Spider-Man got caught in the tangled web of another avenger


Warning: The following contains spoilers for Avengers: Mech Strike # 4, by Jed MacKay, Carlos Magno, Guru e-FX and VC’s Cory Petit, on sale now.

As an on-and-off member of the Avengers, Spider-Man has become close to several of Earth’s most powerful heroes, including Wolverine and Jessica Jones, who have made their way into Peter Parker’s world quite often. Recently, however, Spider-Man had an experience highlighting his strange relationship with another Avenger: Black Widow.

Spider-Man and Black Widow’s latest interaction takes place in Avengers: Mech Strike # 4. In this issue, the Avengers are reviewing their plan to defeat Kang the Conqueror. Spider-Man, in particular, is unsure if his plan will work. To ease the mind of the wall-crawler, Black Widow gives Spider-Man a metaphor about killing an enemy. Natasha says that the knife they show their opponent is not the same one they will use to kill him. In fact, it will be the small, silent knife that presents the real danger.

While this metaphor is helpful, it also makes Spider-Man very uncomfortable. The idea is meant to help Spider-Man understand, but Black Widow appears in a very threatening way, to say the least. During his speech, Black Widow slowly approaches the cobweb thrower with one knife, before sneaking up on him with another.

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At the end of the analogy, Natasha has two knives pointed at Spider-Man’s throat, which understandably makes him uncomfortable. The body language in this scene makes Black Widow look very predatory, as if she has trapped Spider-Man in her proverbial web. When Captain America breaks things, Spider-Man wipes his forehead in relief.

Given that Spider-Man and Black Widow are spider-themed heroes, their respective roles in this scene make sense. Even the Black Widow namesake is a predator, known for devouring its companions and eating other arachnids. Spider-Man, in this case, is the male spider or another arachnid, caught in Natasha’s web.

Considering the fact that Black Widow is a trained assassin, while Spider-Man is a cleaner traditional hero, it makes sense for Peter to feel threatened by Natasha. At the end of the scene, Black Widow tells Spider-Man to stay with her and they will have fun. Spider-Man can only respond by pointing out that this is the most threatening thing Natasha has said so far. Clearly, Black Widow’s tactics instill true terror in the cobweb thrower.

While this is an interesting scene, it takes place outside of the main Marvel Universe Earth-616. In the mainstream universe, Spider-Man’s relationship with Black Widow is similar, but not exactly the same. For one thing, the two heroes don’t have much of a relationship outside of the occasional team or their timeshare with the Avengers.

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Black Widow threatens Spider-Man in Avengers: Mech Strike

When interacting, Spider-Man and Black Widow tend to work well together. Still, it took the two heroes time to get to that point. They initially crossed paths in the 1970s. Amazing spider man # 70, by Stan Lee, John Romita Sr. and Jim Mooney. At the time, Black Widow was hunting Spider-Man, trying to get the secret to his powers.

In their first meeting, Natasha was the predator and Peter the prey, as in Avengers: Mech Strike. However, Black Widow underestimated her perceived prey, who turned out to be a match for her. This is different from Avengers: Mech Strike, as Spider-Man of Earth-616 immediately showed Black Widow just how dangerous it can be. During the following years, the two have worked well together, especially in 2012. Amazing spider man # 684-687, by Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos, and Stefano Caselli.

Spider-Man and Black Widow have come to respect each other and work together on various occasions. This is quite different from their interactions in Avengers: Mech Strike, where Black Widow is portrayed as a much more threatening presence to her unsuspecting teammate.

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