Natasha was educated to be an adept spy and killer from a young age in the Soviet Union’s covert Red Room facility, as Marvel comic and movie fans are well aware.
Despite one incident in which Enchantress tricked her into attempting an escape, Natasha’s time growing up in the Red Room was described as loyal and submissive to the cause she was indoctrinated in by the few testimonies available.
Natasha would not seek atonement until years later when she joined the ranks of the Avengers as a costumed hero.
However, Natasha Romanoff had an innate desire to leave the milieu she was put into as a youngster, according to Kaare Andrews’ Amazing Fantasy #1.
Amazing Fantasy follows what appear to be near-death incidents in the lives of Captain America, Spider-Man, and Black Widow in their early, famous days. Nat’s side of the narrative depicts her flourishing as a favourite fighter in the Red Room before attempting to flee with the help of her teacher Alexa.
Alexa persuades Natasha that they will flee to West Germany on a plane hidden in the woods nearby as a final test of commitment.
When Natasha reaches the meeting spot, Alexa informs her that she failed her test, then pulls out his revolver and discharges two rounds into her.
Nat is then shown wounded and dying before being whisked away from the danger by a centaur who emerges from the darkness of the woods. Needless to say, here is where Amazing Fantasy’s fanciful side comes into play.
Widow, Captain America, and Spiderman all wake up within the confines of this mysterious reality after experiencing certain death. But, as entertaining as it is to see Widow and the other heroes form new allegiances in this strange environment, the revelation that Natasha yearned to leave the Red Room so early in her stay there adds even more pathos to her already tragic past.
At the very least, the idea that Natasha was formed into a merciless assassin under harsh conditions gives us hope that she was blissfully unaware of a better life. Amazing Fantasy, on the other hand, shatters that silver lining by revealing Nat’s frantic desire to escape her terrible circumstances since she was a youngster – and the fact that she was duped and left for dead by an authoritarian she trusted just adds insult to injury.
The underlying plot of Amazing Fantasy is still a mystery after only one issue. What is this strange new realm that these heroes have entered, and why do they appear to have reached it at the moment of their deaths? The heroes will almost certainly return to the main Marvel Universe before the end of the storey.
A more cynical interpretation is that this storey takes place in a parallel timeline in which Natasha and the others have perished, allowing for a Pan’s Labyrinth-style questioning of whether this magical world is genuine or just a dying delusion.
In that situation, the spy’s first Red Room disaster would be a genuinely tragic death. Hopefully, a ray of hope will emerge before the five-issue miniseries comes to an end.