A Black Widow Returns to the Marvel Universe

Ever since her tragic death in Secret Empire, Marvel fans have mourned the loss of Natasha [...]

Ever since her tragic death in Secret Empire, Marvel fans have mourned the loss of Natasha Romanova, a.k.a. The Black Widow. Finally, in Wednesday's new issue of Tales of Suspense, Black Widow returned to the Marvel Universe, but probably not in the way many were expecting.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Tales of Suspense #101!

The current run of Tales of Suspense follows Clint Barton's Hawkeye and Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. The Winter Soldier, as they join forces for top secret assignments. This week's new issue, #101, follows the duo as they're hot on the tail of a major criminal. While in the middle of their assignment, Hawkeye and Winter Soldier realize they're being watched and they take off after a mysterious woman, whose acrobatic moves and long, red hair feel an awful lot like the late Black Widow.

After the woman gets away from both of them, which no one does, Clint is convinced that it's Natasha, but Bucky has his doubts. The duo run into this woman once again at the end of the issue, and the mystery surrounding her identity is solved.

When Hawkeye tackles the woman to stop her, a red wig falls off of her head, revealing short, blonde hair. It's Yelena Belova, the second woman to become Black Widow.

black widow tales of suspense
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

See, when Natasha went with Nick Fury to join his counter-terrorism unit, Yelena graduated from Russia's Red Room program and became the new Black Widow.

While Natasha remains dead, Yelena does provide the opportunity to keep Black Widow's legacy going in new comics. She also introduces a brand new mystery to the pages of Tales of Suspense.

After being captured by Hawkeye and Winter Soldier, Yelena was in a bit of a panic, crying and muttering in Russian. She said, "I'm sorry I failed you. Please don't kill me, Winter Soldier."

Could it be that Winter Soldier gave orders to Yelena when he was under Russian control? Or is Black Widow apologizing to someone else altogether, teasing a new villain on the horizon?

Tales of Suspense #101, written by Travel Foreman and illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, is currently available for purchase at your local comic book shop.