Secret Empire has been an extremely controversial storyline for Marvel Comics. The reveal in May 2016 that Captain America was a member of Hydra all along is a premise that many fans hate, because Hydra was once associated with Nazis. After the release of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, Twitter exploded with criticism towards writer Nick Spencer, who conceived the story.
Note: The following article contains heavy spoilers for Secret Empire #7.
The controversy behind Hydra Cap deepened with Civil War II: The Oath, in which a fascist Steve Rogers becomes the new head of S.H.I.E.L.D. (There were unsubtle political parallels to our current administration.) The Civil War II arc also resulted in the death of the Incredible Hulk. But the latest move for Marvel Comics may push fans to a new extreme of anger, because Hydra Captain America murders one of Marvel Comics' most beloved heroes...
Hydra Cap Kills Black Widow
In Secret Empire #7, Black Widow creates a small team of heroes — including Miles Morales and Ms. Marvel — to assassinate Captain America. Back in Civil War II, Ulysses (the inhuman with precognitive abilities) predicted that Miles Morales would be the one to kill Hydra Cap. To save Morales from his terrible fate, Black Widow tried to commit the act herself, but Hydra Cap snaps her neck with his shield. That's right, Black Widow is now dead.
Judging by the reactions on Twitter, fans are not happy at all:
Don't Worry, She's Still Alive In The MCU — For Now...
Fans of Natasha Romanoff can take some comfort that Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow is definitely appearing in Avengers: Infinity War. While Marvel Studios would likely never adapt Secret Empire in the #MCU, due to its unpopularity, is this a sign that she's not long for this world in any medium?
Even if Black Widow survives Infinity War, with the shapeshifting Skrulls may come to Avengers 4 — any of our favorite heroes could be a Skrull — so it's possible that Cap could kill Skrull Natasha onscreen (or that Skrull Cap could kill real Natasha) in much the same manner as the latest Secret Empire comic.
While all of this is pure speculation, it's a fact that Black Widow is dead in the comics. But, as we all know and love (or hate) about comic books, no one ever stays that way.
What do you think of Black Widow's death in Secret Empire? Let me know in the comments!