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Literature / Black Widow

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A Young Adult novel series by Margaret Stohl focusing on the exploits of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Natasha Romanov in the aftermath of the Battle of New York. However the second book reveals that the series is not set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe despite Forever Red's implications to the contrary (Captain Marvel is referenced despite the fact that she has yet to be introduced to the MCU, among other details). The novels instead appear to be set in a universe that combines elements of the MCU with the main comics universe.

  • The first book, Forever Red, released in 2015.
  • The second book, Red Vengeance, released in 2016.

The first book, Forever Red, focuses on Natasha's attempt to find and kill her Evil Mentor Ivan Somodorov, a teenage girl named Ava who Natasha had rescued from Ivan's clutches 8 years ago, and Ordinary High-School Student Alex Manor, whom Ava can see in her dreams for some reason.


Agent Romanov believed that Ivan was dead after the S.H.I.E.L.D. raid on his Supervillain Lair in which she rescued Ava, but recent kidnappings suggest that Ivan is Not Quite Dead. Realizing that Ava plays a key role in Ivan's Evil Plan, Natasha and Ava, with help from Alex must track down and stop the man who has caused so much suffering and torment in their lives.

Black Widow contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Natasha and Ava.
  • Broken Pedestal: Ava holds this view towards the Black Widow because Natasha has avoided all of her attempts to get in contact with her rescuer. She gets better.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: the first book provides a more concrete view of Natasha's backstory, as opposed to the vague snippets in the films.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Coulson and Stark, as usual.
  • Due to the Dead: At the start of the book Ava wants nothing to do with S.H.I.E.L.D. but after Alexei's Heroic Sacrifice she enrolls in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy.
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  • Fake Memories: Alex and Natasha are both revealed to have these.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Tony Stark shows up a third of the way through the book to help Black Widow with getting access to S.H.I.E.L.D. files that are above her clearance level, and getting Ava and Alex into to the Triskellion.
  • Gunship Rescue: Coulson shows up with a Quinjet when the group is being pursued by Russian mercenaries early in the book.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Alex.
  • Mad Scientist: Ivan Somodorov.
  • Memory Gambit: Black Widow has her own memories of her brother wiped to protect him from the Red Room.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Alex is revealed to be Natasha's brother, placed in protective custody with Fake Memories to protect him from the Red Room.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Alex.
  • Psychic Link: Ivan's experiments on Ava when she was a child created one between her and Natasha. His goal is to create an army of secret agents capable of linking with high ranking political and military leaders. By the end of the novel, the link between Ava and Natasha has been shut down, along with the linking abilities of Ivan's other agents.
  • The Reveal: Alex Manor is really Alexei Romanov, Natasha's younger brother, who was in Witness Protection with Fake Memories for his own safety.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper:
    • Black Widow knows that Coulson is alive, even though he still hasn't told the rest of the Avengers.
    • Pepper and Coulson were responsible for taking care of Alexei on Natasha's behalf, and were sworn to secrecy from everyone, including Natasha herself.
  • Spy School: The Red Room


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