It appears we might have an answer to why Marvel Comics decided not to plan an issue of Black Widow for February - work on the series appears behind schedule.
The publisher informed retailers overnight that January's Black Widow #5 has been delayed six weeks.
In the last issue of Black Widow, Natasha's quiet and content retirement was shattered when it was revealed that her husband and children were a lie - created as part of an elaborate scheme to dupe the Avenger.
"The end is also the beginning... As Natasha finally begins to escape her paradise and takes aim on her enemies, she can't ignore that her freedom comes at a devastating cost," reads the solicitation for Black Widow #5. "Is this what finally breaks the Black Widow? Winning the day will change Natasha forever and set her on a bold new path. Losing... is no longer an option."
Originally solicited to hit shelves January 6, Black Widow #5 - the last part of the current arc - will now go on sale February 17. A collection of these first five issues remains set for March 16.
Earlier this month writer Kelly Thompson said that February would be a "skip month" for the title, with it returning in March. Now with this schedule change, January is effectively that skip month.
For those worried about the series, Thompson has assured readers that Marvel promised her at least ten issues of Black Widow, while "More will depend on whether we keep doing well!"
Presuming Black Widow resumes monthly shipping for March's #6, that would guarantee the series to last at least through July - which would cover their bases to coincide with the Black Widow movie release date as it stands now, May 7.
While you wait, make sure you've read all of the best Black Widow stories of all time.