The Black Widow

BLACK WIDOW

Real Name: Madam Claire Voyant

Identity/Class: Mystically enhanced human, WWII era

Occupation: Vigilante, servant of "Satan";

formerly psychic medium

Group Membership: The 12

Affiliations: the Angel (Thomas Halloway), Bucky (James Barnes), the Black Marvel, the Blazing Skull (Mark Todd), Captain America (Steve Rogers), the Challenger, the Falcon (Carl Burgess), Hellcat (Patsy Walker), the Sub-Mariner, the Thunderer, The 12, the Vision (Aarkus);

"Satan"

Enemies: Karl Koodamore, James Wagler, Garvey Lang, Lewis and Sykes (munitions manufacturers), Axis powers (WWII era)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile throughout the world, Hell

First Appearance: Mystic Comics#4/6 (August, 1940)

Powers/Abilities: Before her transformation into the Black Widow, Claire Voyant had undefined psychic powers that enabled her to commune with the spirits of the deceased.

  Once transformed, the Black Widow was highly resistant to injury and bullets appeared to have no effect on her. Satan gave her the gift of immortality, thus making her extremely long-lived and virtually ageless. She possessed superhuman strength of an undefined nature and an increased level of endurance. She was able to fly, become invisible, alter her appearance and mentally plant suggestions into the minds of others. She also seemed to have the ability to regenerate or heal others mystically. Her most fearsome and potent ability was to slay the living simply by touching their bare flesh. Once touched, her victims instantly died and their souls would be sent directly to Hell. This effect left the body with a black widow branded into the flesh. Certain chemicals appeared to affect her temporarily. Any other powers remain unrevealed.

The Black Widow is born in Hell

History:

(Mystic Comics#4/6) - During a séance to summon the spirit of the recently deceased Mr. Wagler, Satan took possession of the medium, Madam Claire Voyant. Angry and unhappy with the results, the Wagler family decided to leave. Under the influence of Satan, Claire Voyant placed the curse of Satan on the departing family. Later and unknown to her, Satan caused the Wagler family’s car to veer out of control and crash into an embankment, killing Mrs. Wagler, and her daughter, Patricia. The only survivor of the crash was James Wagler who became influenced by Satan to seek revenge on Claire Voyant who had cursed them. With a gun in hand, James Wagler made his way to Claire Voyant's home and confronted her. After accusing her of being responsible for the death of his mother and sister, he shot her in cold blood. As Claire Voyant lay dying, she vowed to come back and James Wagler then quickly departed.

  Her body and soul now in Hell, she was brought back to life by Satan who performed a mystic ritual that turned Claire Voyant into his new servant to expedite and courier the souls of evil men on Earth back to his realm. Satan sent her back to Earth to seek revenge on her murderer and she found James Wagler alone on a dock. The Black Widow placed her hand to his forehead and with a flash of fire and brimstone, James Wagler died with a black widow brand burnt into the spot where he was touched.

The Black Widow strikes!

(Mystic Comics#5/4) - Satan next sent the Black Widow to fetch the soul of Garvey Lang, a mobster who had hijacked a train and stole $250,000. Using her ability to become invisible, she showed up at the mobster’s hideout and mentally influenced one of his men to turn on Garvey Lang. Garvey Lang shot his former henchman dead. She next influenced Garvey Lang into killing another of his men by placing a mental suggestion that he was being cheated out of the money he had just stolen. The next evening, during a masquerade party hosted by Garvey Lang, the Black Widow made her appearance. Captivated by her beauty, Garvey Lang decided to leave with her to a more private location to further his advances. Much to his surprise, Garvey Lang was quickly killed by her death touch, consigning his soul to Satan.

(Mystic Comics#7/3) - Satan, unwilling to wait for the souls of Lewis and Sykes, weapons manufacturers who were selling munitions to both the Axis powers and Allied forces, sent the Black Widow to obtain them. The Black Widow appeared in their office disguised and approached them for a secretarial job. Alone with the two men, she quickly revealed herself as the Black Widow and killed Lewis with her touch of death. Sykes quickly tried to make his escape and used a gun to shoot her. The gun proved useless and he then tried to douse her with chemicals that forced her to temporarily halt her advance. Getting up off the floor, she quickly dispatched another soul to Hell by once again killing the evil Sykes using her cape as a weapon of death.

