Marvel is debuting a new version of the character Black Widow as part of its exciting new lineup of podcast storylines. However, for those hoping for the continued adventures of Natasha Romanoff, they may be in for a bit of a surprise. Marvel Wastelanders: Black Widow actually follows the adventures of the down and out Helen Black, voiced by Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon. While she will very likely have ties to the original Black Widow, Helen Black is a character all her own trying to survive in the near-future world established by the famous and immensely popular Old Man Logan comic book.
Earlier this week, Marvel debuted a brief clip showing fans the kind of production value that this radio play will offer as well as their first listen to Susan Sarandon in character as the new Black Widow.
For those unfamiliar, Marvel Wasteland: Black Widow is the third 10-episode installment in the series that previously followed Star-Lord and Hawkeye roughly 30 years after supervillains took over and beat out all the superheroes. In the ensuing chaos, the United States was divided up into territories controlled by the baddest baddies of them all. Abomination had some land that was later taken over by the Hulk. Magneto took some land only to lose it to Kingpin. Doctor Doom and Red Skull preside over large swaths of the apocalyptic wasteland of their own.
All the heroes that are left are mostly in hiding and sporting a new Mad Max style to match the current state of things. The new Black Widow series will see Helen Black arrive at The Onar, a 161-story apartment complex in what used to be Midtown Manhattan. The place is owned and operated by S.H.I.E.L.D., but that’s not the comfort it used to be. According to Marvel, the once heroic organization has sold out and now creates a dystopic fluff society for the wealthy by making sure old New York is a haven of inequality.
While the higher-up apartments are opulent, Helen exists in the humble “100 Block” where paper-thin walls force her to get to know her neighbors, played by supporting cast members who include Eva Amurri (Saved!), Nate Corddry (Mom), Amber Gray (Hadestown), Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie), Chasten Harmon (Elementary), Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Justin Kirk (Weeds).
When a young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is tasked with spying on the 100 Block, she quickly learns that Helen Black isn’t at all who she says she is — and that, dear listeners, is where the story begins for Marvel’s new (possibly old?) Black Widow.
Like the two previous installments, which were largely well-received even if they did fly under the radar of most comic book fans, CBR reports that the new Marvel Wastelanders: Black Widow will first debut on SiriusXM and Marvel’s wing of Apple Podcasts. It will then become available on other podcasting platforms like the Star-Lord and Hawkeye installments did. The first of the bunch follows Peter Quill as he returns home to Earth only to find it the mess left behind by the villains. He deals heavily with his guilt over being off in the stars rather than helping out his people. The Hawkeye series, which features the character who played a heavily role in the Old Man Logan comics, working as a circus act after becoming the sole survivor of The Avengers.