In the world of superheroes and villains, it’s common for the name someone is known by to be coined by someone else than it is for that person to come up with it themselves.
Hence Widowmaker. When he first appeared, Widowmaker was nameless, a villain who quickly established himself in the activity that gave him his name. He didn’t mess around. He simply went about killing people, whatever targets he chose for whatever reasons he needed. He transitioned to killing superheroes when they started pursuing him, which didn’t take that long. He didn’t seem to notice.
Even other villains started distancing themselves from him, especially when he made it clear that he preferred it that way by killing them, too.
He was the villain of villains.
Not surprisingly, the Council made him a priority, and maybe Justin Proper made too fine a point of it personally, because his squire the Witch Doctor got caught up in it, and in the midst of the hunt lost her life, in a very quick moment, which to Widowmaker was just another kill, and to the world just another number in his running tally, but to Ellen Encanto, the Witch Doctor, a fairly significant moment.
She came back in a burst of flame, echoing the death Widowmaker had given her, fiery and cruel, and incredibly painful, and the first thing she had on her mind was revenge. She began to realize right away how little she’d understood what she’d been doing, the more she obsessed over retribution.
She could no longer justify allowing Widowmaker to live. That was the crucial mistake. Most superheroes didn’t even register it as a mistake, allowing a villain to live, even Widowmaker, because most of them were essentially harmless, eccentrics with elaborate schemes of world domination that never amounted to anything, an endless series of failures where ordinary men with armies had failed before them, too, so that their ambitions were more parody than a chance of success, a true threat.
Widowmaker was different, more like a serial killer with real power, but no one realized it at the time, during the long series of gruesome murders, not even Encanto, who was too busy admiring her own skills and trying to please Justin Proper and the rest of the Council, the one entity that should have been entrusted to look beyond blind spots and recognize Widowmaker for the true evil he was.
Yet the whole thing was a failure that had resulted in tragedy, and the first thing the Witch Doctor discovered upon returning to the world of the living was that not only was it continuing, but that not a damn thing had been done to curtail it. Widowmaker was still on the prowl.
That was when she made her decision, to circumvent the system and take care of the problem on her own, with a new set of rules, ones that addressed Widowmaker directly. That’s why she was pleased to have encountered the Biker first, so that she might begin to understand what was necessary, and create an alliance that could make it possible. She went to each of the squires next, including Bruin, Orion’s Belt, the Red Dean, the Quiet Man, and Meme, the lynchpin as she considered him, the one who would ensure that it all stuck together.
She didn’t trust Justin Proper anymore. She ignored him and moved on.
Her goal was the death of Widowmaker, nothing more and nothing less. If she accomplished that, she expected that many other things would change. She wasn’t going to stick around to find out.
With that in mind, she kept mostly to herself, which only made her return more mysterious, because even her alliance only knew that she had returned and that she had the one goal, which anyone could have guessed upon seeing her. She was no longer messing around.