The latest issue of Secret Avengers opens with the deaths of Steve Rogers, Agent 13, and War Machine. To save her friends the Black Widow activates an “Escape Hatch” (a small time machine) which takes her five years into the past to begin planning a way to avert the catastrophe which took the lives of three of her teammates.
Sadly, she can’t simply show up and take out the group which ambushed her friends. The timeline must be preserved. Whatever the Black Widow decides to do, she must not leave any trace that the events have been altered.
Using the Escape Hatch the Black Widow travels to talk with the Beast about the the trouble with time travel, enlists the help of a sorcerer hours before his death and a black market weapons designer to make what she will need.
I’ve never been the biggest Black Widow fan, but the choice by Warren Ellis to choose the character who has no special knowledge or skill set of the concepts involved is a good one.
It takes he a while, and more than a little jumping around time, but eventually the Black Widow is able to return and revert the catastrophe without anyone, even her teammates, being the wiser.
Alex Maleev‘s art is a little rough in spots but it works for the story, especially as it shifts depending on what period of the past the Black Widow finds herself. Not every issue of Secret Avengers works, but I’ll give Marvel credit for using the book to play with some crazy concepts. Worth a look.