Light Spoilers Ahead
The Black Widow movie still hasn’t been released due to the virus. Although the comic was delayed as well, last week, we finally got the first issue. Black Widow #1, written by Kelly Thompson and drawn by Elena Casagrande is the beginning of an ongoing series initially scheduled for a June release. The comic would have hit after the movie was released in May. While we don’t know if the comic follows the same story from the film, it definitely would have been a continuation of the excitement. This first issue serves as the worthy first bite of an appetizer for those waiting for the movie.
The book begins with some great action sequences as we join Natasha in the middle of a mission. There are a few cameos as we see she is supported by the Avengers. Things take a turn, though, when Widow is surprised by someone who seemingly sends her to her death. From there, we follow along with Winter Soldier and Hawkeye as they search for the missing Widow. It seems she has lost her memory and is living a very different life of her own. The issue ends with a classic Marvel villain making an appearance and revealing his involvement.
This issue is an excellent start to an exciting spy mystery. It’s a little different because Widow is not herself and the heroes are essentially Widows friends. We don’t know what has happened to her or why she has been targeted. There are plenty of questions and possibilities as this first issue only skims the surface.
I think the writing is right on target. There is a bit of humor and a lot of fun in the dialogue and Widow’s inner monologue. The character feels very familiar and confident in herself. This helps set up the contradiction as we see Widow finding a different side of herself and still living comfortably. The story is paced well with action intertwined with humor, cameos, and surprises. I’m sure all the issues won’t be this way, but it’s a great way to start things out and boost interest in continuing the series.
It’s fascinating to see Natasha living a different life while still wielding her super-spy abilities. We haven’t got to see Widow live an everyday life or find happiness in the past, so this is a new and impactful story. I like that this is a new adventure with a hero we are already familiar with from her appearances in the MCU and elsewhere. It really serves as a continuation and expansion of the character who hasn’t been featured yet.
The art is excellent and really suits the tone. It’s a more dark, dramatic book, so the art is a little more direct. It still looks like a comic book but has a sense of reality about it. This is a gritty spy mystery, not a sprawling cosmic adventure. It would not surprise me in the least to see The Punisher make a comfortable appearance at any moment. The coloring is also to be noted as some panels in the dark, sneaking or fighting set the scenes’ mood and story.
I think this is the beginning of a promising new comic that could have a lengthy run. There is a need for more female-led books, and there is definitely a call for Black Widow and her world of gritty espionage. This book could serve as a great supplement to run alongside an Avengers book and maybe crossover with Ghost Rider or the Punisher, as mentioned earlier in the future. Although Black Widow still hasn’t had her own film, she has made an impact as a supporting character with countless successful appearances. There have been Black Widow titles in the past. Still, this one seems to be following the character’s current iteration and popularity. Hopefully, this book is in it for the long game with plenty of twists and a worthwhile winding adventure. I give Black Widow #1 5 out of 5 poison darts and recommend it for the Avengers or MCU fans.