We recently had the pleasure of chatting on the phone with Black Widow: Red Vengeance author Margaret Stohl, along with a select group of other bloggers, thanks to our friends at Marvel Press (who also kindly sent me a copy of the book to read ahead of time). Black Widow is one of my favorite characters, and Margie is one of my favorite authors – so this really was a true joy!
Today, we have our portion of the Q&A – along with highlights from a couple other questions that we loved – along with your chance to win a copy of the newest Black Widow book, thanks to Marvel Press! So be sure to keep reading for all the details.
Novel Novice: From your Icons and Beautiful Creatures books, one: which character do you think Natasha would be most likely to recruit for the Avengers, and two: which one do you think Ava would most likely be friends with?
Margaret Stohl: That is a really good question. Ava is an outlier. Ava is kind of tricky. I actually think Ava would get along pretty well with Ethan Wate, who was our main character from Beautiful Creatures, mostly because Lena, the enchanted Caster girl who is at the heart of that book and who he falls in love with, is so complicated and so messed up in her own way. And for her he would also be able to support Ava. So that would be my take on that.
Although, I think all of the Icons characters would be an interesting challenge for Natasha in terms of the Avengers, because they are such a mess. But I think for Ro, who is sort of the explosive rage teen, they might see him as the character with the most untapped potential and they might want to work with him on that. Although they would never let him near the Avengers for like, ten years, because he’ll just destroy the world.
Novel Novice: You’ve mentioned before that you are a part of a nerd family, and you know you can produce for all the Marvel fans, so my question is: if you had the opportunity to write for any other fandoms the way you get to write for Marvel right now, what would it be?
Margaret Stohl: You know, I don’t know. I think about other Marvel-like characters that I have loved, but I would probably approach it more in that same way. Although, I would probably want to write some Star Wars. I have been long obsessed with Star Wars history. And I like how Alden Ehrenreich from Beautiful Creatures is Young Han Solo now. I spent six months painting and dying my sweatshirts that said “Margaret Solo” when I was in middle school. I even snuck my cassette recorder into the movie theater and broke federal laws to record “I love you, I know,” in Empire Strikes Back. Also, I could have not have been more excited to get a female Jedi.
ComicBooked: My question is, for Natasha in this and the first book, I can kind of tell that you focused more on the comic character. However, did the movie version of Black Widow influence you at all in how you portrayed Natasha in the books?
Margaret Stohl: Yes, I always have Black Widow from the movies in mind because I think she’s done such a great job for so many of my readers in bringing the Black Widow character to life. Black Widow has been around for 50 years, she really has had so many creators. But I specifically think that her current cinematic version is incredibly successful with the book. I’m a fan.
MundieMoms: I love the way you write strong characters. I think readers can relate to your books, and so my question is, what have you enjoyed discovering or developing with Natasha in the main story? Additionally, as a whole, I think your characters are inspiring women and I think so often women in Marvel get misunderstood by fans. Can you speak to that?
Ms. Margaret Stohl: I am all about women of Marvel. Being on the Women in Marvel panel at Comic Con was one of the greatest “big first” moments of my career.
It was really exciting to get two Widows together in the second book. But it was super exciting this time to get Captain Marvel together with Carol Danvers, so Captain Marvel is Carol Danvers, together with Natasha Romanoff, Ava and Maria Hill, who runs Shield.
In some of those meetings, I have four kickass Marvel women together living in the world. I was like, oh my God, talk about the Bechdel test. Now it’s not even, “can you talk about a woman,” it’s, “can there be more than one woman prominently featured in a superhero story?” And the answer is yes. That is a goal of mine.
Women are as interested in saving the world as men are. I think women heroes are as heroic as any hero. I also think that, like anybody, woman really thrive in a circle of friends. So I love putting together a group of empowered women who empower each other. Women not competing with each other is one of my favorite things in the world.
I use more and more of that, which you’ll see in Captain Marvel, too. It’s actually one of the first things you open up in the issues of my reboot. You’ll see that from literally page one. So that’s what I care about. Thank you.
One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of Black Widow: Red Vengeance, courtesy of Marvel Press.
U.S. only. Contest runs through midnight (PT) on Friday, October 21st.
To enter, tell us in the comments what you love about the character Black Widow – then fill out the Rafflecopter form to complete your entry & earn more chances to win.
Emotions are dangerous, which is why the graduates of Moscow’s famed spy school the Red Room are taught to keep their enemies close and their loved ones at a distance. Black Widow and Red Widow, also known as Natasha Romanoff and Ava Orlova, forgot that lesson once, and they won’t forget it again.
But the Widows have inherited something else from their shared Moscow past: a relentless need for vengeance—Ivan Somodorov is dead, but his network of terror remains.
While the Widows search South America in order to extinguish a smuggling operation with ties to their old nemesis, their own Red Room not only attempts to assassinate them both but also hacks their secure S.H.I.E.L.D. network. As a result, Ava and Natasha find themselves thrust into a trying mission of international intrigue that takes them throughout the world and back to New York City, where their friends Dante and Sana become unlikely targets as well.
Once again, nothing is as it seems, no one can be trusted, and no one is safe—not unless the Widows can stop a conspiracy involving stolen nuclear warheads, mind-altering chemical weapons, and ultimately, betrayal by old friends and enemies alike.
Margaret Stohl is the #1 New York Times best-selling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures novels (also a major motion picture) and the author of the instant New York Times best seller Black Widow: Forever Red, as well as a contributor to multiple Marvel comics. Previously, Margaret was a veteran of the video game industry, working as a writer and designer before co-founding 7 Studios with Lewis Peterson.