Apparently, Black Widow knows me. And maybe Nick Fury, does, too.

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June 29 2010 10:30 AM

Apparently, Black Widow knows me. And maybe Nick Fury, does, too.

[Warning: comic book nerdiness ensues. Be ye fairly warned, says I.]

I received an odd message from my friend Deric Hughes (who is totally cool and writes for "Warehouse 13" and is not a nerd at all, nossir) on Twitter. It said:

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Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death from the Skies!  

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THIS was inside the latest issue of Ultimate Avengers2. I think Nick Fury paid you a special visit.

"THIS" was a blurry picture, but clear enough to show me that I had to immediately go to my local comic book store (Time Warp, cool place) and buy myself a copy of issue 4 of Avengers 2. Why? Here's why:


HOLY FRAK MY NAME IS IN BLACK WIDOW'S PHONE BOOK!!

OK, backing up a bit: In this part of the story, Black Widow (translation for the non-comic-book nerds*: she was played by Scarlett Johansson in Iron Man 2) is recounting how she and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson in Iron Man 2) used to be a couple. She noticed something odd in her phone book one day: some of her friends and family had red dots next to their names. That last panel shows her phone book, with, for some reason, my name in it.

OK? OK. Now, there are several avenues my thinking is taking here.

blackwidow_johansson1) Perhaps the writer, Mark Millar, is familiar with my writing. However, as cool as that is, it is perhaps eclipsed by the idea that...

2) I'm in Black Widow's phone book. Now why would that be? I don't know; perhaps she has a history of sudden astronomical emergencies and has me in speed dial as a lifeline. Or perhaps there are um, other reasons. I don't feel a lengthy explanation is necessary here. However, I'll note that while I don't know if this book will in any way lead to this story getting up on the Big Screen, you never know.

3) I noticed there are no red dots by my name. [SPOILER ALERT!] In the story, people with dots by their name had been paid a visit by Fury. And the adjective generally associated with such a visit is conjugal.

4) ... and it's perhaps more relevant to say that there's no red dot by my name yet. And there are two more issues in this story's series.

Hmmmm.

Happily, I have a potential pathway to enlightenment here: Comic Con. I'll be attending in late July, and perhaps someone there will be able to clear this up. I'll seek out Mark Millar, of course, since that's a good path to an explanation.

But maybe there's a more direct route.

Black Widow, hon, if you're reading this: you obviously have my number. Let's work this out.

[Update: Leinil Yu, the artist, is the culprit here. See the comments below, specifically #18!]



* I urge you to buy and read the entire series of the comic, which is to help you understand the context here, and is in no way a supplication to Marvel or whomever is the responsible party.