Black Widow is infiltrating the world of Young Adult fiction.
First announced back at New York Comic-Con, Black Widow: Forever Red is set to come out this fall from Marvel Press. The story was written by Margaret Stohl, the author of the Beautiful Creatures novels and a former video game writer.
This isn’t the first time that Marvel has tried to expand its readership beyond comics. She-Hulk and Rogue both headlined romance novels in 2013. And even DC Comics has gone for the YA audience in the recently released Lois Lane: Fallout.
Black Widow is currently one of the most prominent Marvel heroines thanks in large part to Scarlett Johansson’s appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And while Black Widow’s popularity hasn’t yet translated into a solo film, the character now has a much bigger fandom than ever before.
In the comics, Black Widow has headlined several solo comics and miniseries, but Black Widow: Forever Red will be the character’s first novel in which she plays the lead role. While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Stohl said that the novel “tells the story of Natasha Romanoff and the two teens who find an unlikely way into her life—particularly Ana Orlova, a seventeen-year-old Russian girl now living in Brooklyn. The novel takes us from New York to Eastern Europe, and we get to see more of Natasha’s backstory than we ever have before.”
Stohl also admitted that she “was afraid to write Natasha Romanoff’s POV at the beginning. It took me a while to be able to go inside her mind. I was too respectful and she was too private. Then we got used to each other and everything took off.” She also credited Superman and Avatar writer Gene Luen Yang for helping her realize that retcons are often created in the comics by subsequent writers.
“But when you’re writing, even though you know canons evolve, that doesn’t lessen the weight of it in your head,” continued Stohl. “Marvel and Disney seem to know that those are the kinds of people who should be working on their properties, the people who feel that sense of responsibility, who take it seriously. And we do.”
Black Widow: Forever Red will be published in October.
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