Chicago Spanking Review

Daredevil Spanks The Black Widow

---> Comics Gallery 2

daredevil slaps the black widow on the butt

Art by Bob Brown and Vince Colletta. © Marvel Comics Inc. Posted by the Web-Ed on 03/19/2010

At DC, spanking seemed to come naturally, but Marvel never really did get the hang of it, as we'll see here in an example whose sheer cluelessness cracks us up every time we look at it. With Marvel, spankings are sometimes threatened or attempted, but rarely carried out correctly and seriously. Thus we are occasionally forced to stretch the definition of "spanking" a bit in order to present more examples from actual Marvel comics. Let's call this our first example of "Marvel spankings that didn't quite come off."

"Why don't you slip into something barely legal?" says Daredevil to his partner (in more ways than one), the Black Widow. "I want my date to be the most gorgeous thing at the party!" Let's stop and think about this for a minute. DD is basically saying, "I want you to play the part of my trophy girlfriend at this party so I can impress all the other guys there", and when she not unreasonably protests, he whacks her on the butt and adds, "I said move it, darling!"

Now, we're certainly no feminists, and we do believe that it's o.k. to spank your girlfriend under certain circumstances, but this is a bit much even for us. Smooth move, DD! No wonder Marvel super-heroes always had trouble hanging on to their girlfriends. How long did you expect Natasha (BW) to put up with this kind of treatment? (They broke up only four issues later - big surprise!). Nor was that all the the abuse the Widow took in this issue - let's take a further look...

cover of daredevil #120

Art by Gil Kane. © Marvel Comics Inc. (Author's collection).

When we saw this "spanking" panel on the web, we were motivated to do something we rarely do - look through our old Daredevil collection from the 70's. Sure enough, there it was, in Daredevil #120 (April 1975). Here is the cover from that issue. The Black Widow is being pulled (by her hair!) out a window by the issue's bad guy, El Jaguar, a super-villain so obscure we'd completely forgotten who he was. As you can see from the panel at right, he was basically a Spanish-spouting copy of Kraven the Hunter, a much older (and better) villain from The Amazing Spider-Man. Although Kraven was Spider-Man's foe, he had made an appearance in Daredevil #104, so it's not like Daredevil readers didn't know who he was or that it could be hoped they wouldn't recognize El Jaguar as a Kraven-copycat.

But wait - there was still more Widow-abuse to come...

kraven the hunter, from daredevil #104

Kraven the Hunter, from Daredevil #104. Art by Don Heck and Sal Trapani. © Marvel Comics Inc. (Author's collection).

el jaguar crashes the party that DD and the Widow were attending

Behold El Jaguar. Art once again by Bob Brown and Vince Colletta. © Marvel Comics Inc. Caramba!

Let's all go to a party - you know, the one Daredevil so politely suggested he and the Black Widow attend back in that spanking panel. Well, Natasha actually did put on an evening dress and they did go to the party, and who do you suppose decided to crash it? That's right - Kraven El Jaguar! He graciously introduces himself to Natasha, calling her a witch ("Bruja!") and kicking her in the head ("BWUDD!"). It may have been this display of conspicuous gallantry which convinced BW to stay with DD for another whole four issues. Compared to the hair-pulling, head-kicking, Spanish-interpolating El Jaguar, her butt-slapping boyfriend probably didn't seem so bad after all. All we can say is that it looks like the 70's were a tough time to be single and female in New York City.

If you look at her spotlighted picture on the upper right-hand side of the cover, you'll see that BW had full co-star status in DD's book at the time (in fact, the title had been "Daredevil and the Black Widow" until not long before). If this is how she got treated as DD's co-star, can you imagine what indignities she might have had to endure had this been a mere guest-shot? Dress blown up over her head by compressed air? More verbal insults? Being made to crawl on her hands and knees through a spanking machine formed by the party guests?

This exercise in how to treat a lady was written by Tony Isabella, who was sort of the utility infielder of the Marvel Bullpen, if we may be permitted to mix and mash our baseball metaphors. Whenever one of your second-tier titles needed a quick, slapdash fill-in issue, Isabella was your guy.

One final note: a discussion arose on the Bulletin Board about the spankability of various superheroines, and the Black Widow's name came up. Thinking back to our younger days, the Black Widow was at or near the top of the list of Marvel heroines we'd have loved to spank. Skin-tight costumes like hers and Batgirl's are just perfect for the purpose. But after seeing poor BW mistreated like this, we can't help feeling that it would be almost wrong to spank her. Oh well - there's still The Scarlet Witch (who never got spanked) and Moondragon (who did - but not nearly enough!).

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