Dec 30 2012 6:00pm

First Look: Alisa Kwitney’s New Avengers: Breakout Prose Novel (January 1, 2013)

Alisa Kwitney
New Avengers: Breakout
Marvel / January 1, 2013 / $24.99 print

Fantasy/romantic fiction/comics author Alisa Kwitney (A Flight of Angels, Moonburn) reveals the secret backstory of Avengers couple Hawkeye and the Black Widow. Under secret orders to assassinate the Widow, the rough-edged marksman finds himself caught up in a violent prison break that releases some of the world's most vicious and powerful criminals. Defying his superiors, Hawkeye joins forces with the sultry Russian spy—and with a mismatched group of personalities that include Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Luke Cage, Captain America and Iron Man. Unexpected betrayals and shocking revelations will lead the team from Manhattan's top security Raft prison to the untamed jungle of the Savage Land in dramatically different take on Brian Michael Bendis' blockbuster Avengers comics debut. Learn the sizzling backstory of your favorite big-screen heroes in this adaptation, inspired by the best of page and screen!

Fans of the Black Widow/Hawkeye pairing from this summer's The Avengers can get their next fix with Alisa Kwitney's New Avengers: Breakout prose novel, which combines an Avengers comics story line (namely Brian Michael Bendis's New Avengers: Breakout) and elements from the movie, like the chemistry that actors Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner brought to their portrayals of the master assassins on the big screen. If you couldn't get enough of them in the movie but aren't sure how to jump into the vast comics universe where their story originated, New Avengers: Breakout may help bridge the gap. Plus...well, it's a fun take on Black Widow and Hawkeye's backstory!

From the first encounter between SHIELD agent/archer Clint “Hawkeye” Barton and Russian spy Natasha “Black Widow” Romanova, the banter flies as surely as Hawkeye's signature arrows, as do the sparks. While The Avengers hinted at how the two met in the cinematic universe (Clint was sent to kill Natasha but instead helped her defect from the Red Room in Russia and join him at the peacekeeping organization SHIELD), Kwitney presents a fleshed-out scenario sure to please curious movie fans.

In her version, Barton spots a potential threat—one with striking red hair—aboard SHIELD's floating fortress and goes in pursuit, which is when the fun begins:

“Hey, what’s the big hurry?” Clint called after her, nocking his arrow and aiming it. “I thought we could spend a little time on small talk before getting down to the dirty stuff.”

“I’m not a big fan of small talk,” she called back as Clint sent a blunt arrow flying. The arrow hit the pressure point on the back of her leg, just below her knee; for a moment, Clint thought she was going to fall down the stairs. He raced toward her, but Red was already recovering with a neat little backflip. She landed on her feet, lithe as any big-top acrobat.

“I was kind of hoping to get your number before you run off again,” said Clint, joining her on the landing. He was too close to aim an arrow now, so he held his bow loosely in his left hand, ready to use it as a blunt instrument if she went for the gun at her hip.

Red appeared bemused. “Do you always talk this much when you’re fighting?”

“Not just when I’m fighting, sweetheart. I find talking always adds to the—ungh.” Clint moved just in time, so Red’s knee connected with his stomach instead of more sensitive parts. He grabbed her foot and she kicked up, wrapping her other leg around his neck and bringing him down on his back, hard. “Okay, now this is definitely a second-date kind of move,” he said, maneuvering so he could jab his elbow into the back of her knee, releasing her chokehold on his neck.

“Not so much a second-date kind of girl,” she said, straddling him and landing a solid punch to his jaw.

But whereas the movie stops short of confirming any deeper feelings between the archer and the spy, Kwitney's novel takes their relationship a step (or three) further. You get the intense hand-to-hand combat and banter as in the film plus an adventure in which the romance becomes decidedly and wonderfully overt.

More than that, the whole team becomes aware of the situation, and that is priceless. Differing slightly from the movie lineup, Kwitney's Avengers roster features Captain America, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, and Spider-Woman—none of whom are happy to learn of Hawkeye's bond with the Widow. Yet as they're all forced to work together, opinions begin to change, and it's thoroughly enjoyable to read.

Whether you're already deeply immersed in the Marvel comics universes or looking to dive in after watching The Avengers movie, Kwitney's New Avengers: Breakout novel is a must-have for readers looking for more romance between Hawkeye and Black Widow.

To learn more or to pre-order a copy of New Avengers: Breakoutprose novel by Alisa Kwitney:

Buy Buy New Avengers: Breakout at Barnes and Noble

Buy New Avengers: Breakout at Amazon



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Find Heather Waters on Twitter at @hwaters_

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savannah wheat
1. zephyra
I think Hawkeye and Black Widow would make a cute couple, but according to Marvel comics, Hawkeye already has a wife (who is another Avenger- Mockingbird)
Heather Waters
2. HeatherWaters
@zephyra -- Yes, you're right, he does marry Bobbi Morse at some point in the comics, but Clint and Natasha have a history in the comics as well. I think it depends on the story line. For instance, I believe Clint is or was dating Spider-Woman in the Avengers Assemble series going on now.
3. zephyra
@redline_ --Oh, okay. I was super excited about this but came across the tidbit in a Marvel book and thought that might complicate any relationships. I can't wait to read it.
Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
@zephyra -- Yeah, I see what you're saying, it can definitely get complicated. This book doesn't give much back story on previous relationships for Clint and Natasha (so I'm not sure if Bobbi or Bucky are a part of their past in this story). Peter Parker and Mary Jane's relationship is mentioned a couple times, and Luke Cage's wife Jessica makes an appearance.
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