Black Widow 1

Reviewed by 09-Apr-16

A different take from previous versions of Black Widow, but worth following.

Black Widow coverThe Marvel Now! initiative brought out a number of good series centring on female protagonists, of which Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto’s Black Widow was one we admired here at FA HQ. The ending of these series as part of Marvel’s ending of its universe results in many of these series being restarted with new creative teams, often a hard ask.

The new team for Black Widow, Mark Waid, Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson, have the advantage of coming off an admired run in Daredevil, so they are operating in territory with which they are familiar.

It’s quite difficult to judge the title on just this one issue, because very little actually happens in it. The comic opens with Maria Hill ordering the capture of Natasha Romanov, and the rest of the issue is taken up with the Black Widow’s escape from the SHIELD helicarrier, pursued by agent after agent, every one of whom she naturally defeats. ‘Tasha herself doesn’t speak a word until the very end.

Black Widow pageOn the positive side, at the moment this at least looks like it is not yet another story where the Widow must come to terms with some nasty episode from her past. I’ve seen this done well (e.g. Edmondson and Noto’s series) and less well, but the main point is that I’m bored with the trope. On the other hand, what seems to be replacing it is a story in which ‘Tasha finds herself pitted against the organisation that she trusted, which trope is fresh in the mind from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But in fairness, that’s the only real negative I can come up with.

And if we can’t judge Waid and Samnee’s story yet, we can judge Samnee’s art. It’s beautiful. Strong blocking blacks remind one of David Mazzuchelli, or José Muñoz, mixed up with a touch of David Aja. The pages shatter as the Widow bursts through windows. Wilson’s colours enhance everything, as they so often do.

This looks nothing like the previous Black Widow series. But it does look worth following.

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One response to “Black Widow 1”

  1. Mike Teague says:

    Loved the Edmonson run, sad to see it end.
    This looks like being almost as good though !

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