(USA#5/2) – The Black Widow was once again sent to fetch the soul of an evil hit man named Karl Koodamore who profited in the murder of others. After he succeeded killing an actor called John Marriman while performing onstage, the Black Widow appeared and killed one of his henchmen who had just committed the murderous deed. Karl Koodamore then ordered his other henchmen to shoot her down but this proved ineffectual and she chased him to a nearby office. He made his escape by car and ordered another of his men to stay behind to deal with her. Unable to stop the Black Widow with bullets, the frightened man turned the gun on himself and committed suicide. Later while out on a country road, the Black Widow appeared in front of Karl Koodamore’s speeding car. He tried to run her over but somehow miscalculates and crashed to his doom over cliff into a swiftly flowing river below. Her mission complete, the Black Widow returned to Hell to await her next mission.

Mark of the Black Widow

(All Select#1/5)- Her next mission for Satan was to acquire the soul of Ogor, an evil faith healer and charlatan who had become rich by taking money from others who believed he could help them using his fake powers. As Ogor was leaving town, the Black Widow once again tried to dispense her form of justice but Ogor instantly died from heart failure. Before returning to Hell, the Black Widow - out of some act of mercy or kindness - mystically regenerated the amputated leg of a boy named Pepito who was one of Ogor's latest victims he had promised to heal.

(Marvel Knights: Spider-Man#9 (fb))- The Black Widow was shown to have been active during the 1940s alongside other heroes from the Golden Age.

(Marvels#1) - During WWII, the Black Widow took part in an assault on a Nazi fortress, flying in alongside various other costumed heroes.

(Marvel Tarot) - Ian McNee heard a rumor that Patsy Walker was working with a little old widow named Claire, and the two of them were investigating occult crimes.

Comments: Created by George Kapitan (writer) and Harry Sahle (pencils & inks).

The Black Widow is quite an intriguing character that was quite ahead of its time. During the Golden Age of comics, most women were depicted as very demure and lacked the sensual sex appeal you would find now in the pages of most magazines.  She was depicted as beautiful blond woman wearing a tight form fitting outfit that revealed her voluptuous body. Most female characters were not drawn to appear this way. Another aspect that made the character ahead of its time is the concept of an anti-hero who committed acts of evil for the greater good. Although she served Satan, she only went after the evil people of the world and seemed very sympathetic to those who had suffered great injustice as attested to her magical regeneration of the young boy’s amputated leg in her final Golden Age appearance.  Maybe over time and if the Black Widow had been continued as an ongoing feature in various Timely/Marvel comics in the 1940s, she could possibly have rebelled against Satan, realizing that he was the one true enemy for being the only one responsible in her death and resurrection. Alas, this was not to be and the rest of her story currently remains untold and unfinished.

And now for the good news: coming out in early 2008, the Black Widow will be appearing as a character in the upcoming mini-series, "The 12", alongside other obscure short-lived Golden Age characters who are somehow transported to the present day. As this comic series unfolds, hopefully we will find out what her fate will be and if she still serves the evil Satan. So Black Widow fans, stay tuned as it looks like it is going to be quite a ride!

So who is this "Satan"? Is it Marduk Kurios or Mephisto? Some other being altogether?---Grendel Prime

Mephisto with his track record of empowering people like the Bounty Hunter who has a similar job as the Golden Age Black Widow, makes him the likely candidate to be the Golden Age Black Widow's Satan.
--John Holstein

Profile by AvatarWarlord72.

CLARIFICATIONS :
The Black Widow has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Art splash page from upcoming series The 12 (main montage image)
Mystic Comics#4/6, p3, panel 3  (transformed by Satan)
Mystic Comics#7/3, p9, panel 4 (death touch)
Mystic Comics#5/5, p8, panel 5 (mark of the Black Widow)


Appearances:
Mystic Comics#4/6 (August, 1940) - George Kapitan (writer), Harry Sahle (art), unknown editor
Mystic Comics#5/4 (August, 1941) - George Kapitan (writer), Harry Sahle (art), unknown editor
Mystic Comics#7/3 (December, 1941) - George Kapitan (writer), Stan Drake (art), unknown editor
USA Comics#5/2 (Summer, 1942) - George Kapitan (writer), Mike Sekowski (pencils), George Klein (inks), unknown editor
All Select#1/5 (Fall, 1943) - George Kapitan (writer), Stan Drake (art), unknown editor
Marvels I#1 (January, 1994) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Alex Ross (art), Marcus McLaurin (editor)
Marvel Knights: Spider-Man#9 (February, 2005) - Mark Millar (writer), Terry & Rachel Dodson (art), Axel Alonso (editor)
Marvel Tarot (2007) - by David Sexton (writer/designer), Doug Sexton (technical consultant), Jeff Christiansen (continuity consultant), Jeff Youngquist (editor)


Last updated: 01/29/06

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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