Black Widow #1 / Writers: Jen & Sylvia Soska / Artist: Flaviano / Color Artist: Veronica Gandini / Letterer: VS’s Joe Caramagna / Cover Art: Clayton Crain / Published: January 16th, 2019
Black Widow is not adjusting well to life after coming back from the dead. Although it does make things easier for a spy and assassin if the world thinks you are dead. After an attack on New Year’s Eve, she realizes she needs to not be bound by the rules of the Avengers and indulge her darker tendencies.
A terrorist is impersonating Captain America. For Black Widow and the real Cap, this all feels very familiar. They are still reeling from the events of Secret Empire and Hydra Cap’s actions. The last thing they need is for more death and destruction to be caused by “Captain America.” They work to save the day, but Widow finds herself buckling against the limitations of being an Avenger and a hero. She decides to step away from that life and head to Madripoor. Tyger Tiger brings her a mission worthy of her attention and skills.
The last few years have been difficult for Black Widow, she was a fugitive from SHIELD and was forced to return to the Red Room that trained her, then she was killed by Hydra Cap and brought back to life by the Red Room. I’m glad to see that this new series is taking all of that into account, giving us a hero who is still dealing with the trauma. She can’t just bounce back into her old life as an Avenger as if nothing happened.
Writers Jen and Sylvia Soska have written a good story. Black Widow #1 works as a re-introduction to the character. While it helps if you know what happened in Secret Empire, enough backstory and context are given to fill in what happened during the crossover event. Cap and Widow get some fun playful banter in the beginning, but we quickly see that she is still affected by what happened when she reminds Cap that he was the one who killed her.
Artist Flaviano’s style matches well with the Soska’s writing. Widow’s first appearance hanging upside down from the roof of the elevator is a great image and a fun way to start things out. His layouts are good and the action flows well. I really liked his design on Madripoor and the characters there. Veronica Gandini’s colors give everything a vibrancy. The watercolor tones give it a unique look. The scene of Widow packing in her room at dawn is simply beautiful and says so much in a single panel.
Black Widow is not choosing to run or hide from her past, but she is not ready to move past it yet either. Black Widow #1 is a great beginning and lays out several strong story threads for the future. The creative team work well together and have created a great looking book that is an enjoyable read, bouncing between comic book action and adventure to the darker and seedier places a bit closer to reality. I’m definitely on board for more of this.
VERDICT 4 out of 5