Goodbye, Natasha Romanoff — Marvel Officially Scraps “Black Widow”

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Black Widow at sunset

Credit: Marvel Studios

Goodbye, Black Widow.

Marvel confirms the character’s series will be scrapped, bringing the project to an untimely end.

black widow holding rifle
Credit: Disney

Black Widow is one of the most recognizable parts of the Marvel Universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Avenger first appeared in Kevin Feige’s MCU in Iron Man 2 (2010) alongside Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), where Scarlett Johansson originated the character for the blockbuster movie franchise as an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D agent working for Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).

Natasha Romanoff’s time was seemingly up after last year’s Black Widow (2021), from director Cate Shortland, which acted as a solo sequel to Chris Evans’ (Steve Rogers/Captain America) Captain America: Civil War (2016) and a precursor to the tragic events of the Russo Brothers’ Infinity Saga conclusion, Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). The latter Marvel film saw Natasha sacrifice herself for the Soul Stone on Vormir during an intense sequence with Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton/Hawkeye.

Captain America and Black Widow
Credit: Marvel

Related: Marvel’s Recast Black Widow Actress Reportedly Starring in Next Year’s Big Sequel

Johansson’s much-awaited solo installment in Marvel Phase Four faced multiple delays due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately releasing last July in movie theaters and on Disney+ simultaneously from the Marvel studio — a move that forced the Marvel actress to sue The Walt Disney Company due to contractual agreements allegedly being broken regarding box office receipts and the star’s salary.

However, before Shortland’s spy-thriller, which introduced characters like Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian (David Harbour), Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz), and Rick Mason (O-T Fagbenle), the Marvel Universe also began its new “Black Widow” run in 2020.

black widow (l-r) rachel weisz,scarlett johansson, florence pugh at table
Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Comics began its new comic book series, “Black Widow” in 2020, but after 15 issues, Marvel is pulling the plug on this fan-acclaimed outing from the former Red Room assassin. On its announcement back in 2020, Marvel said: “Eisner-nominated writer Kelly Thompson (CAPTAIN MARVEL, STAR) and rising star artist Elena Casagrande (Catwoman) launch a new BLACK WIDOW series that changes everything!”

scarlett Johansson as black widow natasha falling
Credit: Marvel Studios

Now, the series that was set to “change everything” has been canceled. Thompson released a statement to Substack announcing the news. Her statement reads (via ScreenRant):

So, this IS the final issue…for now. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to talk about it, a lot of you have been asking, and it has deeply pained me to take a pass on those questions, especially since this is a book I love so much (maybe my favorite book I’ve ever done at Marvel), but there’s a lot of stuff that happens behind the scenes and it’s not always something you can talk about publicly. To be honest, I still can’t talk about as much as I’d like, but what I can say is… there ARE plans for a bit more story from this creative team. Things are still being wrangled, but I am optimistic it will work out AND be worth the wait.

"Black Widow #15" cover
Credit: Marvel Comics

And the emotional Editor’s Note in “Black Widow #15” says:

Our legendary run is ending for now. We could not be more grateful to the collaborators who made this book extraordinary and the fans who picked up our book month and month. From the very first day 1 sat down next to Kelly at an editorial retreat and said “so what about Black Widow” to the day we got Elisabetta D’Amico on board to ink Elena’s pencils, I’ve known we had a special book on our hands. We’ve become a close-knit group, and it’s a bittersweet feeling to see our collective work realized here.

Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow
Credit: Marvel Studios

Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, Elisabetta D’Amico, Jordie Bellaire, Me and Kat Gregorowicz, then Anita. An all-female team with Rafaels De Latorre and Pimentel, a top-notch letterer in Cory Petit, and one of the hands-down best cover artists in the business in Adam Hughes. Natasha Romanoff’s had it good. Who knows what’s next?

Until then, true believer, stay sharp and wear black — Sarah [Brunstad]

avengers endgame black widow death deleted scene
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Is Rewriting History, Quietly Announces MCU’s “Next Wave of Power Players”

It is unclear why Marvel decided to cancel this all-female-led comic book series in this peculiar unceremonious way, but as the creators remain hopeful, so too must the fans of this Natasha Romanoff story.

“Black Widow #15” was released on April 6, 2022.

Have you been reading this comic? Let us know in the comments down below!

You can stream Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and the six series in Marvel’s Phase Four so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Marvel’s What If…?, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, and Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight — on Disney+ anytime.

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