SPOILER WARNING: Contains spoiler for Marvel’s Secret Empire #7

Captain America as Hydra’s Supreme Leader, Hydra taking over the United States, Captain Marvel trapped in outerspace fighting an endless wave of Chitauri…. Marvel Comics’ ongoing Secret Empire event has already offered it’s fair share of shocks. And you can add to that mix a temporary resurrection of Bruce Banner, the execution of Rick Jones, and Tony Stark (OK, his artificial consciousness) sacrificing himself to blow Steve Rogers up (unsuccessfully).

To recap the story of Secret Empire, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, has had his reality changed by Kobik, a fragment of the reality-changing Cosmic Cube, and was revealed to be a secret Hydra agent. Secret Empire sees Rogers rising to Supreme Leader of Hydra and taking over America, trapping and exiling Earth’s mightiest heroes in the process.

captain americaWhile the story has had its fair share of criticism and controversy, the Nick Spencer-penned crossover event just claimed its biggest scalp yet in Secret Empire #7, released on Wednesday.

If you have been following the event and have yet to read Secret Empire #7, turn away now. Otherwise, read on.

SPOILER BEGINS:

Believing that her friends in the Underground resistance were killed when Stark blew up the bunker that was their hideout, Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, decides to take things into her own hands and assassinate Steve Rogers. But things take an unexpected turn when, while trying to stop Mile Morales (the new Spider-Man) from killing Rogers (and thus fulfilling the vision from last year’s Civil War II event), she takes a blow to the neck from Rogers’ shield, and is killed instantly.

Go ahead, Spidey. Make our day.

Cue Miles going completely berserk and beating the crap out of Rogers (which actually got us cheering), only to stop short of fulfilling the prophecy because “he is not a killer”. Well, your eagerness to fulfil that vision in the first place just led to the death of Black Widow, Spidey. Not cool at all.

While Secret Empire has not been one of Marvel’s better events of late (and they’re taking a break from these things after this, thank goodness), it’s had some intriguing twists and turns along the way. A lot more happens in Secret Empire #7, of course, but we just can’t get over the fact that they just killed off one of their highest-profile female characters.

Since Black Widow is one of the major players in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, killing her off in the comics does seem a bit like a ploy to raise interest in the whole Secret Empire event ahead of its final three issues.

Still, Black Widow’s demise may yet be just another of those meaningless comic book deaths (she has died before, at the hands of the Hand, but was resurrected by Stone of The Chaste). In fact, as long as the all-powerful reality-changing Cosmic Cube remains in play, there is a chance she’ll be brought back to life in the end.

The Black Widow meets her demise while trying to stop Spider-Man from killing Steve Rogers.