INFINITY COUNTDOWN: BLACK WIDOW#1 / Writer: Gerry Duggan / Artist: Nik Virella and Brent Schoonover / Colorist: Cris Peter / VC’s Cory Petit / Cover Artist: Yasmine Putri / Publisher: Marvel / June 20, 2018
So, Black Widow has been a more complicated character lately. She’s a super spy which is simple enough to understand, but she “died” recently in Marvel’s Secret Empire event. So obviously she didn’t die, but I was wondering how that’s going to work. Will Natasha deal with people thinking she’s dead in this issue? Will she help the reader understand where she’s at since Logan left her with the space stone in that toilet in Madripoor back in Infinity Countdown #1? Well, Gerry Duggan (Deadpool and Chewbacca), Nik Virella (Hyperion and All-New Wolverine), and Brent Schoovner (Astonishing Ant-Man and The Howling Commandos) answer that question on page one with Black Widow falling from a building thinking,
“I love being dead.”
Duggan didn’t worry about the semantics of the situation Black Widow was in. He just told a fun story. A story with an obscure Marvel villain and a lot of references that assumes the reader is smart enough to follow along. Which was a pro and con to the issue. The art at the beginning does a great job, but the other half seems like an artist trying to mimic the first’s style and that took me out of the story. Not the say the character designs were bad. Black Widow’s suit, Jamie’s speedo, and the wizard’s casual look are consistent throughout the book. I really enjoy the wizard’s star printed sweat pants.
The story is a not so simple game of “keep the stone away from the bad guy.” This issue brings back Captain Britain villain Jamie Braddock. Who I thought was dead, but so was Black Widow. So, let’s chalk that up to the comic book credo of “As long as it’s a good story it doesn’t matter if those characters died and came back and no one knows why.” Jamie has a limited amount of dialogue in this issue, but everything he says, I love. The best one is when he has magical little boy bloodhounds sniffing out the space stone and he says,
“C’mon lads. Where’s me magic rock?”
The crazy thing is Black Widow is a super spy so magic is a little bit out of her forte and also out of the realm of Infinity Countdown tie-ins so far. This far in the event it’s mostly been cosmic space stuff. This issue introduces magic which makes me wonder if that will have a bigger part to play. Also, just how much power was Black Widow given at the end of this issue? Is Natasha a new Captain Britain? I guess we’ll see as the event progresses. Being part of a huge event like this and still being able to tell a coherent story is a huge plus, but it does feel a little forced. The character has a lot of potential and I’m excited to see what she does with the Space Stone, but this was an issue I went into with no expectations and was met with oddly placed art and a fun, but all over the place story.
As a massive Marvel nerd, I love that Marlyn/ Merlin from Alan Moore and Alan Davis’s Captain Britain is in the book. The last scene with the wizard that helps Natasha responding to her saying I didn’t catch your name with “You know exactly who I am…” almost makes up for the cons of the issue, but not enough.
Verdict: 3 out of 5
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