believe it or not, this costume would be used for the character for quite some time before she gets her classic and iconic costume.

Is it still a sexy get-up? I dunno about you, but I don't think it's hideous. Actually, I think it would be pretty cool to see some of the lady cosplayers in the character's original costume. At least, it would be different.

This transformation also marks the 5th appearance of Black Widow, and Tales of Suspense #64 was published April, 1965.

1st Black Widow & Avengers meeting

Despite her earlier run-ins with Shell Head, this would actually be the first time Black Widow does battle with the Avengers. It's not the first time the character appears in an Avengers issue though. She appears in flashback only in issue #16 of the titled series.

Since Hawkeye can no longer be manipulated as a tool for her deeds, Black Widow allies herself with the Swordsman and Power Man to battle the Avengers. Obviously, a different Power Man than Luke Cage here, and obviously a pretty weak match up concerning the villains going up against Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

This issue sees Black Widow and Hawkeye at odds for the first time, and it is the first time the Black Widow meets the Avengers in comics. It can also be said that it's the first time the character is fully in an Avengers comic.

Avengers #29 was published June, 1966, and the rest of course is comic history.

 eBay | mycomicshop | ComicLink | ComicConnect

Most of the early Black Widow appearances in high grades are already up there in price for sure. However, Tales of Suspense #64 and the first appearance of Black Widow in costume is pretty under-valued considering it's key issue goodness. It's no cheap bargain bin buy but a CGC 9.4 sold for $530 in July of this year.

Avengers #29 is quite over-looked as well for being Black Widow's first full appearance in the Avengers title and the first meeting between her and her future team mates. So, lots of early appearances of Natalia Romanoff in Part 1 of this Black Widow key issues list. 

As usual, Part 2 is ready with more keys concerning this bad ass female super-hero, so just click the link to continue.


  1. Hey Mayhem,

    I did know that B. W. got her new trousers in the pages of Piderman, but Tales of Suspense 64 was a surprise for me! Don' t know if that costume is the big thing though. Which brings me to my recent problem. To invest or not to invest is the question here - I' m talking about the first appearance of Lex Luthor in a costume. The costume is kind of lame, but still - without it he' s just a bald man in a suit....

    Speculation Jones

  2. Sorry, was not to specific here: Action Comics 298 is the issue I' m talking about.

    Jones Allmighty

    1. I dunno, Mighty Jones. I think Luthor looks better without a costume and kind of stupid in one. As an investment for Action Comics #298? It wouldn't be on the top of my want list, but that's just me. Not a big fan of Luthor or Supes. Don't think it will be a big deal, bout as much as B.W. with her first costume. Sure, they are keys but I would only get those two if I were a huge fan of the characters and just wanted them to have them.

  3. Really a nice stuff,the images shown are rare one and not found in other webpages. keep sharing such a relevant content. Greatful to find useful content like Infoshutter knowledge portal.