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Black Widow Just Discovered How She is Ruining Her Family’s Life

In Black Widow #12, Natasha Romanoff’s inability to let go of the past is endangering the people she cares about the most.

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Black Widow #12, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

Natasha Romanoff has been a lot of things in her life, from superspy to Avenger, but none of the various roles she has filled have left as deep an impression on her as that of mother and wife. While her time living a normal life with a loving family was short-lived, it remains one of the most important things to have ever happened to Black Widow. It is also understandably one of the few things that she can’t let go of no matter how hard she tries. Unfortunately, Black Widow #12 (by Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, Elisabetta D’Amico, Jordie Bellaire, and VC’s Cory Petit) reveals that Natasha’s inability to let go is endangering the very people she cares so much about.

Natasha has been keeping herself busy lately working to dismantle a superpowered cult alongside her closest allies, although some of her more private affairs have been driving a wedge between them. While Yelena Belova has been overseeing Lucy and Anya’s training, Natasha has been reaching out to her underworld contacts to hunt down her lost family. In a psychological attack against the Widow, Natasha’s greatest enemies banded together to give her the life of her dreams with a husband and child. Over the course of just a few months Natasha’s memories were erased before she was given a new life as a wife and mother. As impossible as it may seem, young Stevie really was her son, and James really was her husband, and Natasha’s desperate search for them has just forced her and the Winter Soldier into a very uncomfortable conversation.

RELATED: Black Widow’s New Team is Already Falling Apart

Early in the issue, Natasha is startled out of her sleep by the abrupt appearance of Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier. Barnes explains that Natasha’s attempts to locate her family has forced him to uproot them once again. They have already had to endure the difficult process before, and now they’ve had to go through it again due to the actions of the Black Widow.

While Natasha had good intentions, her actions were still selfish in a way that is ultimately unacceptable. The pain she is feeling as a result of losing her family has to be difficult to endure, but she was the one who requested that Barnes hide them for their own safety. Her conversation with Bucky is heartbreaking, especially when she asks if her son remembers her, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a necessary talk for them to have.

RELATED: Kelly Thompson’s Substack Deal Won’t Affect Black Widow, Captain Marvel

It’s impossible to imagine anything that could be worse for Black Widow than having to live with the knowledge that she has a family that she can never see again. In some ways, knowing that they are alive somewhere just outside her reach feels worse for her than if she lost them altogether.

Luckily, Natasha still has good friends who she can rely on to help through one of the most difficult times she has faced in her life so far. It can only be hoped that her comrades will be able to keep both her and her family out of harm’s way in the foreseeable future.

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